DOS to word processor to USB drive

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trepaning
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DOS to word processor to USB drive

#1 Post by trepaning » 28 May 2012 12:47

I have been given an older Dell Dimension 4700C. I would like to install DOS plus a word processor (with word wrap) and that is all. The trick is then to be able to save to a USB flash drive. I have use of the USB mouse and keyboard while in DOS, but am unable to get any connectivity to a flash drive in a USB port. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. I tried DSL (damn small linux) as well as SLAX, but if I am going to load an OS, I may as well stick XP on the computer, but would really like to avoid installing anything but DOS, a word processor, and the ability to save to USB memory.

aGerman
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#2 Post by aGerman » 28 May 2012 13:09

I'm not familiar with DOS OS but since you need a driver for USB flash drives I assume you will also need a driver for your flash drive developed for DOS.

You should search the internet for what kind of flash drives such drivers are available.
Also found something like this (shareware).

Regards
aGerman

foxidrive
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#3 Post by foxidrive » 28 May 2012 16:47

Yes, you will need a USB flash driver for dos loaded in CONFIG.SYS (if you can find the driver).
The trouble for you is that you can't access the USB flash drive until the driver is loaded....

You can boot off a floppy disk if the machine has one
or
get a small IDE HDD less than 8GB and boot from that
or
boot from a cdrom with a floppy drive image installed on it.

Liviu
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#4 Post by Liviu » 28 May 2012 17:49

Running DOS on that machine would be a waste IMHO. Do you really want to turn the clock back to 640K main memory, 2GB max partition size, and networking via black magic? I'd install a minimal XP (or 2000) and be done with it, instead. Both come with Notepad builtin, if that's indeed all that you're after.

Liviu

phillid
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#5 Post by phillid » 29 May 2012 01:57

Just my opinion:
I like using DOS sometimes for its 'naked beauty', that is the simplicity and ease of using a bare, basic OS which is just COMMAND.COM, CONFIG.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT (and the file I'm bound to have forgotten ;)). DOS is also quite good if you're learning Assembly and want to experiment with using it in hardware-level situations without having to write an actual OS. :) Plus it's free, unlike WinXP

Thanks,
Phillid

Ed Dyreen
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#6 Post by Ed Dyreen » 29 May 2012 02:53

'
I like using DOS sometimes for its 'naked beauty', that is the simplicity and ease of using a bare, basic OS which is just
IO.SYS > MSDOS.SYS > and COMMAND.COM :wink:

trepaning
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#7 Post by trepaning » 29 May 2012 08:28

Thanks for the feedback. The computer has only a CD drive and 6 USB ports, no floppy or anything else. I don't want Windows because I want to turn on the computer and have it ready to go, and prefer not waiting for Windows and its colorful distractions to load. I tried DSL (damn small linux) as well as Slax, but I may as well load Windows, if I load a graphical OS. Currently, I use DARK ROOM for writing in a Windows environment because it best simulates the old Timeworks WordWriter program I used to use in DOS, which is a bare bones, nothing on the screen but a flashing green cursor on a black background, word processor.

Squashman
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#8 Post by Squashman » 29 May 2012 08:45

I still got my old electronic Type Writer that stored all my documents. Wrote plenty of college papers on it. Sound just like what you need. :mrgreen:

trepaning
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#9 Post by trepaning » 29 May 2012 11:45

My past includes two electric IBM typewriters catching fire from use and an electronic typewriter frizzing out and turning all text to the number 8. :)

miskox
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#10 Post by miskox » 29 May 2012 14:02

Maybe just an idea: TinyXP. You can have a working XP in just 50 M bytes. Boots fast, installs fast. It has limited funcionality but this is what you want.

Saso

trepaning
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#11 Post by trepaning » 30 May 2012 08:27

I am thinking TinyXP and DOS as dual boot options may be a possibility. I can boot into DOS, do my work, and when I want to save to USB, once a week or so, just load XP and save.

I downloaded TinyXP and it's still 700 megs and full of stuff I have no use for, like browsers and such. I wonder if the TinyXP folks would take on a challenge to create a really really tiny version...

Another thought is whether I can boot DOS from a USB stick, and if so, would the boot chain keep the USB port open to be able to save to it as needed right from DOS.

foxidrive
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#12 Post by foxidrive » 30 May 2012 17:57

If the machine can boot from a USB stick then it could work.

Or a cdrom with a floppy boot image - you can boot into an A: drive and load the USB drivers for the USB stick - and use autoexec.bat to change the working directory to the USB stick and load edit.com

I personally think that a nicer editor is a great benefit and loading a small OS from the USB stick is not really going to be a problem.

Your MSdos editor is going to be severely limited in file size, and IMO short filenames are a PITA for describing files. Been there, done that.
I used Qedit in my MSdos days and it's a brilliant text editor - but again the filesize is limited to ~ 320 KB.

trepaning
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Re: DOS to word processor to USB drive

#13 Post by trepaning » 31 May 2012 08:35

Thanks for all the great information. I have settled on an extremely stripped down version of XP plus .NET 2.0 plus Dark Room, and everything loads in 30 seconds direct to the Dark Room black screen with flashing cursor, and I can save to USB.

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