Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Mar 2014 17:17 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Microsoft

The Computer History Museum announced today that it has, with permission from Microsoft Corporation, made available original source code for two historic programs: MS-DOS, the 1982 "Disk Operating System" for IBM-compatible personal computers, and Word for Windows, the 1990 Windows-based version of their word processor.

Great move by Microsoft - this ensures these programs remain available for eternity.

Order by: Score:
Half-Measures
by Jbso on Tue 25th Mar 2014 17:47 UTC
Jbso
Member since:
2013-01-05

It's nice that the code has been released, but the licensing sucks. No distributing derivative works.

http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/microsoft-research-license-agr...

Edited 2014-03-25 17:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Half-Measures
by andrewclunn on Tue 25th Mar 2014 17:52 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

A valid point, but it's not like open source DOS emulators hadn't already surpassed the original.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Half-Measures
by jockm on Tue 25th Mar 2014 18:53 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

I think you are missing the point. This isn't open source, this is archeology. The point is to learn from history and to preserve it before it goes away.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Half-Measures
by No it isnt on Tue 25th Mar 2014 18:57 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Not really. The source code is only important for historical and educational purposes.

Besides, the last thing you'd want to see is a reanimated Word 1.1.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Half-Measures
by ebasconp on Tue 25th Mar 2014 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Half-Measures"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Not really. The source code is only important for historical and educational purposes.


I actually would take the "historical purposes" part only. For educational purposes, I do not know if looking at very old code can learn you something that can be used currently.

The languages evolved (including C) a lot, the hardware a lot, new semantics, models and data structures can be used right now.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Half-Measures
by moondevil on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Half-Measures"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

MS-DOS was written in Assembly.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Half-Measures
by ebasconp on Wed 26th Mar 2014 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Half-Measures"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Although I do not know anything about assembly on new processors, I heavily suspect the assembly of new 64-bit processors with a lot of extensions (SSE, SSE2, MMX, etc. etc. etc.) is also too different than plain 8086 assembly.

Edited 2014-03-26 12:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

first with the clippy joke
by sPAZbEAT on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Half-Measures"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

n t

Reply Score: 1

RE: Half-Measures
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 25th Mar 2014 20:46 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

There is already a GPLed DOS.

FreeDOS (http://www.freedos.org/)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Half-Measures
by Alfman on Wed 26th Mar 2014 01:30 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Jbso,

It's nice that the code has been released, but the licensing sucks. No distributing derivative works.


MSDOS 1.1 from 1982? That makes 32 years, frankly if copyright laws were more reasonable it'd be in the public domain by now. It's long lost any commercial value to microsoft.

I'm curious does anyone have any use for this whatsoever?

Reply Score: 4

some atm somewhere might till run it ;-0
by sPAZbEAT on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Half-Measures"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

n/t

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Half-Measures
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Half-Measures"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm curious does anyone have any use for this whatsoever?


No. It's a nice curiosity but it has zero practical value today.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Half-Measures
by BlueofRainbow on Fri 28th Mar 2014 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Half-Measures"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

It may matter for those re-exploring their archaic software collection to be able to understand or even patch MSDOS 5.x, 6.x, or even 7.x to run those older programs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Half-Measures
by emerson999 on Wed 26th Mar 2014 06:46 UTC in reply to "Half-Measures"
emerson999 Member since:
2007-12-08

The most unfortunate part to that is inability to port. An actual linux port of word would be hilarious.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cosmotic
by cosmotic on Tue 25th Mar 2014 17:50 UTC
cosmotic
Member since:
2010-01-31

-Great move by Microsoft - this ensures these programs remain available for eternity.

I would prefer Word not be part of eternity.

Edited 2014-03-25 17:51 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by cosmotic
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 25th Mar 2014 21:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by cosmotic"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

-Great move by Microsoft - this ensures these programs remain available for eternity.

...to torment all of humanity all the way through to the end of time.

Looking at it that way, I'm not so sure it's a good thing after all!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by cosmotic
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by cosmotic"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Oh come now. Word was awesome back when it fit on a floppy and you could take it with you wherever you went.
Well, maybe not awesome but practical and neat at least.

Reply Score: 3

About Time...
by benali72 on Tue 25th Mar 2014 18:28 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Fantastic! I've been looking for a Windows 8 replacement.

