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Date:      Sun, 9 Feb 2020 08:41:11 +0000
From:      Steve O'Hara-Smith <>
Subject:   Re: Re  updating BIOS
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Sun, 09 Feb 2020 02:09:59 -0600
Scott Bennett <> wrote:

>      The first part of the above, mispunctuated pair of sentences is
> correct, but the latter part is not.  FreeDOS, like PC-DOS and MSDOS
> before it, is/was not an operating system, but rather a more primitive
> creature known as a monitor system.

	The DOS part of those names is an abbreviation of 'Disc Operating
System' - clearly at the time they were considered operating systems even
though they started life as near clones of CP/M (Control Program/Monitor).
IBM 360 mainframes didn't have virtual memory, processes or any of the
protections you mentioned, it didn't even have anything that would be
recognised as a filesystem today (it had record oriented datasets) - but
OS360 was definitely considered an operating system.

	[MS/PC/DR/Free]DOS was a lot more like a mainframe batch operating
system than a multi-user multi-tasking operating system such as Multics or
unix, but hijacking the term operating system to mean only the latterm, and
that only with hardware supported isolation mechanisms is revisionist. I
recall working on a unix(ish) system in the late 1980s that didn't have
hardware memory mapping or protection, or even fsck which made recovering
from (the frequent) crashes rather tedious (icheck, ncheck ...).

Steve O'Hara-Smith <>

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