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Computer for DOS


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#1 geh

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 03:58 PM

To all,
I have quite a few older computers that have various sizes of HD and memories with them and I am wanting to build a DOS only computer to run older software and games. I don't want to emulate anything on another computer I just want to, ah, as they say, do the experience! I'm not crazy yet but I started working computers at Win 3.0 and only just barely messed with DOS and I want to give it a go. I don't have the specs on the boxes I have, but most of them are at least 10yrs old and had WIN 95/98 or even one with Win ME. I've looked on the web and can't seem to get a real handle on what it would take to build "The ultimate DOS computer" ha!!! I have even collected various versions of MS DOS, still in the wrappers. So any directions would be appreciated and not to the shrink, I just like older tech! Thanks again!!
Greg :thumbsup:

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:46 AM

DOS isn't much fazed what kind of computer it wakes up & finds itself on. I've run various flavours of MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR-DOS, FreeDOS, OpenDOS etc on systems from 9.45 MHz 8088 up to 2.8GHz P4.

You'll need to allow for some limitations, depending on version - the older the version the more significant those become.

MS-DOS 7.10 and equivalents give the greatest capabilities, including access to more than 64GB of memory and FAT32/Long Filename capability.

Older versions most significant limit is the restriction to the FAT16 file system, so partitions are limited to 2GB maximum size, and filenames are 8.3 format. As far as MS-DOS goes, 6.2x was the best developed pre-7 OS, DOS5 was less refined but was the breakthrough in escaping the 640K barrier to make the most of 386+ CPUs.

MS-DOS 3.3 was the best developed pre-5 version, and makes the most of sub-386 systems.

Vernon Frazee's listing of the MS-DOS Commands is useful:

http://www.vfrazee.com/ms-dos/6.22/help/

and for a general listing/comparison of DOS versions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...erating_systems
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#3 geh

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 07:05 AM

Platypus,

Thanks so much for your time!! What info you gave me, gives me a good starting point. I now have a direction to go toward and can really go thru what I have and get the best for it. Thank you again!!
Greg :thumbsup:

#4 petewills

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:35 PM

That is a great thread.

I still have my first Dell 486 SX 20 (upg to 486DX 66mhz) (1993, I think).
Dos 6.22, Win 3.1, Works for Windows 2
8 MB Memory, 120 MB HDD
1 MB Video, 14" Screen
Installed Soundblaster Pro with dual speed CD Rom.
Still working after all this time.

Loved DOS, sorting out the memory configs on bootup, etc.
Used to run Dogfight and Gunship 2000 - where are they now.

My current Dell Dimension 4600 XP Home, is a bit quicker.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

#5 Memphis T-shirt

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:22 PM

I know this is an old thread, but had to put in my 2 pennies' worth. Someone might just need this.

DOS is still around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS

My favorite "back in the day" was Digital Research DRDOS 6. It would run rings around MSDOS when used under Win 3.0, 3.11 and WFW 3.11.

Novell, then Caldera took over DRDOS, then cut it loose. It pretty much became "abandonware".

Good news... someone decided to take it on as an open-source project!
"The DR-DOS/OpenDOS Enhancement Project"
http://drdosprojects.de/index.cgi/about.htm

Back to MDOS...

There's a lot of old 6.22 commands that can be added to Win 98 if the drive is kept as FAT16, as well as a lot of old DOS Freak's favorite addons like LIST.
Use your GoogleFu.

#6 Synetech

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 03:18 PM

My suggestion is to build a system with at most a P3/K6 running at most at ~500MHz. Put in at most 1GB of SDRAM and an 8-16MG 4x AGP video card. Throw in a real SB16/SBAWE64/GUS and pretty much any CD-ROM drive. Top it off with a hard drive of about 20-50GB. (Case and PSU are generally irrelevant other than physical size and power compatibility.)

Finally, install one of the following configurations: (1)DOS 6.22 or 7.1, (2)Windows 98SE (pure DOS mode is included), or if you must, (3)Windows 2000 & DOS 7.1. That way, you can run pretty much any DOS game as well as any old Windows game on a dedicated, non-virtualized hardware, old-game system. :thumbsup:

Try using Kijiji / eBayClassifieds to find parts you may need locally.
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#7 44guy

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

Love to see someone carrying on with DOS. There are great replies listed here which only proves how alive DOS really is.

But why put any windows system on the computer...you said you wanted a totally DOS environment, so forget windows 98 or any other windows program. If we had stayed with DOS, we might have saved a lot of problems and a lot of windows b.s.

I still have DOS 6.2 and love it. I don't do games...just wordprocessing and, for this, once you wipe your disk clean and just install your DOS operating system, I would suggest that you install either wordperfect WP51 or WP6, which are totally DOS based.

I have been using WP51 in my work computer for longer than I can remember. Once you learn the keyboard commands and use them constantly, they become second nature...you don't even think about then, your brain just works you fingers when you need a keyboard command, automatically. This program is really fast when you know the commands....much, much fast than any windows based word processing program, with its multiple windows to check all the time. Lets be honest, windows was designed,basically, for people who were a little light on RAM in their heads!

When I get my son in the office and ask him to use WP51, he gets very resistant and says: "Nobody uses DOS based wordprocessors anymore"......he is so ingrained to pointing and clicking that he doesn't appreciate how fast and interesting DOS can be. It's sad really...microsoft has suckled an entire generation on its crappy programs!

Good luck. For the great DOS experience you have to learn the basis DOS commands also which are not that difficult to one who wants to learn. I expect you already know this.

44 Guy

#8 Coalbunny

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:09 AM

I have to admit that DOS has always been my favorite. "Keep It Simple Stupid" just can't get any better.

Out of curiosity, is it possible to run a system and have internet, using primarily DOS?
I know for the Windows based programs I always thought that Win98 was the cream of the crop. Have any virus issues and most usually F-Prot would rip it apart because before starting Windows, it went DOS.




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