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Highest version of Excel on 8088/8086? 2.1d or 3.0?

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    Highest version of Excel on 8088/8086? 2.1d or 3.0?

    Last night I installed Windows 3.0 and Excel 2.1d on my 5150. I thought I saw Excel 3.0 required a 286..

    Can someone here confirm that 2.1d is indeed the highest version that can run on an 8088/8086? Or, is it possible to run 3.0?

    One nice feature of 2.1d is being able to install it not from floppy disks but from a directory or specified location. This allowed me to extract the disk images to directories on my CF card and specify those directories as the source location when prompted for a disk. Would 3.0 installation follow the same? I only have a single 360kB full height floppy drive so I cannot install from 720kB, 1.2MB, or 1.44MB media.

    Thanks!

    #2
    3.0 needs a 286 and 3 MB of RAM. That's what the box says. It may work with a V20/V30, however.

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      #3
      I’ve got a copy of 3.0, but it’s in a sealed office 1.6 box that I haven’t decided to open yet. Here is a copy of the systems requirements from a box on eBay though.

      D2F9C618-6E6A-4066-A11F-5CDD560F18AB.png

      Comment


        #4
        If Standard/Enhanced mode is non-negotiable then a V20 isn't going to do it, you need a real AT or better. (Or one of those rare accelerator boards like the Inboard/386 that supports protected mode on a PC/XT.)

        I've played a little with Word for Windows on my Tandy 1000 HX (using Windows 2.1 instead of 3.0, but 3.0 in Real Mode is basically the same thing just a little prettier) and it's horrendously slow, so I'm going to venture that even Excel 2.1 is effectively a bridge too far for 5150, but I suppose that depends on how patient you are.
        My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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          #5
          The reviews* of Excel 2.1 before Windows 3.0 was released indicate it was faster than Lotus 1-2-3 v 2.2 and much faster than most of the other DOS spreadsheets. The sheets will have to be fairly small with any spreadsheet program from 1990 unless a large amount of EMS is available. Excel was amazing. Word for Windows was a bit too much for the hardware of the time but then the WYSIWYG DOS word processors weren't exactly speed demons either.

          * See InfoWorld Jan 22, 1990 for an example.

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            #6
            Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
            The reviews* of Excel 2.1 before Windows 3.0 was released indicate it was faster than Lotus 1-2-3 v 2.2 and much faster than most of the other DOS spreadsheets. The sheets will have to be fairly small with any spreadsheet program from 1990 unless a large amount of EMS is available. Excel was amazing. Word for Windows was a bit too much for the hardware of the time but then the WYSIWYG DOS word processors weren't exactly speed demons either.
            I guess I'll have to try installing it, since, well, I've been looking for things that can actually use the 1MB of EMS I built into my Tandy RAM card solely for laughs. Unfortunately I'm not really a spreadsheet fan.
            My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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              #7
              Thanks for the replies, everyone!

              Since Excel 3.0 requires a 286 or better, it looks like Excel 2.1d may be the latest version for my 5150. Cool!

              I understand performance is terribly slow, especially by today's standards, but I'm not trying to be "productive" here. My goal here is simply to have a little fun pushing my 5150 and seeing what it can do, however it can do it.

              Oh, and I'm doing this on a monochrome CGA display too.

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                #8
                Exel 2.1 is surprinsingly usable on a 8Mhz 8086 under Windows 3.0 in vga mode, all things considered. I can't tell wether it is faster than text-mode spreadsheets, but it's definitely prettier.

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