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Chapter 1 - Introduction to Caldera DR-DOS
This chapter describes Caldera DR-DOS(TM) briefly for those who are
unfamiliar with operating systems, and lists some of the important
features of the operating system. If you are not familiar with operating
systems, read this chapter and Chapter 4, ``Working
with DR-DOS,'' before installing DR-DOS. You can then use DOSBook,
the online documentation browser, to find out further information about DR-DOS.
You can also view the full DR-DOS User Guide in HTML format if you have have
an Internet browser at http://www.caldera.com.
If you are already familiar with operating systems,
see ``Features of Caldera DR-DOS'' on page 1-5, and
then go straight to Chapter 2, ``Installing
Caldera DR-DOS,'' for an introduction to the installation process.
What is Caldera DR-DOS?
Caldera DR-DOS is a disk operating system (DOS) that coordinates the
different parts of your computer to make them work as a single system.
The operating system is the link between the physical parts of your
computer such as the screen and the keyboard (your hardware) and the
applications you run on the computer (your software).
DR-DOS creates the environment in which you interact with your
computer and within which your programs work.
The operating system allows you to run applications such as word processors
and spreadsheets, and to organize the data you produce from your
applications into files and directories so that you
can manage it easily. Refer to Chapter 4, ``Working
with Caldera DR-DOS'' for more information on files and directories.
Your computer stores the operating system programs that manage your
applications and data on disk. When the operating system is
loaded, these programs are moved from the disk into memory.
Memory is used for temporary storage of programs and data while they
are in use. When the information is no longer being used, the information
is stored on the disk again. Refer to
Chapter 4, ``Working with Caldera DR-DOS,'' for more
details about memory and the types of disk.
The operating system uses memory to make multitasking possible on
computers with a Pentium, i486, or 386* processor (or later). When you enable the operating
system's multitasking capability, your computer can run more than one
With the correct hardware, you can use the operating system to link your
computer with other computers so that you can share information and
resources. When computers are linked together, this is known as a
computer network. Caldera DR-DOS includes Personal NetWare(TM) ,
which is the software you need to create your own network; see the
section ``What is a Network?'' below.
Refer to Chapter 18, ``Introduction to Personal
NetWare,'' in DOSBook for an introduction to Personal NetWare.
What is a Network?
A network consists of several computers with network interface boards
linked together by special cables. When you have a network of computers,
you can share software and resources, such as printers, with other computer
Networking allows printers and disks (or parts of disks) which are not
physically part of your computer to appear to applications as though they
were. This is done by adding new disk drive letters (F:, for example) and
printer ports (LPT3, for example) to those that the operating system
already knows about. This way, applications can treat all disk drives and
printers as though they were part of your desktop computer, even if some
of them are physically part of some other computer.
Many applications default to printing on LPT1, so for convenience network
software allows you to redirect output being sent to LPT1 so that it
actually goes to a networked printer and not to the port on your own
There are two different approaches to creating a network. The following
sections explain them.
In a client-server-based network, the server is a computer dedicated to
managing the network resources. The server is the central part of the
network, holding many resources in one place. Other computers (known
as clients) access this central server for applications, data, and hard
disk space. The server manages the sharing of application and data files
among the clients using these resources. Servers also handle printing by
storing print jobs until printers are available, and then directing the
print jobs to their respective printer destinations.
When a computer sends a request to the server for a word-processing
application and a document, for example, the server sends the application
and the document across the network. The application and the document are
loaded into the memory belonging to the computer. The server simply
supplies the files and stores or prints documents as requested.
A Client-server Network
In a peer-to-peer network, any computer with a hard disk drive is a
potential server. Any of the computers on the network offering
applications, files, printers, and disk drive space to other computers
is a server. A computer that makes a request for network resources is
called a client. In a peer-to-peer network, resources are not located on
a central computer but they are shared by the computer where the resources
The advantage of the peer-to-peer method is that you can share printers,
applications, CD-ROMs, data files, and other resources without the need
for them to be centrally located in one place. You also do not have to
assign one of your computers solely as a server since any computer can be
a server when necessary.
