Re: MSDOS limitations - WAS sed command

  • From: Cary Millsap <cary.millsap@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wbfergus@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 20:25:19 -0500

Bill, was it Jerry Pournelle at your round table?

Fond memories of those days: Turbo Pascal absolutely changed my life.

Cary Millsap
Method R Corporation

On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 6:17 PM, Bill Ferguson <wbfergus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Actually (I'm dating myself), MSDOS was basically a stolen re-write of
> CP/M. There was even a lawsuit brought against Microsoft by Digital
> Research, but for some reason Digital Research lost or ran out of
> money.
> MD/DOS 1.0 had the exact same commands (and the commands functioned
> the exact same way) as the commands in CP/M, just rewritten to run on
> the 8080 processor instead of the Z-80 (8 bit) processor. My cousin
> (who bought one of the very first IBM PC's with PC/DOS (IBM's licensed
> version of MS/DOS) and I sat down and compared the full command list
> and the results with the CP/M I was running on my old Osborne
> 'portable' computer (5 1/4 inch, 60 character screen that you could
> scroll). We even went so far as to reverse engineer the code for
> couple of the commands as at the time we were both dabbling in
> Assembler for both processors, and the only difference was CP/M was in
> Assembler for the Z-80 and MS/DOS was in Assembler for the 8080, the
> actual steps to get from point A to point B were the same after
> allowing for the difference in 8-bit vs 16-bit code.
> Regarding the spreadsheet wars, Lotus was the one who filed a lawsuit
> against Borland for Quatro using the 'slash command', which Lotus
> claimed was 'invented' by them. Well, VisiCalc for the CP/M world had
> the exact same command about 4 years before Lotus was even a company,
> though by the time of the lawsuit agaisnt Borland, VisiCalc was out of
> business.
> Personally, I wish Oracle would have bought out Ashton-Tate and
> integrated the dBASE language into Oracle instead of PL/SQL. It was by
> far a much more straightforward procedural language and in my opinion
> could have easily been ported across. But, dBASE was basically dead
> after Borland bought it, almost as they bought it to intentionally
> screw it up enough to kill it.
> I remember back in like '82 sitting in on a round-table conference
> where Phillipe Kahn (the owner of Borland) was asked a question about
> being able to make any money with Turbo Pascal, since it was selling
> for only $29.95. He laughed and said he was making a ton of money on
> Turbo Pascal and just wasn't as greedy as the other software
> companies. I think the conference was called the West Coast Computer
> Fair, and it was in the Moscone Center. I forget his name now, but the
> columnist from Byte Magazine was on the panel as well, and his big
> catch phrase, especially about software releases, was 'real soon now'.
> I think he was also the one who coined the term 'ghostware', since
> there were so many companies back then announcing all these new
> feature for their 'next release', but the next release was still a
> year or more away (since they were all writing in Assembler back
> then). But, once the software was finally released, it did fly even on
> those old processors. None of the code bloat and code ineffecencies so
> prevalent ever since the C compilers came out.
> --
> -- Bill Ferguson
> On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 10:03 AM, Bellows, Bambi (Comsys)
> <bbel5@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > As I understand it, the reason that MS-DOS has such a limited set of
> > commands was that it never needed anything more.  The story goes that it
> was
> > originally called QDOS, for “quick and dirty operating system”.  Bill
> Gates
> > put much more into marketing, sales and lawyers than he ever did into the
> > underlying operating system.  After he simultaneously fought both sides
> of
> > the “look and feel” issue (again, as I understand it, Lotus v Excel and
> > Windows v Mac) and won one and lost the other, he put all his resources
> into
> > the GUI side of the house and never looked back.  Those poor jerks
> writing
> > command-line batch files in MS-DOS have the slimmest most arcane set of
> > tools around.  But, they always have, and it’s been 30 years, so…………..
> >
> >
> >
> > HTH,
> >
> > Bambi.
> --

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