Reply Score: 9

RE: About Time...
by Nico57 on Wed 26th Mar 2014 01:22 UTC in reply to "About Time..."
Nico57 Member since:
2006-12-18

I'm looking for a Windows XP replacement.
The clock is ticking... :-(

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: About Time...
by MOS6510 on Wed 26th Mar 2014 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: About Time..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

What's wrong with Windows 7?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: About Time...
by judgen on Thu 27th Mar 2014 04:21 UTC in reply to "RE: About Time..."
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

You got until 2015 until XP is no longer supported. So do not worry. By then you will perhaps made a move.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by judgen
by judgen on Tue 25th Mar 2014 18:56 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I wish we had something equivalent to Lotus 1-2-3 for us nix* terminal users. SC just does not cut it for me when the files get larger and more calculations is needed.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by judgen
by Drunkula on Wed 26th Mar 2014 13:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by judgen"
Drunkula Member since:
2009-09-03

Not the same thing but take a look at http://www.danbricklin.com/visicalc.htm

Reply Score: 2

Xenix would be nice
by pfgbsd on Tue 25th Mar 2014 19:29 UTC
pfgbsd
Member since:
2011-03-12

Given that the classic SVR4 was released by Caldera some time ago, and the CSRG BSD is available too, it would be really nice to see Xenix.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Xenix would be nice
by pfgbsd on Tue 25th Mar 2014 19:41 UTC in reply to "Xenix would be nice"
pfgbsd Member since:
2011-03-12

Given that the classic SVR4 was released by Caldera some time ago, ... .



Ugh, correcting myself ... not SVR4 but the ancient UNIX versions. I guess the OpenSolaris release is what is most similar to a SVR4 source release though.

Reply Score: 2

I wish this would be normal...
by malxau on Tue 25th Mar 2014 19:51 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

Since software has essentially zero value 20 years after release but copyright lasts for another hundred years, I wish companies would open up older software more often - it doesn't cost them anything. Id were really the pioneers here, but it's hard to think of many cases where opening up 20 year old software would hurt producers.

Reply Score: 7

RE: I wish this would be normal...
by zima on Mon 31st Mar 2014 21:37 UTC in reply to "I wish this would be normal..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I feel this should perhaps be the requirement of copyright protection: sourcecode placed in escrow to be released in the future.

Reply Score: 2

Good news for us OS junkies
by moxfyre on Tue 25th Mar 2014 19:51 UTC
moxfyre
Member since:
2007-10-18

Someday I hope we will get to see the source code for a more modern operating like, say, Linux!

Reply Score: 9

It's for nothing
by Milan Kerslager on Tue 25th Mar 2014 20:58 UTC
Milan Kerslager
Member since:
2009-11-20

Licence sucks, the code is for nothing. Nobody is permited to learn from it or use it as technical documentation. Anyway, you need at least DOS 3.3 to be compatible and run these DOS applications you know or you are still have in use. So this is the second reason why Microsoft piss us off (again).

Reply Score: 0

RE: It's for nothing
by jockm on Tue 25th Mar 2014 22:10 UTC in reply to "It's for nothing"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

I am sorry where does it ban you from learning? You can use the source but nothing prevents you from studying the source, seeing how it solves problems, and learning lessons from that.

Reply Score: 4

Nice source
by cavewoman on Tue 25th Mar 2014 21:02 UTC
cavewoman
Member since:
2009-10-27

Where is the source can only find .ASM files, no JavaScript ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice source
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:48 UTC in reply to "Nice source"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Can't tell if trolling or just the most clueless developer in the history of the universe.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice source
by Ultimatebadass on Wed 26th Mar 2014 10:04 UTC in reply to "Nice source"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

Right? I've pasted that shit into a .html file but my browser won't run it. Worst sauce evar.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice source
by BlueofRainbow on Fri 28th Mar 2014 01:54 UTC in reply to "Nice source"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

This might be the reason why the code was donated for archeological and historical purposes. It can't be read anymore by anyone inside Microsoft or in the community at large.

OK - I'm a bit exaggerating as there are still some hobbyist coding in X86 and/or X64 assembly (e.g. MenuetOS, MikeOS, BareMetalOS). However, for many, it is Java, JavaScript and/or other web related languages.

