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MS-DOS 1981-2002 RIP 582

Biedermann writes "This is not exactly hot news, just a quick reminder to count the last days: A table in this article tells us that MS-DOS (as well as Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and NT 3.5x) reach their "End of Life" (as defined by Microsoft) on December 31, 2002. Come on, even if you loathed them, they were good for jokes at least."
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MS-DOS 1981-2002 RIP

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  • by Cali Thalen ( 627449 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:41PM (#4744503) Homepage
    No matter whether Microsoft supports it, we'll still be able to joke about them... ...right?

    Or should I have _read_ those terms before I hit the 'I agree' button?
  • by Lordfly ( 590616 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:41PM (#4744504) Homepage Journal
    ...I grew up on that thing :) Ever since my uncle plopped me down in front of his 386SX to play Doom shareware (I know, I'm a youngin), I've been a computer geek ever since.

    Even after going from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95, I still found it better to do 80% of my stuff from the command line. Windows 98 SE finally kicked me off of that habit :/

    Sigh, command lines... so fun, so minimalist. I don't like my start menu :\

    • by delta407 ( 518868 ) <slashdot@lerfjh[ ]com ['ax.' in gap]> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:55PM (#4744623) Homepage
      The DOS command line sucks. It has a handful of useful features (pipes, output redirection, etc.), but does them poorly, since it lacks multi-tasking. Furthermore, batch files suck. Quoting sucks, no command line history, horrible inconsistency on intrinsic commands versus separate executables, and so forth.

      Guess what? The DOS command line is a stripped down, sodomized version of most *nix shells. If you liked DOS, install your favorite UNIX variant, and try out bash. (Feel free to use ksh or csh to your liking.) You get pipes that work in parallel, input and output redirection (plus separating stdout and stderr), wildcard expansion, tab completion, and a consistent quoting syntax. Also, very complicated pieces of software -- including ./configure scripts and even a package management system -- can be done using shell scripts.

      DOS is well and good, but it's a poor substitute for a Real Command Line (TM).
      • "The DOS command line is a stripped down, sodomized version of most *nix shells."

        Not quite true.. it's CP/M with unix directory support and several other Unix lookalike features hacked on top of it.

        Of course any power MSDos user used 4DOS but even that's not as nice as as the real thing.

        • Of course any power MSDos user used 4DOS but even that's not as nice as as the real thing.

          No, *real* power users loaded the MKS or Thompson toolkits and had real, functioning Unix utilities and sort-of functioning shells on thier PCs... I still have a Win16 version of the MKS Toolkit out in the garage somewhere - I think it cost around $400, and was worth every penny. (But the way it handled remapping of slashes to backslashes produced some "interesting" problems, IIRC...)

          Kinda like *real* power users replace the crap GNU utilities in Linux with the true Unix-style BSD utilities even today... :-)
      • Here's a very good reference [dx21.com] for DOS scripting. DOS does have its limits but it is still useful..
      • The DOS command line sucks.

        That's why power users never used it. There were many excellent full-screen file manager tools available. My favorite was PFM.COM (back when .COM meant executable file). Even today I sometimes miss being able to do a few of the tricks PFM could do.

        Midnight Commander comes close, but since it translates everything through a seriall TTY, it loses the mysterious solid feel that you got by programming directly to the keyboard and screen hardware. It also tries to offload some hard work into bash, so there's a bit of an impedance mismatch between the file manager and the shell beneath it. The old DOS file managers were more monolithic, and therefore felt more unified.

        Anyway, with the right tools, I never felt that I was lacking expressive power when running DOS.

    • "Sigh, command lines... so fun, so minimalist. I don't like my start menu :\"

      I suggest you check out the freeware win32 program (available with source) called MCL [mlin.net]. It's a very useful 'command line' that can be added into windows. It has obsoleted the start menu on my machine. It's great because you can write your own plugins to control other applications, scripts to automate tasks and so on. There are tons of other options and I encourage any of those who are sick of the start menu to check it out.

    • please try cygwin [cygwin.com]. Cygwin isn't the name of the shell, it's the name of the compatibily thingie that lets you use some GNU apps and other Free Unix apps on Windows. It mostly consists of some .dlls that act as a compatiability layer. You have your choice of shells to choose from on a Unix system. The one that's used on almost all Linux systems is bash, which is a feature-enhanced version of the classic Unix shell. That shell was called "The Bourne Shell" and was named "sh" (or should it be the other way round?). Therefore, it's only natural that the name bash stands for "The Bourne Again Shell".

