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PaulS1950

Want to build a DOS computer

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Where can I find a version of DOS that supports CD, DVD, internet brouser, and USB?

Can I get the tools to format the drive and set up a functional DOS operating system that doesn't have limits of the era in which it was widely used?

Paul, the 60 year old student

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Looking around, the best option I see is FreeDOS:

 

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

 

However, FreeDOS doesn't support USB, although apparently some motherboards provide "legacy" support that FreeDOS can use.

 

Why DOS in particular? You might consider using a minimal Linux system, as Linux will have more information available online and more actively-developed software.

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Does Linux have a dos kernal that supports software direct printer access?

I like the idea of Linux but I have never used it before. I have used DOS and although it was riddled with external attacks and internal problems I learned to use it well.

Can a 60 year old Dos nut learn to use Linux well?

Where would I get all the stuff needed to start out? (remember I will be using a pentium machine with an intel chipset)


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

I found Ubuntu and downloaded it as a first step into Linux.

I am wondering if this is a good choice...?

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yeah ubuntu is good.

 

linux does not have a 'dos kernel' linux is not DOS.

 

it does however have a number of DOS emulators such as DOSbox. you can run that from the command line and it'll function essentially as if you have DOS on your computer.

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My 82 year old grandfather had no problem learning Linux (it was Ubuntu as well. It's a very good starter), so you should be fine. It took him a few days to get used to it, but it's actually far easier to use than DOS is, and it's a bit more intuitive too. You managed to learn DOS, so there's no reason you wouldn't be able to use something else. I don't know why you think your age puts a limit on what you can do.

 

Any DOS software you knew will work through the DOSbox in Linux, so you won't really have to learn to use new software.

 

The thing is, DOS is very outdated technology, and there's not really any support for it with the newer technology, like USBs and decent internet browsers. You'll be much better off switching.

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Let me guess. Paul built a program (such as a QBASIC program) in a program (such as QBASIC) that uses DOS as its support?

All of a sudden, Paul has this sudden desire to play with DOS and programs running ontop of DOS.

 

Well, the best bet these days is using FREEDOS or something like it.

 

Otherwise, you'd want to buy a computer, the MSDOS disks, floppy drive, and spend a lot of time setting it up (which seemed like a normal amount of time about 20 years ago). People do their best to make a DOS-like OS, but sometimes things don't work out the best. So, first try what's free; and then if that doesn't work, pay the money to setup MSDOS on a computer.

 

I'm not sure if MSDOS is in the free domain yet.

 

Otherwise, if you're the kind of person who likes command-line interfaces and batch scripts, I suggest you upgrade to GNU/Linux.

Edited by Genecks

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Let me guess. Paul built a program (such as a QBASIC program) in a program (such as QBASIC) that uses DOS as its support?

All of a sudden, Paul has this sudden desire to play with DOS and programs running ontop of DOS.

 

Well, the best bet these days is using FREEDOS or something like it.

 

Otherwise, you'd want to buy a computer, the MSDOS disks, floppy drive, and spend a lot of time setting it up (which seemed like a normal amount of time about 20 years ago). People do their best to make a DOS-like OS, but sometimes things don't work out the best. So, first try what's free; and then if that doesn't work, pay the money to setup MSDOS on a computer.

 

I'm not sure if MSDOS is in the free domain yet.

 

Otherwise, if you're the kind of person who likes command-line interfaces and batch scripts, I suggest you upgrade to GNU/Linux.

 

Well, wrong guess! I wrote three programs using C and C++ over twenty years ago and with my last computer upgrade I lost all ability to use them. (windoze 7) I would like to run these programs until I get them re-written for windoze and then I may continue to use the DOS computer in my reloading room just to keep the nostalgia of the old software.

I am also contemplating the use of linux on another machine - it seems a good idea to have more than one OS and more than one computer. I have thought for a long time that a linux or unix OS would be a new challenge to learn. Maybe I can use C or C++ to build cross platform software and have my programs on all of them. At 60 years old I am still trying to challenge myself - and trying not to get into any trouble.

I did find a couple of GNU/Linux, Ubuntu and Trisquel but I don't know if they will work on an old pentium machine. I have downloaded Freedos and a few others along with some added utilities and useful bits that may allow the use of network, USB, and my DVD drives. I have one computer that ran milenium and another that is running with win98. They are pretty useless for anything other than putting a new OS on and learning how the OS's work with different uses. I hate to junk them and they are too old to "recycle" without being torn up and discarded so I want to see what I can do with them.

I do like command line OSs - they allow the user to make decisions that now are made by the OS. I don't know what I am in for with Linux - I looked at Ubuntu and it has a graphical user interface and doesn't seem to have a command line interface - a bit discouraging so far.....

Can anyone help with something that will operate on an older CPU (Pentium) and has a command line OS? (GNU/linux)

I believe I can select a version of DOS that will work.

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If you're a doing programming and it's not specific to Windows programming, I suggest you moved toward using GNU/Linux. It's better for programming. It really is.

 

Ubuntu has a command-line terminal. You weren't looking hard enough.

A pentium processor is quite old. Puppy Linux might work.

 

In general, many of the new Linux distros are made for more contemporary hardware or something maybe about 5 to 8 years old.

A problem with using old hardware is that you have to find a compatible kernel and compatible drivers.

That takes a decent amount of time.

 

And you may want to read about dual-booting. It allows you to have Windows and Linux on one harddrive.

As always, backup all important data before messing with hard-drive partitioning services.

 

If I was dealing with a Pentium processor, I would backup all the important data from it, wipe the drive, and put Puppy Linux on it. I'm thinking if you use a recent version of Puppy Linux, you'll have video and storage media access. Whether or not you will have sound is a different story. Finding a kernel with the drivers for a sound card is often one of the main problems when dealing with old hardware and Linux.

Edited by Genecks

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The problem with DOSBox is that windows still doesn't allow printing from a dos program that used direct commands to the printer and the printer doesn't have a DOS driver. What I am left with is a dedicated DOS machine if I want full use of my old software.

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Check out the HAL 9000 "megabuild" of DOSBox. Apparently it supports printing:

 

http://home.arcor.de/h-a-l-9000/

 

(click Megabuild 4+5)

 

After that, I'd look over on the DOSBox forums for help. There are quite a few discussions that I saw on their forums about it; try searching for "lpt" or "printing" and you might dig up the answers.

 

http://vogons.zetafleet.com/index.php?c=7

 

Hope that helps.

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Hi Paul.

I have original sets of MS DOS 6.0 and 6.2 diskettes. If you guide me precisely on how to attach them to emails, I could gladly send them to you.

If you only have one compfuser, a simple way is to find an extra hard drive where you will load DOS and swap connectors to hard drives when you want to play with it.

(Am running Linux Ubuntu now)

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Hi Paul.

I have original sets of MS DOS 6.0 and 6.2 diskettes. If you guide me precisely on how to attach them to emails, I could gladly send them to you.

If you only have one compfuser, a simple way is to find an extra hard drive where you will load DOS and swap connectors to hard drives when you want to play with it.

(Am running Linux Ubuntu now)

 

As much as I would like to have the disks I have to decline because they are licensed to you for personal use on a single computer. It would violate copyright law, as far as I know, and I cannot do that.

I do thank you for the thought but must decline.

Paul

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