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Macmaster2000
April 12th, 2016, 01:08 PM
I have looked all over the internet trying to find the system requirements for the different versions of MS-DOS. The only definite info I can find is about 6.22, far newer than anything I'm looking for.
Anyone have a chart or a site with the info for the different versions?

Agent Orange
April 12th, 2016, 01:28 PM
I have looked all over the internet trying to find the system requirements for the different versions of MS-DOS. The only definite info I can find is about 6.22, far newer than anything I'm looking for.
Anyone have a chart or a site with the info for the different versions?

Depends on your system. What motherboard, components, peripherals do you intend to use. In a nut shell, we need info about your PC.

SpidersWeb
April 12th, 2016, 01:37 PM
There isn't really a lot as far as requirements go. The original IBM PC 5150 can boot MS DOS 6.22 from a floppy - although features like EMM386 and HIMEM wont be usable.
But here is very very basic feature list, just taken from my head while I had a spare few minutes:

- DOS 1.x - meh
- DOS 2.x - yey directories and support for a 10Mb hard drive [great on floppy based machines]
- DOS 3.x - woo built in support for bigger hard drives, a few enhancements making it more suitable in networks, and depending on sub-version support for newer floppy types [great on most 8088 machines]
- DOS 4.x - someone is getting fancy - DOSSHELL (that's DOS Shell, not DOS HELL, although some might argue) option with task-switching, support for hard drive partitions bigger than 32MB
- DOS 5.0 - QBASIC and EDIT turn up - more modern / user friendly than GWBasic and EDLIN. HIMEM and DOS=HIGH was added - good on 286+ machines with extended memory. [great on 286's with XMS]
- DOS 6.x - EMM386 further helped with memory on 386+ systems, plus numerous additional features like disk compression, defragmentation tools, anti-virus, etc all part of the OS. [great on 386 and higher PCs]

Obviously that's not a complete list, but for practical purposes that's usually what goes in my head when picking what boot disk I should use.

Edit: As AO mentioned, if you're just trying to pick what version to use, telling us more info would be good :)

SomeGuy
April 12th, 2016, 01:48 PM
MS-DOS versions prior to 3.2 were OEM only, so you would have to consult the manual for the specific OEM's variant of DOS. In some cases their DOS would not work without the OEM's specific hardware.

If you consult the manuals for IBM PC-DOS instead, those stated requirements will be close to those of generic MS-DOS.

There is also the question of how you are using DOS. The minimum requirements just to boot DOS and load COMMAND.COM will be less than those of any application you wish to run. If I recall correctly, MS-DOS 1.0 would boot on as little as 32K of RAM, but you couldn't do much.

vwestlife
April 12th, 2016, 01:58 PM
The official requirements for IBM PC DOS 2000 (the last mainstream release of DOS) are 512K of RAM and 6 MB of hard drive space. Some of the included utilities require at least a 286 or 386 CPU, but the OS itself will run fine on an 8088 or 8086.

Macmaster2000
April 12th, 2016, 03:36 PM
Basically, I bought a Lo-Tech ISA to CF adapter, and I was just wondering what the newest version of DOS I could install to it. Its a Compaq Portable I.

Chuck(G)
April 12th, 2016, 03:41 PM
6.22 should work okay, as long as the BIOS in the Compaq supports BIOS extension ROMs.

OTOH, DOS 1.x would run perfectly well on a 64K system--and probably with less than that.

Macmaster2000
April 12th, 2016, 03:56 PM
OTOH, DOS 1.x would run perfectly well on a 64K system--and probably with less than that.

Thankfully it's got the RAM upgraded to 256K, but I couldn't get it to boot 6.22, guess I'll just keep trying different versions of dos until they don't boot.

