CFOG's PIP, December 1988, Volume 7 No. 6, Whole No. 68, page 90

DOS Doings

by Steve Lucius

First a pitch for an organization named CFOG. CFOG needs your help and membership dollars to survive. As Ben Cohen pointed out in the previous issue of PIP, CFOG needs workers to survive. It's an amazing fact that the more you put into an organization the more you get out.

To demonstrate what a bargain CFOG is: have you priced phone advice lately? One software package I looked at wants $5 for the first 5 minutes and $1 per minute after that. There used to be a CP/M support line that was $20 for the first 5 minutes. With CFOG a little mor money buys you a year of support. Have you checked the price of disk format conversions say from Osborne to IBM? Each disk costs $20 done commercially. (Osborne SSDD to Kaypro DSDD costs $30.) If you get two disks converted at at meeting you've paid for your membership. You could even get the conversion software from the CFOG library and start your own business.

Thanks to Mike Andrews our MS-DOS library is growing rapidly, it is about 120 disks now with over 20 more to process.

Presentation Manager Debuts

Microsoft has started shipping version 1.1 of OS-2 otherwise known as the Presentation Manager. It probably doesn't mean a thing to the home computer user. This DOS replacement requires a bare minimum of 2 megs of memory to run and works much better with 5 megs. This on top of requiring a hard drive and a 286 or 386 based computer makes this an operating system for business with edit do b:ts. In return for this the DOS 640 memory barrier is broken and true multitasking can occur with a graphical interface instead of the DOS command line. List price is $340. Since there is not much software written to use OS-2 power right now running OS-2 and being a pioneer is quite expensive. For more information see PC magazine December 27 issue.

Lotus 1-2-3 Schedule

Latest release date for Lotus 3 that I have seen is second quarter 1989. An article in PC Week said it still needed more work to get it to run under DOS with memory left to run a decent size spreadsheet. The article also said that it might be released with a DOS extender for 286 and 386 based machines with over 640k of memory, and a separate release for 8088 machines with less features. It looked good under OS-2 at a demo I saw a few months back.

ARC Wars Update

The legal wars continue between SEA and others who would write archiving software using the word ARC in the title. Meanwhile SEA has released a new version of their software for archiving, ARC532, with a new very fast program named QARC that is faster than PKARC at making archives and MKSARC for making self unpacking EXE files.

dBase Copyright Wars

In the big league legal wars Ashton-Tage (dBase) has sued Foxbase over copyright infringement. No word as to why this particular dBase clone was sued, there are many more out there.

Running CP/M on your IBM: 22 NICE and 22 DISK

For those readers who may want to run CP/M programs on your IBM compatible there is one new disk in the library that may prove useful. Disk number 114 has 22DSK122 (a menu driven CP/M disk reading program) and 22NIC122 (which allows you to run CP/M programs with or without a V20/V30 chip). I tried 22NIC with a V20 chip and it worked well. It looks like it has most commercial system features. I have used the previous version of 22DSK at the office and found it worked on my AT clone, at least in reading single side Kaypro disks. Both are shareware.

Running CP/M programs on a IBM or clone with 22NIC will probably not be as fast as an O-1 or Kaypro but it will get a little more mileage out of the CP/M software and allow work from home to be transferred to the office. I used to use a software emulator with an AT clone and found it to be about 75% the speed of my O-1. Using an XT clone with a V-20 chip also runs about 75% as fast as an O-1. Using straight software emulation on an XT would be very slow. Since a V-20 chip costs about $10 plus installation there is little need to run an XT clone with straight software emulation. For XT clones with an 8086 there is a V-30 chip that also runs CP/M. I suppose that with a V-30 the junior grade PS-2 systems such as the IBM Model 30 and 25 could also run CP/M.

New IBM Models

Speaking of the model 30 there is a review of the model 30 286, which is a 10 MHZ AT clone in a case like a model 30. It has the 3.5 inch floppy drives and a slow hard drive. It is built using an AT bus so it will take regular expansion cards. There is a review of it in the January 17, 1989 issue of PC Magazine.

dBase IV Update

In the same issue of PC Magazine is an article on dBase IV. It appears from this an other articles on version IV that for dBase III users it is a good upgrade but still lacks some of the features of the competition.

WordStar 5 Bug Fixes

For anyone who has been using Wordstar 5 there is a free upgrade available now, and another in January with bug fixes especially printer problems. Call WS5 tech support or call into the MICROPRO section of Compuserve for information.

January Computer Shopper Features

Last but not least the January issue of Computer Shopper has a good article on adding a second hard drive to a PC and also on DOS version 4.0 problems. There is a version 4.01 of DOS which fixes many of the original bugs.