VintageOS
          ver. 20170111

What is DOS?

DOS stands for Disk Operating System and it is a command line interface OS for IBM Personal Computer systems and clones. Although IBM originally used the acronym DOS in the early 1970's for their disk OS for IBM System/360, the 1970's version of DOS (later replaced by VSE) is not the same as what we commonly know as DOS. In computer science, many terms are confusing and DOS is one of them. To make matters ever more confusing, one of the biggest misconceptions nowadays is that we think of DOS and MS-DOS as a synonyms. In reality, MS-DOS is Microsoft's version of DOS.

MS-DOS (Microsoft)

IBM PC,
                1981In the early 1980's Microsoft bought the source code for 86-DOS (commonly referred to Quick and Dirty Operating System, QDOS), which was developed by Tim Paterson for the Intel 8086 microprocessor, for Seattle Computer Products. 86-DOS contained about 4,000 lines of assembler. QDOS later became PC DOS for the IBM Personal Computer system on August 1981. DOS was not developed originally by Microsoft and Bill Gates (in his book The Road Ahead, 1995) recognizes Tim Paterson as the father of DOS. Although Microsoft's version of DOS (MS-DOS) has become obsolete, many DOS clones and OS that can interpret DOS exist and are commonly used.

What is left of MS-DOS is hidden in C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND in Windows 9x, C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32 in Windows NT 4 or C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 in Windows NT 5 (XP) and many of its files were deletes. I would like to see DOS included back in Windows as a stand-alone OS (similar to what Mac OS X did with Unix). Worse of all, Windows NT 4 and up use an emulation of MS-DOS 5.0 that makes our life hell when trying to work with old DOS commands and batches. Some of these commands do not work anymore or exist anymore. Microsoft forces users to use the less effective Windows 4.xx versions of programs that were reliable in DOS.

MS-DOS as a stand alone OS (less than 5 MB in MS-DOS 6.22) has not been marketed by Microsoft, since 1994. Microsoft opted to concentrate on the Windows graphical OS project in 1983 (marketed against Steve Jobs' Apple Macintosh, 1984).

DOS originally included BASIC, which later became QuickBASIC and then QBasic (QBASIC.EXE). Nowadays, Microsoft does not include any programming language by default. QBASIC.EXE has to be copied from D:\OTHER\OLDMSSDOS (download link) to C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.

DOS Shell (230 KB) was last included in MS-DOS 6.2. Amazingly PC DOS Shell from PC DOS was dropped around the same time.

The D:\OTHER\OLDMSSDOS (Old MS-DOS) directory on the Windows 95/98 disk has 17 files. Note that D: is your CD-ROM drive and that there is no TREE, just DELTREE. See directory below.

                    DELTREE    EXE    19,083   04-23-99 10:22p
                    DOSKEY     COM    15,495   04-23-99 10:22p
                    EMM386     EXE   125,495   04-23-99 10:22p
                    EXT        EXE    13,299   04-23-99 10:22p
                    EXTRACT    EXE    93,242   04-23-99 10:22p
                    FC         EXE    20,574   04-23-99 10:22p
                    HELP       COM       413   04-23-99 10:22p
                    HELP       HLP   301,961   04-23-99 10:22p
                    MEM        EXE    32,146   04-23-99 10:22p
                    MOVE       EXE    27,299   04-23-99 10:22p
                    MSD        EXE   166,023   04-23-99 10:22p
                    QBASIC     EXE   194,309   04-23-99 10:22p
                    QBASIC     HLP   130,881   04-23-99 10:22p
                    SMARTDRV   EXE    45,379   04-23-99 10:22p
                    XCOPY      EXE     3,878   04-23-99 10:22p
                    XCOPY32    EXE     3,878   04-23-99 10:22p
                    XCOPY32    MOD    41,472   04-23-99 10:22p
                    17 files       1,234,827 bytes
                  

Windows 3.1 was the last version running as a system program running on the MS-DOS OS. The MS-DOS OS is the foundation of Windows 4.x. Windows NT 4 and up are based on a different kernel and its CMD.EXE file merely emulates MS-DOS 5.0.

Maybe you can get your hands on any used copy of MS-DOS 5.0 (c. 1991) or MS-DOS 6.22 (1994). Be careful since Microsoft might consider the latter activity illegal. You can download free of charge of charge and use FreeDOS.