SpidersWeb
April 12th, 2016, 04:19 PM
That configuration sounds like my 5150, I went with DOS 2.1 and found a few programs from that early 80's era to use with it.

per
April 12th, 2016, 05:10 PM
Another thing to note is that certain programs need a particular version of DOS to run. A lot runs on all, some require version 2.x or more recent, while some programs might need version 3.x or newer. There are also programs that might run fine under DOS 2.1 or 3.x, but will not work in version 4 and so on (allthough those are fairly rare).

trr94001
April 12th, 2016, 06:16 PM
I'd recommend DOS 3.3. Most versions of DOS 3.x only support 32mb hard drive partitions but Compaq DOS 3.31 supports 2gb partitions the same as DOS 4+. A 2gb partition will occasionally make the directory command slow on a 4.77mhz machine when it calculates available space though.

Chuck(G)
April 12th, 2016, 08:27 PM
Note that Compaq DOS 3.31 is very different from PC DOS 3.3--IBM didn't really put the increased storage enhancement in until PC DOS 4.0.

prime
April 13th, 2016, 12:18 AM
There is also the question of how you are using DOS. The minimum requirements just to boot DOS and load COMMAND.COM will be less than those of any application you wish to run. If I recall correctly, MS-DOS 1.0 would boot on as little as 32K of RAM, but you couldn't do much.

Actually I once did some tests with an XT, by reducing the available memory and doing an INT 19, and found that DOS 1.x would actually boot in 12K :) and you could run most of the external commands in 16K. This actually makes sense as the minimum configuration for the original 5150 motherboard was 1 bank of 16K. I guess IBM wanted to make sure it would at least boot in the minimum spec disk machine. I suppose the real minimum spec would have been 16K, MDA and cassette basic, but did they ever sell the PC without floppies?

Cheers.

Phill.

modem7
April 13th, 2016, 12:34 AM
..., but did they ever sell the PC without floppies?.
Yes. See the model 5150-001 at [here (http://mastodonpc.tripod.com/ibm/type.html)].

vwestlife
April 13th, 2016, 04:45 AM
Yes. See the model 5150-001 at [here (http://mastodonpc.tripod.com/ibm/type.html)].

As of yet I have never seen a photo of a floppy-less 5150. The model may have been possible to order from the factory, but if no one ever ordered one, then none exist... just like the "customer order only" base model Nissan Altima with no A/C and no radio.

SomeGuy
April 13th, 2016, 06:33 AM
Unlike a car though, disk-less versions would have been upgraded by the customer. It would have been possible and even likely that a few were sold to customers that obtained drives from another vendor or pulled from an existing machine to save a few bucks. Although the FDC would still have to be obtained from IBM. Or they may have gone back to IBM later to get the drives.

So while probably none were left in existence, it is harder to say none ever existed.

Tor
April 13th, 2016, 06:39 AM
There was a cassette interface, right? Unless my memory fails me. If so, then it's quite likely that some floppy-less systems were sold. The floppy drives were still expensive in 1981.

Scali
April 13th, 2016, 07:17 AM
There was a cassette interface, right?

Yes, and of course there is BASIC in ROM. Any 5150/5160 is capable of booting to BASIC from ROM when no drives are installed (although only the 5150 has the tape interface).
It feels a bit like early 80s home computers... boot to BASIC, then load software from tape. Although given the complete lack of availability of tape-based software for the PC, I doubt many people actually tried to use their computers in this way.
The basic configuration lacks the floppy and only has 16K of main memory. Even if you add a floppy drive, you will not be able to run DOS unless you also upgrade the memory.

SomeGuy
April 13th, 2016, 07:17 AM
Both the IBM PC 5150 and IBM PCjr had cassette interfaces and could be used with ROM BASIC. And some commercial programs were written in BASIC, so at introduction a cassette only system would not have been too unreasonable. Right at introduction, the IBM PC had little software so some may have even anticipated cassette titles might eventually materialize. But the only known software released by IBM on cassette are IBM Diagnostics, and a Typing Tutor (It is not known if any cassette copies of typing tutor have survived though).

per
April 13th, 2016, 08:00 AM
The IBM PC was originally just an experiment by IBM to see if they had any potential in the desktop-computer market at all. Early planning charts expected the PC to fall out of demand around 1984. It's very clear why it is designed to work both as a simple BASIC home-computer style machine in one configuration and as a fully fledged business machine with floppy-disks in another.

