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Why DOS died...

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Reply 20 of 192, by WolverineDK

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brostenen wrote on 2021-04-17, 17:28:
WolverineDK wrote on 2021-04-17, 12:07:

I feel this thread is one big haiku, but is it ?

I have no idea.

But maybe it is indeed a haiku.

Much HaikuOS much? 😉

😉 I have never played around with either BeOS or the open source OS known as Haiku OS. But I just had a feeling of poetry, so I made a haiku out of my post. And I did abide by the rules of a haiku poem 😀

Last edited by WolverineDK on 2021-04-18, 08:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 21 of 192, by Malik

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DOS never died. It's just that DOS is using obligatory GUIs nowadays.

And all these GUIs - Windows/Linux/Mac all trying hard to keep the terminals and command prompt to go back to what is best done in DOS-style.

DOS never died.

5476332566_7480a12517_t.jpgSB Dos Drivers

Reply 23 of 192, by Hezus

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Bondi wrote on 2021-04-17, 15:40:
DOS isn't dead, yes. But this statement does not really give the idea how alive it is. I think we can use the Conservation stat […]
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DOS isn't dead, yes. But this statement does not really give the idea how alive it is.
I think we can use the Conservation status that is used for animals to unerstand where DOS actually is. It still can be found "in the wild" - rarely, but still used for some tasks, and kept and used by hobbyists. It can be also found in museums, which is more like being "in captivity".
So I'd give DOS the EN status. Which will change over time to CR 😀
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This is probably the best analogy somehow could give!

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Reply 24 of 192, by MrFlibble

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Captain Obvious time folks.

Thanks to browser implementations, many DOS games can be easily and reliably played right in the browser, even if a user can't be bothered to install DOSBox.

Some people still build and use retro PCs with real onboard MS-DOS or FreeDOS or whatever (I remember looking up other alternatives like Caldera OpenDOS and the like, but don't remember much, as I never actually tried them), it's certainly a niche thing not accessible to everyone but I guess it counts.

And yes, some specific mission-critical software runs in DOS so the businesses and institutions that rely on it have to keep DOS-compliant machines afloat, but here I hesitate to comment whether this is a good thing or not. Ideally software should be open source and portable to any modern platform without any detriment to performance.

Best platform for gaming? I have to admit that since a while ago, I'm very actively looking for DOS games specifically because I know these are effectively cross-platform thanks to DOSBox and almost certainly will run one way or another, whereas Windows 32-bit stuff from the late 90s and even early 2000s is often a hit-and-miss on modern Windows 64-bit platforms. But this is thanks to the tremendous effort of the DOSBox dev community, not an intrinsic feature of the DOS games themselves. In the mid-to-late 2000s many companies apparently gave up on their DOS legacy titles and even released some as freeware. Today, video game entrepreneurs actively buy out these old IPs to sell them via GOG or Steam bundled with DOSBox.

But there are limitations to what a DOS game can do, even on a high-end host system. I mean, everyone would appreciate a modern source port of CHASM for example. It's almost the same as with Amiga where the performance ceiling was reached at some point and "cool" games like Doom were not really possible, even though some years before that Amiga could boast certain advantages over DOS, e.g. a richer palette etc.

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Reply 25 of 192, by Bondi

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I recall using a DOS version of hotel management software (Fidelio) in a Park Hyatt hotel at least untill 2005. It was super fast, reliable and easy to use. At some point they switched to Windows version. And all my former colleagues were complainig about it. I would not be surprised if smaller hotel chains still use the DOS version.

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Reply 26 of 192, by imi

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MrFlibble wrote on 2021-04-18, 14:04:

And yes, some specific mission-critical software runs in DOS so the businesses and institutions that rely on it have to keep DOS-compliant machines afloat, but here I hesitate to comment whether this is a good thing or not. Ideally software should be open source and portable to any modern platform without any detriment to performance.

well I don't hesitate to say that this is a good thing, and I highly disagree that anything should be ported to modern platforms, a lot of things need reliability, not performance (though often those go hand in hand anyways, see the previous post), always porting to the newest platform does not provide that, especially not platforms that require constant updates and get broken by the same all the time, there's still plenty of hardware running on DOS and derivatives running on "old" platforms that are still manufactured for exactly that reason.

the software we use runs happily in DOSbox, there's no reason to run it on an old platform so of course, these cases exist as well, why do we use ancient DOS software? well because there simply is no alternative :p and why spend time and money making something new when the old "just works".

