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DOS Apps in OS/2
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Software Monkey
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since: 19 Jan, 2005
1. DOS Apps in OS/2
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I would like to run an old DOS app but also be able to access commands to copy/delete files without stopping the application.

Is OS/2 for me?
Is it possible to run DOS applications in OS/2?
Do I need to recompile the software?
Are there any issues that may cause a DOS app not to work in OS/2?

Thanks

Software Monkey

Date: 19 Jan, 2005 on 21:15
cyberspittle
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2. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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Hi SMonkey,

DOS apps actually behave better on OS/2 than most applications, including MS-DOS (PC-DOS, etc.). OS/2 was initially marketed as a "better DOS than DOS". Unforutnately most people were moving towards MS Windows and the rest is history. Your questions:

1. Is OS/2 for me?
A. Yes ... er, I hope so.

2. Is it possible to run DOS applications in OS/2?
A. Yes.

3. Do I need to recompile the software?
A. Probably not ... see below.

4. Are there any issues that may cause a DOS app not to work in OS/2?
A. Most DOS apps run fine. Some may need configuration of the Virtual DOS Machine (VDM) command window or full screen session. This is done with property settings. An old Warp 3 book found easily at used book stores, eBay, can go into much detail. Online communities and bulliten boards are a great asset. The DOS program still will have the same restrictions (ie 8.3 filenames, etc.) Best wishes.

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 06:58
Software Monkey
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3. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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Thanks CS,

This is good news. I will go buy a copy and give it a try.

Thanks again,

Software Monkey

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 08:35
Radek
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4. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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As it has been alerady stated, the DOS in OS/2 is better than DOS spread by that guy from Redmont Here is some (perhaps) useful info about the DOS box in OS/2:

1. It's DOS 5.

2. What will NOT run in the DOS box:
a) Everything that tries to access your HD directly. No multitasker can allow that, including OS/2. For example, Norton Disc Doctor will be able to access floppies but not HD.
b) Buggy programs that work only because DOS isn't a protected mode app. A usual case is accessing memory by means of a bogus pointer and writing (reading) data somewhere into the memory nobody knows where. DOS can survive it, if the data are written in a location where they do not make any harm. OS/2 will not tolerate it.
c) Programs that use network redirector. Network redirector API isn't implemented in the DOS box. For example, mscdex will not run but you will not need it, Iomega ziptools for DOS will not run but you won't need them as well.
d) Programs that rely on internal (undocumented) DOS data structures heavily. Some of these structures are "faked" in the DOS box because they lose sense under OS/2. For example, CDS is faked.

3. Crash of DOS box (and also WIN-OS/2) under eCS with some video cards.
If your eCS gets "nuked" immediately whenever you try to open a DOS *window* and you get a "page fault in VVGA, contact your sales representative" screen but if *fullscreen* DOS sessions will run then you need the viotbl.dcp file from an unpatched (before FP5?) warp 4. Replace viotbl.dcp, which comes with eCS by the warp 4 viotbl.dcp and everything will work fine.

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 11:34
Software Monkey
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5. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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Thanks for the info. This is the sort of stuff I need to know if it collapses in a heap although I am hoping it will all go smoothly

I do have the source code for the application so I can mod it if any of the points you have raised prove troublesome.

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 11:52
Christian Hennecke
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6. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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Make sure you get the virtual device drivers by Martin Kiewitz. They improve the accuracy of the DOS box a lot. One can even correct apps that have been compiled with certain buggy compilers on the fly.

Get the stuff here:
http://en.ecomstation.ru/personal/kiewitzsoft/vdd.php

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 12:36
Cris
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7. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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Another thing to mention (regarding the "beter DOS than DOS") is that DOS programs under OS/2 can sometime perform a lot better because OS/2 can "inject" some limited multithreading in the DOS app.

How does this happens? It's simple: since any disk IO operation is in reality performed by OS/2, it executes the IO operation in another thread and returns control to the DOS app immediately. This is not always desireable, so it is toggled by a DOS VM configuration option: INT_DURING_IO. That is: the app can receive (and thus service) interrupts before an IO operation is finished.

Hope this helps.
Bye

Cris

Date: 20 Jan, 2005 on 18:29
madcrow
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8. Re:DOS Apps in OS/2
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i'm never used ecomstation, but the last legacy version of os/2 (4.0) had great dos support. it ran all my games at full speed and with sound. in short, os/2 has better dos support than m$ windoze xp...
Date: 25 Feb, 2005 on 15:16
DOS Apps in OS/2
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