Reply Score: 4

Awesome...
by binary0x01 on Tue 25th Mar 2014 21:04 UTC
binary0x01
Member since:
2014-03-25

It is a great thing to do by Microsoft. I think that all early commercial compilers, assemblers and other types of tools should also have their sources donated to a museum. It is a classy and smart thing to do IMHO.

Reply Score: 5

Really it will not live.
by oiaohm on Wed 26th Mar 2014 01:05 UTC
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

"You may not distribute or publish the software or Derivative Works."

This clause means we cannot make fixes to the source or build binaries for testing to give to others.

Really nice would have been a GPL like clause must be distribute under same license.

Reply Score: 3

And now, the truth...
by hallux on Wed 26th Mar 2014 01:05 UTC
hallux
Member since:
2013-12-08

Ladies and gentlemen, by popular request, here's the real reason for this release: coincident with the end of life of Windows XP, the last vestiges of what in Misrosoft circles they referred to as "the Holy 2.0" version of DOS have finally been laid to rest.

RIP M$-DOS 2.0, now that XP is officially gone, (no longer supported,) it's okay to release code that still remained part of the OS for around THIRTY FREAKING YEARS, underscoring something I've been telling people for just north of two decades: underneath all the fancy splash-screening, and despite Misrosoft's best efforts to hide the fact, the "operating system" known as "Windows," from 1.0 to XP was STILL JUST PLAIN, OLD DOS!

They were actually sued for doing this very thing, when (whoever it was that owned the rights at the time) complained in federal court that by M$ DOS (I think 5.x to Windows 95's) deliberate generation of errors if Windows were run on top of a NON-M$ version of DOS, (like DR-DOS, a product that if memory serves, was superior in virtually every respect, no pun intended...) and later pretending to make DOS disappear. You see, it was still internally and functionally M$-DOS 7.0 underneath Windows 95, but that was hidden from the user.

Whoever it was settled out of court because, I guess, they had mortgages and car-payments to make, and the M$-Ill-Gotten-Gains-War-Chest was sufficient to drag the litigation out long enough to make them quit, and seek life elsewhere.

They hid it well, of course, but after enough effort was made to reverse engineer the "heavily XOR-encrypted code," it could be shown that Windows would check to see if the M$ Copyright message was there, in the DOS, and if it were absent, it would spit-out random, cryptic, scary-looking error messages. These weren't actual errors, mind you, they were basically "We notice you're not using a Misrosoft-branded DOS with Windows, so despite the fact it's a superior OS, we are going to try to frighten you into purchasing our inferior product" - errors.

Nowadays their approach has gotten more advanced. They build-in deliberate and intentional weaknesses, susceptibility to viruses that NO MODERN OS has ANY EXCUSE for being susceptible to, let alone one that is supposed to be the product of a company with decades of experience whose rat-hole has had untold billions of dollars poured into it by an unsuspecting and long-suffering public. They then periodically "discover" and "patch" them, probably introducing new vulnerabilities in the process. The idea there is of course that you'd have to be out of your mind to run an unpatched version of Windows anywhere, let alone on the Internet. Consequently, you need patches or "updates," which you can only get if you let Misrosoft inspect your computer remotely to make sure it's a "Genine" copy, that is... that you PAID THEM for it, through a process called "Activation".

The much-ballyhooed ease of breaking-in to Misrosoft-Windows based computers is not the result of simple incompetence, or the complexities involved in making an OS that can run on endless varieties of different hardware, since they long-ago strong-armed everyone into making hardware that their wretched software can run on. It's an ANTI-PIRACY measure.

In other words, they (Misrosoft) risk the SECURITY of your data, including things that may be personal and confidential to you, for the sake of THEIR BOTTOM LINE.

But hey, it's Misrosoft. What the hell did you expect?

Reply Score: 1

RE: And now, the truth...
by The123king on Wed 26th Mar 2014 02:23 UTC in reply to "And now, the truth..."
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

You sound worse than the 9/11 conspiracy theorists

if the bugs and loopholes that viruses can leach on to were inserted purposely, surely it would make sense to insert them after MS stops supporting that OS. Making your product purposely vulnerable would just end up with you losing sales...