Reply 27 of 192, by MrFlibble

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imi wrote on 2021-04-20, 10:10:

well I don't hesitate to say that this is a good thing, and I highly disagree that anything should be ported to modern platforms, a lot of things need reliability, not performance (though often those go hand in hand anyways, see the previous post), always porting to the newest platform does not provide that, especially not platforms that require constant updates and get broken by the same all the time, there's still plenty of hardware running on DOS and derivatives running on "old" platforms that are still manufactured for exactly that reason.

I'm aware of a case where an academic library struggled to assemble proper hardware to keep their software running (I think it was DOS but not 100% sure here). I can hardly call it "reliable" if a business or other enterprise has to depend on worn-down hardware for which it is nigh impossible to find spare parts.

imi wrote on 2021-04-20, 10:10:

the software we use runs happily in DOSbox, there's no reason to run it on an old platform so of course, these cases exist as well, why do we use ancient DOS software? well because there simply is no alternative :p and why spend time and money making something new when the old "just works".

Good for you if your software works fine in DOSBox; but DOSBox devs always warn that it is generally not suited for running business software. Not longer than some weeks ago a person complained to me that their DOS-based teaching application failed to work correctly in DOSBox.

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Reply 28 of 192, by Jo22

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Personally, I changed my mind and have a not so popular point-of-view:

I think that every platform becomes outdated somewhen, so replacing it doesn't matter.
It's just a temporal solution that causes more trouble than it's worth. Instead, use emulation and keep the original.

I mean, I heard this over and over:
Big companies do suffer and risk their future, because they depend on old stuff and such.

I think that logic is flawed. If they'd upgrade in defined intervals, they might end up with a modern, but quick'n'dirty replacement each time.
So they wouldn't even get as far as they do with the old stuff.

I think it would be wiser if they'd thus stick with a system that's archaic, but well documented.

And instead of replacing the old system, just upgrade the emulator's host it runs on.

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Reply 29 of 192, by imi

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MrFlibble wrote on 2021-04-20, 10:20:

I'm aware of a case where an academic library struggled to assemble proper hardware to keep their software running (I think it was DOS but not 100% sure here). I can hardly call it "reliable" if a business or other enterprise has to depend on worn-down hardware for which it is nigh impossible to find spare parts.

Good for you if your software works fine in DOSBox; but DOSBox devs always warn that it is generally not suited for running business software. Not longer than some weeks ago a person complained to me that their DOS-based teaching application failed to work correctly in DOSBox.

what I meant was more focused on embedded devices that are still being produced and are still running DOS as of today.
if it's some old academic or business software that usually will also work on more modern hardware just fine, DOS runs just fine on still newly available systems as well :p
other cases are really more relying on specific hardware and special interfaces than DOS itself.

we even paid the devs for a custom DOSbox version 😀

Reply 30 of 192, by Caluser2000

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Yip Dos is currently still used in aircraft flight control systems.

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Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
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Reply 31 of 192, by GigAHerZ

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If MS-DOS 4.0 would have been a success, the movement towards Windows NT based operating systems would have happened a lot later. And we might be still living in similar era like we did during Win95/98 vs WinNT/2000 times.

But as of today, DOS has one major drawback - it does not support concurrent individual threads and does not manage the context switching and stuff all for you.
Even in embedded world, we have FreeRTOS, that does pre-emptive multitasking on 1$ microcontrollers.

But if the MS-DOS 4.0 would have been success...?

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Reply 32 of 192, by aleksej

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Lack of multitasking (ok, in-core by design, fullmetal strong and reliable kind of multitasking, not DesqView-like heresy) is really pain today, even if you had a deal with it when was a child and growd with it and still use it daily.

Reply 33 of 192, by gerry

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I'd have thought that because MSDOS was design specifically as a singly user CLI 16 bit OS based on the x86 exclusively it was destined to fade away as systems became 32 bit, networked multi user systems and then later 64 bit systems not even tied to just one cpu architecture, with networks spread out online

Reply 34 of 192, by chinny22

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-04-20, 12:49:

I mean, I heard this over and over:
Big companies do suffer and risk their future, because they depend on old stuff and such.

