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MS-DOS 1981-2002 RIP

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the then-it's-the-undead-phase dept.

Microsoft 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 (0, Troll)

forgeeks (470786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744486)

I thought MS-DOS died a long time ago, but honestly will they ever really get rid of it? Doesn't Windows 98/2000 simply run on top of or at least use MS-Dos?

Re:MS-Dos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744538)

MS-Dos is still my favorite for playing games like Doom 1 & 2, Descent 1 & 2, and of course, Duke Nukem 3d.

Re:MS-Dos (2, Informative)

diamondc (241058) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744573)

Windows NT/2000/XP do not run on top of MS-DOS. Windows 98,95, ME do though.

0th post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744487)

0th post

Nigga, please! (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744489)

First pizost!

Ahh the memories... (1, Interesting)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744490)

I wonder how different Id be if I had been brought up on *nix terminal rather than MSDOS....

Re:Ahh the memories... (0)

forgeeks (470786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744507)

I often find myself asking that very same question. How differnt would things be if I never used DOS and instead used a *nix console. I'm sure we would have been able to easily get a grasp on Windows anyway...

Re:Ahh the memories... (2, Insightful)

Marxist Commentary (461279) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744540)

You would be able to easily see Windows for what it is - a toy.

Seriously, my first experience with computers was on some old SGI workstations that a teacher at school let us play with after school. We hacked away, not knowing what in the hell we were doing, but happy to have the opportunity to learn.

Alas, the fun ended when our local warez BBS was discovered and the SPA shut us down... Luckily, we didn't have to spend time in juvenille hall, and the hi-jinks didn't end up on our permanent records!

Re:Ahh the memories... (0, Troll)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744714)

UNIX back in the 70s/80s ran on BIG BLOATED MONSTER MAINFRAMES (and thanks to mozilla, they still do). Only NERDS could understand it.

Now which is more intuitive

a: or /dev/fda
c: or /dev/hda
c:> or $
dir or ls
format c: or mke2fs /dev/hda

DOS was a freindly CLI.

FP! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744492)

Oh baby, gimmie an FP and the Joke link is already /.'d

Go figure :P

MSDOS SUCKS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744493)

first msdos sux post! WE HATE MS!

42 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744494)

42

Say what you want.... (1, Insightful)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744498)

DOS wasn't that bad of an OS. That's no bullshit. It has its high points, and has been around *much* longer, and been magnitudes more popular than nearly everything else that rose to compete with it.

Re:Say what you want.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744559)

"and been magnitudes more popular than nearly everything else that rose to compete with it."

This makes sense, since DOS wasn't written by microsoft: they subcontracted it out.

History could have been much different had IBM chosen CP/M for the PC OS.

Re:Say what you want.... (3, Interesting)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744639)

They didn't subcontract it -- they bought it (it was made when they bought it).

And they licensed it to IBM something like 12 hours before they actually bought it... :-)

MS actually does a surprisingly small amount of development. You see their names associated with a lot of software products, but frequently they're just the publisher, they purchased the product, or they subcontracted out. Take MS's excellent fonts (ah, Verdana, thou art equalled only by Espy Sans upon my screen). Subcontracted. Their wonderful Close Combat war sim series (those games are *great*...if WINE ever supports them fully, I'm going to go nuts) are only published by MS. Bungie made Halo...but they were a company that did incredible stuff and had tons of work on Halo done when Microsoft purchased them. Hotmail was purchased.

Office and Windows, the two core MS products, were both done in-house, however.

And both are among the flakiest products in their lineup.

Also, in response to the people talking about DOS, DOS is still and has been used for some time for a real-time OS. Linux isn't really that great for doing a real-time stuff (well, vanilla Linux isn't great for real-time period) when you have very tight resources available.

It's also still the only way most people let you flash your BIOS...someone needs to make a mini-OS just for that.

Re:Say what you want.... (2)

Gumshoe (191490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744665)

This makes sense, since DOS wasn't written by microsoft: they subcontracted it out.


They bought it lock, stock and barrel from a guy called Tim Patterson. IIRC, it was called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) and was a shameless CP/M "tribute". Patterson went to work for MS and is wheeled out on special occasions -- you can spot him shaking hands with Gates on videos of the Win95 launch.

Re:Say what you want.... (1)

perplex79 (555015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744582)

It wasn't much of an OS either. Pretty much all functionality of user programs was achieved by directly programming the hardware through minimalist APIs (if there were any). No multitasking, even TSR programs (terminate and stay resident) were more of a hack than a design feature. Of course you're right, it had its high points, being for example very low resource usage and an easy to remember command line syntax.