      The catch: In my experience, Cygwin runs much better on NT-based Windozes (NT 4.0, 2000, XP) than on DOS based Windozes (95, 98, Me). But, if you've got lots of processor power, Cygwin should still run quite nicely, even on crufty Win9x. The other catch: all of this sort of assumes that you're already somewhat familiar with the Unix Way. If you're not, it could be quite frustrating. But there are many, many help texts and HOWTos available (Google for HOWTO) and if you're adventurous and you want to know what a command line should be like, then it's out there waiting for you.

      Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. Another alternative is 4Dos or 4NT. It's available from these people [jpsoft.com]. It's pretty good, except that's it's shareware and therefore commercial and I've had problems with certain versions crashing frequently. Also, there's a couple points where they could've gone for compatibility with Unix but chose to ignore it. (E.g. to not match the characters a,b, or c in a filename, they use [!abc] whereas the proper Unix Way is [^abc].)

  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:42PM (#4744513)
    DOS is still in Netware. Perhaps we should add Netware to the list too...

  • plz read... (Score:2, Informative)

    by rastachops ( 543268 )
    Erm /. at least do what they ask: 'To link directly to this page, please use http://www.jestsandjokes.com/show.php3?name=dos.co mmandments' *tut-tut* You never know, that page may forward the user to their slashdot proof server rather than battering the meagre normal one.
  • MS-DOS is dead... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ymgve ( 457563 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:43PM (#4744521) Homepage
    ...but its legacy [freedos.org] lives on.
    • will be better DOS. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by twitter ( 104583 )
      Ah yes, it's still useful [freedos.org]. There's lots of software that was written to run custom machines with 286s and what not. When that computer poops out and your old M$ DOS disks won't work on new hardware, freeDOS might just save your day. Makd CDs of that old software if you don't have source code or time to rewrite it. FreeDOS is alive.

      In the tradition of all free software, we will soon see that freeDOS surpasses M$DOS in all ways. Bugs will be fixed, it will take up less space, it will run better. Thanks for the reminder about freeDOS, there's been worlds of improvement since I looked at it a year ago or so.

  • Good riddance. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sfraggle ( 212671 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:44PM (#4744531)
    Good riddance I say. MS-DOS was intended only to be a stopgap until Xenix was completed but unfortunately that never happened. Its a shame that a version of the braindead DOS command line lives on in modern versions of Windows and hasnt been replaced with something closer to what Unix has.
    • Re:Good riddance. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by danheskett ( 178529 ) <danheskettNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:46PM (#4744539)
      Or.. gasp.. something better than the UNIX command line.
    • by swb ( 14022 )
      Its a shame that a version of the braindead DOS command line lives on in modern versions of Windows and hasnt been replaced with something closer to what Unix has.

      What's surprising is that DOS *hasn't* been replaced by something better and more similar to the shells available under Unix. One of the first things people talk about as being reasons to use UNIX over Windows is the power and flexibility of the shell.

      At the very least I would have expected something more sh(1)-like, even if it did choose to include a lot of older MS-DOS commands. At the most I would have expected something that was *compatible* with sh(1) with a lot of the extensions from bash or zsh that people have come to expect, along with the kinds of things that would make it useful in a Windows GUI environment, like some *very* basic GUI dialog features that could prompt for yes/no or single line input without a invoking a cmd shell, but no complex windowing behavior or event-driven programming.

      MS has responded with the "improved" features of the NT command shell and Windows scripting (which I presume is a VB script derivative), without realizing that DOS batch file compatibility isn't terribly helpful and complex VBScript and GUI interaction won't get used.

      People, especially admins, want a fair amount of power (loops, variables, substitions, output redirection, etc) and no complex GUI interaction or dependencies. But they want security and stability, too, and MS hasn't always made it a priority to deliver those features either...

  • Jokes (Score:4, Funny)

    by someonehasmyname ( 465543 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:45PM (#4744533)
    Here's the DOS jokes:

    DOS Commandments

    1. I am thy DOS, thou shall have no OS before me, unless Bill Gates gets a cut of the profits therefrom.

    2. Thy DOS is a character based, single user, single tasking, standalone operating system. Thou shall not attempt to make DOS network, multitask, or display a graphical user interface, for that would be a gross hack.

