The microcomputer DOS operating system

When the mainframe computer giant IBM entered the PC market in 1981, the Microsoft Corporation were enlisted to write the operating system called MS DOS or DOS (Disk Operating System). DOS had evolved from CP/M (Control Processor for Microcomputers) - an operating system written in the 1970s for 8-bit microprocessors. The DOS operating system was a single tasking - meaning only one task could be processed at a time - and single user operating system. DOS therefore, only utilised a small proportion of the computing power of the PC. It used a 'command driven interface' by which is meant that that users communicated with DOS by typing commands directly through the keyboard (see Figure 1.2). Learning to use DOS was time-consuming and involved a great deal of effort compared with the Windows operating system which followed it. Users of DOS had to learn many commands before they could become competent computer users.

Command Prompt



Microsoft Windows XP [Uersion 5.1.2600] CO Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.


C:\Docunents and SettingsNKeith Darlington>dir/u Uolume in driue C has no label. Uolume Serial Number is 5006-B9D9

Directory of G:\Docunents and SettingsSKeith Darlington

[.] [..] [.Java] [.jauaws] [.jpi_cache] .plugin141_01.trace [Desktop] [Favorites] [My Documents] [Start Menu] [WINDOWS]

1 File<s> 833 bytes 10 Dir<s> 28*251*917,824 bytes free

C:\Documents and Settings\Keith Darlington


Figure 1.2 Illustration of the DOS user interface

Figure 1.2 Illustration of the DOS user interface

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