IBM PC DOS 2000 gives
the DOS customer many enhancements in the areas of usability, memory optimization,
full-function utilities, and new hardware support, bringing IBM PC DOS
to the forefront of the single-tasking operating systems available today.
This article compares and contrasts IBM's latest DOS offering, PC DOS
2000, with Microsoft's latest DOS offering, MS-DOS 6.22.
PC DOS Version 2000
comes with Stacker 4.0, the industry-standard disk compression software
created by Stac Electronics. This technology is integrated into PC DOS
2000 to give you the highest compression ratio and the most free disk
space possible. Stacker has many features that distinguish it as the leading
disk compression software product on the market.
Users of other compression
products such as DoubleSpace, DriveSpace, SuperStor/DS, and earlier versions
of Stacker can easily and seamlessly upgrade to Stacker 4.0. The version
of Stacker bundled in PC DOS 2000 provides the convenience of having a
complete DOS and Windows interface. Stacker also has the ability to dynamically
calculate the current data compression ratio and will automatically reflect
the changes to the user. Stacker 4.0, even with the enhanced functionality
it provides, takes up less conventional memory than other disk compression
Providing a method
for compressed diskette portability has also been solved by the current
version of Stacker. With the compression provided by PC DOS 2000, you
can compress a diskette, take that diskette to any other DOS machine,
and be able to access the compressed data on that diskette even though
the other machine may not have Stacker installed.
of drives has also been addressed in a unique manner. Stacker provides
the ability to have both Read-Only and Read/Write passwords. This means
that a specific compressed drive can be password-protected. You can then
give someone else the Read-Only password to access data on the compressed
drive, but not to change it. When the computer is turned on, the user
is prompted to enter the Read-Only password, and the drive will be mounted
in write-protected mode.
are many features that distinguish PC DOS 2000's data compression offering
from MS-DOS 6.22's. Figure 1 gives a brief synopsis
of some of the differences.
Point's Backup utility (Figure 2) is included in
PC DOS 2000. This backup utility provides a DOS and Windows interface
for ease of use. Some features of the latest version of Central Point's
- Support for a
wide variety of tape formats, including QIC and SCSI interfaces
- Full support for
backing up to a hard disk, high-speed diskette, and optical and removable
- The ability to
be scheduled well in advance for an unattended backup
- The ability to
compress data when backing up
Another feature that
makes this product easy to use is the inclusion of file viewers, so that
you can view many DOS and Windows files prior to backing them up. This
enables you to view files such as bitmaps in their native form, so you
will readily recognize if they are files that you want to back up or not.
DOS users want to maximize the amount of conventional memory available,
so one of the objectives when developing PC DOS 2000 was to give the user
as much memory as possible (Figure 4). This was
- Tuning the DOS
Kernel, utilities, and device drivers to have a smaller memory footprint.
Less efficient and more bulky programming routines were replaced by
routines that were highly optimized for memory and/or speed. This was
all done without losing any features or compatibility.
- Adding several
new features that allow DOS users to move certain pieces of code into
upper memory without requiring specialized software. An example is the
DOSDATA=UMB command, which (when placed in CONFIG.SYS) moves the FILES,
BUFFERS, LASTDRIVE, and STACKS into an upper memory block. This alone
can realize a savings of 12 KB in conventional memory.
Most users will gain
between 10 KB and 60 KB of memory using IBM PC DOS 2000 instead of MS-DOS
6.22, though actual results may vary based on the configuration. Figure
4 shows a gain of 32 KB, and additional savings are possible. For example,
if the user uses IBM AntiVirus, the gain can be an additional 17 KB (as
shown in Figure 3); and if the user uses compression, the gain can be
an additional 19 KB (as shown in Figure 1). In total, the savings can
amount to more than 60 KB.
DOS 2000 includes a highly enhanced online help facility (Figure
5), which offers full-screen online help with pull-down menus and
full mouse support. Contained within the help screens are hypertext links
that connect to related topics and allow you to see a full description
of related commands; when done, you go back to the original screen that
you came from.
Part of the online
help facility is an online publication viewer. This viewer uses a subset
of the information presentation facility (IPF) format, and gives you the
ability to view online books. Now you can quickly and easily access many
online books that are provided with PC DOS or other sources. The viewer
provides advanced functions such as hypertext links, search, and printing.
E Editor (Figure 6) is a powerful, full-function
tool for browsing or editing files. Many enhancements to the E Editor
make it very powerful and easy to use.
The E Editor has
full pull-down menu and mouse support. You have the ability to change
the E editor's initialization file, which allows for customizing the way
that many of the features of E work.
A browse mode is
available for files that you want to view without taking the chance of
changing. E also has REXX and C autosyntax support, which offers users
of either the REXX or C programming language some relative convenience
when typing common syntax. Also, working with text files that occupy 132
columns is no longer a problem, because E now has 132-column support.