Installing MS-DOS on i386 & i486 Systems:

This technique is different from what most nowadays books indicate, using FAT 16. The only drawback of installing FAT 16 DOS is that the HDD has be divided into partitions not larger than 2 GB each (seen by the system as separate disks). The first partition is primary and the rest are logical partitions.

You can also use a RAM drive (RAMDRIVE.SYS), which will increase memory performance similar to paging. Since it is not a physical disk, you should not save anything on it that you really want to save.

These instructions cover MS-DOS only although they might also apply to DOS clones. Reference to PC DOS 2000 is supplied. Unfortunately I do not have experience on other versions of DOS like DR-DOS 7.03 (only 3.13 MB, 3 floppies), which is differently and not normally taught in schools.

The installation procedure, explained in this site, is different from what most books might tell you. Both CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are changed. Memory (RAM) is improved. By using this technique, a DOS and Windows set-up would work almost as well as Unix.

Run FDISK.EXE from the boot disk.

                    A:\FDISK
                  

View old partitions, if any, and delete them.

Delete first non-DOS partitions, then logical, then extended and finally the primary (if any).

Make primary partition. Since MS-DOS has a FAT 16 architecture, MS-DOS cannot read more than 2 GB at a time.

Make secondary partitions (less than 2 GB). On the secondary partition, make logical partitions if needed. If the logical partition is close or over 2 GB, make 1 GB partitions. Then FORMAT each partition.

                   A:\FORMAT C:
                   A:\FORMAT D:
                   A:\FORMAT E:
                  

Install MS-DOS 6.22 or PC DOS 7 or 2000 on the HDD.

Make sure CONFIG.SYS recognizes as many logical partitions as you need. The total number cannot exceed 26 logical partitions (one for each letter of the English alphabet). Each partition will be assigned a letter by MS-DOS.

                    LASTDRIVE=Z
                  

Create backup files (.BAK) of CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT before doing changes. Should there be a problem while booting, change CONFIG.BAK and AUTOEXEC.BAK back to CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT accordingly. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Open CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT with EDIT on MS-DOS or E on PC DOS. Then save them with the new names.

                    C:\EDIT
                    C:\E
                  

You may also copy them to new files with different names, of course.

                    COPY AUTOEXEC.BAT AUTOEXEC.BAK
                    COPY CONFIG.SYS CONFIG.BAK
                  

At this point, you can create the RAM drive (or virtual disk) that I mentioned before.

                    DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\RAMDRIVE.SYS 2048 /E
                  

Do changes on CONFIG.SYS by adding the following lines to mount a CD-ROM in MS-DOS.

                    DEVICEHIGH=PRE>C:\DOS\AOATAPI.SYS /D:IDECD000/Q
                  

Then edit AUTOEXEC.BAT.

                    LH=C:\DOS\MSCDEX.EXE /D:IDECD000
                  

Copy AOATAPI.SYS to the HDD from MS-DOS boot disk. Both CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT need this file, so copy it to your HDD.

                    A:\COPY AOATAPI.SYS C:
                  

Run MEMMAKER (MS-DOS 6.x) to optimize memory management in MS-DOS. PC DOS does not have MEMMAKER, but rather RAMBOOST, which does a similar job, including EMM386.EXE to simulate expanded memory.

reboot system pressing F8, which will let you confirm each step of the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. If there is a problem, reboot system pressing F5 bypassing CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. Change CONFIG.BAK and AUTOEXEC.BAK to CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. Repeat instructions or throw these instructions away. Either way, it is still a fun learning experience.

Make sure the BIOS will read CD-ROM first. Follow instructions provided by the computer maker.

Reboot system with the Windows CD-ROM or 3.5 floppies. If you are installing Windows 3.1 on an i386 or i486 PC, check out the Calmira shell.

Depending on your needs, you might need to connect the system to a network (internet or LAN, most likely), or not. If you do, you need to load to memory the correct packet driver for the network card (NIC) on boot. Note that the packet driver is a COM file ending on PD (for packet driver). Add the following line to AUTOEXEC.BAT replacing FOOBARPD.COM with the correct packet driver file name.

