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MS-DOS Is 30 Years Old Today

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the for-some-unit-of-measure dept.

IBM 433

An anonymous reader writes "Thirty years ago, on July 27 1981, Microsoft bought the rights for QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products (SCP) for $25,000. QDOS, otherwise known as 86-DOS, was designed by SCP to run on the Intel 8086 processor, and was originally thrown together in just two months for a 0.1 release in 1980 (thus the name). Meanwhile, IBM had planned on powering its first Personal Computer with CP/M-86, which had been the standard OS for Intel 8086 and 8080 architectures at the time, but a deal could not be struck with CP/M's developer, Digital Research. IBM then approached Microsoft, which already had a few of years of experience under its belt with M-DOS, BASIC, and other important tools — and as you can probably tell from the landscape of the computer world today, the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed."

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Frist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36895908)

First shitty pOSt

US Man Operates on Self with Butter Knife (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36895910)

A 63-year-old American man with a hernia plunged a butter knife into his abdomen to try to fix the problem, and later put a lit cigarette in the wound, according to police.

Police found the man lying naked on the porch of his apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in California Sunday night after his wife called to report his attempt at surgery, Glendale police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz said.

"He actually impaled himself with the butter knife," Lorenz said. "He told his wife he was frustrated with this hernia, and he didn't want to wait any longer for the medical procedure."

Police officers watched as the man, after pulling the knife out of his abdomen, put a lit cigarette into the wound, Lorenz said.

"I don't know if it was an attempt to cauterize or anything," he said.

Police did not identify the man, but Lorenz said he committed no crime and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, police said.

The hospital was expected to perform the surgery to fix his hernia, Lorenz said.

Cue a gazillion posts... (-1, Flamebait)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895920)

Cue a gazillion posts by depressed old farts noticing that they are, in fact, old farts.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36895966)

get off my lawn

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (4, Funny)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896378)

C:\OFFLAWN.COM

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (4, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895976)

They're so old, their Slashdot IDs are negative.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896004)

Cue a gazillion posts by depressed old farts noticing that they are, in fact, old farts.

Get off my lawn!

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896102)

Cue a gazillion trolls posting clueless, bravado comments....

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896402)

Those were the good old days. I remember my first computer as a kid. A true 8086 with a color CGA monitor and a 20mb hard disk and 2 x 5 1/2" floppy drives. Big pimpin' in those days.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896136)

Funny and true. I guess I won't be posting.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896146)

Cue a gazillion posts by depressed old farts noticing that they are, in fact, old farts.

Hey, I resemble that remark! Now get off my lawn.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896158)

Cue a gazillion posts by depressed old farts noticing that they are, in fact, old farts.

Thanks. Until you pointed it out, I hadn't noticed! Z-DOS anyone?

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

ginobarracuda (1026238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896210)

PC-DOS (IBM's version) was faster, IMHO...

TSX was faster than PC-DOS (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896908)

then there was TSX Lite, which was 100% dos compatible, and had a DAMN FAST cache system. First start of nc would take a couple seconds as usual. Next invocation was almost immediate. I got the shareware version out of a bbs in the 90s.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896246)

I'm not an old fart. The oldest version of MS-DOS I've used that was current at the time was version 5.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896358)

I'm an older fart than you. I think my first was 3.2.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896514)

Damn whippersnapper, I used CPM !

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896658)

Haha! I got you all beat! My first DOS Version was just called 'Ugh'.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896276)

who's depressed? The PC under CP/M would have been a better thing, as zcpr and other goodies added.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

ginobarracuda (1026238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896392)

Nice - my first computer-related job was running a Sierra Systems POS server (retail Point of Sale) that ran CP/M. DIRINT PIP FILINK

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896456)

Hell yeah!

If only CP/M-86 had even gotten into the x86 OS race... the things that might have been.

OTOH, we'd probably be complaining about Digital Re$earch's current anti-free-software FUD campaign and using the Gary Kildall borg icon.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896724)

we'd be running on Alpha chips!

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (2)

oldfogie (547102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896310)

OK, I'll admit it...

Damn, I'm old. I remember personal computers before IBM threw their hat in the ring. I lusted after microprocessors and blinking lights in an 8-bit world.

