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tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 10:46 AM
It's been a while since I've done an autoexec.bat or config.sys so I'm looking for some help. I have an IBM 5150 with the following:

640K
5.25" drive
3.5" drive
DOS 5.0

Disk Drive card
XT-IDE card
Six Pack Plus clone card
Hercules clone card
IBM Game Port adapter clone card


Currently my files look like this:

Config.sys
------------
DEVICE=C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE (DOS install put this in)
FILES = 10
DEVICE=C:\DOS\ANSI.SYS

Autoexec.bat
---------------
@ECHO OFF
PROMPT $P$G
PATH C:\DOS
SET TEMP=C:\DOS
C:\TIMER /S (for my RTC)
SETPB35 B (for my 3.5" drive)
DOSKEY (I love the history feature so I load this)


MEM says I have 586K free which seems kind of low considering I'm not loading much. Anything I'm missing or could improve?

Chuck(G)
July 22nd, 2016, 10:54 AM
DOS 5 is a bit late for a 5150 and so will take up more memory. Since you've ignored the bit about DRIVPARM (which works fine for DOS 5), why not go back to something that's more time-appropriate to the 5150 and uses less memory? Say, DOS 3.1 or 2.1?

DOS 5 is really targeted at 386 and later systems.

One of my favorite 5150/5160 TSRs was Simon--a do-everything editor+lots of utilities.

krebizfan
July 22nd, 2016, 11:07 AM
DOS 3 saves about 30kB compared to DOS 5, IIRC. DOS 5 needs a 286 to load high and free up needed room.

Do you need ANSI.SYS? Few programs used it and most good terminal software had equivalent functionality baked in should you desire contacting a BBS.

DOSKEY is relatively large as command history tools go. Consider changing the buffer size; without a hard drive, paths will be small and command lines tiny.

There may be other defaults that could be squeezed down like buffers and FCBS. Might be able to free up 1 or 2 K that the system overprovisioned.

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 11:13 AM
I'm using DOS 5 because I have a 1GB DOM in the XT-IDE and I don't want to break it up into 32MB chunks.

Yes I need ANSI.SYS for the text adventures I play.

I've never looked into the buffer size for DOSKEY, I'll have to see how you change it.

krebizfan
July 22nd, 2016, 11:29 AM
Check for replacements to ANSI.SYS. Some are .COM programs and thus can be loaded on an as needed basis, possibly called from a batch file which would unload ANSI when the game is finished. I think the MS-DOS ANSI.SYS is larger and slower than many of the alternates.

Stone
July 22nd, 2016, 11:58 AM
I'm using DOS 5 because I have a 1GB DOM in the XT-IDE...1 GB is surely overkill in a PC.

How much (realistically) do you actually need?

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 12:02 PM
1 GB is surely overkill in a PC.

How much (realistically) do you actually need?

For my games directory? About 150MB but a 1GB DOM is what I was able to find.

krebizfan
July 22nd, 2016, 12:18 PM
With a hard disk (including DOM), one benefits from having EMS for caching (including that 128kB FAT). With EMS, some other options would be available which could increase free memory. Most notable is the extra 64kB of video memory reallocated to base memory when running text mode programs. If 704k ain't enough, maybe a 5150 ain't what is needed.

DOS 3.31 would have made for the perfect OS for a 5150 used today since it combines the small footprint of DOS 3 with the large partition support to handle current DOMs.

Size of the drive doesn't matter much for memory usage. The FAT will be approximately the same size with a 32 MB drive as with a 2 GB drive.

Chuck(G)
July 22nd, 2016, 12:26 PM
Any particular advantage to a DOM on a 5150? The write frequency is going to be very low and the CPU speed likewise, so a small CF drive should give you all that you need. One reason that I like the XT-CF adapters is that the CF sticks out the rear bracket and so can easily be swapped for another.

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 12:50 PM
Like I said, it's what was at hand.

The reason drive size matters is that I'm using a batch file menu system for launching games and I wanted to keep them all in the same directory. Having them spread out across 5 or 6 partitions would have made things more complicated.

So far I haven't run into a program that complained about not enough memory free. In my experience games that required 620K+ free to run didn't happen until the 486 era.

Stone
July 22nd, 2016, 02:04 PM
The reason drive size matters is that I'm using a batch file menu system for launching games and I wanted to keep them all in the same directory. Having them spread out across 5 or 6 partitions would have made things more complicated.Did I read that wrong or did you say you can't fit your batch file menu system in 32 MB? :-)

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 02:50 PM
The batch files sure, but not the game files. I suppose I could spread them out across a few partitions (maybe make each partition a specific genre) but that seemed like a lot of work for no reason.

Chuck(G)
July 22nd, 2016, 03:02 PM
There's always JOIN (http://www.easydos.com/join.html) if the prospect of several partitions bothers you.

