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GUI nostalgia draws me back to ...

Displaying poll results.
  4813 votes / 18%
  1868 votes / 7%
  2182 votes / 8%
NeXTstep or lookalikes
  1997 votes / 7%
Some version of Windows
  3951 votes / 15%
GNOME (before v3)
  2272 votes / 8%
  2458 votes / 9%
An obviously superior option not here named
  6478 votes / 24%
26019 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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GUI nostalgia draws me back to ...

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  • GUI? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:13AM (#40983447)

    I'm still using the command line!

    • Re:GUI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Art Challenor (2621733) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @12:48PM (#40985945)

      I'm still using the command line!

      Well yes, but the purpose of a GUI is to give you multiple command line interfaces. I think GUIs do other things, but I have yet to find them essential.

    • Re:GUI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black LED (1957016) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:18PM (#40988055)
      The one that gets me feeling all sentimental is Desqview. Multitasking in DOS to be able to run my BBS (Vision/2, later Oblivion/2) and do other stuff at the same time.
      • The WPS from OS/2 v2+. Sadly missed both for power and customizability. On a T5200 with a whole 14 MB of RAM in the early 1990s, I was running NFS server+client, X applications, PM applications, and Windows applications side-by-side on the OS/2 desktop plus both XFree86 and Windows fullscreen sessions.
        • The WPS from OS/2 v2+. Sadly missed both for power and customizability. On a T5200 with a whole 14 MB of RAM in the early 1990s, I was running NFS server+client, X applications, PM applications, and Windows applications side-by-side on the OS/2 desktop plus both XFree86 and Windows fullscreen sessions.

          This, though I also enjoyed Desqview X when I was booting DOS. It is being surpassed recently with the GUI's of Windows 7 and MacOS but it was so far ahead of the curve. It's a pity IBM all but killed it, though one can still enjoy the love with Ecomstation.

      • by Antarius (542615)
        Desqview was fucking awesome. With QEMM and Desqview, I was able to actually still use my computer while the BBS was running.
    • Ha!

      Command lines are for sissies!

      I still directly access the chip registers from a keypad!

      And read the output from an LED ribbon strip!

      • Can't handle toggle switches and front-panel lights, eh?

        • Toggle switches? In my day, we had to strip the wires with our teeth and twist them together. And lights? You can detect current with your tongue, can't you?

    • TUI ! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by coder111 (912060) <`moc.liamrr' `ta' `redoc'> on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:30AM (#40995471)
      What about Text User Interfaces, like in Norton/Volkov Commander for DOS or Far Manager/Midnight Commander? Or Borland Turbo Vision like UIs, like in Turbo Pascal or Turbo C or later Borland C/C++ IDEs? Or early text mode editors in DOS? Or curses text UIs in Linux, but curses never looked as nice, and the hotkeys never work right... To this day I still cannot live without a two panel file manager if I need to copy/move/browse my files.

      These were the days...

    • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:23PM (#41001935) Homepage Journal

      I'm still using the command line!

      I'll take this one to my grave, y'all...


      The Command Line Interface is, by any consistent definition, a user interface that is graphical (visual) in nature. One is text only (CLI), the other is text and polygon based (GUI)...sounds, etc can be factored in...

      The difference is Shannon Entropy []...or uncertainty...

      Windows 3.x vs DOS

      In a text-only environment, there are less possible combinations of symbols, therefore there is less entropy, less information, or a narrower bandwidth (Shannon-Weaver model []) depending on how you like to look at things. The command line can only return so many different combinations of alpha-numeric and the Windows 3.x environment is limited by how fast the processor can count.

      In the Windows 3.x environment, the ammount of information or the bandwidth is greater by several orders of magnitude.

      It is precisely **because** CLI has less uncertainty that coders and developers prefer it as their choice of GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE.

      Respondents, please, if you disagree with my contention, explain how we can falsify the concept of 'graphical user interface'....what is an example of a non-graphical user interface? A system where the feedback is not visual, but yet it is still human/system interaction.