I'm so old I actually bought one of the SCP board sets (my first computer purchase! I could not resist the lure of 16-bit power), an S-100 mainframe kit, and started soldering.

My system came with DOS version 0.10, serial number 11 on an 8" 256K soft sector floppy (for my Cromemco 4FDC running a Persci 277 dual floppy drive). And I still have the assembler / linker / ROM monitor source on my hard drive (anyone else remember the trick 6-byte ASCII hex conversion?)

What's really amazing is that the skills I used for this are what I use every day in my job (embedded software for industrial controllers). I never learned Windows / Linux programming...

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896466)

Cue a gaziliion posts from kids who don't realize they'll be exactly the same in 10 years.... 9 years, 11 months, 29 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds... 9 years, 11 months, 29 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 58 seconds... 9 years, 11 months, 29 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 57 seconds...

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896490)

I remember reading the MS-DOS guide when we got our first Compaq computer (I think 2nd grade). Boy was that bland. And then when I switched to UNIX style all the commands were messed up!

I'm 26 though, so not quite an old fart yet.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896636)

Hold your tongue, ya young whippersnapper!

And respect your elders, ya peppy little spit-f*ck. (paraphrasing line to Zuckerberg-like character in Zombieland)

Revised title: "MS-DOS would have been 30 if it were still alive today".

A recent load of FreeDOS in a VM worked great. The larger download came with tons of cool software too, but so far Tetris is about the only thing easy to identify from the DOS filename. Sigh... (everything was identified with descriptions when installed, but we old fossils can't remember much stuff like that an hour later)
If there was supposed to be a launcher or menu I screwed up that part of the install.

http://www.freedos.org/freedos/files/ [freedos.org]

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896708)

I don't think the years matter nearly as much as all those long nights waiting for FDISK to finish running on a full-height 10MB Winchester disk drive.

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896766)

Cue XKCD post to make almost everyone feel old:

http://xkcd.com/891/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Cue a gazillion posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36897008)

My first PC was a Leading Edge Model D with a 20 MB hard drive. I upgraded it with a VGA card and a 8087 math co-processor so I could run fractal drawing programs in Turbo Pascal. Ah, the good old days...

"the partnership worked out rather well" (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895940)

For Microsoft.

Re:"the partnership worked out rather well" (2)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896044)

It worked well for IBM, too, at the time. They have also successfully transformed their business model into something quite different, and are still quietly profitable. Sounds like a win to me.

Win for almost everyone... (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896854)

Sounds like a win to me.

Yes win for MS, win for IBM...shame about us users though, isn't it!

wow (4, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895948)

what a half assed summary, and it was not the IBM/Microsoft partnership that did shit, its the MS licencing agreement that allowed MS to sell to other people than IBM that made a huge fucking difference when the clones came in and obliterated IBM at their own game

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896702)

"obliterated"?

IBM turned 100 years old and is worth 182 bn as I write this. MSFT is at 231 bn.

So "obliterated" is a bit of a strong word...

Now the whole clone thing is very interesting: there aren't that many "real" Apple clones of the iPod / iPad / Macs / iPhone family and AAPL is now weighting 402 bn, nearly as much as IBM + MSFT.

As long as AAPL doesn't make the same mistake IBM did, I'm happy ; )

Re:wow (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896876)

IBM's worth is from much more than PC sales, they kind of do other things, does IBM even make PC's anymore? I know levno or whatever but thats a totally different company now isnt it?

Re:wow (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896728)

You're right about the clones and the resulting rise of MS. OTOH, the original IBM PC did do one important thing. It legitimized personal microcomputers in big business. Many large corporations would not allow Apple ][ no matter how badly finance people wanted Visicalc. The IBM name was what made it happen.

Still in use (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895972)

DOS is still being used in some places...

Re:Still in use (2)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896382)

Yep, and it still sucks.

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned in my youth is that marketing beats quality or usability. I remember in 1993 or so, buying a Zip drive to hook up to my Amiga and telling one of my friends about it. His reaction (as a DOS/Windows 3 user) was "where did you get a driver from?" He was gobsmacked to find out that I didn't need one.

