Disk Operating System
Dos was once a very popular operating system and while alot of systems still use it unfortunately DOS is being phased out. Rather DOS is being hidden WINDOWS is based around DOS only the commands are hidden behind a user friendly interface with pretty icons and fancy labeling. Mind you DOS is still very handy and alot of things are easier to do in DOS than Windows. Also Windows requires alot of memory and if you don't need Windows then DOS may perform the tasks you need. Anyway There is alot more to DOS than what is here and believe me DOS has thousands of handy tricks and functions. Mostly DOS uses commands and switches that tell the command to perform in a particular way. To get a DOS prompt from within Windows 95 click on the start button and choose shut down then restart in DOS mode and click ok the computer will restart with a DOS prompt to get back to Windows type win. Alternatively you can use DOS as a window click on the start button choose programs then click on the DOS prompt. To make this window full screen or to make it smaller again (restore it) hold down the alt key and hit enter. Typing exit within this window will close it. While in DOS you can also hit the print screen button on your keyboard to print the screen directly to the printer. This can be handy to record your results etc. Commands in DOS are not case sensitive so COPY, Copy, CoPY, COpY etc. are all seen as the same command by DOS. Long file names will be abbreviated to an eight character long name with a ~1 or other number after it. Just type the name as DOS presents it and DOS will recognize the file. Also be advised to use full paths in DOS if your not in the same directory as the file you are issuing a command on e.g. c:\www\file.txt etc. is a path. The command will not work otherwise. If your in the same directory and acting within that directory then you can use just the filename to save typing. I recommend using paths to get used to them and also to avoid mistakes of accidentally acting on similarly named files within directories. It may sound complicated but it isn't really a path is kind of like an address for the file without a path DOS won't know where to go or where to look.
Copy - The copy command is used to copy files from one thing to another. Type copy filename1 filename 2 /switch filename1 is the original file being copied and filename2 is what it is being copied too. You can use a different name to copy too. The switch is an optional extra setting that allows certain conditions if you like type copy /? for a full listing of the available switches. Just remember when you copy a file the original file is still in its original location using its original name meaning there may be a multiple copy of the file and also you can't use the name that a file is already named in that directory. Another note if the file is in another directory than the one your in use the full path as the filename e.g. C:\Dir2\file.txt etc. This sounds a little complicated but it is actually quite simple once you try it a few times.
Del - Del is used to delete files type del filename at the prompt with he filename being the file you want to delete. Be careful though because even though there is an undelete function in DOS it can only be used if you don't copy over an accidentally deleted file. Once again there are various switches that can be used here type del/? for a full list and for help.
Dir - Typing Dir will list the current directory. You simply type dir at the prompt you can also use dir /switch with the switch being any one of a dozen or so switches type dir/? for help on this command. The switches here are very handy for example dir/w will list the directory in a wide format of three columns allowing you too see long directories on the screen more easily. Dir/p will list the directory and pause after each screen full of the list allowing you to see the directory without it rushing past. Dir/w/p will list in wide format and pause etc. Dir/a will list all files including the hidden files not usually displayed in DOS. Alot of handy switches with this command.
Format : Format is used to format a disk
Md - Md make directory
Move - Move is used to move files from one location to another it is good because a move in DOS will move the file and also remove it from its original location. Type move filename1 filename2 at the prompt where the filename1 is the path of the original file and filename2 is the target path and or filename. Move can be used to rename a file at the same time by using a different filename for the target.
Rd - Remove directory deletes a directory
ver - Typing ver at the DOS prompt will give you the version of DOS the computer is using.
Another handy feature that Windows brings to DOS is when you use Explorer
and the Dos window. In the DOS window type the command e.g. Copy
then find the file in Explorer and drag it onto the DOS window it will
automatically display the name of the file along with its full path.
This is a handy way to ensure the path is correct and avoid mistakes.
DOS has allot more commands than these but the ones here are good ones to know. DOS is slowly being replaced by other operating systems (mostly Windows95 and 98) but alot of DOS commands are still very useful.
Creating DOS Partition
This is probably the most hand feature of DOS as most of the other features
can also be achieved through Windows or similar operating systems in an
easier manner. A DOS partition is like sectioning off parts
of the hard drive to act like separate drives. That is even though
your computer has only one hard drive you can use it as if you have several.
