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Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Sun 18-Dec-11 17:00:50
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
MS did not buy from IBM. They bought an OS from someone else to construct MSDOS, to compete with CPM, and when they got the contract from IBM for the PC produced the tailored version PCDOS so they could retain the rights to MSDOS, etc. etc.


A tiny business called Seattle Computer Products.

Re the origins of the opening post, the poster quoted in it believes that Windows was a factor in MSDOS superceding CPM. I think that is incorrect. It was the IBM contract that did that, and Windows was not viable for commercial use, (in my opinion), until 3.1 at the earliest.


The writeup I've read is that IBM went to Digital Research (the owners of CPM) to get a licence, but the owner (Gary Kildall) couldn't be bothered to meet with the IBM team and was out flying his plane, he didn't see the need for the IBM computer, CPM was already a success.

The IBM team was already talking to Gates to licence his BASIC to go into ROM, and mentioned they were looking for a Disc-Operating-System and he sold them MSDOS before he'd licensed from Seattle Computer Products! Chancing his luck all the way back then smile (Circa 1980).

A bit like Alan Sugar wink

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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 18-Dec-11 17:11:40
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by AEP:
Mick is right that any modern Operating System prevents programmers from accessing the hardware directly ....
Yes, I put it too strongly. I was talking about using the CP/M and later the MSDOS function calls, which did allow extremely low-level access, though still under OS control.

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Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 18-Dec-11 19:30:29
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BatBoy:
You're completely wrong. The File Allocation Table was there.
The FATs themselves (there are typically 2 of them) are way down the disk (after Reserved Sectors). The "Boot Sector" precedes them on all types of disk. On Hard Disk it is part of the "Master Boot Record" or "MBR." ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/140418 )

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Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 18-Dec-11 19:46:49
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mixt:
As a senior university lecturer once told me, the definition of an OS is quite simple - it turns a computer into something other than a fan heater
Wot abat single-processing machines and dedicated processors that appear in domestic appliances (could even be a fan heater grin)? They don't need an OS, per se, just their specific application.

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Standard User mixt
(experienced) Sun 18-Dec-11 20:08:53
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
Single-processing 'appliances' normally lack the potential (and I stress the word potential) to do anything computationally useful. They are built for one thing, and do only... one thing. Computers are built to do much more complicated and varied tasks.

I think his point is more down to earth than you're giving credit for. I mean, if you buy a computer today, if it doesn't come with an OS, you've basically bought a fan heater. Which is true! wink (given some of clock frequencies this stuff runs at nowadays, and the subsequent cooling that is required to prevent complete self destruction from heat!)

Having said that, all these mobile devices lack fans, so maybe his definition is some what dated now. Though while we have iPhones that catch fire on planes, who needs a fan to distribute the heat anyway? tongue

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Standard User Andrue
(knowledge is power) Sun 18-Dec-11 20:16:00
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
In reply to a post by AEP:
Mick is right that any modern Operating System prevents programmers from accessing the hardware directly ....
Yes, I put it too strongly. I was talking about using the CP/M and later the MSDOS function calls, which did allow extremely low-level access, though still under OS control.
Not sure what you mean but MSDOS and CP/M only facilitated and simplified access to hardware. They did nothing to prevent applications from talking to it directly. Neither did any 16-bit version of Windows. They couldn't stop it - the CPUs of the time didn't offer that feature. That's a large part of why it was common for computers to crash in those days.

These days OSes (and yes, of course Windows is an OS) can prevent applications from executing instructions they don't like. If an application steps out of line the CPU pauses execution and hands control over to the OS. The OS then decides what it's going to do about it - most likely terminate the process in disgust smile

Andrue Cope
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Edited by Andrue (Sun 18-Dec-11 20:23:29)

Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 18-Dec-11 20:23:47
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
LOL!

I only added the bit after the comma on Preview reading, to ensure I wasn't still over-stepping the mark.

CP/M and MSDOS were however OSs. Petards etc. smile.

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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 18-Dec-11 20:29:30
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
I have a RAIR Black Box stored in the attic. It no longer boots, probably due to a PSU fault. It has an Intel 8088 processor, half a megabyte of memory and ran MP/M-86 (a multi-user version of CP/M-86). MP/M was a very nice little OS with good queueing, scheduling and semaphore facilties. Of course, there was no memory protection. Nevertheless, we ran a stock management system on it for many years without a single system crash. Eat yer hearts out, Apple and Microsoft.

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Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 18-Dec-11 21:10:34
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
Yep. The only part of the disk that is fixed is the partition table. Everything else can be anywhere on the disk. Within a partiton the boot sector is the only thing that occupies a particular position; it describes, directly or indirectly, where to find everything else.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 18-Dec-11 21:16:11
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Re: Is Windows an Operating System


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
MP/M was superb. Loved it!

Things like direct printing on a printer attached to another terminal with no messy intermediate software, long before Microsoft got anywhere near. Great in a multi-terminal warehouse with a trade counter.

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