      • "Siri, find examples of a non-visual human-computer interface."
      • by dwightk (415372)

        what is an example of a non-graphical user interface? A system where the feedback is not visual, but yet it is still human/system interaction.

        iOS with VoiceOver turned on, used by a blind person

    • command lines are icky you should all convert to MS Bob
      (maniacal laughter fallowed by manic giggling)

  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:13AM (#40983453)

    And other similar game menus :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:18AM (#40983519)

    GNOME 2.32.0

    Using it right now. Call me old fashioned, but I like a GUI that you can actually use, and even customize.

  • LCARS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:21AM (#40983545) Homepage
    No, seriously. First time I saw LCARS I was around 6, and the idea of such an interface never let me go.
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)
      Unfortunately LCARS is fictional. Of all the Trek fans who are computer nerds, quite a few I'd imagine, nobody's managed to produce an LCARS interface that's anything more than a demo or just a hobby project. They all sort of look neat but they aren't supported, are buggy as hell, have very poor graphics oddly enough, etc. One day I'd like to see it implemented properly on a tablet but the current ones are just too sucky to even toy with.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, you can't make an LCARS interface commercially because it is copyrighted by Paramount. DMCAs have been used to take down apps that look like one at all.

        • by Russ1642 (1087959)
          You can't sell an LCARS interface without licensing it from Paramount.
          • Re:LCARS (Score:4, Informative)

            by HappyHead (11389) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @01:52PM (#40986707)

            It doesn't have to be for sale to get taken down by a DMCA order, just available to the public. Anyone who's started working on one gets shut down, so nobody's ever finished anything decent.

            As interfaces go though, it's very bulky - the menus and such take up far too much space on screen, meaning that though it's great for watching someone else using it on a TV screen, since you can see that they're doing stuff, it's not very efficient for actual use.

  • Window Maker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intosi (6741) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:21AM (#40983547) Homepage

    Coming from tvtwm and fvwm, Window Maker [] was extremely beautiful and powerful. Although Gnome 2.x replaced it on all my workstations, I still fondly remember my Window Maker days.

  • FVWM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jimbodude (2445520)
    FVWM, or almost any old WM running on X Windows.
  • GEOS! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by halightw (539485) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:26AM (#40983601)
    • by KatchooNJ (173554)

      Wow! I never realized how popular is actually was. From the Wiki article: "At its peak, GEOS was the third most popular operating system in the world in terms of units shipped, trailing only MS-DOS and Mac OS."

      I always felt like I was the only one in my neighborhood who owned it.

  • KDE3 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vovick (1397387) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:34AM (#40983691)

    It was nearly perfect, my favourite feature was the abillity to grab the border of a full-screen window and _slightly_ resize it. I simply do not understand why all other WMs i've seen treat a full-screen window differently compared to non-full screen windows _happening_ to cover the entire screen. Oh, and the on-top and on-all-desktops buttons! No idea if KDE4 has these features as well since it's too much of a hog for my "relic" 5 year old hardware.

    • Fully agree. In KDE4, they did not reimplement tons of those little things that made KDE3.5 work so great and useful, and only went for features instead...

    • by danbuter (2019760)
      I really liked KDE3, as well. Unfortunately, it's gone and I don't believe anyone has forked it. If they have, please let me know!
      • The Trinity project is a fork that maintains KDE3... Google "kde3 trinity" and click the first link

  • RISC OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomC2 (755722) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:35AM (#40983703)

    Anyone who went to school in the UK in the 1980s grew up on it.

    • Re:RISC OS (Score:4, Informative)

      by ratbag (65209) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @10:42AM (#40984539)

      You beat me to it, although an 80's kid (such as me) would mostly be using BBC Model Bs and Master 128s which didn't really have a GUI (until the Compact). Archimedes was only launched in 87 and took a while to get into the schools. I was hacking on them between school and university (87-88) and wrote my first few papers on my trusty A310, before "upgrading" to an evil Elonex PC with a 33Mhz 486. For the love of god, why did I do that?

