I got my start with computers in the late 1980s on an Apple IIe. By 1990, my father had been bringing home a laptop from his work. When he was not working, I would use Microsoft QBasic (here is a JavaScript implementation of QBasic). Three years later, we had a Gateway 2000 desktop computer. It sported an Intel 486 50Mhz with 24MB of ram and about 512MB of disk space. Also in 1993, I was able to get a real copy of Visual Basic 3 from a friend who had gone off to college; he bought it for me from the campus bookstore.

Fast forward thirty years, and here, in 2023, I'm all about single board computers, and in particular, Arm-based SBCs.

Can one run software that was written thirty years ago that was intended to run on a completely different architecture? The answer is yes, and it is damn simple, too.

sudo apt install dosbox

Download Windows 3.11 from archive.org.

Unzip the archive

Run dosbox


Mount the Windows 3.11 directory as drive c:

mount c /home/pi/win3.11

Follow the instructions on the screen.

Installing Visual Basic 3.0 is also simple. Download an ISO from archive.org.

Mount the ISO to a directory in your home directory on the Raspberry Pi, copy the contents and execute in Windows 3.11.

mkdir cdrom
sudo mount -o loop VBPRO30.ISO cdrom
mkdir win3.11/cdrom; cp -R cdrom/* win3.11/cdrom/; chmod -R 755 win3.11/cdrom

I found I needed to restart dosbox in order for the new directory to show up. Repeat mounting /home/pi/win3.11 in dosbox.

mount c /home/pi/win3.11
cd Windows

Navigate with File Manager to c: drive, open the cdrom folder, go to DISK1 and execute SETUP.EXE

As a helpful note, to release the mouse from dosbox, simply press CTRL+F10

You might be asking, what's the point of this exercise? - It is because it can be done.

eBay Windows 3.11