Edited 2014-03-26 02:25 UTC

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: And now, the truth...
by hallux on Wed 26th Mar 2014 06:03 UTC in reply to "RE: And now, the truth..."
RE: And now, the truth...
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:50 UTC in reply to "And now, the truth..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Dude, please take your medication.

Reply Score: 3

RE: And now, the truth...
by daedalus on Wed 26th Mar 2014 08:57 UTC in reply to "And now, the truth..."
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Eh, no. Just no.

Reply Score: 2

RE: And now, the truth...
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 26th Mar 2014 09:53 UTC in reply to "And now, the truth..."
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Ladies and gentlemen, by popular request, here's the real reason for this release: coincident with the end of life of Windows XP, the last vestiges of what in Misrosoft circles they referred to as "the Holy 2.0" version of DOS have finally been laid to rest.

RIP M$-DOS 2.0, now that XP is officially gone, (no longer supported,) it's okay to release code that still remained part of the OS for around THIRTY FREAKING YEARS, underscoring something I've been telling people for just north of two decades: underneath all the fancy splash-screening, and despite Misrosoft's best efforts to hide the fact, the "operating system" known as "Windows," from 1.0 to XP was STILL JUST PLAIN, OLD DOS!

They were actually sued for doing this very thing, when (whoever it was that owned the rights at the time) complained in federal court that by M$ DOS (I think 5.x to Windows 95's) deliberate generation of errors if Windows were run on top of a NON-M$ version of DOS, (like DR-DOS, a product that if memory serves, was superior in virtually every respect, no pun intended...) and later pretending to make DOS disappear. You see, it was still internally and functionally M$-DOS 7.0 underneath Windows 95, but that was hidden from the user.

Whoever it was settled out of court because, I guess, they had mortgages and car-payments to make, and the M$-Ill-Gotten-Gains-War-Chest was sufficient to drag the litigation out long enough to make them quit, and seek life elsewhere.

They hid it well, of course, but after enough effort was made to reverse engineer the "heavily XOR-encrypted code," it could be shown that Windows would check to see if the M$ Copyright message was there, in the DOS, and if it were absent, it would spit-out random, cryptic, scary-looking error messages. These weren't actual errors, mind you, they were basically "We notice you're not using a Misrosoft-branded DOS with Windows, so despite the fact it's a superior OS, we are going to try to frighten you into purchasing our inferior product" - errors.

Nowadays their approach has gotten more advanced. They build-in deliberate and intentional weaknesses, susceptibility to viruses that NO MODERN OS has ANY EXCUSE for being susceptible to, let alone one that is supposed to be the product of a company with decades of experience whose rat-hole has had untold billions of dollars poured into it by an unsuspecting and long-suffering public. They then periodically "discover" and "patch" them, probably introducing new vulnerabilities in the process. The idea there is of course that you'd have to be out of your mind to run an unpatched version of Windows anywhere, let alone on the Internet. Consequently, you need patches or "updates," which you can only get if you let Misrosoft inspect your computer remotely to make sure it's a "Genine" copy, that is... that you PAID THEM for it, through a process called "Activation".

The much-ballyhooed ease of breaking-in to Misrosoft-Windows based computers is not the result of simple incompetence, or the complexities involved in making an OS that can run on endless varieties of different hardware, since they long-ago strong-armed everyone into making hardware that their wretched software can run on. It's an ANTI-PIRACY measure.

In other words, they (Misrosoft) risk the SECURITY of your data, including things that may be personal and confidential to you, for the sake of THEIR BOTTOM LINE.

But hey, it's Misrosoft. What the hell did you expect?


What???

Seriously, are you retarded? Everyone knows that only versions of Windows up to Win9X are based on DOS. Windows XP is based on NT which has a completely different history and codebase than DOS, Win3.1, & Win9X. Know what you're talking about before you start posting random ass garbage.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: And now, the truth...
by biffuz on Wed 26th Mar 2014 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE: And now, the truth..."
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Everyone knows that only versions of Windows up to Win9X are based on DOS. Windows XP is based on NT which has a completely different history and codebase than DOS, Win3.1, & Win9X.

