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My OS timeline

It was MS-DOS 4.0, released in June 1988, that ran IBM PC clones, or compatibles as we then called them, when I was initiated to computer — the first one ran on an XT 8086 processor — some time in 1990. I had the chance to use, not more than a few times though, IBM PC DOS and DR DOS.

OS timeline
MY OS timeline: c. 1990–to date.

I heard of QDOS then but did not happen to use it. My journey into the wonderful world of operating systems progressed through versions coming up one after another, 5.0 released in June 1991, 6.0 released in March 1993, 6.2 released in November 1993, 6.21 released in February 1994 and up to 6.22, the last official stand-alone version that was released in June 1994. I later heard of a few other versions, built on 6.22, such as 6.23, 6.24 and even 6.25, but they were meant for government, military and banking industry users and were never released to the general public.

The machine I started dabbling in had a hard disk of 20 megabytes although I later ran a few times an XT machine without any hard disk and the 3.5" 720K floppies that we carried used to hold DOS, a word processor usually MicroPro's WordStar, a spreadsheet program usually Lotus 1-2-3 of Creative Computing Software, and a database software usually Ashton Tate's dBase III.

I hardly remember having used Microsoft Windows, the graphical window that would open on top of MS-DOS, in its version 1.0, released in 1985, or version 2.0, released in 1987 for Intel 286 processors. Version 3.0 was released in May 1990, but it was probably not before 1993 that I started using Microsoft Windows in its version 3.1, which came out in April 1992, first in office and then at home the next year, first on an Intel 286DX and then an Intel 386SX IBM PC clone.

I soon started using Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. Nothing had changed until Microsoft released Windows 95 in August 1995 replacing MS-DOS, which remained hidden as W95A underneath. allowing long filenames much to chagrin for people used to the DOS-say 8.3 filenames.

Newer versions of Windows started coming up one after another — Windows 98 in June 1008, with FAT32, which is said to be the last version based on MS-DOS then known as MS-DOS 7.0 that later underlay Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 98SE, the 32-bit Windows NT in NT Server and NT workstation flavours in 19–1996, Windows ME, or Millennium Edition, with MS-DOS 8.8 lying within in September 2000, Windows 2000, or W2K, in February 2000, Windows XP in Home and Professional flavours in October 2001, Windows Vista in November 2006, Windows 7 in October 2009, Windows 8 in August 2012 and Windows 10 in 2016. I have not used Windows 8 perhaps even for once.

It is difficult to change to Linux in office environment. But I started using Red Hat 6.2 at home in 2001, first on a dual boot with Windows 98SE. I soon made it a Linux-only affair after I goofed up the LILO during an upgrade. The next time I changed the version to was Red Hat 7 and it was in 2004.

During an upgraded in 2008, the bifurcation of Red Hat into Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which had come along since 2003, appeared to be upsetting. It was then time for the longest-surviving distribution, since 1993, of Slackware in its version 12.2. I had an upgrade in 2011 to Slackware 13.37.

In addition to all this, I have had exposure to System 6.0 on a Macintosh Classic II machine in the mid-1990s. I had continued with Slackware, at home, and Windows 7, at office, before I switched to FreeBSD 12.2 towards the very end of 2020. I upgraded my home box to FreeBSD 13.1 in the middle of 2022.

Jan. 2021


Revised: i·xi·mmxxii