Technology and Trends
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From: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Date: 13 Oct 89 23:21:01 GMT
Sender: a...@cs.vu.nl
Reply-To: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 1130

Here is a (hopefully) improved version of dos/read/write.dir.  Could DOS
users please try it on floppies, HD, 12-bit FAT, 16-bit FAT etc and post
the findings.  The idea is to get a version of this program that works
on all current versions of DOS.

Andy Tanenbaum


Source

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From: ron...@ibmpcug.co.uk (Ronald Khoo)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk>
Date: 14 Oct 89 08:27:20 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Organization: The IBM PC User Group, UK.
Lines: 47

[about reading/writing messDOS floppies formatted under Xenix]

In article <3...@ast.cs.vu.nl> a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum) writes:
> Here is a (hopefully) improved version of dos/read/write.dir.  Could DOS
> users please try it on floppies, HD, 12-bit FAT, 16-bit FAT etc and post
> the findings.  The idea is to get a version of this program that works
> on all current versions of DOS.

Hi Andy...  I'm not a messDOS user, but since Xenix is another
macrohard product, I thought that would almost count :-)

So here are my results running your dosdir under SCO Xenix 2.3.1 with a
floppy formatted under the same OS.

After linking /dev/dsk/f0q15dt to /dev/dosX, I get:

/tmp/dosdir X

OEM = SCO BOOT
Bytes/sector = 512
Sectors/cluster = 1
Number of Reserved Clusters = 1
Number of FAT's = 2
Number of root-directory entries = 224
Total sectors in logical volume = 2400
Media descriptor = 0xf9
Number of sectors/FAT = 7
Sectors/track = 15
Number of heads = 2
Number of hidden sectors = 0
Bootblock magic number = 0x0000
magic != 0xAA55
Can't handle disk

Interesting that this has never stopped me using floppies formatted under
SCO Xenix before.  Is dos{read,write,dir) the only program in the world
that checks the magic number?  Interessant....  The rest of the stuff
looks approximately reasonable to me, let me take out the sanity check,
hang on.. OK it's got no files, let me put a couple on.. hmmm.. seems to work.
Does your /dev/dos? do something that my /dev/dsk/f0q15dt doesnt?  Seems
unlikely somehow...

Does this prove anything ?
-- 
Ronald.K...@ibmpcug.CO.UK (The IBM PC User Group, PO Box 360, Harrow HA1 4LQ)
Path: ...!ukc!slxsys!ibmpcug!ronald Phone: +44-1-863 1191 Fax: +44-1-863 6095
$Header: /users/ronald/.signature,v 1.1 89/09/03 23:36:16 ronald Exp $ :-)

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From: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Date: 15 Oct 89 14:00:02 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk>
Reply-To: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 10

In article <3a18.2536e...@ibmpcug.co.uk> ron...@ibmpcug.co.uk (Ronald Khoo) 
writes:
>Does this prove anything ?

Not to me.  My knowledge of DOS is zilch, and will stay that way.  Thus I
leave the debugging of dosread.c to the net.  Since I never use DOS and do
not own any DOS files, I don't care much whether it works or not, but if
there is someone who does care, by all means try it and if there are problems,
try to fix them.

Andy Tanenbaum

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munnari.oz.au!csc!ccadfa!usage!basser!metro!extro!natmlab!ditsyda!evans
From: ev...@ditsyda.oz (Bruce Evans)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <2265@ditsyda.oz>
Date: 15 Oct 89 18:16:45 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk>
Reply-To: ev...@ditsyda.oz (Bruce Evans)
Organization: CSIRO DIT Sydney, Australia
Lines: 16

In article <3a18.2536e...@ibmpcug.co.uk> ron...@ibmpcug.co.uk (Ronald Khoo) 
writes:
>magic != 0xAA55
>Can't handle disk
>
>Interesting that this has never stopped me using floppies formatted under
>SCO Xenix before.  Is dos{read,write,dir) the only program in the world

Sorry about that. Even DOS doesn't check this particular magic number. It
probably only belongs on *bootable* disks. DOS 3.3 requires it for bootable
hard disk partitions at least. Sun 386i's are reported to require it for
bootable floppies.