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 03:17 PM
I'm never used JOIN before. How does that work?

Stone
July 22nd, 2016, 03:32 PM
The batch files sure, but not the game files. I suppose I could spread them out across a few partitions (maybe make each partition a specific genre) but that seemed like a lot of work for no reason.Sounds like you didn't really think this through too well.

Every batch file you write to launch a game has a path to the target. What difference does it make if that path is to C:, D:, E:, F:, or G:? It's six of one and a half dozen of the other.

Chuck(G)
July 22nd, 2016, 03:50 PM
I'm never used JOIN before. How does that work?

Doesn't the link explain it? (Probably better than I can)

Suppose you have drives C:, D:, E: and F:. You want everything to appear as if it was on drive C: only. You could create subdirectories on C: and then join those to D: E: and F:. D:, E: and F: would then become accessible only as their aliases on C:.

Windows has a similar capability (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307889); cf. the MKLINK command.

Another useful DOS command is SUBST (http://www.easydos.com/subst.html), which sort of does the inverse--creates a virtual drive from an existing directory.

nc_mike
July 22nd, 2016, 04:10 PM
1 GB is surely overkill in a PC.

How much (realistically) do you actually need?

I just smiled because I use 1GB and 2GB CFs to drive my 5160 - and I am using over 800MB of that right now. Of course you've likely seen the very long list of applications I have installed for DOS and Win3.x. No overkill here :-)

Mike

krebizfan
July 22nd, 2016, 04:21 PM
JOIN will not work if any of the games try directly accessing the disk through INT 25h/26h.

Creating lots of smaller drives will make the internal structures of DOS slightly larger. Is that worth saving on slack space?

Stone
July 22nd, 2016, 04:22 PM
Yes, I've seen it and it's the proof of O V E R K I L L. :-)

tempest
July 22nd, 2016, 05:11 PM
Sounds like you didn't really think this through too well.

Every batch file you write to launch a game has a path to the target. What difference does it make if that path is to C:, D:, E:, F:, or G:? It's six of one and a half dozen of the other.

Just a pain organizationally that's all. Like I said though, I haven't run into anything that complained about too little memory yet.

RWallmow
July 23rd, 2016, 06:36 AM
I have some 286's with 20 and 40GB in them, I personally don't see 1GB DOM in a PC/XT as overkill ;-) Other than some tips that have already been posted here about freeing up a little bit here and there, I would not really worry much about it, sounds like you have plenty of free RAM to run nearly anything a PC/XT class machine can run.

I run DOS 3.3 on my Compaq Portable (640k/4.7Mhz 8088/270MB HD), but I run DOS 6.22 (and Windows 3.0) on my IBM PS/2 Model 25 (640k/8mhz V30/400MB HD), so I say run whatever you want to that meets your needs ;-)

Retrom
July 23rd, 2016, 07:30 AM
I have some 286's with 20 and 40GB in them, I personally don't see 1GB DOM in a PC/XT as overkill ;-) Other than some tips that have already been posted here about freeing up a little bit here and there, I would not really worry much about it, sounds like you have plenty of free RAM to run nearly anything a PC/XT class machine can run.

I run DOS 3.3 on my Compaq Portable (640k/4.7Mhz 8088/270MB HD), but I run DOS 6.22 (and Windows 3.0) on my IBM PS/2 Model 25 (640k/8mhz V30/400MB HD), so I say run whatever you want to that meets your needs ;-)

How the heck does one get a 40GB drive to work in a 286?! I have a Pentium 133 socket 7 system, that I'm using an 80GB drive in, but it only recognizes 8GB of that. Do you use a special controller or software or both?

Chuck(G)
July 23rd, 2016, 07:54 AM
Wow, 80GB on a 286 means, what, 40 partitions of 2GB under DOS? Shades of Corvus and Apple II!

Or are you using a (non-MS) FAT32 file system?

RWallmow
July 23rd, 2016, 10:46 AM
How the heck does one get a 40GB drive to work in a 286?! I have a Pentium 133 socket 7 system, that I'm using an 80GB drive in, but it only recognizes 8GB of that. Do you use a special controller or software or both?
I'm using Ontrack Disk Manager. It overcomes most BIOS limitations on hard drives.

Wow, 80GB on a 286 means, what, 40 partitions of 2GB under DOS? Shades of Corvus and Apple II!
Or are you using a (non-MS) FAT32 file system?
Yea multiple 2GB partitions, gets a bit unwieldy, really don't use that much space anyways, I think I have maybe 3 or 4GB in use. I've thought about trying some other file systems, just haven't got around to it yet.

Chuck(G)
July 23rd, 2016, 12:12 PM
I think that FreeDOS has a x86 (not x386) FAT32 driver, but I suspect it's probably slow as molasses in January...