Re:Say what you want.... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744590)

One time when my good computer died I went back to DOS. Using TSR programs I was able to play games (duke 3d and arena, niether of which I can get to run now) and listen to CD's at the same time. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Now in Windows there is no way to listen to music and play games without getting a noCD crack with every version of a game to be released. Of course with XP (and maybe 2k) you can rip your CD's and listen while you play, but until then my DOS had win so obsoleeted.

Re:Say what you want.... (3, Informative)

Whispers_in_the_dark (560817) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744649)


DOS wasn't that bad of an OS. That's no bullshit. It has its high points, and has been around *much* longer, and been magnitudes more popular than nearly everything else that rose to compete with it.

Huh? I'm pretty sure UNIX with bourne shell has been around longer than DOS and (considering it and its direct descendents) are still in wide use I would venture that is also more popular overall. Here's a link to bourne shell's history. [uni-ulm.de] . Here's another [freebsd-bg.org] .

Unless, of course, you were only referring to psuedo-shell-like things that ran on Pee-Cee's.

YEAH (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744678)

I mean, back when I had DOS at home, everyone else had unix, right?

Get a grip. We're talking about HOME COMPUTERS HERE. PCs. Not big unix workstations.

Re:Say what you want.... (3, Interesting)

gmack (197796) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744690)

It was bad.. what few interfaces that existed were so slow you generally had to do everything manually

Most of my old dos programming books have instructions on how to read and write the MSdos disk format directly.

If you did anything 32 bit the general idea was to disable MSdos entirely and getting back to 16 bit was *ugly*

When your apps are doing that many things manually it becomes a limmiting factor and we saw this when the disk formats became too big for the orignal structure and they came up with ugly hacks to extend it. It's also a bit twisted when any app can corrupt the filesystem. 1000 places for possible bugs instead of 1 (the OS).

Still.. it had it's fun times and a part of me will miss programming for it.

Re:Say what you want.... (2, Informative)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744707)

DOS wasn't that bad of an OS. That's no bullshit.

Well, DOS was hardly an OS in the first place.

Most of the stuff that is part of OSes simply do not exist in DOS: sound drivers, GUI, system services, etc.

Is there really anything DOS could do, except launch programs?

C:\FIRST POST\runme.bat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744499)

File not found.

Re:C:\FIRST POST\runme.bat (5, Funny)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744551)

c:\firstp~1\runme.bat

Try it now.

Re:C:\FIRST POST\runme.bat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744613)

c:\firstp~1\>runme.bat
Specified drive does not exist.

Huh?

c:\firstp~1\>type runme.bat
format c:

the memories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744500)

memories of first post. hah. well msdos sucked anyways and i didnt get first post, so I guess they go together.

ahh well

It's not that bad (5, Funny)

Cali Thalen (627449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744503)

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?

Re:It's not that bad (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744523)

c:\cd microsoft c:\del dos_tos.txt done :) Lordfly

Hey, don't knock DOS... (5, Interesting)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744504)

...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 :\

Lordfly

Re:Hey, don't knock DOS... (5, Insightful)

delta407 (518868) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744623)

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).

Re:Hey, don't knock DOS... (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744661)

But it was a good learning tool. Most of the friends I have that "grew up" on Windows 95 are completely lost once the taskbar and Start button disappear. If you ran DOS, you HAD to know what to do if Duke3d required more memory, or if you needed to load himem.sys.

Granted, it doesn't match the horror stories of you old timers coding in binary on the ENIAC blindfolded with only one can of Mountain Dew to get you through the day, but it's how I learned, and I feel better because of it. :)

Lordfly

I still use the command line (1)

mrbrown1602 (536940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744711)

I grew up on MS-DOS too, starting with DOS 2.0 on my dad's Intel 8088 Toshiba laptop. I still, to this day, use the command line to do file operations, even in Windows XP/.NET, such as COPY, MOVE, and FORMAT.

DOS still lives on (5, Funny)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744513)

DOS is still in Netware. Perhaps we should add Netware to the list too...

Re:DOS still lives on (2)

CounterZer0 (199086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744555)

DOS wasn't ever 'in' netware - and Novell makes their own version of 'DOS' called 'Novell DOS' - which, btw, isn't even needed in Netware 6.

Re:DOS still lives on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744656)

Older versions of NetWare did in fact have DOS 'in' memory while they were running. You could type a command and you'd be at a C: prompt where you could fire up any conventional memory program, with NetWare continuing to run in the background.