So you can delete the test, and the program should be changed to check some
other magic numbers (probably just the consistency of the parameter block).
-- 
Bruce Evans		ev...@ditsyda.oz.au

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lll-winken!tekbspa!optilink!cramer
From: cra...@optilink.UUCP (Clayton Cramer)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <2501@optilink.UUCP>
Date: 16 Oct 89 20:20:37 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Organization: Optilink Corporation, Petaluma, CA
Lines: 28

In article <3...@ast.cs.vu.nl>, a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum) writes:
> In article <3a18.2536e...@ibmpcug.co.uk> ron...@ibmpcug.co.uk (Ronald Khoo) 
writes:
> >Does this prove anything ?
> 
> Not to me.  My knowledge of DOS is zilch, and will stay that way.  Thus I
> leave the debugging of dosread.c to the net.  Since I never use DOS and do
> not own any DOS files, I don't care much whether it works or not, but if
> there is someone who does care, by all means try it and if there are problems,
> try to fix them.
> 
> Andy Tanenbaum

This posting is really the definitive statement of disdain for DOS.
"My knowledge of DOS is zilch, and will stay that way."  For anyone
to make such a statement, along with the contempt shown in the rest
of the posting, provides all the evidence needed that elitism has
a lot more to do with DOS-hatred than anything else.

I'm sure that if DOS weren't used by COMMON PEOPLE, the DOS-haters
would make appropriate criticisms of the many very real deficiencies
of DOS, and leave it at that.  But as long as someone can learn to
use a computer without devoting years of their life to it, the
DOS-haters will remain filled with irrational hatred.
-- 
Clayton E. Cramer {pyramid,pixar,tekbspa}!optilink!cramer
Human rights are non-negotiable -- respect the Bill of Rights, or you'll soon
find out why the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.
Disclaimer?  You must be kidding!  No company would hold opinions like mine!

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From: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3762@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Date: 20 Oct 89 15:25:52 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> 
<3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> <2501@optilink.UUCP>
Reply-To: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 10


>> My knowledge of DOS is zilch, and will stay that way.  
>> My knowledge of Tiny BASIC is zilch, and will stay that way.  
>> My knowledge of VMS is zilch, and will stay that way.  
>> My knowledge of OS/360 is zilch, and will stay that way.  
>> My knowledge of FORTRAN 9x is zilch, and will stay that way.  

The worst part of it is that I am not even ashamed at all.

Andy Tanenbaum (a...@cs.vu.nl)

Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <1989Oct20.170447.19573@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> 
<3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> <2501@optilink.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 89 17:04:47 GMT

In article <2...@optilink.UUCP> cra...@optilink.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>I'm sure that if DOS weren't used by COMMON PEOPLE, the DOS-haters
>would make appropriate criticisms of the many very real deficiencies
>of DOS, and leave it at that.  But as long as someone can learn to
>use a computer without devoting years of their life to it, the
>DOS-haters will remain filled with irrational hatred.

The common people make essentially no use of DOS; they just use it to load
programs that take over the whole machine and largely ignore DOS.  Learning
to use DOS itself -- especially the fine points of the file system, which
is what this discussion was about -- *does* take lots of work.  And it's not
worth the trouble for most people, which is exactly what Andy was getting at.

Hatred of DOS is entirely rational, and has nothing to do with who else
uses it.  There are ample reasons to despise that feeble excuse for an
operating system.
-- 
A bit of tolerance is worth a  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
megabyte of flaming.           | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

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From: w...@uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu (Thomas Webb)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <5182@uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu>
Date: 20 Oct 89 22:27:03 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> 
<2501@optilink.UUCP> <1989Oct20.170447.19573@utzoo.uucp>
Reply-To: w...@uhccux.UUCP (Thomas Webb)
Organization: University of Hawaii
Lines: 54

In article <1989Oct20.170447.19...@utzoo.uucp> he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) 
writes:
>In article <2...@optilink.UUCP> cra...@optilink.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>>I'm sure that if DOS weren't used by COMMON PEOPLE, the DOS-haters
>>would make appropriate criticisms of the many very real deficiencies
>>of DOS, and leave it at that.  But as long as someone can learn to
>>use a computer without devoting years of their life to it, the
>>DOS-haters will remain filled with irrational hatred.
>
>The common people make essentially no use of DOS; they just use it to load
>programs that take over the whole machine and largely ignore DOS.  Learning
>to use DOS itself -- especially the fine points of the file system, which
>is what this discussion was about -- *does* take lots of work.  And it's not
>worth the trouble for most people, which is exactly what Andy was getting at.
>
>Hatred of DOS is entirely rational, and has nothing to do with who else
>uses it.  There are ample reasons to despise that feeble excuse for an
>operating system.

