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'[OT] Dos / Misc. [Was Re: Tait/Maplin Programmer ('
1999\02\13@141120 by Mark Willis

Personally, I plan to use Dos for some time into the future - I do
embedded systems and I'd rather use an old AT for a machine controller
(RS-232 or parallel port interfaced to some PICs or whatever) and
program it with tools I already own, and know are bug-free and
crash-proof, than go buy another $500 worth of faster hardware so it can
sit around hugely idle.

Dos is still in active development (Not by Micro$oft, but by Caldera;
see as well as their web pages if you
haven't yet.)  Oh, it's free, too, last I checked (for home use, at
least.  Has been a while since I read their licencing stuff.)  So I
would say that Dos is as active a player on the OS field, as Linux, and
will run on AT's (ELKS {i.e. Linux-8086} isn't quite "it" for me yet, as
a software development platform;  I can develop on my old Siig mini-286
in DOS though, in a pinch.)

 Dos also has a pretty huge existing base (For example, go talk to any
lawyer and suggest they should upgrade all their word-processing
machines to Win95 Pentium 2 boxes with PageMaker 8.0, they'll laugh at
you.  Word IMperfect etc. on an AT work, and are bug-free, and are
already paid for...)  If you're in this area I can show you quite a fre
companies that can run off paid for software that's working for them
(Upgraded one company, a Chiropractor that helped Robin, 2 years ago
from a 386sx25 box with a ST4096 MFM hard drive, to a 5x86-133 with a
largish IDE drive - point here is that they fit their entire business on
an 80 Meg hard drive, their custom software will NOT run on Win95, and
they paid a bundle for it & it meets their needs.)  Carbeuretted cars
are "less optimal" in fuel economy than fuel injected cars, perhaps -
We've all sold our carb-ed vehicles to buy brand new cars, right?  <G>
I guess you all know my deep dark secret now, that I'm a
"functionalist", that what WORKS is important to me?  <G>

 Other people can go with one single computer if they desire,
personally I find that too unreliable (Especially when testing Alpha
software that accesses {and frequently occasionally mangles!} the file
system, it's typical for me to at least have 2 machines at work -
development machine and testbed {with erasable HDD and emergency
re-install floppies <G>})  Another benefit is that I can DO something
else while the second machine formats a floppy, etc. etc. - so I'm more
productive IMHO.

 YMMV, on this as well as other points.  Personally, I eschew Win95 /
Win98 totally <G>  Windows startup time, bugfix install time, and time
spent re-installing Windows, doesn't make me any money.

 Do agree that kit sellers should support kits they sell & make profit
on (or even don't profit on, though expect slower support there <G>)

 Personally, I know I've seen good free as well as retail designs
poorly built, thus not work, IMHO free designs are good as are retail
product (I own a Needham's EMP-20, Parallax parallel port programmer,
and PicStart Plus, just counting PIC programmers; will be building some
freeware programmer as well later, for a 16F84 GNU project.)  If I go to
build a kit, I want to play & learn about how to program a PIC (not save
money) - that's MY mindset at least - if I save money as well, good!  So
far I haven't had the time to spend on this, so I just went for what I
needed.  Still want to come back there some day <G>


David Tait wrote:
> <snipped>
> I have no control over the Maplin programmer but I can remove my
> designs from the web if they really are causing more heat than light.
> I guess my software is past its sell-by date anyway as most people
> eschew DOS these days.
> <snipped>

1999\02\15@071008 by Dr. Imre Bartfai

I completely agree. I have also upgraded to Caldera, and it gives even a
multitasking environment for me on 386+ machines. I like DOS for its
transparency. I develop also borderline (on the hard/software)
applications, and if I set a port bit then the appropriate level should
occur on the addressed h/w pin immediately. DOS has also a good
programmable API - the INT 21h. Last but not least: Using DOS, I am the
master of my machine and it happens what I allow. It is mad when the owner
should cure damages caused by silly programs making changes on the whole
system without any notification of the user! Furthermore, what you also
mentioned, the un-economical usage of the PC resources irritates me. I use
as a developing platform for my PC applications the Dunfield Micro-C. An
about 1500 line C code of PID control of an industrial control system with
serial communication to a PIC and graphical display (continuous
line-chart) compiles to 30 kbyte .COM file. And it runs on a 286!

It is my $0.02. I do not want to say I am right only. I want only stress
that developers should also DOS take into account for their PIC things. A
good example is B. Dobaj.


On Sat, 13 Feb 1999, Mark Willis wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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