    • Re:RISC OS (Score:5, Informative)

      by itsdapead (734413) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:11PM (#40988871)

      Ah yes, those were the days...

      It had (has) some fun features

      • *No "Save file" box that let you navigate the file system - you got a little window with space to type a filename, and an icon to drag to a filer window... or any other application that accepted files (no special coding needed in the saving application - if you didn't implement the in-memory transfer protocol, it all happened using temporary files). There's a similar feature in Mac OS X that lets you drag icons from the title bar, but only after the file has been saved to disk in the conventional way.
      • "Dock" showing icons for running programs, with a context menu available over each. You know, a bit like Mac OS X.
      • Application "executables" implemented as a directory containing everything the application needed (even updated OS modules) so it didn't need crap installed all over the system disc. Similar to Mac OS X.
      • Early adoption of full-blown, scalable outline fonts (bit like TrueType on Mac OS)
      • Acorn Replay - early example of a video playback system (and briefly ahead of the game in its ability to play back 'smooth' moving video from single-speed CDROM on modest hardware). Bit like Quicktime on Mac OS...
      • Ran on an ARM CPU (a bit like iOS...)

      Er... hang on... this is all sounding a bit like Mac OS... :-) be fair, NeXTStep, a.k.a. Max OS IX 9.0 'Fluffy Kitten' was around at about the same time, RISC OS was Nothing like OSX/Unix under the hood, more like the BBC Micro OS on steroids with an API GUI that anybody who had programmed GEM would find strangely familiar...

      Plus, you could write full-blown GUI apps in BBC Basic - and many did - although it couls be misleading because BBC BASIC could include ARM Assembler.

      Also came bundled with a brilliant vector art package called !Draw.

      • by grahamwest (30174)

        Reposting because I forgot I wasn't logged in. Oops!

        Absolutely; it was way ahead of just about anything else. So easy to program, both in BASIC and ARM Assembler although I did most of my GUI programming in C using Desklib. The drag and drop loading and saving was such genius as well. And remember the memory allocation sliders? Not ideal but more control than most OSes provided.

        Back in 1992 I was at university and had an idea to write a remote-control and scripting app; ordinary apps would register APIs and

  • by BobNET (119675) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:37AM (#40983721)

    DeskMate on my Tandy 1000 SX.

    No one said it had to be a good GUI, just nostalgic :-)

  • GEM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:37AM (#40983727)

    On my Atari ST, GEM was amazing. Maybe not the fanciest system in the world, but I always thought it was pretty sweet for the time.

  • GEM (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:38AM (#40983747)

    The one on the Atari ST, not the crippled one sold to PC owners when Digital Research lost to Apple in court.

  • GUI nostalgia draws me back to ... the interface used in _Minority Report_.

    A silly movie, in the end, but a visually cool computer interface.

    Or, wait, does nostalgia for fictional interfaces count? I won't even mention _Lawnmower Man_.

  • by tverbeek (457094)

    I am becoming nostalgic for Windows XP. In my day job I use a Windows XP desktop which has access to terminal servers running Windows 2008 and a VM running Windows 7. I use 2008 and Win7 so I can support users on them, but when I want to get stuff done, I minimize them and use the XP UI. I don't expect this to change when Win8 goes into production.

    • by Control-Z (321144)

      I agree. The eye candy of Vista and 7 don't do much for me, I like the clean colorful look of XP.

  • OS2 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    OS2 never gets any love. It was on the first PC my family bought. And then we got rid of it and installed IBM DOS 5 like everyone else. But even still. OS2. What a ride.

  • []

    I actually had a 386 (4Mhz maybe, 40MB HD) that ran GEOS.

  • OS/2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:58AM (#40983957)

    Surprised no one has mentioned the Warp yet...

    • Re:OS/2 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @10:37AM (#40984485)

      Surprised no one has mentioned the Warp yet...

      Workplace Shell written in 'C' with SOM.

