Microsoft Bob


  • How do I get this older software to work with XP
    Wednesday, December 13, 2006 3:33 PM

All replies

  • In Windows XP you can tell the operating system to run an executable file in Compatibility Mode, which might help, but I doubt it.  Microsoft Bob was designed to run in Windows 3.x and was a replacement for the windows shell.  That, actually, was one of the really nice features of Windows 3.x, in that you could completely remove the user interface and replace it with your own application, and yet have all of the other underlying Windows services there at your application's beck and call.  I had to do this a number of times when building pen-based applications for field use on Windows-for-Pen based machines. Replacing the shell with my applications eliminated so much memory use and best of all it removed any possibility for the users to get it wrong, as when the machine powered up, my app appeared, and the 'close program' button shut Windows down.

    Sorry, living in the past.  Your desire to install Microsoft Bob is one that I would guess can only be solved by installing Virtual PC on your XP box, then install Windows 3.x in a Virtaul PC environment, and THEN install Bob there.  You can also try the compatibility mode with the application, but I believe that the way Bob worked does not work in the 9x shell. 

    To get to the compatibility settings area, right-click on the setup.exe or bob.exe (I've no idea what the installer launch file was for Bob) and then click on the Compatibility tab.  From there, check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for" check box and then select the OS of your choice from the drop-down list.

    Since I assume you want to make a 'Virtual Bob' gadget, the Virtual PC route is probably your best, most compatible route (though you may need to run a 'slowdown' tool if Bob has any issues with gigahertz machines, like an old Pixar application I have did with Virtual PC) Best of all you'll never muck up your real XP installation with Bob's guts. :)

    Thursday, December 28, 2006 5:40 PM
  • I grabbed the Gateway edition of Bob, and it ran immediately on XP SP2 without any trouble at all, no compatibility mode needed or anything. I did have all sorts of weird junk installed on both PCs I tried, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Anyway, I reckon if Bob was updated to be a proper XP application, with the following extra features:

    • Your own decorations and application launcher pictures, and views and rooms and... essentially, completely customizable, including putting your own apps in as "proper" Bob apps, with Bob splash screens, and such.

    • Room transitions, so if you click the trap door in your attic, it actually swings open, ready to climb through, then the guide jumps in, and the door swings shut, or something like that.
    • No dithering to 256 on the millions of colours-icons.

    • The ability to simply make the guides, and all the other cutesy parts go away, and leave you with a simple menu.

    • A task bar of some sort...

    • Not costing too much..... Maybe AU$100 or so.

    it would sell really well, particularly if marketed as an application mainly for kids, and/or grandparents. (The main two groups needing to learn comp skills, and that may enjoy cutesy-ness the most.)

    Friday, April 13, 2007 7:04 AM
  • I tried it on xp and it runs well Smile
    Tuesday, January 08, 2008 1:50 PM
  • Good luck getting anyone from Microsoft to touch such a project - BOB was such a flop the first time around, as I recall the lead marketer had to marry Bill Gates to redeem herself, or some such?  


    It was a cool concept and ahead of its time, but basically pre-internet.


    The other thing it would seriously need is a means for 3rd party applications to register themselves as visual icons, i.e. WarHammer Online becomes a little warhammer figure on a desk, FireFox becomes a little rat hiding behind the desk, etc.


    Monday, August 11, 2008 10:00 AM
  • Granted I was just a kid when I had Bob on my computer,  but I would pay money for an updated version for Vista (one with a few less annoying features).  I remember having a lot of fun with that program.  Hearing me, Microsoft Execs?


    Friday, October 03, 2008 8:14 PM