Friday, April 20, 2018
Looking around at the technological landscape of today, I feel like we have a pretty solid grasp of how things should be done. A rulebook has been established and we all sort of abide by it. Innovation will continue, of course. But an iPhone is an iPhone... Windows is Windows and so on. Whenever a tech company tries to venture to far off the beaten path (Windows 8 for example) they are usually meet with resistance and a certain amount of backlash.
It wasn't always this way, however. I remember a time back in the early 1990's when no such rulebook existed, it was truly the Wild West. Look no further than the INSANE color scheme "Hotdog Stand" available on Windows 3.1 as proof that nobody had any idea what was going on back then!
Quick point of reference for my younger readers, Windows 3.1 debuted back in April of 1992. Making it one of the earliest versions of the Windows operating system, pre Windows 95! I think part of what makes the Hotdog Stand theme so special is that Windows 3.1 was such a straight forward no thrills OS. All the other color combinations are very traditional, what you would expect for an office environment.
In comparison Hotdog Stand is batshit insanity, serving absolutely no purpose other than to simply exist. And that is what makes it so great. It wasn't just a silly color combination... it was probably the first silly color combination. And that is important!
Intentional or not Hotdog Stand showed us that PC's do not have to be all about spreadsheets and documents...they can be fun! Next time you use your tablet to stream your favorite movie or television show, in a weird way you owe it all to this stupid color scheme. And for that I thank you Hotdog Stand, may none of us ever have to look at you again.