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Kildall on Airplane[edit]


When IBM approached Gary Kildall, author of CP/M, for a license, Kildall kept the IBM executives waiting for hours while he went flying in his airplane.


Is this correct? The version I heard was that he refused to answer the door to a band of IBM salesmen. --(unsigned) User:Crusadeonilliteracy 2003-10-22T13:13:35‎

There are several versions of the story and none of them are likely to be true; the most common one (and the one repeated by Bill Gates) was that Kildall went flying. But Kildall never talked about it, which added to the rumor. We do know that Kildall didn't handle his own business deals, didn't like NDAs, and feared IBM's legal team.
--(unsigned) User:Dave Farquhar 2003-10-22T17:06:43‎

Multitasking DOS[edit]

Additionally, Microsoft was working on a multitasking version of DOS. Whether it was unpolished or viewed as too complicated for mortal users, it never flew off the ground, with Windows just on its heels. However, a few rogue copies made it into the wild, proving this wasn't a myth.

--(unsigned) 2004-10-19T22:06:43‎

Yes, you mean Multitasking MS-DOS 4.0 and 4.1, also known as "European MS-DOS" and not to be mixed up with the standard PC DOS 4.00 and MS-DOS 4.01. However, it is a fork of MS-DOS and has nothing to do with 86-DOS and therefore belongs in the above mentioned or in the MS-DOS article.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 08:13, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

UCSD P-System[edit]


Someone needs to fill in the parts about the UCSD P-System. Also the parts how SCP was able to get the then current version of DOS for their computer products. They were still selling the S-100 8086 computer boards. SCP then got the smart idea of selling DOS for less then MS by shipping DOS and a bare 8088 CPU chip. MS beat them over the head with the contract to stop that practice and that was pretty much the end of SCP. I also believe that SCP was one of the first companies to come out with a dual function board for the IBM-PC. SCP had a memory/serial port board that took 64Kbit DIP chips and would 4 rows of 9 chips for a total of 256kBytes.

" (posted in article by

In my opinion anything about the UCSD P-system belongs in its article or IBM-PC. But if someone can find details about the claims relating to SCP above, great. It's my understanding that there was no "contract" except during the period that the PC was in development. After that Microsoft owned the system outright.
--Gazpacho 02:21, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Digital Research suing Microsoft[edit]


Digital Research considered suing Microsoft, since DOS replicated nearly all of the CP/M system calls, program structure, and user interface (not the filesystem), but decided against it. Digital Research realized that they would have to also sue IBM, and decided that they did not have the resources to sue a company of that size, and would not likely win.


Is this correct? I've read somewhere that IBM paid Digital Research $800,000 in order to prevent a trial about the fact that QDOS/MS-DOS is a mere CP/M clone. If I remember this correctly I've also read that IBM sold their PCs with either MS-DOS or CP/M thereafter as part of this agreement with Digital Research. --(unsigned) 2005-02-19T19:13:08‎

I am not sure about it, but it looks like there was a trial. [1]
--(unsigned) User:Wk muriithi 2005-03-04T17:23:05‎
Slashdot is a discussion forum, not a source for verifying history (unless they provide the appropriate references). Another view was offered in Gordon Eubanks Oral History recorded November 8, 2000 by ComputerWorld magazine (see p. 12). Eubanks worked with CP/M's Gary Kildall during it's development, and in 1981 sold his own company to Digital Research and joined them. According to Eubanks, Kildall was flying on the fateful day of the IBM meeting because he was delivering a software order to Northstar Computers. He also says that Kildall really had no interest in pursuing a 16-bit operating system at the time, though he did sign the non-disclosure agreement with IBM.
--Blainster 18:30, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I added in Freiberger and Swaine's account of the failure between IBM and DRI to make a deal, and cited their book. It seems authentic to me, not the least because they quote hard numbers for the proposed deal.
-- Eliyahu S Talk 21:34, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

CP/M photo[edit]

