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View Full Version : Looking for MS-DOS 1.x software which is not PC-specific



Michau
October 7th, 2017, 03:11 AM
I am not sure if it fits with the "PCs" forum genre, but since it's MS-DOS related I thought I might post it here.

I found a 8088 machine which is not PC compatible but it runs MS-DOS 1.25. I would like to try some software on it, but I have no idea how to find it. I would have to be (1) able to run under MS-DOS 1.x and (2) not be specific to the PC architecture. For example, from comments on the Tim Patterson blog I learned that the first MS-DOS version of WordStar was translated from the CP/M version and thus would probably not be PC-specifc; however, I have no idea where I could download it.

spiceminer
October 11th, 2017, 12:40 PM
I tried with success MBASIC/Basic86 and the IBM Macro Assembler 1.0 on an Triumph-Adler P3 (MS DOS 2.0).
Please leave me a PM if you are interested.

SomeGuy
October 11th, 2017, 02:10 PM
Would you tell us *what* 8088 machine this is?

It helps to know what, if any, compatiblity layers there are. For example some non-PC compatibles simply required their own DOS, but once booted could run a good chunk of PC programs due to compatible video and some resources. Others, had zilch in common with the IBM PC, which limited them to command-line programs only.

So, off the top of my head, with zero hardware compatiblity you will be looking at early CLI compiler tools, and applications that abstract I/O as a terminal type.

One hint that might help when searching, disks distributed as 160k or 320k were usually intended for use with DOS 1.x. 180k or 360k would usually require DOS 2.x or later.

Michau
October 12th, 2017, 08:51 AM
I tried with success MBASIC/Basic86 and the IBM Macro Assembler 1.0 on an Triumph-Adler P3 (MS DOS 2.0).
Please leave me a PM if you are interested.

I tried MBASIC and it worked! Thank you. Regarding IBM Macro Assembler, it looks like it's basically the same as MASM, which I already have on the MS-DOS disk.

Michau
October 12th, 2017, 08:53 AM
Would you tell us *what* 8088 machine this is?

It is a Commodore 710 with 8088 processor card. So it has zero compatibility with PC hardware.


So, off the top of my head, with zero hardware compatiblity you will be looking at early CLI compiler tools, and applications that abstract I/O as a terminal type.

Yes, that would be something I was looking for.


One hint that might help when searching, disks distributed as 160k or 320k were usually intended for use with DOS 1.x. 180k or 360k would usually require DOS 2.x or later.

Good tip, thank you!

Trixter
October 13th, 2017, 12:55 PM
Programs for the PC started using PC-specific BIOS calls and memory accesses fairly early on. I think your best bet to find MS-DOS-only software would be to look for anything that doesn't require DOS 2.x or higher. Most application software made before 1984 may work. I recall Sorcim SuperWriter didn't perform any direct accesses.

SomeGuy
October 14th, 2017, 10:55 AM
It is a Commodore 710 with 8088 processor card. So it has zero compatibility with PC hardware.
That's the Commodore CBM "B Series" isn't it? Very cool. From what I have read, there were only a few of those 8088 processors cards made.

I'd love to hear more about what you can (or even can't) get running!

per
October 14th, 2017, 11:47 AM
There was a Norwegian databaseprogram called "Vista" that did everything through DOS int 21h. It was used with some Tiki-100 machines using the 8088 expansion card and DOS 2.11.

Most games and such use HW directly. Those require a 100% PC-compatible machine to run. Then there is some programs that uses the BIOS, which only requires a PC-compatible BIOS to be supported. These can run a lot more programs and utilities.

It might be possible to make a TSR driver to provide support for most IBM BIOS calls. This might enable a few more programs to run.