7 Indicators You Are a Seasoned Home windows Consumer

For many people, Windows have been around longer than they live. Founded in 1985, the popular operating system has gone through many iterations since then.

Windows remains the most widely used desktop operating system. Maybe you are using it from the beginning? Windows has certainly changed since the first version, but some elements remain consistent.

We're going to turn back the clock and look at some of the signs that you are a seasoned Windows user – old features that have since been discontinued, cheesy marketing campaigns, classic startup noises, and more.

1. You played Space Cadet pinball

Although companies all over the world use Windows, the operating system has also established itself as a place for games from day one. Many of us are familiar with classic games like Minesweeper and Solitaire that came bundled with Windows and turned out to be perfect time wasters.

But do you also remember playing pinball? 3D Pinball: Space Cadet first came in Microsoft Plus! 95, an enhancement pack for Windows 95. It was then included in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows XP.

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The game featured a single pinball table – a funky purple and blue affair on which players could use the two pinball machines to blow the ball up. The aim was of course to collect as many points as possible and to get a place in the leaderboard. However, since everything was offline, many times you just tried to beat yourself!

Unfortunately, 3D Pinball died with XP and has not been included in a Microsoft operating system since (in fact, Windows isn't bundled with games these days). Some believed this was for legal reasons as an outside company called Cinematronics developed the game.

Related: How to Run Old Games and Software on Windows 10

In fact, it was because there was a bug in the 64-bit XP version of the game where the ball would slide through objects. The team couldn't understand the code, let alone figure out why the collision detection wasn't working. Instead of wasting valuable time getting it working, Pinball has been removed from Windows Vista.

2. Jennifer Aniston taught you the start bar

When Windows 95 was released in 1995, Microsoft released a video starring Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry when they encounter a "crazy bunch of propellers" on the "world's first cyber sitcom". As you can probably guess, nothing in the video has aged well, but that makes it all the better.

Windows 95 marked the introduction of the now famous Start button and the taskbar, which are still present in Windows 11 today. It seems strange now to think that these are new features, but previously program groups had to be started by a program manager. The new menu in Windows 95 allowed applications to be nested in folders and also gave access to other functions such as search and shutdown.

It is controversial that Microsoft created the start screen with Windows 8, a full-page display for starting applications. After much public outcry, Microsoft gave in and reintroduced the more traditional Start button in Windows 8.1.

3. You knew the genius

"It looks like you're writing a letter."

For some, these are chilling words. It's what Microsoft's Office Assistant Clippy would say when he popped up on your screen. While Clippy could be helpful, many found it annoying, leading to many parodies and campaigns against the poor anthropomorphic paper clip.

Did you know that Clippy was actually one of many assistants? While the advice they would give would stay the same, you could welcome other characters like a robot, superhero dog, and genius (who looked a lot like Albert Einstein).

The characters changed depending on which version of Office you had, with The Genius that was introduced in Office 97. You would find them elsewhere in the operating system as well, e.g. B. with a system search. Unfortunately, Clippy and his friends left Windows a long time ago – although Clippy is making a small comeback in Microsoft Teams.

4. You remember the original use of drives A and B

Have you ever wondered why the C drive is the default letter for your primary storage drive? That's because drive A was originally intended for floppy disks, while drive B was reserved for those with enough cash to jump to a second floppy disk drive.

Motherboards support two floppy disk drives as standard, so Windows pre-assigned two drive letters accordingly. As such, any additional drive would become the C drive.

You could not reassign drives A and B because it was not considered important. Developers have designed software with the expectation that it will be stored on the C drive.

Of course, times have changed now – you can use Disk Management to assign the letters A and B to your drives if you want.

5. Overlapping windows were innovative for you

The first version of Windows used a tile windows manager. This meant you couldn't overlap windows; they all had to be placed side by side. This changed with Windows 2 thanks to the implementation of a stacking window manager. Today this is a matter of course, but back then it was considered an innovative feature.

While it may seem simple in concept, the batch process has actually improved over time. You may recall a common bug in early versions of Windows, especially XP, where a window that stopped responding and you would drag it across the screen would leave a trail. This was because the stacking manager couldn't repaint the windows efficiently.

6. You know all the ways to open the Task Manager

The Task Manager as we know it today originated in Windows NT 4.0. While there previously existed a program called Tasks that displayed the running programs, the Task Manager implemented more advanced functions.

Related: Windows Task Manager Tricks You Probably Didn't Know About

Task Manager has been a longstanding feature of Windows, but do you know all the ways to open it? Various methods have been introduced over the years. For example:

  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  • Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Task manager
  • Right-click an empty space on the system tray and select Task manager

  • Profit + r to start the run command and then enter and enter taskmgr
  • Press Profit + X (or right click the Start button) and select Task manager

7. You have heard and seen all of the home screens

The Windows start screen was not only seen but also heard around the world. Although they have lost their relevance over the years as boot times improve, this is still something many people see every day when they turn on their computer.

Brian Eno is a British ambient music composer and innovator who composed the Windows 95 startup sound. He got $ 35,000 and the sound lasts a little over 3 seconds. Check out the video above to see and hear all of the home screens over the years. What brings back the most memories? If you know them all then you are definitely a seasoned Windows user.

Windows is here to stay

Hopefully this has been a fun walk back in time. But don't worry, Windows isn't going anywhere. Although Microsoft once claimed that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, the company eventually changed its mind and released Windows 11. Who knows what the future of the operating system will bring?

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About the author

Joe Keeley
(714 published articles)

Joe was born with a keyboard in hand and immediately started writing about technology. He has a BA (Hons) in Business and is now a full-time freelancer who enjoys making technology easy for everyone.

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Posted by Joe Keeley

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