I'm sorry to tell you that often what "everyone knows" is incorrect, to say the least. Windows was not "based" on DOS, it only used some parts of it, less and less with every release. You know, Windows was a multitasking*, memory-protected*, graphical OS, it's hard to believe it could only be a wrapping over something that had no concept of "task" and a bare list of "occupied memory" that you could just ignore, let alone the drivers architecture that made the GUI possible.
And let's not dive into 9x, which had a (mostly) 32 bit kernel. DOS had no kernel at all!

* quite primitive compared to today standards, but still much more than DOS could dream of.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: And now, the truth...
by Alfman on Wed 26th Mar 2014 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And now, the truth..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

biffuz,

I'm sorry to tell you that often what "everyone knows" is incorrect, to say the least. Windows was not "based" on DOS, it only used some parts of it, less and less with every release.


Well, it isn't entirely incorrect. Windows couldn't work without DOS. I do vaguely remember the incident where MS was adding bugs/incompatibilities for MSDOS competitors like DR-DOS.


You know, Windows was a multitasking*, memory-protected*, graphical OS, it's hard to believe it could only be a wrapping over something that had no concept of "task" and a bare list of "occupied memory" that you could just ignore, let alone the drivers architecture that made the GUI possible.


Actually even DOS had the concept of "tasks", just looking at the output of mem (mem /c if I recall correctly) would tell you this. The trouble was DOS did not use an MMU in low memory, so it was impossible for tasks (TSRs) to resize their low memory footprint on the fly. However those that used expanded memory via EMM386/QEMM could alloc/free memory in the background. TSRs could even multitask, for example I had a music player that could open/play .mod files while using other dos programs.

Far be it for me to suggest it that DOS was any good at multitasking, it was not. However initially windows was built on DOS and EMM386 and DOS interrupt calls, etc. It depended on DOS based file systems drivers, packet drivers, COM, etc.

And let's not dive into 9x, which had a (mostly) 32 bit kernel. DOS had no kernel at all!


No kernel at all?

* quite primitive compared to today standards, but still much more than DOS could dream of.


DOS was simple, but it was still an OS at a time when Windows was not an OS and needed DOS.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: And now, the truth...
by biffuz on Wed 26th Mar 2014 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And now, the truth..."
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Actually even DOS had the concept of "tasks", just looking at the output of mem (mem /c if I recall correctly) would tell you this. The trouble was DOS did not use an MMU in low memory, so it was impossible for tasks (TSRs) to resize their low memory footprint on the fly. However those that used expanded memory via EMM386/QEMM could alloc/free memory in the background. TSRs could even multitask, for example I had a music player that could open/play .mod files while using other dos programs.


They were not tasks, because they didn't have a running status or something like that. They were called "modules" for a reason.
Those "multitasking" TSRs came with their own code to do that (that is, they replaced the clock's interrupt handler). Heck, there was an example on my Turbo Pascal book, the second programming book I read when I was 12.


Far be it for me to suggest it that DOS was any good at multitasking, it was not. However initially windows was built on DOS and EMM386 and DOS interrupt calls, etc. It depended on DOS based file systems drivers, packet drivers, COM, etc.


I'm not sure about all of this... but I don't want to check everything. Anyway, its dependency declined over the years.

"And let's not dive into 9x, which had a (mostly) 32 bit kernel. DOS had no kernel at all!


No kernel at all?
"

Yep. DOS is more like a bunch of interrupt handlers with a library. Nothing we can define a kernel.

"* quite primitive compared to today standards, but still much more than DOS could dream of.


DOS was simple, but it was still an OS at a time when Windows was not an OS and needed DOS.
" [/q]

That's an interesting question, DOS is far from an OS in today's terms, but Windows couldn't run without it, so the real OS was DOS+Windows, isn't it?

Now it would be interesting if Microsoft releases the Windows 1.x source code ;)

Anyway, I downloaded that Word source... just let me set up a Windows 3.1 VM, install Visual C++ 1.something (I have it somewhere) and let's see if I can compile it!

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: And now, the truth...
by Alfman on Thu 27th Mar 2014 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: And now, the truth..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

biffuz,

They were not tasks, because they didn't have a running status or something like that. They were called "modules" for a reason.