Hey folks, this isn't a class strugle.  I program at the DOS level
nearly every day and Henry is right, it does take a bit of work to
learn about 80x86 assembly language and DOS, and a lot of times you
end-up by-passing the operating system to get decent results anyway.
So, in a sence, DOS isn't much of an operating system.  On the other
hand, it does do a pretty good job of organising files and loding
programs.  It is fast and small.  For those of us who still have to
put-up with slow 8088 PC' speed is the bottom line.  Also, those
of us on tight personal budgets can get a complete DOS development
system for about $1500, $1000 for the machine and $500 for a very
complete set of development software.  It costs more than that just to
get a unix development package, plus the hardware needed to run unix is
far more expensive.  The moral here is that while DOS is undeniably
feeble, it works very well in a low cost, low power environment.  

BTW, it isn't easy to learn to program in DOS, but it is even harder
to program in 'real' operating systems at the OS level.  At least you
can get a good book on DOS programing, God help you if you need a
quick function reference and programing primer for unix.

Anyway, my feeling is that people who hate DOS are comparing it to
OSes that cost a lot more and run on more expensive platforms.  This
is an apples and oranges type problem, not a class struggle.

PS
Henry, I teach 'common people' about unix as part of my job, and most
of them don't want to know anthing more then how to load SPSS or
whatever anyway.  Maybe DOS has all they need?

-tom


-- 
===============================================================================
w...@uhccux.uhcc.Hawaii.edu   
===============================================================================

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ubc-cs!alberta!ccu!eeserv!chan
From: chan@eeserv (Andrew Chan)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <1989Oct21.013342.2168@ccu.umanitoba.ca>
Date: 21 Oct 89 01:33:42 GMT
References: <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> <2501@optilink.UUCP>
Sender: n...@ccu.umanitoba.ca
Reply-To: c...@eeserv.ee.umanitoba.ca (Andrew Chan)
Organization: Electrical Engineering, U of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Lines: 19

In article <2...@optilink.UUCP> cra...@optilink.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
>
>I'm sure that if DOS weren't used by COMMON PEOPLE, the DOS-haters
>would make appropriate criticisms of the many very real deficiencies
>of DOS, and leave it at that.  But as long as someone can learn to
>use a computer without devoting years of their life to it, the
>DOS-haters will remain filled with irrational hatred.
>-- 

How about the Mac?  Do you hate the Mac OS Andy? :-)  I am yet another COMMON
PERSON but I do hate DOS.  I wish Minix could be more powerful as a multi-user
system.  I want to run a BBS but don't want it to be yet another MS-DOS bbs.
I want an Unix board but cannot afford the money they want for Unix/Xenix.

By the way, I have an 12 Mhz AT clone and I am very reluctant to commit myself
on 286 Unix/Xenix.  I am afraid that the vendors will soon abandon supporting
286 Unix/Xenix as 386's become cheaper.

Any suggestion from the net?

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mcsun!hp4nl!star.cs.vu.nl!ast
From: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3767@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Date: 21 Oct 89 21:34:25 GMT
References: <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> <2501@optilink.UUCP> 
<1989Oct21.013342.2168@ccu.umanitoba.ca>
Reply-To: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 11

In article <1989Oct21.013342.2...@ccu.umanitoba.ca> c...@eeserv.ee.umanitoba.ca 
(Andrew Chan) writes:
>How about the Mac?  Do you hate the Mac OS Andy? :-)  
Does it even have anOS?  The Mac seems to have a niche.  Our secretaries and the
pure mathematicians love them.  I ascribe this to limited power of abstraction.

>I wish Minix could be more powerful as a multi-user system.
I am curious about what this means.  Is MINIX slower than XENIX (probably)?
Has fewer features (Thank Goodness)?  What is it that it lacks?  This is a
purely academic question, since sight unseen I am against the answer :-(.

Andy Tanenbaum (a...@cs.vu.nl)

Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <1989Oct22.003554.24199@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> 
<2501@optilink.UUCP> <1989Oct20.170447.19573@utzoo.uucp> 
<5182@uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 89 00:35:54 GMT

In article <5...@uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu> w...@uhccux.UUCP (Thomas Webb) writes:
>... The moral here is that while DOS is undeniably
>feeble, it works very well in a low cost, low power environment.  

Actually, Unix used to work pretty well in equally low-power environments.
(Similarly slow CPUs, slightly better disks, far less memory, poorer I/O.)