Re:DOS still lives on (1)

gui_tarzan2000 (625775) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744592)

Netware has Caldera DR-DOS which is the way DOS should have been written in the first place. Anyway, I still use and will still use DOS as long as I need to. It's far more valuable than Gates ever gave it credit for.

Well (1)

MQBS (264470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744514)

Mine were already dead a lot sooner when I switch'd to Linux/BSD.

"You're dead to me now. Go."

plz read... (2, Informative)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744515)

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... (4, Informative)

ymgve (457563) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744521)

...but its legacy [freedos.org] lives on.

Rest in peace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744524)

You won't be missed. I used DOS in 1986 - 1993 and in Windows 95 in 95 - 00, but I'll let it go without any bad feelings.

Wait for the trolls (1)

The Pi-Guy (529892) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744527)

DOS IS DYING WITH BSD!! DOS STOLE BSD'S GRA...

*OOMPH!!@!@!!11*

Holy shit. That's one hell of a LART.

(blargh, I'm avoiding the Lameness filter caps thingy...)

Good riddance. (4, Interesting)

sfraggle (212671) | more than 11 years ago | (#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. (5, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744539)

Or.. gasp.. something better than the UNIX command line.

And surprising, too (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744679)

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 (4, Funny)

someonehasmyname (465543) | more than 11 years ago | (#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... (5, Funny)

cornjchob (514035) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744534)

MS-DOS is dead? What will MR-DOS do without her?

RIP TSR's...WOLF3D will miss you :'(

TSR's not dead (3, Funny)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744585)

MS-DOS TSR's are not dead, she changed her name to 'Services' when she married NT...

Re:Uh oh... (2, Informative)

bswick (29721) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744651)

I think you mean DR-DOS [drdos.com] .

Formally Digital Research's MS-DOS competitor.

Re:Uh oh... (3, Insightful)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744671)

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).

Re:Uh oh... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744696)

MS dos,
MS is usually chosen by spinsters or devorcies. MR-DOS dosn't give a fuck.

Reformatting... (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744536)

Is it just me, or is formatting/installing an OS (windows 98, etc.) in DOS so much easier (and more fun?) It seems reinstalling windows XP is a pain... well, getting it running anyway. It's not like I'm THAT braindead to not be able to click "next" 30489 times :)

Lordfly

MS-DOS wasn't all that bad (5, Funny)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744537)

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!!!!!

Re:MS-DOS wasn't all that bad (1)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744627)

well i havent done any M$ bashing... I can't wait til longhorn and some of its interesting new features...

Re:MS-DOS wasn't all that bad (1)

Railroader (139848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744640)

I remember just how fast an old 16 mhz AT clone could go from power on to a document open in Word Perfect for DOS. Could not have been more that 15 to 20 seconds if you started up WP - Document name in the autoexec.bat. How long would a 3 Ghz Intel box take to fire up XP and then Office XP and then open up a document ready to type something.

Re:MS-DOS wasn't all that bad (1)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744672)

well lh is gonna have much better boot times... so id say it would be faster than the machine you talk about.

Re:MS-DOS wasn't all that bad (2)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744663)

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:

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

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).

dos and freedows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744545)

I want to note that in all these years no group has been able to completely replace dos.

www.freedows.org doesn't even work anymore
www.allos.org as has been shutdown

Those projects could have gotten somewhere IMHO if they had better organization and actual code.

Re:dos and freedows (5, Informative)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744599)

I want to note that in all these years no group has been able to completely replace dos.
- www.freedows.org doesn't even work anymore


Gee.. maybe if you spelled the URL right!

It's http://www.freedos.org/ [freedos.org] , and they appear to be doing just fine.

Re:dos and freedows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744654)

>>I want to note that in all these years
>>no group has been able to completely
>>replace dos.
>>- www.freedows.org doesn't even work anymore

>Gee.. maybe if you spelled the URL right!

www.fritos.org [fritos.org] doesn't seem to work either.

Re:dos and freedows (1)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744708)

There was a "freedows" project for a while. I have no idea what came of them though.

Again? (5, Funny)

NFW (560362) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744546)

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?

and another thing (2)

NFW (560362) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744579)

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.

Re:Again? (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744709)

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.

Is redhat 2.0x still supported? (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744550)

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?

Re:Is redhat 2.0x still supported? (2)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744674)

It wouldn't surprise me that much if there were custom systems (terminals in banks, low-load servers) that are running MS-DOS or NT 3.51.

Hard drives lasted a lot longer back in those days...

I agree! (2)

standards (461431) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744553)

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.)

MS-DOS is DYING (5, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744564)

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.