    3. Thy hard disk shall never have more than 1024 sectors. You don't need that much space anyway.

    4. Thy application program and data shall all fit in 640K of RAM. After all, it's ten times what you had on a CP/M machine. Keep holy this 640K of RAM, and clutter it not with device drivers, memory managers, or other things that might make thy computer useful.

    5. Thou shall use the one true slash character to separate thy directory path. Thou shall learn and love this character, even though it appears on no typewriter keyboard, and is unfamiliar. Standardization on where that character is located on a computer keyboard is right out.

    6. Thou shall edit and shuffle the sacred lines of CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT until DOS functions adequately for the likes of you. Giving up in disgust is not allowed.

    7. Know in thy heart that DOS shall always maintain backward compatibility to the holy 2.0 version, blindly ignoring opportunities to become compatible with things created in the latter half of this century. But you can still run WordStar 1.0.

    8. Improve thy memory, for thou shall be required to remember that JD031792.LTR is the letter that you wrote to Jane Doe four years ago regarding the tax deductible contribution that you made to her organization. The IRS Auditor shall be impressed by thy memory as he stands over you demanding proof.

    9. Pick carefully the names of thy directories, for renaming them shall be mighty difficult. While you're at it, don't try to relocate branches of the directory tree, either.

    10. Learn well the Vulcan Nerve Pinch (ctrl-alt-del) for it shall be thy saviour on many an occasion. Believe in thy heart that everyone reboots their OS to solve problems that shouldn't occur in the first place.
  • Uh oh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cornjchob ( 514035 ) <thisiswherejunkgoes@gmail.com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:45PM (#4744534)
    MS-DOS is dead? What will MR-DOS do without her?

    RIP TSR's...WOLF3D will miss you :'(
    • MS-DOS TSR's are not dead, she changed her name to 'Services' when she married NT...
    • Re:Uh oh... (Score:2, Informative)

      by bswick ( 29721 )
      I think you mean DR-DOS [drdos.com].

      Formally Digital Research's MS-DOS competitor.
    • Re:Uh oh... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by T-Kir ( 597145 )

      What about poor old DR-DOS?

      He had a slight accident when someone referred Windows to MS-DOS for it's needs, and made it so that Windows could no longer be seen working with the good DR (followed up by the malpractice suit, and MS-DOS cheating on and paying off of Stac).

  • For all the M$ bashing we (and that includes me) do, MS-DOS at least had a few honours in it's favour...

    1) It was secure. Since you could never get it to network to anything, it could not be hacked from the Internet
    2) It ran. With a 15 second reboot even on my old machine, a freeze was no more than a minor annoyance
    3) (This is a serious one) For all the hassle of having to configure this and IRQ that, anyone using MS-DOS had to have at least a working knowledge of computers.
    4) Reinstall took less than 10 minutes. Just keep a boot disk handy and copy the whole DOS directory from your .ZIP file and *bam* done.
    5) No SPAM!!!!!

    • Since you could never get it to network to anything, it could not be hacked from the Internet

      Put this in your autoexec.bat file and smoke it:

      3c905x [or whatever driver you needed for your card. We always used 3com 3c905 cards]

      and boom you are networked. Used to do it all the time for 486's that were on our network. Network them before you even loaded windows.

      Even today I make bootable floppies that network a computer so we can get driveimage files off our novell server, so we get both tcp/ip and ipx/spx (its an old server).
    • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:17PM (#4744786) Journal
      Since you could never get it to network to anything

      Hey, just yesterday I used an old DOS Netboot disk to copy some files over to a machine I was setting up.

      Microsoft can obsolete DOS, but as of yet they haven't introduced a replacement that can get a machine on the network with a single floppy disk. I doubt they'll ever get a version of NT working from read-only media.
      • by MyHair ( 589485 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:20PM (#4745202) Journal
        You can use the Windows 2000 CD to boot into the "recovery console" which is a CLI on top of the Win2k kernel. You have to log in as administrator, but then you can start various services, access the drives and use doslike commands and have some extra tools like fixmbr and fixboot. It takes forever to boot it up, though, because it loads all the drivers it thinks anyone might need, like all scsi drivers and such.

