Category Archives: DOS


After writing about the likely origins of IBM code page 852, I thought I should revisit the homegrown Czech alternative solution, the Kamenick√Ĺ brothers encoding and their keyboard driver. Its existence is well documented, and the so-called (somewhat misnamed) KEYBCS2 … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, I18N, IBM, x86 | 28 Comments

Where Did CP852 Come From?

In the 1990s, a lot of my documents were written in code page 852 (CP852), also known as PC Latin 2. This code page is sometimes called “Eastern European”, which is a bit misleading, given that it does not cover … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, I18N, IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history | 47 Comments

Another Myth Busted

More than once I came across a story of a heroic MicroPro programmer who in an all-night session managed to port WordStar from CP/M to DOS by patching a single byte. This is how the legend was retold by Joel … Continue reading

Posted in CP/M, DOS, PC history, WordStar | 5 Comments

Unidentified PC DOS 1.1 Boot Sector Junk Identified

Anyone trying to disassemble the PC DOS 1.1 boot sector soon notices that at offsets 1A3h through 1BEh there is a byte sequence that just does not belong. It appears to be a fragment of code, but it has no … Continue reading

Posted in Development, DOS, PC history | 23 Comments

DOS 2.11 From Scratch

Warning: Long post! After having good luck with rebuilding core PC DOS 1.1 from source code, I thought I’d do the same with the DOS 2.11 source code released by the CHM. What follows is largely a collection of notes … Continue reading

Posted in Development, DOS, Microsoft, PC history | 26 Comments

PC DOS 1.1 From Scratch

A number of years ago, the Computer History Museum together with Microsoft released the source code for MS-DOS 1.25 (very close to PC DOS 1.1) and MS-DOS 2.11. I never did anything with it beyond glancing at the code, in … Continue reading

Posted in Development, DOS, Microsoft, PC history | 18 Comments


A number of years ago, an 8″ disk containing Seattle Computer Products (SCP) 86-DOS 1.0 was successfully imaged. The newest files on the disk are dated April 30, 1981, making the disk the oldest complete release of what was soon … Continue reading

Posted in Development, DOS, IBM, PC history | 11 Comments

How Not to Erase Data

From past blog posts it is fairly obvious that the OS/2 Museum occasionally purchases used hard disks. Most of the time, the disks are either completely erased (overwritten with zeros) or don’t have anything very interesting on them. But sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, PC hardware, Storage | 17 Comments

The IBM PC, 41 Years Ago

No, the OS/2 Museum does not have either a time machine or difficulty doing basic math. As of this writing, it is August 2021 and the IBM PC was announced in August 1981, 40 years ago. But in August 1980, … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, BIOS, DOS, IBM, Intel, PC hardware, PC history | 60 Comments

DOS SMB Client Performance

Recently I had the need to use several different DOS VMs that all used a SMB network client. Although I did not use networking heavily, I noticed that there are massive differences in performance between the VMs. Copying a circa … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, IBM, Microsoft, Networking | 3 Comments