Re:MS-DOS is DYING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744655)

Gnu/linux (commonly referred to as linux)

WRONG! Its LINUX! Incorrectly advocated by richard trollman as gnu/linux (because his hurd is a turd, so he is leaching on linuxes success)

Is it Sunday already? (2)

mdechene (607874) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744565)

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.

DOS RIP really December 31, 2005 (5, Interesting)

angryargus (559948) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:DOS RIP really December 31, 2005 (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744588)

And we can only do that with a stake, some garlic, and a silver bullet minigun.

Lordfly

to open source (3, Interesting)

stackdump (553408) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Ah, the good old days (2, Interesting)

wiggys (621350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744577)

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.

It's not really dead (3, Insightful)

foonf (447461) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744578)

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.

Oh well... (1)

Bleedy20 (622335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744581)

If you're really upset, there's always FreeDOS [freedos.org]

Short Life (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744586)

7 Years is a short life for an operating system. I guess that's what happens when you make disposable operating systems.

What DOS really means? (2)

dh003i (203189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744597)

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?

Re:What DOS really means? (0)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744632)

Any other ideas?

MS-winDOwS.

----

Re:What DOS really means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744635)

You are very, very lame.

Old products never die (4, Informative)

Plug (14127) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744598)

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. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744607)

Does this mean we'll get BIOS-update tools for modern operating systems?

Expired? (1, Troll)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744609)

Does that mean that these products are now free to distribute since Microsoft no longer sells/supports them? Are they public domain? Can a school install 500 copies of Windows 9x across a bunch of donated computers and not worry about the MS Schutzstaffel XP raiding them?

I think not.

This is only Microsoft leaving plenty of customers high-and-dry without any compensation wahtsoever.

I don't even know why this is front-page worthy. Of course, it gives Microsoft more exposure. I find it interesting that the last FIVE articles I've read here had big, Microsoft advertisements on them. Way to Sellout Slashdot.

No.. That's not what everyone is saying.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744611)

Everyone is saying,

No, I think what everyone is saying is:
1. Eat banana
2. Visit www.thehun.net [thehun.net]
3. Imagine what you'd do if you had a girl like that
4. Think dirty and masturbate
5. ??
6. Profit.

linux cli is almost dead. (-1, Troll)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744612)

Thanks to the KDE guys the command line is almost dead. I hope it gets nuked, because it IS obsolete (despite what the zealots say) Kde 3.1(or 2) should be enough to keep even advanced users from touching it. Now if they added a 'konfigure' app. which did that ./configure make su -c "make install" thingy I would be very happy.

Abandonware? (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744617)

Does this mean they'll be free to distribute and download now?

Also, I think 95 has died a while ago, since applications starting being made for 98 and up (not just limited to MS, mozilla/netscape7 doesnt work on 95 either)

MS-DOS Celebrates! (5, Funny)

imag0 (605684) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744628)

MS:DOS:
Celebrating 21 years without a remote root exploit!
Take that OpenBSD! =)

The day DOS will really die (1)

Hythlodaeus (411441) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744631)

The day DOS will truly die is when MS no longer bothers to give Windows native ability to run DOS programs.

good for jokes at least (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744637)

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.

the real problem (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744641)

at schools where much of the hardware is donated, and since licenses aren't transferrable, we have to install whatever m$ will let us.

recently, a friend in an elementray school that feeds my junior high tells me that they get 20 donated pentium 2's, with 64MB ram. okay, but guess what? all they can buy are xp licenses.

support isn't the issue. they just don't sell the os's any more, and that is the real problem. why is it necesary to have a p4 with 256 MB to do EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS that i did on a p2/64mb system a few years ago.

DOS is still important in embedded apps (4, Interesting)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Question for my roommate (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744664)

Why is there a long black hair sticking out of the mayonaise jar?

'Ello, I wish to register a complaint. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744676)

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...

Nice Try M$ (1)

out of control (37531) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744680)

When I look at the roadmap for their O/S's to expire from support? And then I get a sneak preview of "Longhorn"? If the current pace of Linux development continues............. they will be selling Longhorn in shoe stores by the time it comes to fruition!!

Nice Try M$!

How do you flash the BIOS without DOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744681)

IS it even possible to flash BIOS without dos?

Who needs DOS? (2, Informative)

sladelink (536962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744683)

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) (3, Interesting)

allanj (151784) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 :-)

Slashdotted joke article (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744691)

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.

Bye bye DOS (1)

pardasaniman (585320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744699)

Say my regards to BSD

A Venerable Opponent (2, Funny)

repetty (260322) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744702)

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.
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