        It doesn't compare well to Linux or DOS boot disks, but the capability is there. I don't think NT has this, but I bet XP does.
  • Again? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NFW ( 560362 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:47PM (#4744546) Homepage
    They've been saying this for years. Even gave me a t-shirt emblazoned with "DOS Is Dead" in about 1995 or 1996. This was around the time of DOS-based Win95 (DOS Ain't Dead, just hiding), which was followed by DOS-based Win98 (DOS Ain't Dead, just sleeping), which was followed by DOS-based Win ME (DOS Ain't Dead, just comatose).

    I guess with the home version of XP they really do mean it this time?

    • It used to be that NT was just too much for a "normal" computer in those days - you needed a "workstation" to run it. (This was back when anything faster than a Pentium-60 could be called a "workstation.")

      There was talk of trimming down NT to run on desktops at home, and what a benefit that would be... imagine a home computer that runs all 32-bit software and really has preemptive multitasking and all that "advanced" stuff. But that didn't happen until now, when the average new home computer runs at 10x the clock speed of those hot sexy machines we used to use for NT4.

      For some reason I find that amusing.

    • DOS has never been a part of the Windows NT line, of which XP and 2000 are a part. ME was the last OS with DOS ever (from MS at least). This has to do with official end-of-life stuff, not with effective death.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:47PM (#4744550) Journal
    Laugh all you want about the poor unsupported platforms but they are quite old. I believe redhat 1.0 and 2.0 are from this time frame.

    This leave another question. Do any of you still run old distro's?

    Now, how many people still run Windows 95 or NT 3.51 at work?
  • I agree with microsoft... MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, NT 3.51, and Win95 are all unsupportable. They're much too unstable and feature-poor (or useless, in the case of MS-DOS). THey sucked when they were on the market - and they suck even more today.

    The newest Windows OS I support is Windows 98. That's right, my sister, my mom, and my dad all run Windows 98, so I support them. My brother-in-law and girlfriend run Windows XP, so they're out of luck. (No, they didn't blow $200-$400 on XP - it came for """free""" on their Dell & Fujitsu laptops.)

    • The newest Windows OS I support is Windows 98. That's right, my sister, my mom, and my dad all run Windows 98, so I support them. My brother-in-law and girlfriend run Windows XP, so they're out of luck. (No, they didn't blow $200-$400 on XP - it came for """free""" on their Dell & Fujitsu laptops.)

      I agree. When non-technical users ask me about such things, I point them to Windows 98 SE. Feature-rich enough to be useful, and not too bloated. USB that works.

      Me? I'm typing this on a Linux box. Slackware (of course... :-), kernel 2.4.10, plugged in to ADSL, running on a Pentium 3 box made out of spare parts.

      The oldest version of DOS I've booted on this box is PC-DOS 3.3. It goes like crazy, but has odd notions about how much memory is installed (768 MB was mainframe stuff in 1987), and can't figure out the 30 GB hard drive at all.

      On all but the smallest, oldest machines, I've moved to booting Linux off floppies for initial system setup and checkout, regardless of what OS the system will eventually run. The only real exception to this now is a crappy old 386 laptop that came with 2 MB of RAM, in a weird package I've never seen before or since. With no upgrades possible, it runs MS-DOS 5.0 to log GPS data.


  • by GreyWolf3000 ( 468618 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:49PM (#4744564) Journal
    It's official. Microsoft now confirms. MS-DOS is dead.

    Popularized in the 80's beyond academic circles due to the exploding popularity of the IBM PC's and the ability to make cheap, compatible hardware, MS-DOS has lost marketshare steadily throughout the decade of the 90's.

    Since the release of Windows '95, more and more powerful computers have been required to run the "latest and greatest software," and as a result, older computers often get tucked away in the attic with old Apple IIe machines.

    Those that are still in use are generally used by part-time hackers and developers, who use modern UNIX-variants, such as *BSD (also dying) and GNU/Linux (commonly referred to as Linux), which have had support for 386-based machines for over a decate.

    It's time we accepted this simple fact: MS-DOS is DYING.

  • Time for the obligitory "Reference some obscure MS page, discuss a random chart" link already? The most bittersweet indication that it's Sunday and my weekend is rapidly drawing toa close. Ah well, at least my pain will be qualmed by 1000 geeks poking fun.
  • by angryargus ( 559948 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:49PM (#4744566)
    You guys deally have to wait for Windows ME to die before you can proclaim DOS dead.

