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Technical Article => Operating System =>  Windows

Origin of Windows blue screen

  sonic0002      2013-07-24 09:25:16      12,985    1

Many of you from old ages might see the classical blue Windows blue screen before.Do you still remember the most famous Windows blue screen incident during a presentation of a Windows 98 beta by Bill Gates at COMDEX on April 20 1998. But do you know the history of blue screen? John Vert, an ex-Windoes NT kernel guy, shared the story on Quora

Back in 1991 John Vert wrote the original code for Windows NT 3.1 that put the video screen back into text mode and the routines to put text on it (and a truly gnarly bit of code it was!). He used the white on blue colors for two reasons.

  • The MIPS workstations they were using for the MIPS port had firmware that presented a boot option screen in white on blue, so it made sense that the bugcheck screen would match.
  • John Vert (and many others) were using SlickEdit as their text editor and at the time its default color scheme was also white on blue.

Mark Lucovsky wrote the original code that dumped a bunch of text to the screen. This was a bugcode and a stack dump, resulting in a bunch of useless hex numbers which product support would occasionally dutifully transcribe from the customers and include in the bug report.

There was no "typesetting" as they used standard VGA text mode on PCs.

John Vert said he didn't know the history of the Win3.1/Win9x blue screens, but he thought the fact they were the same color was just coincidence.



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Greg [Reply]@ 2013-07-26 07:07:11

I don't remember seeing a BSOD on Windows 3.1, though I do remember Dr. Watson popping up fairly often... :-)



When feature gets delayed again

By sonic0002