|Version of 86-DOS|
Because of the fact versions 0.33 and 0.34 are sometimes mislabeled 0.3, even by Tim Paterson himself, this release's sources are limited. The only known correctly labeled source is a 1981 license agreement between Microsoft and Seattle Computer Products.
Authenticity of sources[edit | edit source]
Mislabeled sources[edit | edit source]
- 86-DOS Version 0.3 User's Manual/Programmer's Manual by Tim Paterson
- "A Short History of MS-DOS" by Tim Paterson
- "0.3" is referring to version 0.34.
- comp.os.cpm message by Barry Watzman
Correctly labeled sources[edit | edit source]
There is only one source mentioning 0.3 that is known to be correct - the 6 January 1981 license agreement between Microsoft and Seattle Computer Products, which mentions a sole instruction manual versioned "0.3".[note 1] The license agreement states that the manual is dated 15 November 1980. Because 86-DOS 0.33 - the next version - was released in December 1980, the version number cannot be a mislabel.
A second source that may be correct is an email between Tim Paterson and comp.os.cpm newsgroup member Bill Hemmings. In the email, Paterson refers to version "0.3" of 86-DOS, saying it was only seen by 30 people. It is unknown whether this is a mislabel or not.
Features not present[edit | edit source]
Though the license agreement doesn't give added features, it does give 7 features that Microsoft wanted added to 86-DOS in Exhibit A. They are:
- Directory expanded to include date.
- Date above to be input on user startup.
- Date above to be accessible and thus set/reset thru BASIC.
- Editor modified to
- Ability to abort an edit of a line and of an edit session.
- Ability to page thru and edit a program that is too large for memory.
- Updated and expanded documentation for all OS interfaces.
- SUBMIT facility comparable to CP/M.
- Support of disk blocking/deblocking. (Jan 15)
There are a few interesting things about these requests.
- Even though it is known 86-DOS supported 8.3 filenames, the first request reveals that the directory table did not include dates.
- The second request also reveals that the date wasn't requested upon boot as it is in later versions of 86-DOS, including 1.00.
- The fourth request reveals that EDLIN did not have the ability to abort a line, which the later 0.34 manuals show has been implemented by pressing Ctrl+X.
- The fourth request seeks the ability to "page thru and edit a program that is too large for memory", which is not implemented before 0.42. It is unknown whether this is supported in 1.00.
- The sixth request for a "SUBMIT facility comparable to CP/M" reveals batch files did not have the
%modifier as they did in 1.00 and 1.14.
- The seventh request is the most interesting. While disk blocking was already partially implemented by 0.3, disk deblocking was not supported, with the 0.34 manuals specifically noting that a deblocked disk may cause hard disk errors. It is unknown whether this is supported in 1.00.
- The interesting thing about this request is the date at the end, January 15. Because the license was signed on 6 January 1981, it could mean that the feature was going to be supported on or by January 15. However, this seems unlikely, as the next version - 0.42 - was released 41 days after the date. It's possible that blocking/deblocking was instead implemented in 86-DOS 0.34, but if the date has a different meaning, it will remain a mystery.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This manual is not the same as the scanned manuals also versioned "0.3", as instead of having a "user's" manual it has an "instruction" manual. Additionally, the scanned manuals are from "[circa] December 1980" and contain features that were requested by Microsoft in the license such as the ability to abort a line in EDLIN.
References[edit | edit source]
- Hemmings, Bill (5 May 1999). Dos 1.1. comp.os.cpm.
- Brock, Rod; Allen, Paul (6 January 1981). 86-DOS License Agreement with Microsoft. Slated Antitrust Documents.
- Paterson, Tim (2005). 86-DOS Manuals. PatersonTech.
- Paterson, Tim (June 1983). A Short History of MS-DOS. BYTE Magazine. p. 246.
- Watzman, Barry (12 November 1999). which is first, Intel or Microsoft. comp.os.cpm.
- Watzman, Barry (22 July 2009). Images of Seattle Computer Proudcts (SCP) S-100 boards. comp.os.cpm.
- Hunter, David (March 1983). The Roots of DOS: Tim Paterson. Softalk for the IBM Personal Computer. p. 12-15.
- Paterson, Tim; Wharton, John (3 October 1994). From the Mailbox: The Origins of DOS. Microprocessor Report. p. 1-2.