                    LH FOOBARPD.COM 0X60 5 0X300
                  

In the example above, the first parameter (0X60) sets the interrupt. The second one (5) sets the IRQ and the last one (0X300) sets the I/O port.

Maintaining a Hard Drive Running MS-DOS & Windows:

I have put together a batch file (set of organized command), which will DEFRAG and SCANDISK your HDD. The batch is compatible with i386 clones with DOS like FreeDOS. Keep in mind that you can only run the batch in MS-DOS, not from .

If you do not want to see the DOS commands while the batch file is running, edit the batch turning ECHO off.

                    @ECHO OFF
                  

All files are randomly saved on your HDD. A practical way to manage your HDD would be having all parts that form a file together. DEFRAG organizes files fully (/F), defragments files leaving space between them (/U), sorts them by extensions (/SE) and skips using extended or upper memory (/SKIPHIGH).

                    DEFRAG /F/U/SE/SKIPHIGH C:
                  

SCANDISK repairs problems that your all disks may have automatically without prompting (asking), deletes errors, skips summary, and checks the surface the disk. This line of code might not work with other types of DOS.

                    SCANDISK /ALL/AUTOFIX/NOSAVE/NOSUMMARY/SURFACE
                  

The batch creates (if not already created) and assigns C:\TEMP as the temporary directory instead of using C:\DOS or C:\WINDOWS as a temporary directory. Some programs delete the temporary directories after installation. This would be serious trouble if the installation routine deleted the C:\DOS directory.

                    IF NOT EXIST C:\TEMP MKDIR C:\TEMP
                    TEMP=C:\TEMP
                  

If you are running Microsoft Office 6.0 or earlier, you might want to delete all temporary files, which start with the tilde character (~).

                    DEL C:\~*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A
                  

Note that using the recursive switch (/S) in DEL tells the system to delete a certain criteria (in this example, ~*.*) in all subdirectories from a specific starting point, (in this example, C:, meaning the whole drive).

To delete any temporary files created by other programs, delete by force the contents of the C:\TEMP directory and all subdirectories without being prompted to confirm deletion, regardless of their attributes.

                    DEL C:\TEMP\*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A
                  

If you want to generate a log of the deletions, send the output to text file (for this example, FOOBAR.TXT). In the example below, the system will first write the date (%DATE%) and time (%TIME%) when the batch is run and two blank lines (ECHO.) after the log has been generated for cosmetic purposes. The blank lines can be excluded.

                    @ECHO OFF
                    ECHO %DATE% %TIME% >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEL C:\~*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEL C:\TEMP\*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                  

Putting all the commands together, your batch file would look as the sample below.

                    @ECHO OFF
                    ECHO %DATE% %TIME% >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEL C:\~*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEL C:\TEMP\*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEFRAG /F/U/SE/SKIPHIGH C: >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    SCANDISK /ALL/AUTOFIX/NOSAVE/NOSUMMARY/SURFACE >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                  

Note that is good practice to leave blank lines between sections of a batch file to make it easier to read. These lines do not affect the functionality of the batch file (no speed increase or delay). Therefore the sample above is the same as the one below, but the one below is easier on the eyes.

                    @ECHO OFF

                    ECHO %DATE% %TIME% >> FOOBAR.TXT

                    DEL C:\~*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    DEL C:\TEMP\*.* /F/S/Q/A:R/A:H/A:S/A:A >> FOOBAR.TXT

                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT

                    DEFRAG /F/U/SE/SKIPHIGH C: >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    SCANDISK /ALL/AUTOFIX/NOSAVE/NOSUMMARY/SURFACE >> FOOBAR.TXT

                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                    ECHO. >> FOOBAR.TXT
                  

Of course, follow this instructions at your own risk. Although these commands will not normally hurt your system, do NOT blame me if something goes wrong and/or if you delete important data by mistake (disclaimer).

Versions of DOS Compatible with MS-DOS:

DR-DOS (Digital Research)

DR-DOS was an alternative to MS-DOS and PC DOS during the DOS heyday in the 1980's. It has changed owners in the past two decades from Digital Research to Novell as Novell DOS (1991), to Caldera as OpenDOS (1996), to DeviceLogics once again as DR-DOS (2002). Since its last incarnation, DR-DOS/OpenDOS Enhancement Project was started as a community initiative to keep its open source up to date with technology.

