The 4-1-1 on Windows 3.11

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Have you ever glanced through the obituaries and felt stunned to recognize an old friend? That's how it felt when I saw this announcement about Windows 3.11.

One of my first assignments when I joined SAS in 1993 was to write Changes and Enhancements to the SAS System Release 6.10: Microsoft Windows Environment ("Windows C&E" for short). The release of Windows at the time was 3.11 (pronounced "three one one", not "three eleven"), and we distributed a Microsoft extension to make this 16-bit platform support 32-bit applications. That package was called "Win32s".

Here is the compelling prose that we composed for the "summary" section of the book:

Release 6.10 takes advantage of the 32-bit processing capabilities of your computer by implementing the next level of the Windows application programming interface (API) named Win32s. Before you install Release 6.10, you must upgrade your version of Microsoft Windows (using files shipped with the SAS System) to allow the SAS System (and other 32-bit applications) to use 32-bit processing to represent data and process information. This enhances system speed and raises the limits of the data that the SAS System can process. All of your current 16-bit applications should continue to run properly.

I've attached a picture of the SAS AWS (Application Work Space) from that era. Other highlights of the release (aside from 32-bitness) included dynamic menus, enhanced CGM support, and a status line to show working directory and messages. Despite what the picture shows, the software was delivered in color (but it could support monochrome displays if needed).

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About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

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