      It has/had a lot of wonderful features and had a small footprint. SOM was UGLY. First you had to write an IDL, precompile that to get your 'C' headers and stub code, then write your functionality and then compile that, and the register the SOM object with the Workplace Shell. Cumbersome but yet you knew what was happening under the hood.

      When you compiled OS/2 Warp for Windows with debug off, it was able to boot and run with just 4MB of RAM with very little thrashing of the hard drive.

      Unfortunately, IBM NEVER marketed OS/2 for Windows as a stand alone release - you did NOT need Windows to install and run the thing. Also, MS had a tendency of releasing fixes to Windows that would break OS/2 for Windows - there were some hard coded hooks into Windows that had a tendency to move when MS added code.

      Warp had some other issues because of the legacy of OS/2 1.x - OS/2 Warp (x86) was a recompile of OS/2 1.3 (and some code tweaking ) with Visual Age C++ 32 bit. OS/2 Power PC OTOH, was a rewrite of the kernel only and the shell and other programs that run on top were ported to the "Power OS/2" as we called it in Boca.

      It's funny, at the time, I was going through some shitty times down there, but I had some wonderful friends and it was nice on occasion to grab a burger and sit on the beach to unwind from the BS at IBM. It's all gone now and maybe that's a good thing. Gerstner did the right thing but it didn't seem like it at the time.

      When I die I won't say "Rosebud" - I'll say "Warp".

    • by jandrese (485)
      Nobody is nostalgic for OS/2's interface.
    • Surprised no one has mentioned the Warp yet...

      Only because you got here first!

      Moved to Warp after getting fed up with Windows 3.0 and 3.1. Loved the clean, intuitive interface. Laughed at Microsoft's "cheap imitation" that wouldn't die as it flailed from Windows 95 to 98 to 98 SE to NT 4.0. I think NT 4.0 (later releases) was when Microsoft actually achieved the same level of stability as Warp 2.1 but with a footprint that was huge compared to Warp.

      I finally said a sad good bye to Warp as IBM support for consumers running it basically disappeared ar

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      That's because OS/2's GUI stopped being good after 2.1 :-P

      I'm an OS/2 certified engineer. Still have the card to prove it.

      The GUI did have its bumps. Like how you could turn the entire backing screen into a window (It was just a maximized window) and crash the OS by dragging a color to the thing behind it. IBM said it's because you were dragging an object to something that was NULL, and that was working as designed. Getting your (binary) ini files corrupted and having to reinstall all your desktop objec

  • ...but my first GUI was Rogue.
  • Tandy Deskmate brings back memories...
  • There is no option for those who find modern OS GUIs superior.

    • It is not a question of whether modern OS is superior. (and I happen to think they are)

      It was a question about Nostalgia. Remembering back in the day. (You kids get off my lawn!, etc)

      Anyone who mentions a GUI from the 1990's or later doesn't know what Nostalgia is. :-)
  • DOSSHELL.EXE (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kongming (448396) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @10:33AM (#40984431)

    Does DOSSHELL count as a GUI? If so, that was the first one that I ever used, back when I had my first computer and was still learning the command line via trial and error. The computer was a 386 (DX, not SX!) and had a Turbo button that bumped it up from 16MHz to a blistering 25MHz. As far as I can tell, the only point of said button was to slow down old games so that they wouldn't run so fast that you couldn't see them. (Yes, the speed that a lot of games ran at depended on how fast your computer was.) Ah, those were the days.

    • by dingen (958134)

      I used to sort my games in different ways using Dos Shell forever. By company, by genre, by release date... but I always ended up with just a big list sorted alphabetically.

