Can MS-DOS be used on a P-III laptop

September 6, 2018 at 22:51:30
Specs: MS-DOS
I use a word processor that can only be loaded in MS-DOS. No problems with that at home, I've got a P-II MS-DOS office computer.
Unfortunately, I can't load DOS in my recently acquired P-III laptop. The loading goes on for a bit, then fails.
Is it impossible to mount MS-DOS in a computer with a P-III CPU? Or will I have to buy a P-II laptop to make use of my DOS programs?


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September 7, 2018 at 02:12:39
No reason DOS won't work on a P-III, but that seems an incredible waste. Does the machine have an OS on it now? It would be more practical to use DOSBox if there's a Windows OS already installed.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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September 7, 2018 at 15:41:39
"That seems an incredible waste." Which "that" are you referring to? That it would be a waste to have MS-DOS mounted on a P-III laptop, or that it's an incredible waste that MS-DOS can't be mounted on a P-III?

First thing I learned when I joined the Valley Computer Club in Burbank CA back in 1978 was ... "If it works, it's obsolete."

I'm an old novelist, and I use an old word processor - The Electric Pencil, in MS-DOS format - for my writing chores. (If you recall the old CP/M days, you'll recognize The Electric Pencil. The CP/M version of Pencil was later updated to work in MS-DOS.)

Because one can reprogram every key in the keyboard when using Electric Pencil, the program really beats the socks off of all the Windows items. I can add, cut, delete, paste, move around by character, word, sentence, line, paragraph, page, to beginning, to end ... all without lifting my fingers from the QWERY keyboard. It's done by using combinations of the ALT - CTL - SHIFT and F-keys. And there the surrounding info can be made invisible, unlike Windows word processors ... which are in fact text formaters rather than word processors.

message edited by RH-in-Henderson

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September 7, 2018 at 23:10:52
No offense meant, but you describe your problem as if you already had an OS installed on the PIII. If not, then yes, a PIII would run MS-DOS.

Realize however that MS-DOS (v 5x/6.x) has specific limitations that newer (Win95 and above or virtually any version of Linux) operating systems don't have (and running something older than DOS5 is impractical for such a machine):

1. Any more than 64MB of random-access memory is not recognized and much less is actually ever utilized by most programs that are DOS-based. Without an memory manager (generally EMM386.exe), the limit is 640KB.

2. MS-DOS (v 5.x/6.x) hard drive limitations are 2GB per partition and 8GB per drive. A drive larger than that is not accessible (though generally can be made accessible to the 8GB limit).

3. File names are restricted to the "8.3" format (8-character file name/3-character extension).

4. Drivers for most hardware associated with a machine that "new" (sound cards/CD-ROMs/Video drivers, etc.) may be difficult if not impossible to find for MS-DOS.

5. Use of USB flash drives is not impossible, but specific drivers may need to be tracked down to utilize them. The limits on the flash drive is the same as on hard drives.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A

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