You can create up to 26 separate drives (believe me you won't want more
than this). This can be handy to keep certain files on different
So how do you create a partition? Well it is so easy the computer almost does it for you. Firstly get into DOS where you have a DOS prompt then type fdisk you will see a menu relating to partitions. You can delete, create or check the details about already existing partitions. When you create a partition you actually nominate a percentage or certain amount of memory to the partition. So if you give all the available memory to one partition you won't be able to create anymore and you will need to delete the partition before you continue. Don't worry about it being hard because if you fallow the instructions you can't really go wrong.
Firstly you should check if any partitions exist and if you have any memory left over to create a partition. If there is a partition and the chances are there will be one. You may have to delete it before you can create anymore because it may have all memory devoted to it. A word of caution before deleting any partitions you should backup or copy all the data within it.
Deleting a partition may not necessarily delete the data on that partition but it generally will or at least some of it. Anyway it is a good idea to have a backup anyway for a variety of reasons.
If you have no partitions you can begin creating them and distributing the memory as you like to the different partitions. You will need to create a primary partition first then an Extended DOS partition and as many Logical Drives as you like in that order.
After creating all this you should nominate the c: drive as your active partition otherwise your config.sys and auto.exec files might not work. This then should give you a computer with several logical (virtual) drives labeled e: f: and so on. Remember your CD rom is drive d: and any other devices that use drive letters so you don't try to use the same letter while creating your partitions you probably won't be able to name them the same letter anyway but it is a consideration.
Next you will need to format the drives so that DOS will recognize them. This is easy to do just type format (drive letter) e.g. format e: will format the e drive. Again you will loose any information on the drives but considering they are empty at this point it is ok.
Then go about reinstalling your programs etc. and restoring your backup. Then copy programs to your various drives. A point to remember is during the installation you will need to nominate the drive you want the application to run in. Otherwise the default value will choose your c: drive causing a big head ache later when you want to units and or find data.
All this sounds quite tricky but it well worth learning because it enables you too organize your computer quite well and even use different operating systems on the same computer but installed on different drives.
It is strongly recommended to backup all the files
and data on your computer as a safety precaution. A backup
is a copy of data that you can restore that data from in the event of the
data becoming lost or damaged. It also serves as a good way
to keep records of changes to your system by making regular backups.
Most Operating Systems including Windows 95 and DOS have back up facilities
included. You can also backup to a wide variety of mediums including
disks, CD's, tapes and other fancy things. Backups typically
require alot of storage space and use some form of compression making the
files appear smaller.
Full backups are usually only required once every so often whale backup software usually lets you back up only the changes since your last backup saving disk space and time.
You can back up to floppy disks if you don't have any other backup medium but you will need several disks probably about 70 at least.
Also only backup what you can't install from the original disks. For example don't backup Windows 95 if you have the disks for it. Backup all the files, images etc. and anything you may have created yourself in the form of configuration files etc. This may sound like common sense and it is but it is also important because it will save you time and money.
You may have Pkzip and Pkunzip in your DOS directory. These two little commands are very powerful and can compress your data substantially. Type pkzip (the name of the file it is going to) (filename being zipped) e.g. pkzip c:\apple\123.zip c:\direct\123.txt will zip up the 123 text file from the direct directory and send it to the apple directory calling it 123.zip . It is a good idea to rename them with the zip extension to recognize zipped up files as you can't use them until you unzip them. To unzip use pkunzip in exactly the same way e.g. pkunzip c:\direct\123.txt c:\apple\123.zip will unzip the 123.zip file in the apple directory and call it 123.txt in the direct directory.
Again it sounds complicated but once you try it a few times you will get used to it. I hated zipping stuff at first but once I got it right I use it all the time now. You can zip things you rarely use and save substantial disk space with files being stored with as little as 40% of their normal size. This is handy for backing up the files as well and often several things can be stored on one disk.
Pkzip and Pkunzip are not included with DOS so your computer may not have them but most computers these days have them included in the bonus software. You can get Winzip on the net and it is very similar to pkzip (actually the same thing only with pretty icons). See my home page links for information.
I recommend making more than one backup copy as well. Believe it or not sometimes backups are faulty and while it is rare it is simply not worth the risk of loosing data. A second backup will at least ease your mind that is backed up properly.
