We un-decked the halls this weekend and I decided to pull out some long forgotten bins under the stairs to make a bit more room for holiday decorations. One of the boxes was "old computer books" that I filled and put away under there when I moved in and hadn't looked in since.

I took possession of my home and moved here in October...of 1999 😬

Shall we explore what this time capsule has to offer?

Very well then...

Oh hey look I found the manual to go with my Windows 3.0 install floppies!

(Yes three point zero)


The more thicc windows got the more thin the printed manual got.

It was even illustrated nicely and covered the applets like paint!

What *is* a File Manager, really? :blobthinkingcool:

Before Widows became whimsical with its explorers and wizards it was all about business with all these Managers.

File Manager
Program Manager
Printer Manager

Let's see what else there is here...

Oh excellent found the manuals AND the box for the Autocad Release 10 Student Edition (for MSDOS) to go with those disks that were still kicking around too!


This is Pandora's Box of Magnetic Media.

Wow look at these license terms...

"You may not...use this program outside of the US or Canada"

I wonder if BSA agents followed people who went on a trip to Mexico with their luggabe PCs to make sure they didn't open AutoCAD

Since this is a student edition I will probably have to go back to school to run this, or I'll get visited by a man in a dark suit and sunglasses

Well at least the license is concise and clear 🤷‍♂️

The cover art is exceptionally good by computer manual standards. I'm diggin' this Airport in the Sky.

The Complete AutoCAD reference really *is* complete at least as of 1993. Probably still mostly valid today too

The Student Manual reads a lot like a textbook (for CAD in general not just how to use AutoCAD specifically) and indeed it was listed as the textbook in the syllabus for the course I took

OK let's look at some more Old Computer Books...

Check out the Tower of Database Power

The installation guides are slim and unassuming in order to lull you into a false sense of security.

Don't let that fool you. This is a bit more than `apt install informix`

Note the Order of Installation. Thou shalt not deviate from The Order lest you wind up in Sysop Purgatory

One you have installed this infobeast you have to feed and care for it, which is detailed in this weighty 2 volume tome

Informix is...chunky

Behold..."Informix Error Messages"...aka the "DevOops Manual"

628 glorious pages of nothing but numeric error codes and their meanings

Everything you wanted to know about SQL but we're afraid to ask

Ok now for something else out of the Old Computer Books bin...

I am a control systems/automation engineer by training so Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are the computers I am supposed to be an expert in.

PLCs are at least as terrible as any other computer TBH.

Quarter century later and these damn PLC-5s and SLC-500s still come back to haunt me

This PLC stuff is from a time not long after Rockwell International bought ICOM software because their Allen Bradley division was so Bad at Software that most of their PLC users bought the 3rd party programming software from ICOM.

So in Rockwell tradition of the time, if you can beat them buy them.

Thus ICOM branding was still lurking around

Looks like a few more interesting things in this bin but I need to sleep. Will dig around in here more tomorrow!

Well it is tomorrow here so let's pull something else out of the Old Computer Books Bin from Nineteen Ninety Nine...

Hey it's another boxed set! Things are gonna get meta. Frame.


This is a special copy of v1.8 provided as part of my Citrix Certified Administrator ™️ training.

It had sneak preview content providing Windows 2000 compatibility not yet available to the public!

Oooh! Aaah!

Besides the installation media still in the box (!) The reference docs are on CD so the stack of printed material is small.

Bonus content: a full CD archive of csnweb.com so you don't have to wait for all the Flash™️ content to crawl its way into your browser over your 56k modem!

Complete set of client reference cards, all still in the shrink wrap!

I wonder if that makes them more collectable :blobtonguewink:

As a student in this recourse I *did* get a nice THICC textbook-like spiral-bound ( :blobaww: ) admin guide!

This isn't just a better RDS terminal server. It supported stuff like "multi-VGA" for server side rendering so you could set up a bunch of thin clients that can deliver graphically intense apps better.

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@msh - File Manager is what Karen demands to see after her directory gets deleted.

@msh autodesk way out ahead of the curve, releasing autocad 10 while floppies were still valid install media. what took microsoft and apple so heckin long to get to 10?

@djsundog all those silly point releases we know bigger is better amirite?

Thanks Autodesk!

(This toot sent from web browser version 87)


Me: "Mom, can we get MariaDB?"
Mom: "We have MariaDB at home."
MariaDB@~: *is Informix 7.1*

@Lofenyy since I was a student I think it was "only" a couple hundred bucks at the University Bookstore, which adjusted for inflation... makes me weep.

But that was about the same as some of my more expensive textbooks so...

@msh It really puts the "business " in "business machine". Honestly, we should have called computers that from the start.

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