After release, they must have realized the breakthrough in the business market was imminent, and the more refined PC/XT came about shortly thereafter.

offensive_Jerk
April 13th, 2016, 08:42 AM
Unlike a car though, disk-less versions would have been upgraded by the customer. It would have been possible and even likely that a few were sold to customers that obtained drives from another vendor or pulled from an existing machine to save a few bucks. Although the FDC would still have to be obtained from IBM. Or they may have gone back to IBM later to get the drives.

So while probably none were left in existence, it is harder to say none ever existed.

What if the customer ordered a floppy-less system from a dealer and wanted to later install a floppy? Could the dealer provide cheaper non-IBM models, or did IBM force them to use IBM equipment?

krebizfan
April 13th, 2016, 09:18 AM
What if the customer ordered a floppy-less system from a dealer and wanted to later install a floppy? Could the dealer provide cheaper non-IBM models, or did IBM force them to use IBM equipment?

At least up through early 1982, the only floppy controllers were from IBM. Companies would offer first or second drives sourced from anywhere but resell the IBM controller and OS. Later on, dealers could add just about anything and even change from IBM's supplied hardware options. Mostly people chose an all IBM solution for easier support except when the AT and CMS hard drives hit their major issues and dealers chose any other hard drive they could find.

Chuck(G)
April 13th, 2016, 09:48 AM
One could order a floppy-less, display-less 16KB 5150. IIRC, the price of the basically useless unit was $1000. Everything but the keyboard was optional. Before you knew it, you were at the $3000+ mark to get a system that was really useful for anything. Want DOS? That's another $40. How about the technical reference? That was $99. An assembler? MASM 1.0 was $99. Single-sided floppy drive and controller? That was another, what, $400.

I bought my 5150 at Computerland in San Jose; at the same time Jade was selling the NEC APC complete for about $3000. I leave it to readers as to which was the better deal.

At about the same time, Bill Morrow was selling his Z80 system, complete with display and software for just over $1000.

offensive_Jerk
April 13th, 2016, 09:55 AM
I bought my 5150 at Computerland in San Jose
Which options did you get? Do you still own it?

Chuck(G)
April 13th, 2016, 10:29 AM
IIRC, the 64KB model, techref, floppy controller+drive and MDA, DOS 1.1 and MASM. I had monitors already.

No, it was too limiting for regular work after awhile. I even purchased a Purple Computing 256KB modification kit. I think I still have my original Quadram 384KB upgrade board somewhere in my hoard. When DOS 2.0 came out, I added a hard disk (8" SA1000) and adapter board of my own design (still have that). But the 5 slots was the real limitation--and Taiwanese 5160 clones were around and cheap, so it made no sense to keep the 5150. I did keep the rear badge, however--and it adorns an AT clone case today.

romanon
April 15th, 2016, 08:18 PM
I'm interested in tape recorder for IBM PC, there was some special "for IBM PC" or IBM not address this issue?

krebizfan
April 15th, 2016, 08:31 PM
I'm interested in tape recorder for IBM PC, there was some special "for IBM PC" or IBM not address this issue?

IBM never released an official tape recorder or cable. Physically, it is identical to the connections used for the TRS-80 which should have made sourcing compatible parts easy. What IBM used internally has not been publicized. Apparently, there was a good amount of IBM cassette development that never left Boca.

Scali
April 16th, 2016, 02:35 AM
By the way, we discussed the tape interface earlier, and this was some interesting information:
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?45728-What-happened-to-the-cassette-interface-from-the-IBM-5150&p=351627#post351627
A simple circuit for the parallel port, and some software to make it compatible with the 5150 BIOS API.
So you can use a tape drive on a 5160 or clone wtih a parallel port, and be compatible with the 5150.

vwestlife
April 16th, 2016, 08:10 AM
I've heard that the original Compaq Portable has pinouts on the motherboard for a cassette port, but it was never implemented.