How to work with DOS

WIndows7 was the first OS which could NOT run DOS programs any more. Even so, installing real DOS and make you PC dual boot, is becoming increasingly difficult with every newer of Windows.

This is not a handbook for installing DOS.

Installing a DOS emulator however, is possible with any PC or MAC. An emulator is not the real program, but simulates it, and it works most of the time, unless you are doing extremely difficult things with it, like inter acting with Input / Output of the PC. Such as the RS232 port. That may not always work well, but even that often works too. As long as you just run a program by itself, an emulator can do that..

The emulator presents a DOS window, and once you have that, you can do all DOS operations with it. There no difference with real DOS, other than the hardware ports may not work well, and we don't need those here.

However installing an emulator it is not just a click on the install button. You need to instruct the DOS where to find it's C-Disc, and and a few things more. It's an operating system, not a program. But eventually you'll get that done if you want it.

After you have the DOS working, first try some freeware DOS games, to test it. If ok, you can just install the Sofia software under DOS.

I use the DOS Emulator called 'DOSBOX'. If you want another, just check the internet for 'DOS Emulator freeware' and you'll find some more.

DOSBOX . Download here

So this I use just on my office PC to play with the tube curves.

To CREATE the curves with a SOFIA tester, that is something else. This requires a real DOS PC. So no emulator, because the tester transmits and sends data with AMAZING speed. That is only possible, BECAUSE this is none Windows. So really hardware to hardware. You can't beat that with any modern tube tester I know.

I use a Hewlett Packard KAYAK XU800 for that, which by default is factory configured as dual boot, with W2000 or DOS. So when it boots, you need to say "yes" to the DOS question, and otherwise it starts Windows 2000. If DOS, it's runs the final DOS version, and not "DOS under Windows". Windows is not even booted.

Well but if you have no Sofia tester, this is going too far of course. But I do have to say it's a great vintage PC, and for whatever reason, they are expensive still today. Mine is from 1998, I am the first owner, it's connected to the mains ever since and it never failed. I can hook it up to my network via a WiFi USB stick, and it's not even slow.