    The one date companies are concerned about is the non-supported date for NT4, which is this coming June 2003.
  • to open source (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stackdump ( 553408 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:50PM (#4744575)
    Since Microsoft is going to stop supporting these products altogether, would it be too much to expect that they make windows 3.x open source (for posterity). If it is open sourced it may live on, at the heart of kind of windows/*nix abomination.
  • by wiggys ( 621350 )
    I remember the immense enjoyment I used to get by editing my config.sys file to use EMS memory, only to change it back to not use it when I tried to run a different program 5 minutes later.

    Actually, I used to use the fabulous CONED program, which allowed you to create a bunch of autoexec/config files and switch between them. This, coupled with the even fabulous-er Xtreegold meant my DOS setup was pretty much unbeatable.

  • by foonf ( 447461 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:50PM (#4744578) Homepage
    Windows 98 and ME still boot off of DOS. In the case of 98 you can still boot it into pure DOS mode if you like, it is rather better hidden in ME but with some hacks it can also be done. So we have a couple of MS end-of-life dates to go before we can say its really dead.

    But then there is FreeDOS [freedos.org], which looks to be alive and well, and being GPL'd free software, is unlikely to stop being so any time soon.
    • Actually, someone claimed the other day in a conversation that 2K and XP still boot a "DOS kernel" before the 32-bit kernel. If any knowledgeable person can avoid being tagged as a troll, I'd appreciate any light shed on the subject.
  • Does DOS really mean "disk operating system"? No, I think not:

    DOS -- Denial of Service

    DOS -- Dumb Operating System

    DOS -- Dumb Obese System

    Any other ideas?
  • by Plug ( 14127 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:52PM (#4744598) Homepage
    Whilst we're on the subject, [slashdot.org] remember that old PCs are still very useful (especially for Grandma, or as a drone off a more powerful server of some sort ala XTerm/terminal servers) and although Microsoft are going to stop supporting these products (since when did anyone ever turn to Microsoft for support anyway?), they're not going to go away.

    We're still going to be asked to fix problems for Nana's computer, and we're still going to install Windows 95 on Pentium-class PCs for people who aren't quite ready for Linux on the desktop. [wlug.org.nz]

    Does this mean changes in copyright restrictions on these products? I'm fairly sure that under New Zealand copyright law, you're allowed to make copies if the company doesn't make a reasonable effort to sell you the product, and if they're not supporting it I'm sure they won't be selling it any more.

    (looks at framed MS-DOS 6 box on the wall) The disks come in a "You're important to us, please register" plastic bag. How ironic.
  • Finally. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does this mean we'll get BIOS-update tools for modern operating systems?
  • by imag0 ( 605684 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:56PM (#4744628) Homepage
    Celebrating 21 years without a remote root exploit!
    Take that OpenBSD! =)
  • Come on, even if you loathed them, they were good for jokes at least."

    Much more than that. I could write an application for DOS, start it running on a dedicated PC, provide a UPS, and reasonably expect that it would still be running a month or a year later. Doesn't happen with any version of Win I've used. With the potential exception of XP (which I don't use for other reasons, mostly privacy and security), Windows just can't be used for mission critical applications.

    The total amount of down time, both human and system, that has been wasted because Microsoft decided that frequent crashes were good enough for it's customers is truly criminal. How this can happen and Bill Gates still becomes the richest man in the world amazes me.

  • by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:58PM (#4744645)
    DOS is still used in many embedded applications. Even though very few new DOS-based embedded apps are currently developed, there are lots of previously developed apps currently in production.

    If Microsoft really wants to deny new DOS-licenses, this could be a real problem for a couple of companies.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    MS-DOS (as well as Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and NT 3.5x) reach their "End of Life" (as defined by Microsoft) on December 31, 2002

    They're not dead, they're just resting...