>PS
>Henry, I teach 'common people' about unix as part of my job, and most
>of them don't want to know anthing more then how to load SPSS or
>whatever anyway.  Maybe DOS has all they need?

Until they want to know why their DOS programs can't use any more than
640K of memory even though their 386 box has 2MB, that is.  DOS's mistakes
have very little impact on canned-program users directly, but it gets its
licks in indirectly, by making life harder for the application programs.
-- 
A bit of tolerance is worth a  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
megabyte of flaming.           | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

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mudos!mju
From: m...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us (Marc Unangst)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <695.254152F7@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us>
Date: 22 Oct 89 05:34:35 GMT
Organization: FidoNet node 1:120/129 - Starship Enterprise, Ann Arbor MI
Lines: 98

In article <3...@ast.cs.vu.nl>, a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum) writes:
 >In article <1989Oct21.013342.2...@ccu.umanitoba.ca> 
c...@eeserv.ee.umanitoba.ca (Andrew Chan) writes:
 >>I wish Minix could be more powerful as a multi-user system.
 >I am curious about what this means.  Is MINIX slower than XENIX (probably)?
 >Has fewer features (Thank Goodness)?  What is it that it lacks?  This is a
 >purely academic question, since sight unseen I am against the answer :-(.

I'm not Andrew Chan, but I can tell you the things MINIX lacks that it
should have:

        * Full support for "large model" programs.  I realize this
          would be difficult to add, but there are a lot of "real
          programs" out there that would be difficult or impossible
          to support because they have more than 64K of code.  Rn,
          for example, or nethack, or Elm.
        * Some sort of virtual memory.  I don't really care if this
          is demand-paging or swapping or whatever (and don't know
          enough to choose which one would be best), and I realize
          that this, too, would be difficult to impliment (especially
          if you also impliment large-model programs), but it's
          really needed.  I have a 640K system, and it's silly
          to run out of memory when all you have running is cron(1)
          and cc(1).
        * A real shell.  I've often had to pull apart shell archives
          by hand, because the MINIX shell chokes on them.  In particular,
          I think the 'Configure' script included with most Larry Wall
          software makes MINIX puke because MINIX doesn't properly
          impliment the 'eval' command.
        * A version of UUCP.  GNUUCP probably wouldn't be hard to
          port (it's written with portability in mind), but you might
          run into the 64K wall.
        * A real version of mail(1).  Actually, I'm not even sure if
          MINIX comes with *any* version of mail(1), since I haven't
          gotten 1.4a running yet.  If it doesn't, this is a major flaw.
        * Ability to put / somewhere other than a ramdisk.  I have a
          hard disk, and I suspect many other "serious" MINIX users
          do also.  Putting the root filesystem in RAM seriously
          handicaps users who have hard disks, users who would be
          happy to give up 400K or so of disk space in order to free
          up that RAM; 270K is over one third of the PC's total accessable
          memory.  I don't think we'll suffer a large speed hit if MINIX
          has to go to a hard disk to read stuff from /bin or whatever,
          and I *know* I'd rather have the RAM than the speed.  Users
          who are running floppy-only could always enable the ramdisk
          through a compile-time option or by booting off a different
          boot disk.  This would also prevent the mistakes that happen
          when you update a file on the root filesystem (in RAM) but
          forget to update the root disk, thus losing the changes when
          you re-boot.
        * Ability to boot off the hard disk.  This follows directly from
          the previous statement; IMHO, the only things floppies should
          be used for are backups and transferring files between systems.
          If you can store the root filesystem on the hard disk, you ought
          to be able to boot from it.  "Protection against the hard
          disk getting trashed" is a poor excuse; you can always haul
          out the floppy if something goes seriously wrong, and then
          just mount /dev/hd1 or whatever.
        * "Real" job control.  I'm not sure what this is, but I *do* know
          that I sorely miss the ability to suspend jobs, move them
          from the foreground to the background and back again, etc.
          that I have on my Sun-3.
        * The ability to format floppies from within MINIX.  As I
          understand it, right now the only reason to keep DOS around
          is because you have to format floppies with it before you
          can use them with MINIX.  This is silly; an OS should be
          self-sufficient.  Plus, it will mean (with the addition of
          the above suggestion, job control) that if you run out of
          floppies in the middle of a backup, you can just suspend the
          job, format some more, and pick up where you left off.  You
          won't have to quit, start up DOS, format some more, and then
          restart both MINIX and the backup.
        * The addition of "real" backup software.  Does MINIX 1.4a
          have dump and restor?  If not, why?  If so, you can
          ignore this point...

