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Microsoft open sources the File Manager from Windows 3.0 and you can run it on Windows 10

Last week, Windows 3.1 turned 26 years old. For many, it was their first version of the OS, and the anniversary might have left some feeling nostalgic. Luckily, Microsoft has open sourced the version of File Manager that shipped on Windows 3.0, and you can even compile it to run on Windows 10 today.

Obviously, there were some changes that had to be made to get it to run on Windows 10. Windows 3.0 was a 16-bit OS, so there needed to be modifications to get it running on 64-bit Windows 10. It was converted to a Visual Studio solution, and you can compile this in VS 2015 or 2017.

Other changes included converting some internal shell APIs to public APIs, adding header files that were previously stored elsewhere in the NT source tree, and deleting some unused files.

That version is called original_plus, and it only contains the changes needed to get it running on a modern version of Windows. There's also one called master v10.0 contains changes that the contributor Craig Wittenburg has made since November 2007. If you want to submit changes for this project, this is the version that those will be affecting.

It contains the following features:

  1. OLE drag/drop support

  2. control characters (e.g., ctrl+C) map to current short cut (e.g., ctrl+c -> copy) instead of changing drives

  3. cut (ctrl+X) followed by paste (ctrl+V) translates into a file move as one would expect

  4. left and right arrows in the tree view expand and collapse folders like in the Explorer

  5. added context menus in both panes

  6. improved the means by which icons are displayed for files

  7. F12 runs notepad or notepad++ on the selected file

  8. moved the ini file location to %AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\WinFile

  9. File.Search can include a date which limits the files returned to those after the date provided; the output is also sorted by the date instead of by the name

  10. File.Search includes an option as to whether to include sub-directories

  11. ctrl+K starts a command shell (ConEmu if installed) in the current directory; shfit+ctrl+K starts an elevated command shell (cmd.exe only)

  12. File.Goto (ctrl+G) enables one to type a few words of a path and get a list of directories; selecting one changes to that directory. Only drive c: is indexed.

  13. UI shows reparse points (e.g., Junction points) as such

  14. added simple forward / back navigation (probably needs to be improved)

  15. View command has a new option to sort by date forward (oldest on top); normal date sorting is newest on top

You can check out the Windows 3.0 File Manager on GitHub here. If you want to download and compile it, it should be pretty easy to do, but you'll need to grab Visual Studio 2017 first.

Source: GitHub via The Verge

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