If you get a virus or anything else that corrupts your data simply delete it then restore it from the backup. Easy to do though it may take time to do. The zip feature lets you zip files and label disks enabling quicker restoration as your floppy disk only restores a smaller zipped file while your computer unzips it. This is much faster than saving the file as is on several floppy disks.
Anyone who uses the net or a network is well aware
of the threats of a virus infection. A virus is usually a program
or configuration file that has undesirable effects. Usually a virus
will act in one of three ways.
This type will replace your boot up files with itself and replicate every time you boot up. Generally this type will fill your hard drive and be a nuisance to remove. They may also disable certain functions or hide them. Removal of this type of virus is usually in the form of an anti virus program or a complete format of your hard drive then restoring the system files. (That sounds a bit drastic but it is effective)
This type of virus generally acts as or acts as part of an innocent looking program and once executed replicates itself into other parts of your file system.
There are other types of virus things around but these two are by far the most common. Other types will infect your setup files in Windows or other programs corrupting them and generally being annoying.
The computer virus is generally written by fools that like to cause damage to other computers that generally have very little morality and cost innocent people money. While they think they are funny or smart the fact is they cost innocent people alot of time and money. New laws within Australia and the US can now be used to successfully prosecute someone who deliberately spreads a virus program that actually causes harm or cost even so much as time to the victim. While it is difficult to prove at least the laws are attempting to come to the side of those who are sick of the virus problems.
To prevent getting a virus I recommend using an anti virus protection program and running a TSR virus program. TSR programs run continuously while the computer is active they scan for virus type programs and symptoms and alert of any threats. While anti viral programs are not total protection they are a very good help.
I strongly recommend backing up your entire system. That way if your computer starts acting weird and you can't figure why you can guess it will be a virus. Run an anti virus program and if that doesn't fix it then you will need to format your drive. While formatting the drive will cause the loss of alot of good data it will also get rid of the virus and while it isn't exactly the best way it is effective.
I also recommend creating startup disks in the event of the need to format your hard drive you will need a startup disk to restart your computer.
Mostly a good anti virus protection program will protect your computer. But alot of virus problems can be avoided all together by following simple common sense.
ONLY EVER use programs from reputable sources. The chances are if it is pirated it is pirated by someone who has also included a neat little added extra so to speak. While 99% of people don't deliberately distribute any virus they may inadvertently send out programs that include them. I know people who have used things as innocent as IRC and every time they enter a room the virus auto sends to everyone in the room. Not a problem unless it is accepted by some unknowing person and executed. The original user was completely unaware it was even happening because it acts exactly like a normal IRC program should only sending out copies of the virus.
Also in regards to a virus it is well to remember a virus is only a problem when it is EXECUTED. There is no such thing as an email that can kill your computer or an ICQ message that destroys your system those kind of claims are usually made by immature people who know nothing about computers at all. A virus has to be executed to be a problem. I have about 30 different virus programs in my computer that do nothing. I have them because I am studying programming and they are basically different programs (quite pathetic virus' really). As long as I never activate them they will never do anything either.
If you receive a known virus just delete it and delete it from your recycle bin and you will never see it again. Don't execute it even just out of curiosity.
<FONT COLOR=color> Text </FONT> will change the colour of
the text according to whatever colour you entered. You can use colours
like blue, green, red, white etc.
<BOLD> Text </B> Will make the text bold.
<CENTER> Text </CENTER> Will center the text.
<UNDERLINE> Text </U> Will underline the text.
<BLINK> Text </BLINK> Will make the text blink.
If you want to know more codes right click your mouse (if using Netscape) and choose view source this will show the html code for whatever web page your on. Experimentation will quickly show what various codes do and how to use them.
While you can appreciate there are alot more HTML commands available but this is a good start.
Surfing the net is probably the most common computer use around most people that own a computer have access to the internet and have at least some experience with the World Wide Web.
World Wide Web
Is a collection of readily accessible sites and web pages devoted in a wide range of topics and forms. Most URL's include www. in the address this means they are on the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is commonly called the internet by most people.
A URL is like an address for a web site e.g http://www.hotmail.com . There is alot of information held in an URL for example most URL's will end in one of these things and here are what the mean;
.com - company or a business
.au - Australian or in Australia
.org - organization
.htm - a HTML document
.html - a HTML document
This is a general guide and usually pretty correct but you may find
some variation on the internet.