Representing a CP/M photo as QDOS may be an innocent attempt to provide a requested illustration but it is also deceptive. It perpetuates the misconception that QDOS is a clone of CP/M. For example, the CP/M directory display shows the PIP command, which QDOS/MSDOS never had. Lets try to provide the most accurate articles we can. --Blainster 11:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

This has long since been fixed.
~ 10nitro (talk) 20:18, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


I can't help feeling that the name '86-DOS' ought to be in the article's introduction. I can't see how to work that into the text, though. --StuartBrady (Talk) 00:36, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

(The above comment pre-dates the move from "QDOS" to "86-DOS".)
--Gazpacho 00:10, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Caption under the "simulated 86-DOS" session screen capture image is wrong.[edit]

It states the prompt is a colon instead of a > (greater than) sign, implying that the > is the standard "MS-DOS" prompt, it's not. The default prompt was simply the active drive letter and a colon, meaning if you booted PC-DOS or MS-DOS from the A: drive without setting the prompt, it would have showed the same as shown in the picture for 86-DOS. It was common for most users to either set it manually or include the following command in the autoexec.bat file:


This command makes the operating system display show the current path ($p) followed by > ($g) so it would have looked something like this:




Note: The Windows Command Prompt by default is set to $p$g but it can be changed.

There are several other identifiers you can use, including $t for time, $d for date and you could also add your own text, which was often used by DOS programs that allowed the users to get to a command prompt without exiting the program and would advise the user to type 'EXIT' to return to the program.

-- Ceo255 (talk) 05:44, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, you're wrong. Boot up any version of DOS prior to MS-DOS 5 and you'll see the default prompt is simply A> or C> (depending on which boot device you use). DOS 5 intoduced $p$g as the default and DOS 2 and up allowed you to set the prompt. DOS 1 was hardcoded to use $g only (ie A>, C> etc).
--Retron (talk) 06:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Quotes section[edit]

Methinks the separate "Quotes" section is unencyclopedic and should be moved to WikiQuote then linked from here with an interwiki template. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 08:26, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree, but am too lazy to do it.
~ 10nitro (talk) 20:18, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


Where did that info come from? I cited the one I added, but where are the others from? Who said v0.11 was a bug fix? Note that there are several contradictions between it and the account given by Patterson cited by the last one. He says v0.10 was August 1980, the first OEM version was v0.3 (instead of v0.33). ~ 10nitro (talk) 20:18, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Nevermind, I dug through the edit history, and found that the original poster had put their source in the edit summery.
~ 10nitro (talk) 21:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Rod Brock of SCP[edit]

I am currently reading the book "Blue Magic" by James Chposky and Ted Leonsis. In chapter 10 'Choosing the Operating System' it says that Bill Gates had a friend called Rod Brock who was working at SCP on an operating system called SCP-DOS, and that Gates made a deal with Brock to obtain the OS for use by IBM in the PC. --John a s (talk) 20:21, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Rod Brock founded Seattle Computer Products (SCP). One of his then-times employees, Tim Paterson was working on a disk operating system for their S-100 bus system. It was originally named QDOS, but later renamed into 86-DOS (and sometimes also referred to as SCP 86-DOS or SCP DOS), which was bought by Microsoft to form the foundation of MS-DOS. IBM's PC DOS was an OEM version of MS-DOS.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 08:06, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Date formats in CS1 citations[edit]

There is a robot under development that will help to clear the rather enormous backlog of pages with date format errors in Citation Style 1 citations listed at Category:CS1 errors: dates. CS1 date format validation adheres rather strictly to WP:DATEFORMAT and to a lesser extent WP:BADDATEFORMAT. The only all-numeric date format supported by WP:DATEFORMAT is YYYY-MM-DD. No other ISO 8601 compliant dates are acceptable. YYYY-MM is specifically not supported.

The edit that I made, using the upcoming robot code, correctly changed dates from YYYY-MM to Mmmm YYYY format. That edit has been reverted but should be restored.

Trappist the monk (talk) 22:42, 14 December 2013 (UTC)