Just going from Windows 95 to NT – you forgot something everyone remembers

Just going from Windows 95 to NT – you forgot something everyone remembers

Dave W. Plummer quickly created the formatting interface for a program that was once a core part of Windows: Disk Format.

The plan was for a “stylish” user interface.

Therefore this is a standalone program, not a function that is part of the partitioning program. Surely you have used it to format floppy disks and USB drives. Anyway: It was a rainy Tuesday morning in rainy Seattle, and Plummer quickly created an interface based on important features, including file system, naming, cluster size, compression, encryption, and so on. The fact that Plummer didn't have time to think about something more complicated worked to the software's advantage, which is our thesis: all the choices are presented in a compact user interface that does exactly what you ask.

Plummer reveals that things could have gone differently, but were forgotten after everyone got tired of copying the Windows 95 interface code into Windows NT:

“I used VC++2.0 with the Resource Editor and made a simple vertical array of all the choices, in the rough order you wanted to execute them. It wasn't elegant, but it did the job until the sleek UI came along. That was about 30 years ago, but the interface doesn't It's still the same temporary interface that was in place that Thursday morning, so be careful with “temporary” solutions!” Plummer recalls.

It also turns out that FAT maxes out at 32GB because… that was the thing Plummer went for. There is no other reason than that, because the format supports up to 2TB. The problem still remains: you have to use third-party software to handle anything larger, even though Windows can read larger partitions.

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“I also had to decide how much 'cluster slack' would be too much, and I ended up limiting the format size for the FAT volume to 32GB.” This limit was also an arbitrary choice that morning, and it's a choice that has stuck with us ever since As a permanent side effect,” admits Plummer, who we thank anyway for not wasting our time with a complicated user interface.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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