FreeDOS

FreeDOS (Free-DOS, PD-DOS) by Jim Hall is a 16-bit/32-bit open source MS-DOS clone based on DOS-C (1994) by Pat Villani that can "reproduce the functionality of MS-DOS.". Within modern DOS clones, FreeDOS seems to be the most popular choice. As such, it is my DOS of choice.

COMMANDS:
APPEND Append enables programs to open data files in specified directories as if the files were in the current directory.
ASSIGN Assign a drive letter to a different drive.
ATTRIB Display and set file attributes
CHKDSK Check the disk for errors.
CHOICE Present a choice to the user and wait for a key (uses kitten instead of cats)
COMMAND The FreeDOS Command Shell (FreeCom) + VERIFY
COMP Compare files and display their differences
COUNTRY  
CPIDOS CPI (Code Page Information) Package with DOS codepages - Package of DISPLAY-type, UPX-compressed CPI files with DOS codepages.
CUTEMOUSE Mouse driver for serial and PS/2 mice including wheel API.
DEBUG A program testing and editing tool.
DEFRAG Disk defragmentation utility
DELTREE Delete files and directories with all included files and subdirectories!
DEVLOAD Commandline device driver loading program, supports UMBs
DISKCOMP Disk comparing utility
DISKCOPY Copy one disk or image file to an other
DISPLAY [DISPLAY + GRAFTABL + PRINTER.SYS] Add codepage management support to display management device drivers. DISPLAY is an .exe file (not: .sys like at other DOSes)
DOSFSCK dosfsck is the Linux equivalent of PC/MS-DOS' CHKDSK. It checks the consistency of PC/MS-DOS file systems and optionally tries to repair them, optionally interactively. The tests dosfsck performs are described in the man page. This is port based on dosfstools 2.11, for which Roman is the maintainer. Questions about the DOS port: Ask Eric :-)
EDIT FreeDOS improved clone of MS-DOS Edit
EDLIN The edlin program is a portable rewrite (code) of the standard DOS line editor.
EXE2BIN Convert an .EXE file to .BIN or .COM format and adjust relocs if needed.
FASTHELP [FASTHelp Suite] Linux style quick help commands. Includes FASTHELP, APROPOS, WHATIS.
FC File compare utility
FDAPM APM / ACPI control/info, energy saving TSR/control, cache flush, rebooting... {a replacement for MS-DOS POWER}
FDISK Fixed disk tool - create partitions.
FDXMS286 Replacement XMS driver for '286 systems.
FIND Display all lines in one or more files that contain a given string. Inverse and case-insensitive search possible as well.
FORMAT disk formatting program -- creates FAT file systems and lowlevel-formats floppy disks
GRAPHICS Allow Prtscr to print graphics screens. (CGA/EGA/VGA/MCGA, on PostScript, ESC/P Epson 8/24pin and HP PCL printers)
HELP HTML viewer and content for FreeDOS help. [Content is GNU Free Documentation License.]
HIMEMX HimemX is a XMSv3 memory manager for 386+. It is derived from FreeDOS Himem with bugs fixes, optimizations and extensions. [GPL and/or Artistic 1.0, some Public Domain
**All changes done for HimemX are Public Domain. HimemX derived from FD Himem, which is copyright Till Gerken and Tom Ehlert, with GPL and/or Artistic 1.0.]
JEMM386 Jemm386 is an Expanded Memory Manager for MS-DOS, based on original FreeDOS EMM386. It has several advantages compared to FreeDOS and/or MS-DOS EMM386:
* needs only 192 bytes DOS memory
* needs very little extended memory
* is faster
* works with MS-DOS, FreeDOS and EDR-DOS
* will use features implemented on later CPUs to further increase speed (VME)
* has full VDS support
* can optionally be loaded from the command line. Licensed as GPL v2 / Artistic 1.0.
KC [KC + KEYCODE] KEY keyboard descriptor to KeybCB/KL compiler
KERNEL The FreeDOS kernel, based upon DOS-C by Pat Villani.
KEYB keyboard driver (BIOS level) for international support
KPDOS Package of keyboard layouts to be used with DOS codepages, available at the CPIDOS pack. The "S" package contains the source files while the "X" package contains the library files with the keyboard layouts - NOT COMPATIBLE WITH EARLIER VERSIONS. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER OSes KEYB PROGRAM OR SIMILAR.
LABEL Sets or changes the disk volume label
LBACACHE Disk cache, caches reads for max 8 CHS / LBA hard disks and floppies, XMS, 386 or better - tickle comes with lbacache!
MEM Displays the amount of used and free memory in your system.
MIRROR Records information about the disk for possible data recovery.
MODE Set the mode of your devices:
- send ESC/P control codes for 80/132 cols and 6/8 lpi to printer
- redirect printer to NUL or serial port
- set serial port parameters - do codepage operations and display status of DISPLAY
- select 40/80/132x25/28/43/50/60 screen mode or select x8/14/16 font, availability depending on your hardware. Shift CGA display sideways.
- control and check switchar and keyboard (num/...) lock states - control keyboard repeat rate and delay
-can also display and set the switchar.
MORE Displays the contents of a text file one page at a time
MOVE Moves files from here to there (but no LFNs).
NANSI An ANSI driver for DOS
NLSFUNC NLSFUNC adds NLS (National Language Support) functionality - works with kernel 2037 only!
PRINT Print files in the background while you do other things.
RECOVER Recover disks or lost files.
REPLACE Replaces files in the destination directory with files from the source directory that have the same name.
SHARE Installs file sharing and locking capabilities on your hard disk - for FreeDOS kernel only
SHSUCDX free of charge CDROM extender for DOS. (copyright reserved, free of charge use program)
SORT Sort the contents of a text file, optionally using the NLS collate table
SWSUBST SUBST and JOIN
TREE Graphically displays the folder structure of a drive or path. Support for message catalogs (different languages) using cats, and can be compiled for both Windows NT/9x and DOS. [GPL (using public domain findfile by Jeremy Davis and optional use of LGPL catgets by Jim Hall)]
UIDE Jack Ellis' multi-purpose driver for UDMA, CD/DVD (IDE, no ASPI), disk caching; 386+
UNDELETE undelete / mirror - copy metadata or deleted files to another drive.
UNFORMAT Unformat a disk that you accidentally formatted.
VOL Displays the disk volume label (included in COMMAND.COM)
XCOPY Copies files and directory trees.
XMGR [Jack Ellis] Driver for providing XMSv3 on the DOS platform (386+).
* quoted from http://www.freedos.org/software/?cat=base

