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Author Topic: No DOS? Much loss!  (Read 4270 times)

Offline D2Disciple

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No DOS? Much loss!
« on: June 18, 2009, 06:26:09 AM »
Technology evolves. That is one constant in the modern world; connections are faster, file transfers are faster, graphics and sound become more advanced and more realistic. And in the audio/visual world we live in, being forced to type out command lines and parameters is rather inane.

Or is it?

I still hold a fond memory of my 486SX2 I had long ago that I used to play games such as Descent and Star Wars: Dark Forces on. Windows 3.1 was the OS of the time, coupled with DOS. And it was awesome. Wanted to play a game? Pop in a bootable floppy disk and fire up the computer and in 10 seconds you were playing. No resource management required. Use a monitor displaying a 320 x 240 resolution and 8 MB of RAM, and you were in. Tired of playing and want to get back to work? Exit, pop out that disk, and hard reboot and you were in Windows. It was simple, easy, and intuitive.

Why can't we return to that simplicity? Sure, if you're a Linux fan (as I am), you can go that route (but even then, most distributions use a terminal emulator rather than an actual terminal). But no text-based operating system was quite as intuitive as MSDOS. It required very little maintainance and very little know-how to operate. You just did everything on it and didn't worry about crashing or bugs or errors. You didn't worry about chipset compatibility or anything. You just knew that a 486 was a little better than a 386, and if you had a Pentium, you were on top and could run anything. Simplicity even in text-based commands and autoexec.bat files. Imagine that.

MSDOS, we miss you.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 06:28:55 AM by D2Junkie »
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 06:33:30 AM »
I must admit I miss MSDOS too. We used to have a whole boat load of games that used MSDOS to run (Descent included) and they were all fun games. That is until we upgraded, and MSDOS no longer seemed to work right anymore. :(

Fortunately, we've got things like Rebirth, D2X-XL, and DOSBox we can use to replay these old games but...truth be told...it's just not quite the same sometimes. :-\
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Offline InsanityBringer

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 08:25:41 AM »
Heh, I got a 386 in my room and at somepoint I want to grab a 486/Pentium 1 system at some point. I use the 386 for some ancient dos games. Unfortuantly its CMOS battery died, so I have to reconfigure the BIOS everytime I run it.

Although I really need to clean out the autoexec.bat sometime. The 152652875268572 TSR's loaded cause the thing to run low on memory. I wish the people who used to own this computer didn't load so many TSR's

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 01:08:29 PM »
Miss MSDOS... oh, brother... next you'll be pining for Windows 3.1. Have you all forgotten how much superior DRDOS was?
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Offline PyroJockey

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 03:09:57 PM »
You just did everything on it and didn't worry about crashing or bugs or errors.

I pretty much agree, except for the turd called MSDOS 4.0
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Offline TechPro

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 07:08:36 PM »
The first personal computer I ever used was my brother's Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III which seemed pretty primitive next to the ICL Quattro running CP/M that I later used at a job I had.

Both of them were "old school" compared to the first computer that I owned which looked a lot like this with yellow monochrome instead of color screen.  It sported a 286 processor at 8 or 12 Mhz (yea "Turbo"!) and a whopping 256 k RAM, no hard disk and one 5.25" floppy drive.  Came with a disk based copy of MS-DOS 2.0 which we soon upgraded to MS-DOS 3.3 and upped the RAM to 640 k (wow!) and a second floppy drive.

Eventually I obtained hard disks one by one (5mb, 10mb, 20mb ... so much room I never used it up).  But along the way I learned DOS backwards and forwards (which was good considering my career choice).
<--- My favorite HD from those days. 20 MB MFM (not IDE) the size of a CDROM drive and twice as heavy.

Didn't keep DOS 4.0 for long.  MS-DOS 5 was sooooo much better.  MS-DOS 6 wasn't any good until you got to version 6.22 but by then you only wanted it to help you run Windows 3 (preferably 3.11) better.

DRDOS?  Yes, it was good ... if you didn't mind heavily pixelated pastel colored displays.  Windows may have been buggy, but it did graphics smoothly to the eyes.

The original Descent and Descent II ran pretty darn good under DOS.  Good times, good times.

Offline Thomas

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 05:47:27 PM »
I think that whole story belongs to some of the biggest fairy tales ever told. I believe it must have been written by someone who never got to know the world before MSDOS. The phrase that doesn't fit at all is: But no text-based operating system was quite as intuitive as MSDOS

This just gives me a ROTFL. Ever seen VMS before? Ever seen BS 3000 before? Ever seen ORG-M before? Ever seen CP/M before? Ever seen Unix before? Ever seen any of the text-based operating systems before MS-DOS?

Nah, the answer is clearly 'No'. MS-DOS has been derived from QDOS, which was acquired by Billy because it was a mixture between CP/M and a Unix shell, but didn't have the power of either. MS-DOS always had a bit less to offer than other systems.

Well, to make it short: You kiddies shouldn't talk about things you've never seen before. ;-)

Offline TechPro

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 06:03:08 PM »
You didn't read all of my post (skimmer).

Might also want to brush up on your computer history just a little (though you got some items right).  There were MANY reasons many of those old OS systems didn't survive that passage of time to our present time, and those that survived were a whole lot different back then.


Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 06:04:15 PM »
I wouldn't know about anything before MSDOS, but I can assure you, DRDOS spanked MSDOS. Pixelated? what do you mean, it was a text based operating system, only used to launch applications, move files, etc...
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Offline TechPro

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 06:06:37 PM »
The pixelated statement referred to the gui they put out after Microsoft came out with their gui they put in MS-DOS 4 and 5.

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2009, 06:09:57 PM »
Oh, I never bothered with that. I just made a batch file to launch Descent and other programs.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: No DOS? Much loss!
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2009, 01:59:58 PM »
Okay...this conversation is now officially over my head. :P

It was okay when we were just reminisicing about MSDOS, but now we're getting down and gritty with not only MSDOS but a number of other systems I'm not familiar with. :-\
"I thought I had a great idea, but it never really took off. In fact, it didn't even get on the runway. I guess you could say it exploded in the hanger." -Calvin and Hobbes
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