Whenever I see something like this I think, well they obviously don't work for a big company.
Something as simple as MS Office takes time to package and install on even as little as 10 PC's
Very good chance a company has some software that integrates into at least 1 office App, good chance that now requires an upgrade or reinstall.
Then you have the increased Helpdesk workload as users get used to the new interface.
That's a lot of time therefore money invested for very little benefit.

That's for something as mainstream as Office, Industry specific software is always worse as the testbed is no where as big as general software.

I've never been a fan up upgrading for upgrading sake Virtualisation is great in this regard.
Have the host worry about the hardware side of things which will change over time either due to failure or upgrades, allowing the software to happily content in it's little virtual machine.

Support is the biggest limiting factor.
XP/2003 is "best efforts" which means we charge if its fixed or not. I doubt many IT companies would touch Win9x or older and the ones that do will probably charge extra for it. So as a business you have to decide when a bit of software is no longer economical.

So yeh. All software including OS 's has a lifetime. We moved from 8bit to 16,32 and now 64 leaving the OS's for the respective behind.
Multitasking is probably DOS's biggest limitation for everyday use requiring a pretty hefty "shell" installed (Win3x)
Where single process or very low system requirements are needed *nix filled the hole and

Reply 35 of 192, by appiah4

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DOS was never a good OS to begin with. Coming from Amiga I was never happy with it even though I knew it inside out. The day I moved on to OS/2 Warp was a happy farewall to DOS for me.

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Reply 37 of 192, by RaVeN-05

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Here at Ukraine (as i work as SystemAdmin) i have from time to time see dos apps is still used on Companies , sevaral companies, wtf.

Its commercially dead, but it alive for retro gamers and retro developers , and just dos fans as we are.

i even see a really recently games for dos is released .

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/12/its-2020-an … a-new-dos-game/

http://www.doshaven.eu/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFYLlZQ2_ng

https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/

There is probably no super AAA project games for dos after 2000 , because no commercial interest in it, and all other developers can't create AAA alone withoud a good team

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Reply 38 of 192, by ragefury32

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GigAHerZ wrote on 2021-04-20, 14:26:
If MS-DOS 4.0 would have been a success, the movement towards Windows NT based operating systems would have happened a lot later […]
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If MS-DOS 4.0 would have been a success, the movement towards Windows NT based operating systems would have happened a lot later. And we might be still living in similar era like we did during Win95/98 vs WinNT/2000 times.

But as of today, DOS has one major drawback - it does not support concurrent individual threads and does not manage the context switching and stuff all for you.
Even in embedded world, we have FreeRTOS, that does pre-emptive multitasking on 1$ microcontrollers.

But if the MS-DOS 4.0 would have been success...?

I mean, ignoring the reality where IBM is forcing Microsoft into OS/2 as a shotgun marriage (no way in hell they can create a better DOS that will undercut OS/2 sales) and DR-DOS or VM/386 exists? Eeeh, MS-DOS 4 is still limited to real mode and won’t offer memory protection like the UNIX flavors of the time. It's not really a solution, it's more like temporary bandaids.

At the end of the day you still need 32 bit extenders (like DOS4GW) to deal with large code/data (which is what most mid-90s DOS apps/games end up doing anyways), you still need to do manual bookkeeping to make sure that the DOS extenders/TSRs/device drivers fighting for a slice of that first megabyte of RAM will play nice with each other and multiple apps has its own DOS config on startup, and networking only exist in a limited context. I mean, if you have a small straightforward task that are highly repetitive with small datasets (like a kitchen order tracker with bump bars), DOS might still be useful, but it is certainly very niche at this point.

Reply 39 of 192, by imi

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RaVeN-05 wrote on 2021-04-21, 14:35:

Its commercially dead, but it alive for retro gamers and retro developers , and just dos fans as we are.

but it isn't, the whole premise of this thread is wrong.

DOS might be dead as a consumer OS on PCs, but DOS is still in use on devices and appliances still being manufactured and sold today, so especially commercially it ain't dead.
though MS-DOS probably is, as those usually use some other specialized derivative of DOS.