PC-DOS 0.90 Found in the Wild

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
51,889
The OS2 Museum has gotten hold of the oldest known PC operating system known to exist. And if you are looking to brush up on those old DOS keystrokes, you can hit up the emulator here. So I guess now you guys need to start digging through those old disks and see if you can uncover something older? I gave a quick look and found these at the bottom of my junk drawer.

Astute readers will notice that that's exactly the same message as PC DOS 1.0 (August 1981) shows, but this COMMAND.COM did not prompt for the date. That's because this disk is not from August but rather early June 1981-newest file is timestamped June 6, 1981-which may make it the oldest known surviving piece of software written for the IBM PC (not counting the IBM PC ROMs which are dated April 1981). It's certainly the oldest known surviving PC operating system. It comes with a short text file which provides further insight into the development history of PC DOS.
 

YARDofSTUF

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
1,469
Oldest disks I have somewhere are a Mosaic web browser disk or a Microsoft Works disk from back in the monochrome not lap friendly laptops. Nothing older than like 1989 or 1990. I had a lot of old work software my mother used, and a few old Tandy titles from my uncle, feel like I should have saved them, but they were tossed a year ago or so.
 

MaZa

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
3,224
First thing I did with the emulator? Format a:
And to my surprise it worked although to my dissapointment it was promptly reversed by refresh. :p

Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?
 

Uvaman2

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
3,143
First thing I did with the emulator? Format a:
And to my surprise it worked although to my dissapointment it was promptly reversed by refresh. :p

Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?
If you asked for a date its probably a Nigerian scammer from back in the days.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,399
Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?

Try looking for edlin. It's the only editor that early DOS versions shipped with, and it's a line-at-a-time editor, similar to most BASIC interpreters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edlin

It's there, but I dare you to actually use it :D

The commands are single charterers, so be careful what you do. Also, if you do a replace be sure to put a cpntrol-z in between the item you want to search for, and the item you want to replace.

Also, it looks like the command list doesn't work yet in this earlier version (you should b e able to press "?" at the * prompt and get a lit of commands). So the internet is your friend!

but type i to insert a line (or more than one), and hit control c when you're done. You can jump to a line by the number fo the line to start at right after the i:

REPLACE LINE 12, and any other lines following: i12
 
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MaZa

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
3,224
Try looking for edlin. It's the only editor that early DOS versions shipped with, and it's a line-at-a-time editor, similar to most BASIC interpreters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edlin

It's there, but I dare you to actually use it :D

The commands are single charterers, so be careful what you do. Also, if you do a replace be sure to put a cpntrol-z in between the item you want to search for, and the item you want to replace.

Also, it looks like the command list doesn't work yet in this earlier version (you should b e able to press "?" at the * prompt and get a lit of commands). So the internet is your friend!

Wow, that is seriously clumsy to use but thank god for google. I got it to use what autoexec.bak contained (but only after renaming it to bat, it could not read bak)

So it just had

Date
Movbas

Now I am off to find out what the Movbas is. *edit* Ooookay, it has something to do with BASIC. I am satisfied. :)
 
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
627
First thing I did with the emulator? Format a:
And to my surprise it worked although to my dissapointment it was promptly reversed by refresh. :p

Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?

edlin
 

Chebsy

Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
523
oh the hours spent learning and typing DOS commands back in the day !!! Editing autoexec.bat and config.sys to make sound cards and other hardware work. Seems like a lifetime ago ....
 

fuzzylogik

Gawd
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
653
I think I still have Doom on floppy for Dos... or was it wolfenstine? kinda cool regardless.
 

gulguran

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
264
First thing I did with the emulator? Format a:
And to my surprise it worked although to my dissapointment it was promptly reversed by refresh. :p

Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?

Don't remember if ed (edlin) existed that early. That was the original editor though.
 

gulguran

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
264
First thing I did with the emulator? Format a:
And to my surprise it worked although to my dissapointment it was promptly reversed by refresh. :p

Second I did was rename autoexec.bak to autoexec.bat and executed it to see what it contains (didnt find edit program. Neither edit or just e command did not work), and it certainly did something. After asking for a date it started a program which I am not familiar with from my DOS days. Anyone have any idea what it is?

Yep edlin is there.
 
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