  • Who needs DOS? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sladelink ( 536962 )
    Who needs DOS, when we have IBM's PC/DOS? :)
    http://www-3.ibm.com/software/os/dos/psm952a.h tml
    Only $50 last I checked, get them while they're hot!
  • DOS was good (once) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by allanj ( 151784 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:02PM (#4744689)

    I liked DOS on my old machines. You could do amazing things with it, and it would just keep going. Program to snoop passwords on old Netware systems? No problem. Hook up int09, wait for someone to enter 'login' and record the next 30 keystrokes. Want to make a cooperative multitasking system out of it? Took less than two weeks of coding, and basically just involved reprogramming timer frequencies and wrapping int13 and int21 to provide primitive reentrancy. Oh, memory lane is a good place to visit :-)

    Win3.1 was fun to play with, but died on me way to often for my liking. Win95 was better, but started to get in the way too much...

    Don't get me wrong - I like my Linux box. And my new W2K box at work. I can do fun stuff with them too. I just don't get the same great feeling of control with them, since the OS will NOT move out of the way. Hmm - maybe I should become a kernel hacker instead :-)

  • Back before Windows, there were anti-DOS posters affixed to some of the cubicle walls of our large Mac-based company:
    Friends don't let friends do DOS.

    Just a little more culture lost it the mists of time.
  • As long as I want to the original versions of games like Arkanoid, Doom, Quake - DOS is NOT dead. There are also plenty of games which exist only on DOS and have not been ported to modern OSes.
  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:12PM (#4744760)
    DOS was the oliver twist of OS'e and had a hard life. DOS was not Bill Gate's son. He was adopted from another company in seattle and renamed from CPM. Then Master Gates then forced him to infiltrate the stronghold of IBM trade Federation. Eventually he was forced to donn a cloke and helmet, and proclaim himself Darth Windows. He proved all to mortal revealing his DOS underpinings from time to time. Some say he died long ago when he joined the BORG

    Maybe this is off topic but Is there a command line interface available to windows. Yeah I know you can run some comands from the start menu. But is there any sort of scripable command line interface that is analogous to the UNIX terminal prompt?

    And what about a real-time interface for controling equipment? Is that now all gone from windows now? Unix was never much good at it (you had to use special pseudo-unix things like vmworks to get true real time interfaces, regular unix just was not built with that in mind)

  • QEMM!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Restil ( 31903 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:13PM (#4744762) Homepage
    I fondly recall the days of spending an hour tweaking the computer to get that extra 2k of ram available for programs. Hey, because when programs had to fit in conventional ram, and we're talking the 640k that should be enough for anyone, it was a challenge getting the programs you wanted, plus the 15 or so TSR's all to fit in ram. Don't forget about himem. You can stash stuff up there, make more room. And if you really got desparate, video memory was available too. :)

    • Re:QEMM!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by MyHair ( 589485 )
      I fondly recall the days of spending an hour tweaking the computer to get that extra 2k of ram available for programs.

      Oh yeah, the good old days. Damn I was good at that. I was better than Memmaker and QEMM because I knew about "yo-yo" TSRs and such: some TSR's loaded small and then got bigger at runtime while some loaded large but got smaller at runtime, so if you determined which was which and loaded them in the correct order you could fit more into himem than the automatic products.

      QEMM could try to make TSR's run above 1024k (and I couldn't), but that didn't usually work for me.
      • Re:QEMM!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Eric Smith ( 4379 )
        QEMM could try to make TSR's run above 1024k (and I couldn't), but that didn't usually work for me.
        There was a product from Helix called Multimedia Cloaking that contained special versions of the Microsoft Mouse driver, MSCDEX, and other common TSRs modified to live above 1M. That worked quite well with QEMM. With that I was *finally* able to cram in all the TSRs I used without taking up any conventional memory (below 640K).

        But I'm not particularly nostalgic about it.

  • DR-DOS download site (Score:4, Informative)

    by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:31PM (#4744876) Homepage Journal
    You gan still get DR-DOS for free (beer) here [drdos.net], besides there are Free [freedos.org] (speech) and Open DOSes around too.
  • by drwho ( 4190 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:56PM (#4745050) Homepage Journal
    End-Of-Life = abandonedware, so they're going to make it public domain, huh! Thanks guys!
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:57PM (#4745054) Homepage Journal
    At work for us, we turn over machines every three years. We will continue to have to support Win95OSR2 through the end of 2003 at least until the last older hardware is still in service.

    We've never supported 98/ME or NT on the desktop.

    We started W2K on the desktop officially last year.

    We have no plans to support XP. We will have to spend bucks to get even our bare bones suite of internal apps to run on it.