Okay, so I'm an old fart, but I'm not going to wax poetic over DOS. I never liked it, because somehow, I saw through the marketing and understood that spending $500ish on a machine that had colour video, decent stereo audio (the likes of which has only in the last five or six years started to seem dated), an OS that can be run by GUI or CLI kludge-free, a superior processor, etc was a better deal than spending four times that for a machine that couldn't get out of its own way to repaint monochrome text on a block-mapped screen, and couldn't make better than little "bleep bloop" type sounds.

Yet, the less capable, far more expensive machine won. It was very disappointing to me.

Re:Still in use (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896602)

I'm an Amiga bigot from waaaay back, too. (My first computer as an adult was an Amiga 1000, or just an Amiga when it was originally sold.).

But as a former frontline flamewarrior, I have to say: It's time to come out of the jungle. We lost that war. Yes, our chosen computer was vastly superior in every way. The difference was that Commodore couldn't sell T-bone steak and potato chips to starving people. Commmodore-brand sushi would be marketed under the tagline "The best cold, dead raw fish you've ever had!".

Superior marketing always wins. That's the lesson here, Amiga Persecution Complex notwithstanding.

Re:Still in use (2)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896792)

Oh, yeah, I agree with you 100%. I'm currently a hard-core Linux lover, though I have got to say that I miss the days of being able to write scripts that could prompt for a needed resource just by referring to the resource. That was a wicked nice touch in the OS. On the other hand, I don't miss the incessant click-click-click of the floppy drive, and I would say that in the last decade, PC technology caught up with where the Amiga was in the early 90's, and has since surpassed it.

Note, though, getting back on the main point, that DOS is rarely a part of that. Taking the DOS out of Windows was one of Microsoft's smarter moves. Avoiding Microsoft altogether, however, is preferred.

Re:Still in use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896426)

Still being developed....

Just search for FreeDOS and then shake your head in disgust.....

Re:Still in use (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896916)

FreeDOS has an awesome use. BIOS updates often run only under windows or under DOS, and that can be a problem for a GNU/Linux or BSD box. Two days ago I updated my BIOS by putting the .EXE on a FreeDOS CD-R.

Re:In some places... (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896492)

Yeah, mostly on Linux boxes by old-fart gamers who need it to play Lode Runner [wikipedia.org] or some other "legacy" diversion.

Re:Still in use (4, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896536)

I teach a 1 credit DOS class at my local community college, and have had a number of students tell me the batch file stuff they learn has been useful in their jobs.

Re:Still in use (1)

statsone (1981504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896954)

yes, I use it for a cnc machine to run turbocnc. Windows would actually be more of a problem in sending singles to the control units Will use freedos next.

I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (2)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895974)

I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0... They added subdirectories (folders)! what a concept.

I still occasionally boot up machines with MSDOS v6.22 ... in order to run my copy of WordPerfect v5.1 :-)

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896100)

Why?? Just use DosBox, or qemu if it works

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896142)

Why?? Just use the real hardware if it works

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896404)

Why?? Just use an emulator, it's just as good and saves space, maintenance, electricity, your reputation from being a retro hipster douche, etc, etc

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896534)

Yes v6.2 rocked! You could run in compressed mode and double your HD space!

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896772)

Yes v6.2 rocked! You could run in compressed mode and double your likelihood of catastrophic data loss!

FTFY. Doublespace was playing craps every second of every day of your life and hoping you don't ever crap out.

Hard disks were expensive, but I learned early on: delete your own unneeded data, or let Doublespace delete everything.... your choice.

And talking about Doublespace/Drivespace... brings up (A) one of the earliest examples of Microsoft playing dirty pool with prospective partners, and (B)(to my recollection) one of the earliest examples of a successful software patent lawsuit.

linky [wikipedia.org]

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896590)

And in 2011 everyone who comes over to OS X from Windows bitches about folders/directories not sorting to the top, all because DOS did it and that got carried over.

Re:I remember the big jump from DOS 1.0 to 2.0 (1)

stox (131684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36897032)

The jump was from PC/DOS 1.1 to 2.0. 1.0 was very short lived.

United Way (5, Informative)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895996)

IBM then approached Microsoft, which already had a few of years of experience under its belt with M-DOS, BASIC, and other important tools

I think that IBM was 'approached' by MS. Gates' mother had contacts through her role as a high ranking official in the United Way. That got Bill a foot in the door and he made good on the opportunity. Major successes are often a convergence of skill, ambition and blind luck, and the MS fortune is, I think, one of those cases.