I think the problem with the 64K code-size limit (which you have, even
if you use the split I&D asld) is what hampers most program development.
I'm all for the "small is beautiful" way of life, but there are just
some things that *cannot* be expressed in only 64K.  I think we'll
all agree that Nethack is a great game (I certainly think so, and
its popularity speaks for itself), but the thing is much too big
to port to MINIX.  (It's probably much too big to be running on an
8088 pseudo-Unix machine, anyhow, but that's just an example.)

I'll be the first to admit that most of these changes won't be easy,
especially adding job control (which Andy has said would require
major changes to most of the OS).  I'll also be the first to admit
that I probably couldn't do any of them, and am really in awe of
the OS that we have all created.  However, it can be made even
better...With the addition of these changes (or at least most
of them), I might consider eliminating DOS entirely from my machine.

--  
Marc Unangst
Internet: m...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us
UUCP    : ...!uunet!sharkey!mudos!mju
Fidonet : Marc Unangst of 1:120/129.0
BBS     : The Starship Enterprise, 1200/2400 bps, +1 313-665-2832

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!mcsun!hp4nl!star.cs.vu.nl!ast
From: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <3768@ast.cs.vu.nl>
Date: 22 Oct 89 15:50:15 GMT
References: <695.254152F7@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us>
Reply-To: a...@cs.vu.nl (Andy Tanenbaum)
Organization: VU Informatica, Amsterdam
Lines: 70

In article <695.25415...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us> m...@mudos.ann-arbor.mi.us 
(Marc Unangst) writes:
>I'm not Andrew Chan, but I can tell you the things MINIX lacks 
[Summarized]

 1. Large model.  A real ugly hack forced by the brain damaged Intel
    architecture.  MINIX doesn't inherently have an 64K limit.  On the
    Atari you can have programs as large as physical memory.  I expect
    the arrival of the 386SX will spell the end of the 8088 and 80286
    within a couple of years.  At that point we can adopt a single linear
    32-bit address space, like MINIX-ST.

 2. Virtual memory.  I tend to regard this as obsolete.  With Bruce Evans'
    protected mode kernel and a 2M 386 you can have up to 2M of programs
    running at once.  That has to be enough for a personal computer.
    Thus I see virtual memory as something with a lifespan limited to
    the older machines, which will probably be gone in a couple of years.

 3. A real shell.  The shell is pretty much the Bourne shell.  If it has
    bugs, please try to fix them.  No conceptual problem there.  You may
    have an old version.  I have extracted some pretty large shell files.
    Make sure you have enough stack (chmem).

 4. UUCP.  I believe Peter Housel posted something along this line (uupc).

 5. Mail.  There actually is a mail program, but it is only for local
    mail at the moment.  I'll (re)post it as part of 1.4b.

 6. Root on hard disk.  That is already in as of 1.4a and will stay in.

 7. Boot off hard disk. I suppose it is possible, but a low priority item.
    Many people still use DOS and want to have the hard disk boot start DOS.
    You can't have it both ways.

 8. Job control.  No way. Too messy.  Maybe virtual screens next time.

 9. A format program.  I'd love it.  Any volunteers?

10. Backup.  There is no dump/restore, but I wrote a program called backup.c
    and posted it.  I use it all the time and find it quite adequate.
    You give it the name of a directory and put a floppy in the drive, and
    it looks for files that have changed since the last backup and saves them
    all.  I even have a shell script that calls the program with the right
    flags (which I posted).

Conclusion
>> With the addition of these changes (or at least most
>> of them), I might consider eliminating DOS entirely from my machine.

I find this a bit odd.  As far as I can see, the scorecard is:

  Item				DOS	MINIX
 1. Large model			Yes	No
 2. Virtual memory		No	No
 3. Real shell			No	Almost
 4. UUCP			No	UUPC
 5. Mail			No	No (except local mail)
 6. Root on HD			Yes	Yes
 7. Boot off HD			Yes	No
 8. Job control			No	No
 9. Formatter			Yes	No
10. Dump/restore		No	No (although I think 'backup' is better)

If one is willing to concede that the Bourne shell is close enough, and
accept UUPC, it looks like the score is 4 to 4.    I can easily understand
someone saying "Until MINIX gets virtual memory I'll stick with XENIX,"
but the list above (except for large model, doesn't really put DOS in that
great a light either). And things like multiuser, multiprogramming,
ability to use 16M memory, etc. aren't really strong points for DOS either.