Multiuser DOS

Multiuser DOS (MDOS) is a real-time OS.

MSX-DOS

MSX-DOS was a version of DOS developed by Microsoft in 1984 for MSX systems, which combined MS-DOS 1.0 and CP/M.

New-DOS

New-DOS (not to be confused with NEWDOS or NewDOS) is proprietary MS-DOS clone in German with command-line tools via built-in menus and even a built-in text-only web browser.

NewDOS

NewDOS (not to be confused with New-DOS or NEWDOS) is another MS-DOS clone.

NEWDOS

NEWDOS (NewDOS or NEWDOS+; not to be confused with New-DOS or NewDOS) was designed for TRS-80 series of computers.

NTFSDOS

NTFSDOS developed by System Internals (now Winternals) allowed users see NTFS partitions (NT 4/5 encrypted partitions) as regular DOS FAT 16 partitions. To no one's surprise, if NTFSDOS could break Microsoft's encryption in order to access a drive as plain DOS, Microsoft was bound to acquire it and remove it from the market (2006).

NX-DOS

NX-DOS is a 16-bit/32-bit MS-DOS clone for embedded x86 systems that uses RX-DOS memory management.

NX-DOS installation screen, courtesy of the NX-DOS
                Project as SourceForge

PC DOS (International Business Machines)

PC DOS is made by IBM as PC DOS 2000 (IBM's fifteenth version of the OS, including fixes, while still being FAT 16). It is more reliable than Microsoft's latest commercial version (MS-DOS 6.22). IBM indicates that PC DOS 2000 can give users an additional 40 KB of free disk space. There is further information on PC DOS 7. Read what I found on PC DOS 6.3. Also refer to the batch file to >maintain your HDD running on PC DOS.