Call it whatever you like, but DOS did have structures to support multiple processes, and DOS did keep track of open resources (at least those managed by DOS) on a per process bases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_Segment_Prefix
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_control_block
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_File_Table

In it's own elementary way DOS actually did have a running status, you could query the currently running process with ah=62h Get current PSP.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS_interrupt_call


Needless to say the flat memory model and lack of MMU support left DOS seriously crippled for generic multitasking. All memory had to be allocated to a process up front, a big problem exacerbated by the fact that only 640k of total real mode memory was available.

Those "multitasking" TSRs came with their own code to do that (that is, they replaced the clock's interrupt handler). Heck, there was an example on my Turbo Pascal book, the second programming book I read when I was 12.


Actually we weren't limited to the clock, one could chain any interrupts: keyboards, modem, network, BIOS, DOS, etc. The trumpet TCP stack let you write a full fledged TCP daemon on DOS running concurrently with other processes (which I've done myself). By programming your application in an event oriented way (admittedly unusual practice but never the less possible under DOS), you could absolutely have rudimentary task switching. A plethora of DOS utilities made use of this. Even windows itself was non-preemptive, meaning a windows process would continue running until it relinquished control, just like in DOS. A windows process can either exit or continue waiting for events, just like a DOS process can terminate stay resident and continue waiting for events.

I'm not denying MSDOS lacked the crucial multiprocessing API & UI formalizations that windows would include later. However as underdeveloped as it was, DOSv4+ did have a rudimentary task switching shell for *generic* DOS programs running on "real DOS", not using VM86 emulation (like windows used to run DOS programs). It suffered from all the usual caveats of running multiple processes in low memory without an MMU.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS_Shell


Yep. DOS is more like a bunch of interrupt handlers with a library. Nothing we can define a kernel.


It may have lacked memory protection, but the resident portion of DOS is still a kernel to me. This combined with all the DOS applications make it an OS. I guess it's a case of tomatoes versus tomatoes ;)


That's an interesting question, DOS is far from an OS in today's terms, but Windows couldn't run without it, so the real OS was DOS+Windows, isn't it?


I'd be ok with that ;)

Edited 2014-03-27 04:06 UTC

Reply Score: 4

No MS-DOS spell checker then :-)
by rklrkl on Wed 26th Mar 2014 16:02 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I downloaded the zip file and looked at the README.txt for MS-DOS 2.0 and found several spelling mistakes:

accomodate
asembled
distriibuted
distrubute
iinch
overide
shipable
skeltal
utiliity

Looks like no-one in MS had any spell checker software, including for DOS 2.0 itself :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: No MS-DOS spell checker then :-)
by dvhh on Thu 27th Mar 2014 01:51 UTC in reply to "No MS-DOS spell checker then :-)"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

I am guessing that at that time spellcheck software were expensive, or difficult to find

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

In those days, the task had to be done by a human spell checker and this likely was deemed non-essentially to the business of coding stuff and selling it.

Reply Score: 3

xfce_fanboy
Member since:
2013-04-09

I don't think anybody's mentioned this yet in response to the MS-DOS 1.1 source code release, but will this disclosure finally put to bed the rumor that DOS stole code from CP/M? AFAIK, the source to CP/M has been released (not sure which version(s) of CP/M are in the public domain, though.)

There is undoubtedly a superficial similarity between CP/M and DOS, since Tim Paterson wrote DOS to have compatibility with CP/M at the API-level. I suspect the similarity ends there, as Paterson designed an all-new file system and made other tweaks. It still hasn't stopped Jerry Pournelle from claiming that entering an undisclosed key sequence in DOS 1.0 would produce the CP/M copyright message.

But if you're of a conspiratorial mindset, you could always claim that DOS 1.1 removed the "CP/M copyright code" that was in DOS 1.0 ;)

Reply Score: 2

Copyright
by TomB on Fri 28th Mar 2014 19:44 UTC
TomB
Member since:
2013-04-06

In all fairness, as a very active OSS contributor myself, I do hope that copyright laws protect MY work at least as long as I am alive. Obviously I grant (open) licenses for my work for virtually anyone, but these (open source) licenses are worthless as soon as such work falls into public domain. But as long as I live, I surely want to have control over MY work, stuff that I have invested (lots of) time in. I at least want to control that. If I chose to release something as public domain, so be it (in fact, I already have).

Reply Score: 2