Once you use the
many features of the E editor, any other editor without these features
will seem unsatisfactory. For example, two of the most commonly edited
files in DOS are CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. With this in mind, the PC
DOS 2000 programmers made it as simple as typing E /C to load the
CONFIG.SYS into the E Editor, and E /A to load the AUTOEXEC.BAT
into E. And if you want to edit both files, simply typing E /C /A
will serve that purpose! In addition, when you load two or more text files,
you have full cut-and-paste capability between both files.
DOS 2000 provides a full-function, full-screen Undelete program (Figure
7) that allows you to retrieve files that have been inadvertently
deleted. For ease of use, both a DOS and a Windows interface are provided
Undelete has three
levels of protection. The lowest level of protection is the Standard DOS
protection. This gives you the ability to recover files that have not
yet been overwritten.
level of protection is Tracker. With Tracker protection activated, the
clusters that a file occupies are made available. However, a record of
the clusters that a file was occupying is made, and as long as the clusters
have not been overwritten, there is a good chance of recovering the file.
The highest level
of protection is called Sentry. When Sentry is activated, files that are
protected by it are saved to a hidden directory, and can be recalled by
the Sentry in perfect condition. If the free space on the hard disk is
getting low, Sentry will begin to remove the oldest files that are in
the hidden directory, so there will be space for other files. Note, however,
that with the Sentry level of protection, a lot of disk storage may be
used, because whenever a file is "deleted," a backup of that
file is created elsewhere on the disk.
people today purchase laptops that have PCMCIA card slots. With this in
mind, PC DOS 2000 now provides PCMCIA support (Figure
8) from Phoenix Technologies. This support is PCMCIA 2.1-compliant.
There are several
different types of PCMCIA cards -- fax/modem, network, hard-disk (ATA),
flash memory, and static random-access memory (SRAM) cards, as well as
many other types of peripherals made in a PCMCIA card format. Therefore,
it is increasingly important to support these types of cards in a simple,
easy-to-use interface. PC DOS 2000's PCMCIA support has an easy-to-use
DOS and Windows interface.
Most cards are configured
automatically by PC DOS 2000. By simply plugging the card into the socket,
the plug-and-play support for PCMCIA automatically detects the insertion
of the card, and readily identifies and configures it. On the small chance
that the automatic detection does not recognize the card inserted, PC
DOS 2000 has an easy-to-use program for configuring the card.
Advanced Power Management
only portable systems (laptops) required any type of power management
to reduce the power usage of their batteries. Today, many systems have
power management built into the BIOS. With the abundance of machines that
now come with Advanced Power Management built in, there was a concern
for having the most current support possible. PC DOS 2000 now supports
the latest Advanced Power Management (APM) standard (version 1.1), as
well as APM 1.0 (Figure 9).
DOS 2000 now provides a PC-to-PC File Update utility (Figure
10). This utility can synchronize files between two systems using
diskettes, parallel/serial connections, or networking software.
This utility is customized
so that it ignores specific types of non-data files. It can also be customized
to synchronize between multiple environments. For instance, if a laptop
machine has a C drive, and a desktop machine has a C and a D drive, the
user can tell the File Update utility to synchronize the laptop C:\WP51
directory with the desktop D:\WP51 directory. The File Update utility
also allows for flexibility in the directory correspondence. For instance,
if the same laptop machine has a C:\WP51 directory and the desktop machine
has a D:\WP511 directory, File Update can be configured so that it understands
File Update has an
easy-to-use, full-screen interface as well as a command-line interface.
File Update requires two computers, which are connected via a parallel,
serial, or LAN connection. If it is not practical to connect two machines
in this way, synchronizing via diskette is another method of transferring
are many other features in PC DOS 2000 that add substantial value (Figure
PC DOS 2000 has a
DEFRAG utility that defragments the files on your hard disk. This can
increase the speed of loading files from the hard disk.
Docking support for
DOS and Windows allows a user to dock a laptop into a docking station
and automatically initiate a configuration for the docking station.
The REXX programming
language, included with PC DOS 2000, allows you to access a powerful high-level
language via a batch file. Along with the REXX interpreter itself, there
is an on-line book providing a quick reference for REXX.
PC DOS 2000 also
has a utility called DYNALOAD. This enables you to use the command line
to load many of the device drivers that are normally loaded in CONFIG.SYS
(such as a CD-ROM device driver or a RAM drive). For instance, to load
a 1 MB RAM drive in extended memory from the C> prompt, you need only
DYNALOAD C:\DOS\RAMDRIVE.SYS /E 1024
DYNALOAD is convenient
for people who may not want to load certain drivers due to memory constraints,
but still want to have access to their drivers without having to reboot.
ACALC is a simple
command-line calculator in PC DOS 2000 that can perform simple functions
such as 5+5 and complex functions such as FACT(((8+1)/2*pi())*2-SQRT(MAX(6;3)))
PC DOS 2000: The Clear Choice
The many features,
functions, and capabilities in PC DOS 2000 distinguish it as the Disk
Operating System of choice for beginning, intermediate and power users.