PTS-DOS (PhystechSoft)

PTS-DOS, "is a powerful and fastest DOS with a simple graphical file manager and FAT 32 architecture. PhystechSoft also has distribution."

ROM-DOS

ROM-DOS includes Borland SDK and is "much more than an inexpensive replacement for MS-DOS, designed for embedded and mobile computing environments" with access to FAT 32.

Versions of DOS Incompatible with MS-DOS:

Apple DOS

Apple DOS was Apple's OS for Apple II (1977). It was replaced by ProDOS (1983), related to Sophisticated Operating System (SOS, 1980).

Atari DOS

Atari DOS was the OS Atari 8-bit home computers (1979-1982). Various versions were available in the market by third-party vendors/developers.

Commodore DOS

Commodore DOS (CBM DOS) was a beast of its own running from ROM.

DOS/VSE

DOS/VSE is "DOS then DOS/VS then DOS/VSE then VSE/SP then VSE/ESA (current) mainframe OS from 1964 till today [which] has its own half dozen file systems neither FAT 16-bit/32 nor NTFS, not Linux compatible" (thanks Pete).

RX-DOS

RX-DOS (with only eight files) supports FAT 12, 16 and 32. RX-DOS does not support Windows and may support Linux. The OS has some bugs.

MS-DOS Emulators (Command Prompt Interpreters):

4DOS

4DOS was a MS-DOS 5.0 emulator and COMMAND.COM replacement by JP Software. Nowadays the vendor markets its CMD.EXE replacement for Windows NT named Take Command (TCC).

DOSBox

DOSBox is a MS-DOS 5.0 emulator released in 2002 for BeOS (Haiku nowadays) FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2, RISC OS, Solaris, and especially Windows. Since its source code is available to install DOSBox, in theory, it can be ported to any OS. Since old DOS programs (even those written (coded) by Microsoft) may not run properly or at all in new versions of Windows, DOSBox is a practical tool, not only to run DOS games (not limited to abandonware) as marketed by the developers.

Note that this emulator runs from the Z: virtual disk (virtual disk) as seen below.

DOSBox 0.74 (PortableApps)

In order to access any files anywhere in the system, DOSBox needs the directories to be mounted in order to access them (similar to Unix).

                    MOUNT X X:\GAMES
                  

The latter command can be added after the line [autoexec] in the DOSBOX.CONF, which serves as both CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. Whether mounting the subdirectory every time you need it or calling it from DOSBOX.CONF, at that point, go to the new virtual disk (X:) in order to access the contents of the mounted directory (GAMES) as normally done in DOS.

                    X:
                  

Just as with a real AUTOEXEC.BAT, in the DOSBOX.CONF, you can call commands turning ECHO off.

                    [autoexec]
                    @ECHO OFF
                    MOUNT X X:\GAMES
                  

COMMANDS:
DIR Directory View.
CHDIR Displays/changes the current directory.
ATTRIB Does nothing. Provided for compatibility.
CALL Start a batch file from within another batch file.
CD Displays/changes the current directory.
CHOICE Waits for a keypress and sets ERRORLEVEL.
CLS Clear screen.
COPY Copy files.
DEL Removes one or more files.
DELETE Removes one or more files.
ERASE Removes one or more files.
ECHO Display messages and enable/disable command echoing.
EXIT Exit from the shell.
GOTO Jump to a labeled line in a batch script.
HELP Show help.
IF Performs conditional processing in batch programs.
LOADHIGH Loads a program into upper memory (requires xms=true,umb=true).
LH Loads a program into upper memory (requires xms=true,umb=true).
MKDIR Make Directory.
MD Make Directory.
PATH Provided for compatibility.
PAUSE Waits for 1 keystroke to continue.
RMDIR Remove Directory.
RD Remove Directory.
REM Add comments in a batch file.
RENAME Renames one or more files.
REN Renames one or more files.
SET Change environment variables.
SHIFT Leftshift commandline parameters in a batch script.
SUBST Assign an internal directory to a drive.
TYPE Display the contents of a text-file.
VER View and set the reported DOS version.
* quoted from HELP

DOSEMU

DOSEMU is a command prompt emulator, which allows you to run FreeDOS on Linux. This is more practical if you need to run DOS applications, other than just games. According to the developers, it is "for DOS Emulation, and is a Linux application that enables Linux to run many DOS programs — including some DPMI [applications]."

