Every Windows 3.1 theme
July 26, 2019 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Every Windows 3.1 theme. (SLimgur)

Courtesy of Chris Menning:
Windows Default
Arizona
Black Leather Jacket
Bordeaux
Cinnamon
Designer
Emerald City
Fluorescent
Hotdog Stand
LCD Default Screen Settings
LCD Reversed - Dark
LCD Reversed - Light
Mahogany
Monochrome
Ocean
Pastel
Patchwork
Plasma Power Saver
Rugby
The Blues
Tweed
Valentine
Wingtip
posted by curious nu (20 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I always want to like Windows' high contrast mode/theme but then the text against the dark portions of the screen always looks too much like a bit of white sock fuzz in a black sock drawer for it to ever work for me long term. The relevant ones here are no exception. I'm probably the broken piece of this puzzle, I admit.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:42 PM on July 26, 2019


Windows 3.1 was the first OS I had at home and I have a lot of deeply frustrating and also joyful memories about it. (Is that type 2 fun?) When I saw this post title, I gasped out loud, and looking at the images gave me this... sensory memory in my hands of what it was like.

I recall using The Blues and Arizona, mainly.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 4:44 PM on July 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


I called Hotdog Stand "McDonalds," because really...

This takes me back...
posted by Chuffy at 4:50 PM on July 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


There were LCD displays in 1992?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:53 PM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


On laptops mostly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:59 PM on July 26, 2019


Yep, I had a 386 laptop.
posted by TrialByMedia at 5:15 PM on July 26, 2019


I'm surprised by how well I remember most of these from memory, just from reading the list of themes (before I looked at the pictures).

After years of DOS, Windows 3.1 was so much fun for me at the time.
posted by Annabelle74 at 5:37 PM on July 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I really miss the days when Microsoft let you configure and personalize Windows any way you wanted, even if it was dumb. I often set things up as a half-assed imitation of X. But you want the window names in Comic Sans and the icon titles in a handwritten font you dug up and the whole desktop to be such a riot of chaos it would make Cthulhu blush? It's your desktop, or at least it used to be.

Bleah.

I mean, I'd even accept it if, when you tried to move anything from the Holy and Sacred design imposed by Redmond, Windows would get huffy and say "Are you sure you want to futz with that? We worked hard to create an environment that works together in harmony, and also this specific person who worked very hard will cry." But nope, it all needs to be sacred and unalterable. Bleah.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:56 PM on July 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


I totally remember Hot Dog Stand. 3.1 was my first experience with a mouse. I bought my first computer of my own my senior year of high school. I used the money I made as a cashier at a grocery store. Previously, I had been using an Apple IIc.

Memories...
posted by kathrynm at 7:29 PM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


They were bad then and they're bad now.
posted by demiurge at 7:34 PM on July 26, 2019


I mean, I'd even accept it if, when you tried to move anything from the Holy and Sacred design imposed by Redmond, Windows would get huffy and say "Are you sure you want to futz with that? We worked hard to create an environment that works together in harmony, and also this specific person who worked very hard will cry." But nope, it all needs to be sacred and unalterable. Bleah.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:56 PM on July 26


See Figure 1.

			---------------------------
			!            -            !
			!           { }           !
			!           | |           !
			!           | |           !
			!        .-.! !.-.        !
			!      .-!  ! !  !.-.     !
			!      ! !       !  ;     !
			!      \           ;      !
			!       \         ;       !
			!        !       :        !
			!        !       |        !
			!        |       |        !
			!                         !
			---------------------------
				  Figure 1.

posted by Reverend John at 9:16 PM on July 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Oh man. Some of these should be reprised in Slack themes. This also makes me think of one of my favorite mind-blowing things: getting a glimpse of what other people's experiences are like when they customize their fonts on their computers and phones and Slack instances, or when someone enables "Compact" view or "Full & display names" on Slack, or when once upon a time someone would enable one of the alternate emoji sets on Slack. So weird!
posted by limeonaire at 9:34 PM on July 26, 2019


And yes, Windows 3.1 was the first OS I had at home, too. I convinced my parents to pay a friend $50 to set up an old Windows 3.1 machine so I could type papers more quickly at home (previously and still sometimes thereafter, I had been typing them on a typewriter). Then I spent a lot of time at the library downloading new text-based games to put on a floppy disk to add to it.
posted by limeonaire at 9:38 PM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Black Leather Jacket FTW.
posted by mikelieman at 11:04 PM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


The OS I had worked just fine, so it took me a while to give in and use Windows when it came along. Seeing the black screen with the flashing cursor is a trip down memory lane.
Or a nightmare.
posted by Cranberry at 12:55 AM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Every time my dad yelled at me to get off the computer games so he could do boring crap with spreadsheets my final act was always to switch the theme to Hotdog Stand.

You could hear the swears from the other side of the house.
posted by phunniemee at 1:20 AM on July 27, 2019 [9 favorites]


There was a video somewhere where someone started with Windows 3.1 with 'Hotdog Stand' and upgraded through every version up to about Windows 8. And it kept the Hotdog Stand settings most of the way, until about Vista I think. Which was kindof impressive. Can't find the video now.

I called Hotdog Stand "McDonalds," because really...

I always interpreted it as ketchup and mustard.
posted by memebake at 2:07 AM on July 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Holy cow, memebake. I hope someone can find that video because I want to see it.
posted by kathrynm at 6:18 AM on July 27, 2019


Are you maybe thinking of Upgrading From Windows 1.0 to Windows 8 On Actual Hardware?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:39 AM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Hotdog Stand

a.k.a. Migraine Simulator
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


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