What to do when you encounter Windows 3.11 and NT in the wild

I know, it’s 20 years old where on earth am I going to encounter Windows 3.1? That’s what i thought too, then we encountered the mother of all laser cutting machines (and not that old) being run on Windows 3.1. Once the prerequisite  nostalgia had passed we were left with a rather large issue. Windows Server 2012 and similar era Operating Systems will not talk to Windows of that age, security, NT logins. domains and a number of other issues mean that your left with an expensive server that won’t speak to an even more expensive piece of machinery.

Problem: The machines need to talk to the server to get cutter control commands and the like from CAD software so we don’t have an option regarding leaving them separate.

Solution: Take the ‘spare’ pc sitting in the corner gathering dust, install Ubuntu and Samba File server. Then map a drive to the server / CAD computer and the Laser machine. Both era’s get to meet together in neutral ground and your quarter of a million laser cutter keeps on working.

I won’t go through the step-by-steps involved here but if someone comments looking for them I’ll be happy to post.

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