DOSEMU 1.4.0 after boot (Ubuntu GNOME Linux)

DOSEMU "uses FreeDOS as the default DOS" (Who uses FreeDOS). Therefore it comes with the FreeCOM shell, a replacement for COMMAND.COM.

DOSEMU 1.4.0 drive C with FreeGEM installation
                (Ubuntu GNOME Linux)

DOSEMU 1.4.0
                drive Z (Ubuntu GNOME Linux)

DOSEMU mounts A: to access the floppy (B: reserved for second floppy), C: to access the DOSEMU environment including programs you install like OpenGEM in my example, D: to access the Linux home directory (~\), E: to access the CD-ROM, Z: where DOSEMU and all its commands reside.

OpenGEM 6 on
                DOSEMU 1.4.0

COMMANDS:
attrib set and get file attributes
assign assign a drive letter to a different drive
bwbasic bywater BASIC Interpreter/Shell, version 2.20
choice waits for the user to press a key, from a list of choices
comp binary comparison of files
debug this is a clone of the DOS DEBUG command
deltree utility for deleting files and subdirectories
diskcopy copy whole disks
diskcomp compare whole disks
edit fullscreen text editor
edlin line-oriented text editor
fc compares two files or sets of files
find display all lines from a text file that contain 'string'
(NOTE: this is not the Unix find)
format disk format utility
help you just called this one
join mount a drive letter into a directory
lib librarian for OBJ files, creating a LIB file
loadhi loads a program into the upper memory
mem displays the amount of DOS memory used
more displays a text file one screen at a time
nansi nansi.sys, an enhanced MS-DOS console driver
pause will suspend execution of a batch program
shsucdx CDROM redirector (load cdrom.sys, use with /d:mscd0001)
sort ASCII sort file
subst substitute a path by a drive letter
swsubst CDS manipulator
sys create bootable DOS floppy or hdimage
tail displays the 'tail of a text file
tee saves a copy of its input to a file and to standard output
touch touch a file's timestamp
verify tells DOS to verify if files are written correctly
wcd Waterlander cd, tree based comfortable 'change directory' (navigate with arrow keys, ENTER and ESC)
xcopy full-featured copy command
COMMAND.COM built-ins:
cd change the current directory
chdir (the same)
goto with batchfiles: jump to label
echo display text
@echo switch logging of executed commands on/off
pause suspend batchfile execution until any key pressed
rem remark, comment within batchfile
if conditional execution of batch commands
for loop execution of batch commands
shift shift the position parameters, $2 -> $1, $3 -> $2, ...
call call (instead of pass control to) a batchfile
type display file on screen
del delete file(s)
erase (the same)
set set/display environment variables
path set/display the execution path
prompt set the prompt mode
break set/display the status of the DOS Ctrl-C behave
mkdir create a new directory
md (the same)
rmdir remove a directory
rd (the same)
verify set/display the DOS verify mode for block devices
ver display version numbers of running software
ren rename a files
date set/display date
time set/display time
dir display directory contents (file listing)
copy copy files
which display full pathname for executable commands
DOSEMU support programs:
exitemu exit DOSEMU
speed set/display speed (hogthreshold)
booton make drive A: the virtual (image) bootdevice
bootoff make re-appear the physical drive A:
ecpuon switch cpu emulation on (only for hacker-DOSEMU versions)
ecpuoff switch cpu emulation off
eject eject CD, if cdrom.sys is loaded
emumouse set/display internal mouse parameters
ugetcwd display the current Linux (not DOS) directory
vgaoff only for 'root'!! switch vga mode off (when on console)
vgaon only for 'root'!! switch on console vga graphics mode
NOTE: vgaoff/on may be dangerous on console, but do nothing important on X.
lredir set/display redirection of a Linux directory to a DOS drive
unix take over Linux ENV variables, execute DOS command from a given ENV variables, execute Linux command ...
dosdbg set/display debug(Log) features/flags
xmode set/display special DOSEMU relevant (Xfree) display modes
system execute a Linux command out of DOS
uchdir change the current Linux (not DOS) directory
* quoted from help (not HELP, all commands in small letters)

XTM PC Emulator

XTM PC Emulator is "a software emulation of a classic PC/XT computer [PC DOS 3.0] for EPOC32." Within this standard application for your portable computer, you can run any software which would run on a low-end PC clones from the 1980's.

