My DOS Days and Slightly Forward

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I used to run a BBS back in the day. I found a old disk labeled "ARC" and I new exactly what that was when I saw it. It was all of my compression tools to deal with the many different types of compressions algorithms. How's your memory? ARJ, LHA, PKZip 1.0 and 1.1, XARC, ZOO and ZOO210!

Plus there are several utilities to deal with the files.bbs files, my registrations information for the paid utilities and various docs on how to use the archive tools and batch files I used for automated file conversions. All of them on a little floppy... All Zipped up of course :).

Another floppy had my QEdit and List program uncompressed in case I needed to use better tools than msdos had. I'm willing to bet I can find my MSDOS 5.1, 6.0 to 6.11 install disks somewhere. I might have to rescue one of my old 486dx boxes to have some old flashbacks! I also have a book disk for DRDOS with SuperStor, boy that has huge, not to mention dos networking in DRDOS 7.0 by Novell.

I still have some QIC80 tapes and the reader I should look at. I even miss my OS/2 - 21 floppy box set. That took so long to load just to be able to add a second phone line to the BBS. The phone guy could not understand why I would need three phone lines in my tiny apartment.

All this makes me yearn for my old Comodore64 Color BBS with dual 1541 floppy drives later upgraded to Enhancer2000 drives with a couple 1541II in between. That was a huge investment in those days. Unfortunately I sold it all (software and hardware) since the PC's could now do sound and 256 colors! That was a huge improvement over my green and amber monochrome screens and even a 256 gray scale monitor till I needed a VGA screen. My first 17" SVGA screen was so huge, I just had to have this to start my DTP (Desktop Publishing) business. My first HP LaserJet, LJII, LJIII, LJ4P man, it just never ended. Who would have thought we would need more than 80 characters per line when 65 was the real standard use. We all new in those days anything over 40 characters was just a waste of characters.

I even remember having to learn WordPerfect 5.0 and forward in DOS and hating the Windows version. Boy did I miss the old keyboard shortcuts taped to the keyboards. They really started to get out of hand there for a while. And then this little company from Redmond , Wa. came up with this thing called Word, it really sucked compared to WP 5.1!

Then came the huge hard drives from the mfm (anyone remember diskpark.exe?) straight to a Conner 120mb ide to adding a second 120mb then to a bunch of upgrades doubling every time. Thinking in wonder how a GB would never be needed, TB dreaming, PB never heard of it! And then the cd-roms, 2x -24x to a Pioneer six cd changer (one at a time folks), a cd tower, SCSI interfaces...\ all for a stupid BBS to use the said floppy disk. :)

I hope this makes someone laugh, we are getting way to serious around the globe at this very moment!
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User 2906089 Photo

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I forgot to add the best part!
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User 122279 Photo

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I can relate to some of it, especially those old DOS and Windows installation sets, I think I may have those floppies still. And Word Perfect was also my first text editing programme.
My very first PC had two floppy drives, one for 3.5" and one for 5.25". I still have an old laptop with a 3.5 floppy drive.
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User 187934 Photo

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I still have a stack of floppys. I still have an old tape drive and a 5.25 floppy. :lol:
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You guys can start a museum.
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User 2906089 Photo

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I use to have a storage unit that could have been a museum today. Atari 800, trs-80, TI-99, Sinclair (sp), Vic-20 with a daughter board out the back for cards, epson 386sx laptop (2 hours of battery time on a good day), Tons of software on 5-1/4 floppys. Those really big floppys nailed to the walls. I wish I had those and the matching drives. I'm guessing I can buy my childhood back on ebay if I really wanted to. I cleared it all out when they raised the rent to $50 a month for the 20 x 10 space, I wasn't going to pay that much to store old junk. That tells you the age of that one!

Oh man, the monthly free floppys from compuserve, prodigy, aol, magazines. In fact my first web page was written from an article in board watch magazine for sysop's. I really wish I had that today! Knowing me I would have used Qedit in a dos window to write it. Command line ftp to send it to the server ( free public space from an ISP pioneer in Oregon). He was in our Fido sysop meetings but I digress. If you remember the confusion between slip/pip and ppp then you might need to get some mental help, no one should have to retain that or atdt commands. Although I do have my last external supra modem in my bedroom closet today in my old box of cords. I pulled a old floppy cable out the other day for a Raspberry Pi project. How handy, right? Might even have a floppy with procomm+ on it just in case this internet thing doesn't work out. Man, ZModem was so cool, picking up where downloads got cut off because of line quality, error checking, bee's knee's stuff (That's for you Inger).

I can't remember the name of my first real word processor, it was on my Commy for sure. Wordstar maybe, it was real popular, even had the keyboard shortcut template, it was that complicated, yet "Easy" to use. I was not allowed to use it in school because handwriting was too important. Nothing but cursive, because block printing was only used in the drafting classes (which I excelled in). Being left handed, I never did pickup cursive well, but I could type really fast with two fingers. Dad called it the Columbus method when I started with just one finger typing...You know, search for the right letter on the keys and land on it!

My 486 box has both floppy drives, I should have held on to the 2.88 floppy drive. Oh might be making this up in my mind, but a TEAC dual 3.25" floppy drive in a single space of the single drive well before half size drives became standard. Used that to help user get their modem setting right to call the BBS. All the Iomega drives. It might even have a hard drive accelerator card in it. Something like 4 or 8mb's of ram. That was a glimpse of the future and very expensive at the time.

101 keys on the keyboard was standard, then Redmond had to add extra keys. Don't get me started on the warped keyboard from those guys. Dvorak keyboard and standing to type, yup did that too. Now we stand with remote keyboards that are missing the number pads. A desk top height that adjust to you? We used phone books and old user manuals stacks to raise monitors and concrete blocks to raise the desk. A stool was for when you got tired of standing.

Yes kids, we walked uphill both ways to get to school in snow storms in those days! I'm turning into my grandfather as we speak. Cobol was good enough for goverment, why not me? Basic was the future, line numbers and GOTO statements that controlled program flow. Oh so good, but hard to protect the source when anyone could LI it :-) How do you think we really learned before real tutorial books.

What a fun trip down memory lane. That 486 box is looking more and more attractive, I might have to find a at style mouse if OS/2 was installed. I think it needed a Pentium to work though. Those days are blurry. MSDOSHLP is still handy today, of course we all renamed it to the easier DOSHLP. Who new 8.x would have held in there so long. Good times.
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