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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Computer 101: The Disk Operating System or DOS command.

In this time of the GUI or Graphical User Interface, everything the we do with our computer is click here and there or double click here ad there, also we drag items from one open window to another if we want to copy certain items or a whole folder. For some who uses the keyboard than the mouse using the shortcut key is very important. But still all the things that we do today is inside the advanced form of GUI whether it is Windows, MAC, Android, Symbian and Linux based to name a few operating system that run in all electronic  devices that we used today. Which kind of remind me of the old days wherein everything that we do with our computer involve a good basic knowledge of the command line based system we all called the DOS commands or the Disk Operating system.

The Personal Computer Disk Operating System or PC-DOS and Microsoft Disk Operating System or MS-DOS or both off just called the DOS there is a number of basic standard system commands were provided for many common tasks such as listing files on a disk we use DIR which stands for directory list or moving files. Some commands were built-in or is internal to the command interpreter, others existed as transient or external to the commands loaded into memory when required. Back then the good old floppy disk was the number own storage medium that function mush like a Flash drive of today, wherein we kind put almost anything on the floppy disk by typing a few DOS command that command prompt. Let’s take a closer look at the few internal or built-in command for the DOS. This command was the most commonly used command back then. 

First there was the DIR; it functions by listing the contents of the directory. Type it in its basic form and the screen will display the image below.

DIR command
Add a few switches to the DIR command like /P and we get the image below. The /P option stand for PAUSE. If the directory is big and we need to see all the files and folder in the directory then we add the /P to pause the listing as it reaches the full length of the screen. As it reaches the full length of the screen the last line of the screen said “Press any key to continue” by pressing any key the next batch of contents of the directory will be display. 

Next we add the option /W which stands for a wide screen format. Please image below for the result of the DIR/W command.

To see all the complete option for the DIR command just type at the command prompt DIR/?, the question mark denotes the help function for all command, when added to any DOS command it will display the complete option of the requested DOS command.

Another most used DOS command are the following copy which is use for copying file, another is CD which stand for Change Directory, we just type the CD and then we type the name of the directory which we need to go to and press the enter key to execute the command. All DOS command are executed by pressing the enter key after each command has been typed. Another dos command that is use widely is the MD which stand for Make Directory, this one when executed create the directory with the file-name indicated, like MD FILE then we press the enter key to execute. The result is that the directory named FILE will be created. How do we know if the indicated directory has been created? To verify the command execution we simply type the DIR command to see the newly created directory. Another commonly DOS command back then is the CLS command which when executed will clear the content of the current screen. With only the command prompt displayed at the top part of the screen.

Over the several generations of DOS commands were added for the additional functions of the operating system. In the current Microsoft Windows operating system a text-mode command prompt window can still be used. Also DOS command is classified into two types, there the internal command as stated above and there is the external DOS Command which is located in a separate storage location such as a floppy disk. When we need to use some external DOS command we need to insert that particular floppy disk unlike a internal or resident DOS command wherein it is loaded into the memory and we do not need to use a floppy disk to execute.

How about you any DOS command that you know and would like to share it?

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  1. Nice info you got here. Probably I'm gonna use this trick.

  2. wow!a useful information to have and learned such .definitely I'm gonna try this.

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