Andy Tanenbaum (a...@cs.vu.nl)

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!cs.utexas.edu!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!snorkelwacker!
mit-eddie!attctc!chasm
From: ch...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (Charles Marslett)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.sys.ibm.pc,comp.unix.xenix
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Summary: Again, and again, and . . .
Message-ID: <9829@attctc.Dallas.TX.US>
Date: 23 Oct 89 03:28:55 GMT
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> 
<1989Oct22.003554.24199@utzoo.uucp>
Followup-To: comp.unix.xenix
Organization: The Unix(R) Connection, Dallas, Texas
Lines: 38

In article <1989Oct22.003554.24...@utzoo.uucp>, he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) 
writes:
> In article <5...@uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu> w...@uhccux.UUCP (Thomas Webb) writes:
> >... The moral here is that while DOS is undeniably
> >feeble, it works very well in a low cost, low power environment.  
> 
> Actually, Unix used to work pretty well in equally low-power environments.
> (Similarly slow CPUs, slightly better disks, far less memory, poorer I/O.)

Come on, I used to work on such machines (PDP-11s, even the older VAXen) and
they were dogs under Unix.  Why do you think so many people used (use?) VMS?
It is still around, isn't it?

Unix on a fast 11 might support a compile and two edits.  And the total clock
time was comparable to that of a 10 MHz 286 with Xenix.  For that matter, I
think Turbo C would do the whole thing twice as fast with the same hardware.

AND YOU SEEM TO HAVE MISSED THE PHRASE: low cost.

> >PS
> >Henry, I teach 'common people' about unix as part of my job, and most
> >of them don't want to know anthing more then how to load SPSS or
> >whatever anyway.  Maybe DOS has all they need?
> 
> Until they want to know why their DOS programs can't use any more than
> 640K of memory even though their 386 box has 2MB, that is.  DOS's mistakes
> have very little impact on canned-program users directly, but it gets its
> licks in indirectly, by making life harder for the application programs.

Yes, and try to explain why AutoCAD takes 2 MB under DOS, 4 MB under OS/2
and 7 MB under Xenix to get the same performance.  Again, life can be easier
(as in the Mac world), but you pay for it.

> -- 
> A bit of tolerance is worth a  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
> megabyte of flaming.           | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Charles
ch...@attctc.dallas.tx.us

Newsgroups: comp.os.minix,comp.unix.xenix
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: dosread.c again
Message-ID: <1989Oct23.155023.28185@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <3717@ast.cs.vu.nl> <3a18.2536ede8@ibmpcug.co.uk> <3721@ast.cs.vu.nl> 
<1989Oct22.003554.24199@utzoo.uucp> <9829@attctc.Dallas.TX.US>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 89 15:50:23 GMT

In article <9...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US> ch...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (Charles Marslett) 
writes:
> [Unix on small machines]
>
>Come on, I used to work on such machines (PDP-11s, even the older VAXen) and
>they were dogs under Unix...

I worked on such machines for some years.  They weren't exactly Crays, but
the well-managed ones were perfectly acceptable.  Remember what machines
Unix was *invented* on.

>Why do you think so many people used (use?) VMS?

Because they were seduced by DEC propaganda. :-)  Most of the folks I know
who started out using VMS switched to Unix as quickly as they could.

>Unix on a fast 11 might support a compile and two edits...

The ones I worked on did a lot better than that.

>AND YOU SEEM TO HAVE MISSED THE PHRASE: low cost.

I didn't miss it, it's just irrelevant.  Of course hardware costs were
higher fifteen years ago.  The point is, *now* hardware of that caliber
is cheap.  But somehow the software is no longer prepared to exploit it
efficiently.  As Mike O'Dell has observed, somehow the hardware keeps
getting faster but the response time at my keyboard doesn't improve.

>... try to explain why AutoCAD takes 2 MB under DOS, 4 MB under OS/2
>and 7 MB under Xenix to get the same performance...

Incompetence?

Actually, although I don't dismiss the possibility of sheer incompetence,
software bloat is everywhere these days.  As witness the 500KB text editors
that very definitely are *not* 10 times better than the 50KB ones we used
to have.
-- 
A bit of tolerance is worth a  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
megabyte of flaming.           | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu