The ripple effects of software, community, and too many Windows versions.

This video shows a guy installing MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 1.0 on a virtual machine and upgrading it clear through to Windows 7, representing Microsoft history from 1985 through to the present.

Now, sometimes you can just tell when a video will go viral in a community, and which community it will strike sparks in. This video was a lead-pipe cinch for Reddit’s /r/geek community (thread) and Reddit’s more venture-capital-oriented spinoff, Hacker news.

Another thing you can count on is the tone of the discussion, which, for something like this, will be nostalgic. In the Hacker News discussion, jacques_chester posted this reminiscence:

The comment about Trumpet Winsock prompted a response:

And we’re off.

This prompted quite a bit of comment, on Reddit and on Hacker News, related to a push to get people to donate to the author as a way to pay him back for all the money he never got for his software when it was in active use.

So what, though? Trumpet Winsock is just communication software: Specifically, it’s a socket implementation on top of a TCP/IP protocol stack implementation, which means it allows programs on operating systems with no native Internet support to access the Internet. Who, when you get down to it, cares about that?

Someone on Hacker News has an answer to that:

So we see the ripples from a trumpet still heard, connecting a novelty video to one of the most vital issues of our time by way of networking software.