  • by AioKits (1235070)
    Does GEM count? When my father got me my first desktop computer that wasn't a hand me down from him, it was some off brand of 8088 machine that came with GEM OS. The hours of fun I had poking at, breaking it, reinstalling it and repeating the process all over again. Plus, you could play SimCity on that thing! If I remember right, it had color schemes, and all sorts of interesting (well, to me they were then) things to tinker with. I even remember Symantec defrag running on that machine, not sure if it ran
  • by afc_wimbledon (1052878) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @10:52AM (#40984701)
    Well they could get really gooey if you got them wet!
  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @11:00AM (#40984791) Homepage
    I saw a Xerox Star system in early 1983, and was amazed at its elegance and beauty (for the time). The very notion of a white screen was heretical at the time, but made sense for a company that earned a living with paper.
    Later on, I was amused to see the first Macintosh system, which looked like such a ripoff of the Xerox GUI. It was, of course.
  • See here []. SunOS goodness. First Sun workstation I ever used. 'nuff said.

    (And fluxbox still rules them all on Linux and OpenBSD.)

  • twm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by treerex (743007) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @11:14AM (#40984957) Homepage
    Running twm on my university's portrain mode gray-scale X-Terms...
    • I still run twm. Every few years, I'll try something else, but it seems that every window manager I've found insists on controlling things that twm lets you configure. I want control over every pixel on the screen. I want control over all keyboard and mouse functions in the root window. With twm, I get that.

      One thing twm doesn't have is any sort of dynamic configuration. I wanted my .twmrc to be the same file on all my systems, but to be dynamically configured for the local system. To do this, I made

  • by BitterOak (537666) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:58PM (#40987747)
    I know it's probably past the time to think of the Macintosh as the poor man's LISA, but old habits die hard.
  • by synapse7 (1075571) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:50PM (#40988537)
    Gestures, multitasking are good things
  • by longbot (789962) <> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:20PM (#40989873) Homepage
    Why doesn't it get more love? It was one of the most elegant interfaces I've ever used. All the best of Windows, Amiga, and Mac OS (the classic years) rolled into one. I sometimes fire up Haiku just to get a taste of it again.
    • by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:18PM (#40992213) Homepage

      Fast as hell, too. GUI remained smooth even when browsing the web and playing a video (Win98 and Linux didn't, even on at-the-time beefy hardware) and loading a web page never, ever made an MP3 stutter. No window tearing like in Windows (a bit) and Linux/Xfree86 (CONSTANTLY).

      Whatever BeOS had, modern operating systems need more of it.

      • by Misagon (1135)

        BeOS was fast because most (all?) widgets executed in a system process, not in the client processes. The GUI did not have to send events to the application who had to go through its widget hierarchy and collect drawing commands to send.

        Windows has less tearing than X mostly because it does not allow you to move windows whenever you want to. Windows has to ask the app first, while on X, the title bar is owned by the window manager.
        MacOS X and recent versions of Windows are able to avoid tearing by giving eve

  • Older Mac OS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bar-agent (698856) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @07:23PM (#40991193)

    Mac OS X is cool and all, but Apple gave up a lot of their HIG principles along the way. Here are two that spring to mind:

    File access through a stateful UI. Used to be that a folder opened to show a window. Specifically, each folder always opened its same window. If you already had it opened somewhere else, it would close there and reopen here, with the same display mode & icon arrangement.

    Menu items that were verbs. Used to be that every item in the menu bar was a verb. "File" (as in "filing"), "Edit", "Format", all the rest. The principle here was that there are many fewer verbs than objects, but each one has a large scope of action, so it makes sense to use them for top-level classification.

  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @03:11AM (#40994157) Homepage Journal

    E was amazing at its time, and later on very ambitious. Never really went anywhere, but for me it was the point where I realized that GUIs do not have to be bland, boring and ugly. Also, not rectangular.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @11:22AM (#40997205)

    Back in '99 I saw screenshots of Enlightenment. Right then and there I knew FOSS was going to win. Not tomorrow, not neccesarily in 10 years, but it would win. ... Or at least rule in critical environments. Strange that I noticed that by seeing a *screenshot* of a piece of FOSS software, and not by using it.

    But that's no suprise, because in terms of innovation E was 10 years ahead of everything else. And still is in some parts.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"


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