What's best to do?? classically speaking

From: Fred Cisin <cisin_at_xenosoft.com>
Date: Thu Jun 21 20:17:17 2001

On Thu, 21 Jun 2001, joe wrote:

> >I have a Compaq Portable 386...
> >1)I am running dos 6.12, but I am thinking about re-installing with
> >DOS 4 or DOS 5.
> FWIW They originally came with Compaq DOS 3.3. I'm running that
> and DR DOS something on mine.

That is probably 3.31. Do function 30h of int 21h and see if AH gets 1Fh.
I'm not familiar with 6.12

You should use one of the COMPAQ OEM releases of MS-DOS, NOT a generic,
nor a PC-DOS. In particular you want COMPAQ's version of MODE.COM

> >Or more generally is it better to use a circa operating system or a modern
> >operating system (Assuming the machine will run both) ?
> They'll run at least MS-DOS 5. I don't know if I've tried anything
> higher than that.

6.2x is the ONLY product that I know of in the history of MICROS~1, where
improved reliability (rather than bells and whistles) was the primary
design goal.
The 386 (even 386SX) models, with >4M of RAM can run Windoze95. To
install Windoze98, you need to add a 387 or 387SX chip.
But would you rather have something that works well?

> >2) The machine came with a 5 1/4" diskette drive, I am considering
> >replacing that with a 3 and a whatever" drive, or once again more
> >generally when one has an older machine is it good to upgrade the hardware
> >to make it more usefull.
> Careful! Those are 1/3 height drives. It might not be as easy to
> install a 3 1/2" drive as you think. Personally, I'd leave the floppy drive
> alone. It's more trouble than it's worth to replace it and you're not going
> to gain much in capacity by going from 1.2 Mb to 1.44 Mb.

But 3.5" (or 3") are much more resistant to abuse than
5.25" diskettes. (3.25" is only marginably more robust than 5.25")
Check the CMOS for whether it already has support for 1.4M. If so, then
it's just a matter of a little carpentry to fashion mounting
brackets. Even if the CMOS doesn't support 1.4M, the hardware does, so
it's fairly easy to hack the setup program.

> One of the nice
> things about the P IIIs is that they have a very extensive drive table in
> the BIOS so you can install a LOT bigger hard drive.

If you are running DOS 3.3[0], then you can't easily exceed 32M per drive
letter. If you are running 3.31 or above, then you can go up to 500M.

> >I suppose on my single machine no one cares really, the "historical
> >Police" will not appear at my doorstep.

IF you cut a hole in the case for easy mounting of a 3.5" drive, then that
will invoke somebody offering e-bay level of money for an unmodified
machine. (BTDT)

Grumpy Ol' Fred        cisin_at_xenosoft.com
Received on Thu Jun 21 2001 - 20:17:17 BST

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