I just want to show you a great add-on for DOS, called DESKWORK. It’s an operating system build upon DOS, just like older Windows versions were build upon DOS. It has been written by Konstantin Koll for several years now, who founded a small company called Mystic Bytes to produce DESKWORK.Nice technical features DESKWORK uses its own filesystem which uses meta information. The filesystem itself doesn’t use any
directories or folders. Instead it shows always topic related data. That’s a very cool way to work with your computer.
DESKWORK uses an intuitive interface like no one before. You can handle it with a few keys on your
keyboard or with your mouse. Instead of a window based GUI, DESKWORK uses a list based GUI with written
commands. You won’t find many icons that no newbie would understand. All you get is just clear and
understandable information, listed in a tree structure. Please have a look at for some screenshots to get the idea.
Beyond its technical aspects, DESKWORK can play audio
and MP3 files/CDs, allows some basic support for
playing videos (improvements are already on the way),
play some small games, lets you write textes, renders
3D graphics in real-time and so on. You can access
files from DOS filesystems and FAT32 by attaching
files to DESKWORK. You can access another DESKWORK PC
and some other devices. The things DESKWORK can do,
are highly integrated and of high quality. What it
can’t do is networking for now. Konstantin Koll is
seeking for developers who can assist writing a TCP/IP
stack and – even more important – drivers for networking devices.
Well, DESKWORK is a DOS Based operating system. You
need MS-DOS or a compatible DOS like the new DR-DOS (which can
handle FAT32 and is recommended – see http://www.drdosprojects.de/ ). As
an alternative, it can be installed on any DOS based Windows like 95
or 98. Beyond that, it runs on any i386 compatible PC.
Yes, it can power up even an old 386sx machine.
It supports a few printers and can print in raw text
mode on an unknown printer. There are
drivers to access a digital camera and the Rio MP3 Player.
Also some goodies for SONY VAIO notebooks are
integrated, like using a Jogdial or Memorysticks.
Pricing & Availability
At the moment DESKWORK is only available in German
language, but there are even users who can’t understand
German using it. Deskwork can be tested fully
functional for free. If you want to use it
permanently, you should make a donation – the product
is donation ware. You can download the current version
Most of the product is self-explaining so you can give
it a quick look. Installation is simple. Download all
of the DESKWORK files. Create a new folder on a DOS
(FAT) partition and put all the files in that folder.
Start with your DOS (or quit to DOS from Win9x),
navigate to your DESKWORK folder and type “SETUP”.
After the installation you’ll find a folder named “DW”
on your Harddisk. Go to that Folder and type in “DW”
to start DESKWORK. It’s a good idea to look in the
supported hardware list before you install.
DESKWORK lacks of networking support and some more
advanced applications. On the other hand, DESKWORK
features a new way of accessing data, keeping the use
of the data in mind. The truely easy to use interface
makes it a unique piece of software. Everyone who is
interested in alternative computing should take a
You should check out here for
additional information (German only). There you will
find the current version of DESKWORK for free
download, too. You can use Babelfish for a simple
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Actually, 15 years ago might be more realistic.
I see no point in this today.
Does it have a TCP/IP stack? Will it connect to the internet? If not, then it isn’t of much value.
There’s always a point to anything that is done, otherwise it wouldnt be done. Plus, DOs still has its niche.
Now, for the thing itself.. I don’t know if I’ll use it, but it’s great that _someone_ is trying out “metadata only” filesystem without folders. We’ll at least get to find out if it’s a workable solution!
Does it have a TCP/IP stack? Will it connect to the internet? If not, then it isn’t of much value.
At some point, Linux and Windows didn’t have a TCP/IP stack either. That being said, I tend to agree with you. Other than futzing with with a really old computer, there doesn’t seem to be much use for this, IMHO. I don’t read German, so maybe there’s some fantastic usabilty gems hiding in there…
“Does it have a TCP/IP stack? Will it connect to the internet? If not, then it isn’t of much value.”
You didn’t read it all… he said it did not have such support yet… so you comment is a bit of oximorones…
“I see no point in this today.”
Well, for most that is so true… for the ones that use DOS like OS’s… well, it will be, at least to see what it is all about…
It is for those interested…
Might work out nicely for devices with limited displays, interfaces, and most of all limited power.
I was just about to say the same thing! It looks a lot like LCARS…they must be fans of Star Trek…
just love it!
Well said. I’m sick of these comments too, but I just ignore them rather than keep it alive by replying. Unfortunately, in the case of many trolls, they thrive on angry replies, and the only way to really get rid of them is for everyone to ignore – which is hard to accomplish in a free forum like the internet.
Mod-up parent… Mod that to an article on the main page, with all the swearing please . Then start kicking people for posting stupid things about projects.
I’m with you adam, you’re exactly right!
I like the pink sock comment, but I don’t understand what it means? Pinko?
i too think this is a cool project. who cares if 99.9% of the world never use it and 99% of the world never use it. its one mans project, nuthing more. side note: isnt that how linux started?
A Pink Sock is probably the most disgusting thing in human history. I’ll refrain from explaining. It’s putrid. A little google search will help you find it if you want. You’ve been warned though!
i meant 99% of the world hav never heard of it
Yeah, I like it the way it is. This shows why things sucks today, with all that pseudo-3D GPU and 3 HT UltraPower CPUs on the market running those crappy pseudo-modern OS. AMIGA-OS was a modernOS ten years ago using a couple of Mhz right in your face! go figure it out!
Anyway, I think theres still a niche for that kind of systems. Now, you must implement the tcp/ip stack.
Gutten Glück mein freunde 🙂
I love the Star Trek theme its got going!
