This Old DOS
By Ira Plato
Hi, I'm Bob Wheeler Dealer and welcome to This Old DOS. Last
week you may remember we renovated the Charles Babbage Family computer. We
upgraded their antique CPM to the IBM operating system known as MS DOS. And
this week on This Old DOS, we're continuing our renovation by installing a
brand new operating system, supposed to be real easy to use, called Windows.
And boy am I excited. So let's go around back and see how Norm is doing with
Bob: Hi Norm. How's it going?
Norm: Oh, hi Bob. Well, as you can see I'm about to
install Windows on our old machine.
Bob: No glass in these Windows, huh Norm? Ha ha.
Norm: Ha ha. That's right, just a handful of floppy
disks. This is an attempt at making an IBM PC work "a little bit more" like an
Apple Macintosh. Instead of typing commands you just move a lot of little
pictures around on a screen.
Bob: I can't wait. Sounds simple enough. Let's take a
whack at it.
Norm: Well, ok, the first thing we do is install
these disks. Pop them in the computer and follow the, uh, directions on the
screen. Here you try (sound of hard drive grinding). That's it.
Bob: Simple enough.
Norm: Ok, Bob, now the machine wants to know if you
want to modify your config.sys or change your autoexec.bat to automatically
load when the machine boots up. What do you want to do?
Bob: What's a config.sys? I don't know anything about
Norm: Never mind, it's ok Bob, I'll take care of it.
There. Now to be really state of the art we've got to upgrade our
microprocessor (sound of sawing). That's the computer chip inside so that these
Windows will work fast enough. Otherwise, you know, you might as well go out
and get a cup of coffee while the screen draws pretty pictures, heh heh. So let
me get one of these, uh, 486 chips. We've got a crane here. Hey
fellas! You wanna load that puppy here into place? Careful (sound
of machinery)! Don't bend the pins! There, all snapped in.
Bob: All right, now we're ready to open Windows,
Norm: Not on your life, Bob. While we're at it we're
building an extension onto the memory board for those fat, greedy programs that
gobble the stuff up. I'll just hammer a few of these 4 megabyte chips into
place (bang bang). There, now we've got 16 megabytes on board. Narly, man!
Bob: All right, let her rip, Norm.
Norm: Not so fast, Bob! Those big Windows programs
need lots and lots of storage space. Charles talked to his banker and decided
to spring for that 200 megabyte beauty there. Hand me that, uh
Bob: You mean this thing here (groaning and
Norm: Yeah, that's the hard drive. Ah, thanks. And
they want to do multimedia. You know; sound, graphics, computer games, the
latest; so we'll add on a new super VGA monitor.
Bob: Something else?
Bob: Something else? More stuff?A CD ROM drive.
Norm: Yeah, we have a sound board and special
speakers if you want that great sound.
Bob: This isn't so simple anymore!
Norm: Well, we're just about ready to go. That's
Bob: All right now. With all this preparation Norm,
this had better be great.
Norm: Well, I hope so, let's (sound of drive
grinding) load up Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Excel and FileMaker Pro and watch
her rip! (beep
Bob: What happened? What happened?
Norm: Well, it looks like a system crash.
Bob: Oh no!
Norm: Don't worry! We can fix this thing. We can fix
Bob: What do we do now, give up?
Norm: No, never! We drop everything and start over.
That's the American Way. You keep changing stuff until you find what's
Bob: Now, how long is this gonna take? I haven't got
all week to
Norm: Don't worry! I'll have this thing running like
top, Bob. In the mean time you can go back in my shop there and use my Mac.
Bob: All right, you keep working at it Norm. We're
out of time folks. Join us tomorrow for the start of our new 50-part series:
How to install and maintain a Local Area Network. Until then, bye bye from This