red_icculus (red_icculus) wrote in dos_users_club,

The similarities between DOS and Linux

If you are fond of the command line, which I am sure most any reader of this community is, you should try linux. It is command line driven just the same. If you don't believe me, check out a sampling of the commands. (The first is DOS, the second is Linux)

cd, cd
mkdir, mkdir
cd\, cd ~
dir, ls
copy, cp
move, mv
del, rm
find, find

I started using Linux before the 1.0 kernel (Slackware, baby!) when the GUI was a new phenomenon. There is a lot of crossover, even these days. If you like DOS, you may just love Linux.
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Ooh, yeah! I think I started with 0.91. Fourteen floppies (I wanted TeX and LaTeX). Another ten if you wanted X-Windows. Took forever to download on my 2400 baud modem. Compiling the kernel took like four hours...

And -- not like dissing DOS is wise here -- *nix actually has a better command line. You can do amazing things just by piping the input from one command to another.

I have occasionally been tempted to *shudder* go Mac, since OSX is very unix-based. If I could be assured that a good enough DOS emulator exists, and that it runs at least my ten fave games, I'd go that way. But that's what has kept me on Wintel boxes: I know DOS will function. I do not know for Linux or for Macs...

rmdir is the same, too. VMS is also surprisingly DOS-like. Well, maybe not "surprisingly", most systems are built based on knowledge of other systems...
I really like the apt-get feature of modern distros that configures and installs everything for you. Even my grandma can shop around for programs she wants to install.

The piping in Linux is amazing, but it can get confusing really quick trying to organize your command statements.

I don't like macs, because I don't feel the need to pay exorbinant amounts for molded plastic. (That was a joke, you crazy Mac zealots!)
Yeah. It's scary how easy Linux is these days. Good, sure, but I left the scene for about a decade and was astonished at how streamlined (and, alas, Windows-y) it had become.

What amazes me more is that "DOS" (in the form of the "command shell" under Win2k) had been... upgraded! There are amazing new switches and commands, and a "for" loop that can do cool things.

But best is a "mkdir" switch that will create all the intervening subdirectories if they do not exist. I had to code my own, back in the day, but now it's just there for you. Sure, it's not DOS per se, but they're not completely abandoning the command-line.
One can accomplish amazing feats with Batch, even to this day! I was automating install processes on Windows 2000 and Windows XP with Batch for a while before I moved over to VBS and the Windows Scripting Host.
Correction: I didn't move completely to the Windows Scripting Host. I created a "hybrid" solution for automation; that is, one that made use of both Batch and WSH. It works beautifully.
Those crazy kids these days can't even write their own batch files. The one I am really proud of is for CuteMouse being able to load and unload itself depending on what I was doing. Lovely stuff.
Don't forget redirects! One of the many features of a good *NIX shell that I end up missing on Windows machines--although, with environments like MSYS and Cygwin, this problem is largely solved.

And, in case you didn't know, one can pipe command output to command input in the Windows 2000+ command line (I've never tested this in earlier versions or in pure DOS). I've also noticed that tab-completion works in Win2K and above. Again, I haven't tested in any earlier versions or in pure DOS.
Tab-completion works in NT and 2k+ systems, but often requires a registry hack to "enable" it -- it's not on by default. TweakUI will do it, or:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
I'm pretty sure I have tab completion on Win95. It was a registry hack, unavailable through TweakUI. I'll have to take a look.

That's cool about pipes. I wonder how many batch files that broke...
One thing that might make a convert is the fact that *NIX is capable of true multitasking and process management. The small learning curve migrating from DOS to *NIX (read: *BSD*, GNU[/Linux], Solaris, etc.) is nothing compared to this awesome power.
Oops, I am guilty of calling GNU by the all encompassing name of Linux. Linus is just so charismatic, I can't help myself.

I use Debian and Kubuntu in my daily desktop affairs. Multitasking is nice, but if I loved it too much, I wouldn't have started this place.
Dunno. I was using faux-multitasking back in the 512K days (to play Rogue while other programs were computing). DoubleDos? I forget the product. It basically partitioned memory into two VMs and timesliced between the two. Not "pure" multitasking, but it did its job.
Memory hooks? TSR?
Yep, it was a TSR. But a powerful one.

I believe Alt-F10 shifted focus between "processes". Could be wrong. You could tell it how much memory space each process would be given.

It was quite the thing, if you were running background processes that took a lot of time. DoubleDOS could run up to four things (although with a very limited amount of memory per process)
I am a bit foggy, but from what I remember, it was just a task switcher, of course I may not have used it to the full potential.
I think there was a way to have some percentage of the CPU go to the other task.

Okay. Googling wasn't easy, but I found one reference (google cached, probably volatile):

Back in the "old days" of 640K 8088-8086-80286 machines that couldn't use "operating environment" software like Windows or DesqView to enable extended RAM to be used for program execution, memory constraints didn't bother _most_ people, but memory usage has been a problem for sysops since the days of "DoubleDos," which was a TSR that did some very crude multitasking. However much memory you had to devote to the BBS was that much less memory that you could use for yourself. This BBS began on a 10-Mhz. 80286 with 1 Mb. of memory, of which 384K went compltely unused. I ran DoubleDos from the beginning of the BBS to the time I upgraded to an 80386-SX-16 motherboard about two years ago, whereupon I began using DesqView. With the DoubleDos program, I couldn't run the BBS with "door" programs and still have enough RAM left to do anything practical myself. So I did without "doors" and had just enough memory to run the BBS and still let me load WordPerfect ver. 4.1 at the same time.

I was always a fan of DOSShell, because apart from being a high resolution file manager, because it allowed you to run many programs at the same time.

SEAL has resolutions up to 1024x768 and runs things simultaneously as well. I will definitely check out DOSShell as well.

Multitasking is DOS voodoo!