I like it, that’s a nice project I’ll try it on my good old 486. I hope there will be an english version
Keep up the good work
this is what hobby OSes are about.
finally an OS that uses the same organization system as me.
I like the look of this project. I don’t speak German at all, but still, it will be fun to play around with.
I wonder if it will run under DosBox? The author said it works with MS-DOS and DRDOS, and I’ve never had an issue running anything under DosBox before. I wouldn’t need TCP/IP; I could download anything I needed using the host OS (Linux) to a DosBox-mounted directory.
With an English translation, I could even see using this to set up a kid-friendly computer, especially for a kid that enjoys watching Star Trek!
Also, I just checked out the German website, translated by Babelfish. There’s a very detailed page on connecting a Siemens S65 cellphone to the system. This is very interesting to me; my cellphone is a Siemens S56, which from what I can tell is a very similar phone. I use Infrared (and soon Bluetooth when I get my iBook), but all I can do right now is send MIDI ringtones and pictures to the phone, and go online with my PDA. It looks like the Deskworks software gives you full control over the phone. That’s something I’ve been wanting to play around with for a while!
And it’s great to see an alternative operating system thriving. DOS is still alive in the various free software variants, and it’s certainly plausibly that with a project like this it could become a viable platform for niche areas and enthusiasts.
lol does anyone else see the irony of DESKWORK’s philosophy (of no icons, eye candy, etc) vs the website’s aqua-like theme?
this is LCARS:
An Editor and a Media Player are available in this design and yes they both display the current stardate
Just for the people in the 1st world that doesn’t know this. There is people using 386 machines or still using Amiga, and most of them can’t afford an upgrade like you. Also, there’s another DOS, http://freedos.org which I guess could be used to run DESKWORK.
interesting gui. anything to get away from the blasted mouse! That is one of the worst inventions ever made and is single handedly responsible for a myriad of carpal tunnel cases.
This one is better imho
I always suspected the Enterprise ran DOS
Seriously, it looks pretty interesting. Since its built on DOS that means its a program, right? I wonder how hard it would be to port it to linux? Could be a very interesting project.
It looked like it was maybe connected to a Sony Cybershot in one of the screenshots. In DOS? Very cool. I’m putting together an AMD 486DX/100 in a couple of weeks for my old games. Might be worth a try.
well tossed on a little 200 mb FAT32 partition and it installed and ran through XP no issue, no need to restart or anything just click on instal, type W, select your drive and then hit enter a couple of times, although the german makes taking advantage of the meta data difficult without a good deal more trial and error, it played a CD fine though so it is working. nifty. just thought i’d post to say that it works under XP.
When I typed setup it filled the window with light-blue stripes. I don’t know if it is a setup error with dosbox, because this is he first time I have used the program.
Any ideas would be nice (my german is not even close to good enough for the forums); seems like a cool litle operating enviroment (I guess that would be the right term?)
I’ve seen better GUI’s for DOS, and no, Winblows is not one of them.
Infact there are some out there that look and act a lot like Win95, but are only a few k in size. Kinda reminds me of the Amiga days once again, it is a shame no one knows anything about conserving resources anymore.
just curious under what liecence it is released?
nice work BTW
i really dig the interface, minimalist lcars aproach, i think it’s really cool
man, it’d be cool to have a shell for nt based windows systems like this…
thanks for posting this! i had not heard of this project before reading the article, i love hearing about small niche market operating systems like this
It’s an operating system build upon DOS, just like older Windows versions were build upon DOS
Thus those versions were not operating systems, just as this DW is not one either.
Did this guy say he is trying to dominate the world with his project? NO. Did he say that its a competitor to windows/mac/linux? NO.
There are videos on the Deskwork homepage (‘Presse’ -> ‘TV’). In the third one Konstantin Koll sais that he sees himself as serious competitor of M$.
Genie und Wahnsinn …
Although I don’t understand german that well, I must say that the info on the site look impressive. I always thought that those hobby project laked good design backgound. This doesn’t apparently.
Just take a look at the cleartype page. Now if every subsystem of all OSS projects was documented in that manner the world would be a better place =)
What I don’t get however is why he picked dos as a platform. Surley all the great software availible for some of the more “alive” platformes would be usefull.
As Konstantin mentioned in his forum, Deskwork doesn’t run in DosBox or within FreeDOS due to some differences compared to MS-DOS. He explains why on his Page (German only). It has something to do with memory managing AFAIK (I’m not a DOS expert at all).
Coupled with the freedos propject, Deskwork looks like a very nice add-on.
If these guys can create the TCP and Network tools so that they can run outside of the Deskwork Framework, the flexibility alone would add alot of additional punch to DOS Environments.
Hello, you can only use Deskwork under MS-DOS 6.22.
And why not learning german to use Deskwork ?
Iam german and i must learn English to understand this, too.
But iam can not understand perfectllay all was i read, spoken, and meaning of THIS Languages !!!
Greetings from a Member of this World.
Hmm this reminds me a bit of Contiki
Btw, maybe the IP stack used in contiki might be interesting…
as for the drivers, there are already a huge set of drivers for DOS based apps (cynr or something… aka “packet drivers”). The DOS VNC viewer uses them for example.
I think seal 3 years back was quiet good but could not attract developers for further development.
Further qube released by same person who developed seal was good.looked queit professional.
Had multitasking support 24bpp colour support,mp3 ,simple html browser
lacked good development to develop further.
anyways dos now is dead.maybe porting these projects on linux would help
Ask the vendor of DESKWORK for an English version of it …!?
Here you can mail it: http://www.deskwork.de/KONTAKT.HTM
Member of the World
mabey they could use it in a startreck movie.