    Does anyone know why the MS alert says XP Pro will have 2 years more life than XP Home?
  • by mithras the prophet ( 579978 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:58PM (#4745064) Homepage Journal
    one *must* admit that Windows 3.1 is a very, very bad operating system.
  • by BlindSpot ( 512363 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:24PM (#4745233)
    I still spend a lot of time in DOS on my WinME machine. My primary text editor is still DOS-based! When I do computer work for people they always boggle about how I go into a DOS prompt and start typing in commands instead of pushing a mouse around.

    I grew up on DOS systems. In high school it was all we had: WordPerfect 5.1, Borland C++ 2.0, etc. You had to know DOS to get any work done!

    DOS had its faults of course but it had many strong points:

    1) The command line syntax was clean and easy to learn.

    2) The set of commands was small enough to hold in your head. On Unix I often forget the commands for stuff because there are so many of them, and there are a bunch I still haven't learned.

    3) Graphics in DOS programs were easy; almost trivial by today's standards.

    4) You can play with whatever part of the system you want and not have to jump through hoops. In fact, the hardware course at my U is still using DOS because it's so easy to do hardware programming for.

    5) Quick! No multitasking => No overhead.

    Dead or not, I'll probably still be using DOS for many years to come.
  • by Mogster ( 459037 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:33PM (#4745824)
    MS-DOS was born in August 1980, in Tukwila, Washington, the creation of Tim Paterson and the Seattle Computer Company. Initially called QDOS 0.10 (short for "Quick and Dirty Operating System"), MS-DOS was a lifelong resident of the Seattle area. In late 1980, nonexclusive rights for 86-DOS 0.3, as the operating system was then known, were sold to Microsoft. In July 1981, as Paterson recounted in a June 1983 BYTE article entitled "A Short History of MS-DOS," Microsoft bought all rights to the DOS from Seattle Computer and changed the name of the operating system to "MS-DOS."
    http://www.byte.com/documents/s=1437/by t20011028s0 001/1029_editor.html
  • by red_gnom ( 545555 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:57PM (#4746110)
    One could compute what was the difference between Windows 3.01 and Windows 3.0 by subtracting 3.01-3.0 on the calculator from Windows3.1.
    The result shown was 0 instead of 0.01!
    If you still have the old Win3.1 around, you can check it for yourself. I had a very good laugh back then.
  • by deniea ( 257313 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @11:30PM (#4748200)
    I've been around in computers long enough to have seen quite a bit of IT. Started with DOS on 2.11 or so, and then quickly it moved to DOS 3.1(1) and on and on and on.. (Yes the "new-and-improved"-thing always has always been that way)

    DOS is still (for some tasks) the perfect OS. I've developed a POS-system for cafes (touch screen, water tight, no harddisk, no fan, networking, standalone operation etc) and it all had to fit in 1.44 Mb (standard size of early flash disks). With bartenders turning it off when done..

    For some task like that, DOS was/is the perfect tool. Why should you use an bigger tool then the job requires ??

    For what I read as the comments, a lot of things are just incorrect...
    • Some claim DOS has no networking.. Wrong ! Novell, SMB, UUCICO, even TCP/IP can be made to work.
    • In DOS you can only use 640K.. Wrong ! DOS extender, you can use all you want. Even more, remember LIM (Lotus-Intel-Microsoft) drivers for dos (also known als Expanded, paged or EMS)? Extended memory also work in DOS with the DOS extender (DOOM used it for example). Also check out UMBPCI [uwe-sieber.de] if you have low memory hungry DOS applications ! (even works in Windos 9x)
    • DOS can not be used to script.. Wrong ! You can do almost everything you want in scripting in DOS.. Well I must agree not everything is so easy that anyone can do it, but that I see more as a problem of someones knowledge of DOS, not of DOS.
    • No taskswitching in DOS ? Wrong ! Never heard of Dosshell, sidekick and the likes ?

    And there's tons of more things that can be done in DOS.. You'd really be amazed what you can do with it...(Codepages, ANSIS.SYS, Extreme cool memory stuff, DOSKEY, DEBUG, EDLIN etc)

    If one would take the time to look into DOS, if can be a very valueable tool for some problems! Nwer doesn;t make the older things less good for a job. And DOS itself NEVER crashed on me!

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.