Re:United Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896188)

Major successes are often a convergence of skill, ambition and blind luck

Well, two out of three ain't bad...

Re:United Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896436)

Not necessarily. Microsoft were already supplying the interpreter (BASIC) and were quite big at the time at supplying interpreters (for, e.g., Altair, Apple II, Commodore PET, and many others).

Re:United Way (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896634)

Major successes are often a convergence of skill, ambition and blind luck

And a woman to open doors. I know this is Slashdot, but there's a reason behind every successful man is a woman. True to geekdom, for Bill Gates, it was his mother.

Re:United Way (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896770)

Whatever you say Oedipus.

Microsoft Dirty Operating System (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36895998)

The MS-DOS acronym It always made me wonder. If QDOS was Quick and Dirty Operating System, then surely MS-DOS is Microsoft Dirty Operating System. It's a weird way to brand your product.

Re:Microsoft Dirty Operating System (4, Insightful)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896070)

They backronym'd it to Disk Operating System.

Re:Microsoft Dirty Operating System (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896080)

I was told it was Messy, Dirty, Operating System.

Re:Microsoft Dirty Operating System (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896646)

Well the key thing is that they made it not "quick."

I'm gonna... (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896016)

play some crappy old games on my Tandy tonight. It has outlived 14 PC's i have bought since. Good old TLX1000 with a hard drive and single 3.5" floopy drive.

Re:I'm gonna... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896368)

I had a Tandy 1000HX with a single 720K floppy - it was so cool to have DOS 2.11 boot from ROM instead of having to insert a floppy to boot all the time; well, at least until DOS 3 came out..

Hey!!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896370)

They're not crappy! They're vintage!

Besides, with a lot of them, adventure and rpg specially, you had to use your imagination to complete the mental scenery. Just like a reading book.

ROM OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896478)

I miss the days of the ROM OS. Turn on the computer and it's booted and ready before the monitor was even warmed up. But even in the 80s Microsoft wrote bloated inefficient code. After using their Disk Extended Color Basic for several years I was able to rewrite the initialization code saving several hundred bytes, enough to add several customized DOS functions, and burned my own EPROM.

Re:ROM OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896746)

I modded my Commodore BASIC code myself! Changed that HORRIBLE blue-on-blue to white-on-black, among a bunch of other things, including some useful added commands. I miss the 8-bit days when you could upgrade your computer by adding chips with a soldering iron and some wire-wrap wire! Having a much closer relationship between the hardware and software made it much more fun to tinker. Now, we have Arduino (etc) which is cool... but not quite the same.

Wax nostalgic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896118)

DOS! Int 21! Oh how I miss those days!

Graphics! Bypass the fucker and hit the graphics card directly.

And the extenders.....

Those were the days. Needed to figure out code? All you needed were some Highlighters, pencil paper and a few hours and you were done.

Now you spend hours and days to figure out that the class you were hunting down was nothing more than a constant - why the programmer couldn't use a fucking "typedef" instead - Oh I know! It wasn't "Object Oriented" and his professor at school told him that it was "incorrect" because it violated the natural physical laws of computer science that he pulled out of his ass.

CS Professors who teach their preferences as "law" or "scientific fact" should be executed by being forced to write an operating system Apple Basic on a Windows 7 hand held device.

Remember kids, what your CS professor taught you as the "right" way was nothing more than his or hers preferences and he forced them on you because he could.

True story: In a CS class, there was an MSEE in there because the dumb fucking administration forced him and me to take the C++ class because it was "required" as a prereq for a grad class - it didn't matter that this guy (and me) learned on his own and was an embedded programmer with years of C++ experience.

Anyway, the CS Prof. told the class the "right" way to do something - doesn't matter what it was. The MSEE pointed out why that isn't necessarily correct. Prof argued that it was. Long story short: MSEE spanked CS prof hard - metaphorically of course - about why and how the prof was wrong.

CS Prof: "This is my class and we'll do it this way because it's the way I wanted it."

Those that can do; those that can't teach.

The "right way" (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896742)

One of mine said you have to declare any number you use as a constant in the beginning, and that means any number. If he saw a number used in your code, points taken off.

That meant "x*2" to double something once in your whole program was bad. You had to declare a constant in the beginning called "double" or some such, and then make it "x*double". A reasonably good practice taken to the absurd extreme.

