MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Software related questions

MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby jmetal88 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:34 pm

Anybody notice any differences between MS-DOS and PC-DOS (version 5) on the PCjr?

I started using MS-DOS this week after my PC-DOS 5 boot disk got corrupted, and for some reason MS-DOS seems significantly faster than PC-DOS was. I just thought that was interesting. Anyone know why that is?

Since I took it upon myself to start a thread, if anyone wants to talk about any other differences, go ahead. :D
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby Brutman » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:09 am

Faster in what way?

Except for the time it takes to read a directory, I don't notice DOS at all. If MS-DOS fixes that, then I'll switch.
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby jmetal88 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:12 am

MS-DOS does seem to calculate free space more quickly. There's still a delay, but it seems noticeably shorter.

I also noticed GEM seems to load a lot more quickly. I have no idea why.
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby jmetal88 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:47 pm

I just noticed something else interesting. On PC-DOS I could not set my Zip 250 drive speed above 1 without the computer crashing while reading data off the Zip disk. With MS-DOS, I don't seem to have any problems setting the drive speed to 10.

EDIT: Nevermind, I found a program that crashes, still. Seems like it takes a little more for it to happen, though.
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby Spankmd » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:52 pm

I thought PC and MS DOS were the same? IBM having chosen to just rebrand the MS offering instead of making any changes. Is that not the case? (my memory of things 90's isn't what it used to be, but I seem to remember that being the case, and IBM bing very price aggressive on their branded version)
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby Brutman » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:27 pm

IBM contracted Microsoft for DOS, but left Microsoft the ability to do OEM versions. The most significant thing to me has been that Microsoft versions assume there is no BASIC in ROM and they provide GWBASIC instead.

Wikipedia has the best history of the joint development effort - look for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC-DOS . At some point IBM and MS separated DOS development, and IBM continued through PCDOS 2000.


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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby deathshadow60 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:22 pm

I'm a little surprised to hear Jr. users use dos 3 given the lack of hard drives needing large partitions. Dos 2.11 is just as functional on a floppy only system for the majority of tasks and leaves you with anywhere from 11 to 20k more free.

Or is Dos 2 not entirely compatible with the Jr's... oddities?

I mean, is there anything in Dos 3 you can't live without on a floppy only system?
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby Brutman » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:22 pm

PC DOS 2.10 was standard for the PCjr when it was first sold. Even so, it was bugged - there are patches available on the web site for download to fix the bugs. I'm not sure if MS DOS 2.x runs well on a Jr or not - to me that would be alien.

PC DOS 3.3 is the last officially supported version that runs on the PCjr. DOS 3.3 doesn't really have any features that are terribly necessary for a single drive PCjr, but it does support 720KB, 1.2MB, and 1.44MB floppy drives, extended partitions, the network redirector interface, and a few other goodies. So if you are looking to standardize on a version of DOS to use across several vintage machines, DOS 3.3 is pretty good. On PCjrs with a second drive that is not 5.25", DRIVER.SYS is helpful.

I used to care about memory consumption back when I only had 128K. Now I rarely touch a system that has less than 512K. Being on a later version of DOS with a few more features is worth the extra memory.

My normal machine usually runs DOS 5. DOS 5 is the oldest version of DOS that supports all of the really fun stuff, like CD-ROMs, FAT-16, etc. A lot of later software also requires it. It needs to be patched to run on a Jr though. I forget the exact nature of the patch, but it has something to do with how the BIOS reports the available memory. DOS 5 requires 256KB and a Jr normally only reports 112KB at startup, so it gets patched such that it will look at the correct memory location to find the total amount of memory installed. (That way, it will continue to load.)
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby jmetal88 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:13 pm

Brutman wrote:On PCjrs with a second drive that is not 5.25", DRIVER.SYS is helpful.


I disagree. I found the DRIVPARM argument far more helpful than DRIVER.SYS.

Oh, also, I use DOS 3.3 at times because I randomly found a functional retail 5.25" floppy of it out in my garage.
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Re: MS-DOS vs PC-DOS

Postby Brutman » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:41 am

I don't think it's really an issue we can disagree on - DRIVPARM and DRIVER.SYS do two slightly different things.

DRIVPARM allows you to override what DOS thinks a device is, and to provide your own geometry settings. Unfortunately in PC DOS it's kind of hidden/borked, so you have to do the CTRL-A trick (or whatever it is) on the line in the config.sys file.

DRIVER.SYS can be used to add a logical device to a physical device, not just flip what kind of device the physical device is. And it's properly documented in PC DOS, unlike DRIVPARM.


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