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Windows for 286

Daniel Kim dkim at nmsu.edu
Thu Mar 30 13:30:17 EST 1995

Re:  Windows 286.  If you are looking for something to drive a 
Win/286-specific application, I can't help you, but if you want a 
multitasking GUI for an old '286, then this can help:

Try GeoWorks Ensemble. It is a preemptively multitasking, multithreaded, 
object-oriented graphical operating system for the PC compatible. In 
order to run _well_, it only needs a '286 with 2 Mb RAM (I have a 286/12, 
3 Mb RAM, 20 Mb HDD).  It allows long (32 character) filenames with 
annotations, and has a convenient point and click interface.  Moving 
files is just click-and-drag (rather like the Mac).  

The full applications suite includes a word processor (about 90% of the
features of W4W, but in about 1/50 the disk space), spreadsheet (pretty
basic), text editor, flat file database, comm program, scheduler/calendar,
banner maker, screen saver, draw program (also imports graphics, but only
works to 16-colors), rolodex/addressbook.  There are two games (tetris and

This is a FAST system.  It is especially good on limited hardware 
resources like mine.  It needs a bit of tinkering so it doesn't crash out 
(setting files = and buffers = to appropriate levels is a big help). 
Individual apps can crash and burn, and you still can use the other apps.

See newsgroup comp.os.geos for more info, esp the FAQ.
A shareware demo, with all features,but only the word processor and text 
editor applications, can be had by anon FTP:

from a .sig:

Try Geopublish, the shareware version of Geoworks Ensemble!  Positively
SCREAMS, while providing a full GUI interface. Includes a desktop

This is the same os that is used in the Tandy Z-PDA and Casio handheld 
pen-based computers.  Geos has a patented generic user interface that can 
be mapped to a specific user interface, so an app that runs on the 
handheld can theoretically also run on the desktop.  It is a handy 
feature.  IBM actually has a Presentation Manager interface for GEOS 
called SchoolView.

Geos will not run Windows applications.
Geos will not run DOS sessions in a multitasked window
Geos is made by a company smaller than the janitorial staff for Microsoft 
(i.e. they don't have the resources to properly market the desktop os, 
nor can they make a new driver every week)
On the other hand, Geos will give you many of the buzzwords of Win95 in a 
small cheap package (purchase direct from GeoWorks for about $80 US).

Try it out.  These days, 10+ MB of hard drive space is nothing, so what 
do you have to lose?

Daniel Kim

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