Re:The "right way" (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896992)

And in any language or runtime that doesn't semantically provide for constants (i.e, they're protected from change)... well, use of named "constants" in those environments is the root of the phrase "constants aren't."

One careless assignment and all of a sudden "one" isn't 1 any more. Kinda explodes arithmetic.

Re:Wax nostalgic (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896826)

While I agree with most of your post, if you spend hours and days trying to hunt down a class definition, then you're doing it wrong. Any IDE will let you jump to the declaration and/or definition of an identifier, and failing that, there's grep.

meanwhile, somewhere above Silicon Valley... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896128)

Gary Kildall was heard to remark, "I'm glad I missed that silly meeting so I'd have time to think. Let's do right by our customers... we'll need a multi-tasking operating system from the get-go with 32-bit CPUs and 3 GB RAM."

Worked out well? (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896168)

and as you can probably tell from the landscape of the computer world today, the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed.

Worked out well for who? Microsoft? Okay, true. IBM? Nope. You and I? Nope. Other than a few pockets at MS, who did it work out well for?

Re:Worked out well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896286)

IBM made a *TON* of money then made several missteps that really set out to rip off their customers and handed the market to the 3rd party OEMs.

You would not be typing your crap on windows/linux if it were not for that partnership...

Re:Worked out well? (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896824)

Well, I remember when I was a kid, the computer world was very fragmented. Apple was incompatible with Atari was incompatible with Commodore was incompatible with IBM. Need I mention the other minor players, such as Franklin, Acorn, TI, Sinclair, etc.? Great game came out? Odds are it won't run on the system that YOU have. As much as I generally dislike the major players, at least there are only three major platforms that you have to develop for. In fact, you can develop a game for only one market, and still have the opportunity to make quite a bit of money.

Dang (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896174)

This makes me feel old...

Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896282)

Worked well for who? Could we imagine a world without Microsoft? Could it have been better than it is today?

Isn't MS becoming irrelevant? (0)

RandomMonkey (908328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896302)

Isn't MS pretty much irrelevant now anyway. They can't really compete in large computer clusters (you can find some cases, but it is due to marketing FUD and leads to a severely crippled system typically), and it look like they aren't even trying to compete in the small personal computing device market: smart phones, pads, etc... How it still has it's strangle hold on the PC market, I can't comprehend (except that there really is something to marketing, isn't there). I do use MS in some cases, but the OS is irrelevant at this point. I refuse to use software that is not open source (except games. Damn you MS and your evil business practices. But there should be a solution for that at some point. Qt, OpenGL and Wine already does a decent job to bridge this gap). Cygwin makes MS bearable IMO (WTH would I do without a bash shell and perl). I think MS needs to focus on the XBox where they have a good chance to use monopoly powers to control the market.

Re:Isn't MS becoming irrelevant? (1)

HetMes (1074585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896888)

The reason Microsoft is still the favored desktop OS is probably linux taking forever to get its shit together and create a user-focused OS like Ubuntu, giving Microsoft all the time it needed to create Windows 7. I remember well the many attempts I made with earlier linuxes, only to be disappointed each and every time because shit just didn't work. Ubuntu is a breeze these days, sure, but that's too little, too late. Linux has always, and still does to a large extent, lacked discoverability of features and solutions. I can still hardly imagine configuring a linux machine without access to internet forums answering very specific questions.

Re:Isn't MS becoming irrelevant? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896980)

eh, there is and has been windows versions for mobile and embedded devices, with more being developed. Windows Mobile 7 will support ARMv7. In a not totally unrelated aside, notice how many IT wares are at version "7" to ape Microsoft?

inevitable joke (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896410)

C:\dos
C:\dos\run
run\dos\run

Burn in hell, MS-DOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896414)

Long-live 4DOS [wikipedia.org] , Cygwin [wikipedia.org] , and of course UNIX and Linux. I have *NO* fond memories of MS-DOS at all. Only frustration and a faint nostalgic feeling of "What the hell were they thinking by using backslashes?", the bane of touch-typists everywhere because they never had a standard keyboard position.