Graphic User Interfaces for MS-DOS Other Than Windows 3.1x:

Since nowadays most of us are used to some GUI or another, a good idea is installing OpenGEM (an modern and open source version of GEM; download link) which is based on FreeGEM, which is based on Graphical Environment Manager (GEM), on MS-DOS or any compatible clone like FreeDOS. If you decide to do this on DOSBox, keep in mind that the installation path should be on C:. You would need to mount the path where you want OpenGEM to be installed.

                    MOUNT C X:\OpenGEM
                  

Once installed, GEM.BAT can be ran from the C: virtual disk. As mentioned before, you can edit DOSBOX.CONF to mount the location of the GEM.BAT as C: (unsure if it could run properly if mounted using a different letter). You can even call GEM.BAT to make OpenGEM run automatically, but I guess that would take the fun out of running DOSBox.

OpenGEM 6 on
                DOSBox 0.74 (PortableApps)

There is a SourceForge project named BlueGEM that combines FreeDOS with FreeGEM in one package for DOS gamer. Note that FreeDOS lists OpenGEM as its GUI, in some way already doing what the BlueGEM wants to accomplish. In any case, I think it is a great idea to revive many old i386 and i486 PCs. If interested in using OpenGEM, the project offers a variety of applications as part of their SourceForge project. Note that installations must be done from a floppy so mount the path of the directory containing the installation files to A:.

                    MOUNT A X:\[path]
                  

Then run the INSTALL.APP, which calls INSTALL.TXT to copy the installation files accordingly.

Note that applications in GEM (FreeGEM & OpenGEM) are APP files — not DOS or Windows EXE files.

Using the example above, on Linux, I installed DOSBox running OpenGEM, various applications from the OpenGEM SDK (download link) and ZSNES for DOS. I do not think there is anything practical doing this, but it is sure fun to see old technology originally (coded) several decades ago running on up-to-date technology. It is merely an excuse to show off. After all, ZSNES is also available on Linux.

Note that, on Windows, you can run the PortableApps.com port of DOSBox making it ready from a USB flash drive with any added software and/or your personalized configuration.











 
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On a side note, I never stop thinking and processing information all around me. As such, one of the subjects that attracts me most (aside from technology and music) is human behavior, not limited to psychology and ethos of the individual and masses. Hence I usually read, study and write essays of my own. From all possible authors in this field, some of my favorites are (in order of interest) Nietzsche, Levinas and Kant. As such, I have published two science fiction books, in which I include my opinion on religion, sociology, psychology, politics, manipulation of the masses, media, science and various technologies.

Under the Thelian Sky, ISBN
             9781494232283, ASIN B00GTQBY04

In Under the Thelian Sky, mankind did not originate on Earth, but rather on Mars. When Mars could no longer sustain life, mankind had to escape and colonized Earth. Many years later, a study was written about the survival of mankind in Mars and its struggle in Earth led by Doctor Ajidan Edejem. We proved to be a species that has survived wars, slavery and other forms of abuse. All the while, the government controlled by "them" wants to keep everything quiet and even kill him for telling others about the unavoidable doom. Years before the extinction of life in Mars, the Thelian society was perfect, yet corrupted. Life was easy, yet difficult if you were different. For every good person, like Ahila Keinj who found peace in The Faith, there were many willing to destroy it all for gain while "they" controlled the fate of many. At the end, an outsider simply known as Operative Logger 9C56 tries to fight "them" and stop "their" manipulation of history and mankind.

You can get Under the Thelian Sky exclusively at Amazon — available on print (ISBN 9781494232283) and e-book (ASIN B00GTQBY04).

In The Daydreamer, Robert James is a normal New Yorker who wakes up one morning unsure what had happened in his life. He is accused of killing the woman he has always loved, but he remembers three possible realities. Which reality could be true? Has he dreamed these realities, seen this events or taken part of these strange acts? Is he a killer or is he being framed? Perhaps he knows the killer better than anyone else without realizing it.

 


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