DOS is crap, but DosBox is awesome. (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896496)

Of course MS-DOS, or any other DOS-like "operating system" (it's really nothing more than a loader) is utter crap when measured by todays standards. But because DOS was such a massive platform in its day, there is a gigantic wealth of applications and games for it. Especially most of the games are still great when played today. That's why DosBox is such an amazing piece of software: it lets anyone tap into that extremely large pool of really cool stuff. Even though I've played loads of those kind of games, I still discover new and fun ones from time to time and I have a great time with them. So I guess in the end, MS-DOS isn't so bad after all.

Re:DOS is crap, but DosBox is awesome. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36897010)

OS/2 was cool, and more than a loader

Worked out well for whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896554)

"the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed". Did it now? It only worked out well for Microsoft. It did not work out well for IBM and it did not work out well for general interoperability.

Thirty and still living in its parents' basement. (1)

bitfarmer (219431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896622)

Bleary eyed, but still pretty good at playing some older games.

Rather well for whom ? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896644)

...the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed.

Well for whom ? Bill Gates, sure. IBM wasn't very happy with it by the end. The rest of us...

Pretty sure summary is incorrect (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896682)

MS did not own QDOS when they sold it to IBM. Oh, and Bill Gate's mother was on the board of IBM. And what a crap OS DOS was; it held the industry back 10 years. Thankfully MS no longer has that sort of power; you could tell they were slipping when they failed to smother the Internet and force everybody onto MSN. Now, the only real drag they can impose on progress is via patent shakedowns.

Worked out well? (5, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896752)

and as you can probably tell from the landscape of the computer world today, the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed."

Worked out well? In what sense did it work out well? Economically for Microsoft and IBM? Perhaps. For the rest of the world that suffers working under the decrepit POS that is Windows OS? Not so much. IMNSHO, DOS was a terrific mistake and its adoption 30 years ago has directly hindered the development of the computer industry.

:START (1)

DocMAME (933222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896764)

ECHO ON ECHO HAPPY BIRTHDAY MS-DOS ECHO OFF The oldest version that I have ran is MS-DOS 1.25 on an old Toshiba laptop using bubble memory cartridges! SYS64738 DocMAME

took half that time to catch up to UNIX (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896788)

To be honest, UNIX ran poorly on under-powered x86 chips until well into the 1990s. In fact MicroSoft owned PC UNIX, called Xenix [wikipedia.org] , around the time it started DOS, then off-loaded it to SCO.

Happy B-Day DOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896806)

Happy B-day DOS you have been a great help

Dos 1.0 and up (1)

rcoxdav (648172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896810)

My first computer was a Tandy 1000EX (then a 1000TX, 286, yeah baby). I got an expanded memory card for my 1000TX all the way up to1.5MB total RAM. Setup a RAM drive on the memory card and wrote a batch file to copy the OS and commonly used utilites to the RAM drive, then set the COMSPEC to it. Was really useful until I got a hard rive. I was working at Radio Shack at the time and made full use of my measly employee discount.

I sorta miss the days off Plug'n'Pray ISA cards (normally just manually set them anyway, as it never seemed to work). My experience with DOS 1.0 was on my uncles Zenith computer. I remember DOS 2.x needed the hard drive driver loaded to work off a hard drive. I used every version of MS-DOS from 2.11 on up. I hated the built in compression, in the later versions, too flaky. Version 5 and 6.22 were my favorites.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36896844)

Finally, after 30 years I can upgrade!!

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of windows 3.0?

Re:Finally (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36897076)

screw that, go to OS/2 1.2, you'll be much happier and have much more functionality. The torrents are out there!

IBM/Microsoft set back IT 20 years at least. (3, Insightful)

master_p (608214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896920)

By introducing such a lame technology like the IBM PC and MS DOS, IBM/Microsoft set back the IT industry 20 years or more.

We could have 32 bit machines with GUI, preemptive multitasking and hardware-accelerated 3D graphics much earlier.

Re:IBM/Microsoft set back IT 20 years at least. (1)

stox (131684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36897084)

We already had all of those things prior to the release of the PC. Expensive as all hell at the time, though.

The only OS that stands against UNIX (0)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896928)

It's interesting, almost anything that isn't Windows is based on UNIX/Linux. (Maybe other things in embedded systems or whatever.) So MS-DOS is at the base of the only big alternative.

first pOst (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36897080)

Balance is struck, Antibacterial sOap. Then Jordan Hubbard
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