A Peer-to-Peer Network
Personal NetWare, the networking system that is included in Caldera DR-DOS,
provides the server and client software that enable you to set up a network,
and to connect to Novell(R) NetWare(R) and IntranetWare servers as well.
The minimum hardware requirements for running Personal NetWare are as
Features of Caldera DR-DOS
The following sections provide an overview of some of the important
features in this operating system.
Caldera DR-DOS is supplied with a complete online manual, DOSBook. The
online manual contains detailed information about all of the features of
the operating system including the basic commands, and the advanced utilities.
Caldera DR-DOS also has online help available for all its commands.
Refer to Chapter 5, ``Using the Online Documentation,''
for more information about online help.
Refer to Chapter 11, ``Improving Disk
Performance,'' in DOSBook for more information about NWCACHE and DISKOPT.
The memory management features include a set of device drivers and
commands that enable you to manage memory efficiently and make as much
memory as possible available to your applications. There are various
device drivers available; the one you need to use depends upon the type
of hardware you have. Refer to Chapter
10, ``Managing Memory,'' in DOSBook for an introduction to memory and memory
DOS Protected Mode Services
A new DOS Protected Mode Services (DPMS) interface has been added to
allow specially-implemented device drivers and TSRs such as disk
compressors and disk caches to operate in extended memory on computers
that have 286* microprocessors and above. This makes more memory within
the first megabyte available to applications and other conventionally-written
drivers and TSRs. Both Stacker* (the disk compression program), and
NWCACHE (the disk cache) use DPMS. More detailed information about DPMS
is available to system developers in the DOS Protected Mode Services
API guide which can be found in HTML format on Caldera's Web Site at http://www.caldera.com.
The disk compression component enables you to keep more information on
your hard disk by compressing the data on it. Once you have installed and
run this component, it automatically uncompresses and compresses data
read from or written to the disk. Refer to Chapter 12,
``Disk Compression'' in DOSBook for more information about disk compression.
There are two components of the operating system that improve the
performance of your hard disk: NWCACHE and DISKOPT.
The operating system network component, Personal NetWare, allows you
to set up your computer as a server so that you can share your data,
programs, and printers with other users on the network. You can also share
application files if you have the necessary license agreements.
When you install the client software on your computer, not only can it
act as a client of a Personal NetWare server on the network, but it can
also be a client of a NetWare server. Thus, creating a Personal NetWare
network does not conflict with existing NetWare server-based networks.
You can also add NetWare servers to your Personal NetWare network to
increase the network services available.
Security allows you to use a single username and password to log in to
both your machine and the network.
Multitasking allows you to run tasks in the background simultaneously with
a task in the foreground. For example, you could run a document comparison
tool in the background and switch to a foreground process such as text
editing. The document comparison continues to run while you edit another
On computers with 8088, 8086 and 80286 (or compatible) microprocessors
you can still switch between tasks but a task will not continue to run
when it is in the background.
The DELWATCH and UNDELETE commands enable your computer to keep track of
deleted files, and recover them if you accidentally delete them. The
backup component, Fastback Express, allows you to save files to any
logical DOS device regularly and recover them later if you need them.
MS Windows Support
Many of the operating system commands are also written to run under MS
Windows. You can load the MS Windows versions of these commands if you
run MS Windows on your computer. These commands are placed in a MS Windows
program group when you install the operating system.
Windows 95 Support
DR-DOS now allows co-existence with Microsoft Windows 95 and MS-DOS 7.0. The
installation program detects that Windows 95 is installed and automatically
installs the Caldera DR-DOS dual boot program LOADER.COM. When your computer
is started, you can select which operating system to use. For more information
about LOADER refer to the LOADER command or use the command line help.
DCONFIG.SYS and AUTODOS7.BAT
If Windows 95 is detected, INSTALL creates two new files: DCONFIG.SYS and
AUTODOS7.BAT. These contain your original commands from CONFIG.SYS and
AUTOEXEC.BAT plus the updates from DR-DOS. The original system files
remain on your machine unedited.
If you select Windows 95 when you start your computer, the original
CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files are executed, but if you select DR-DOS,
DCONFIG.SYS and AUTODOS7.BAT are run instead.
Note: In this manual, wherever, you see the file AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS
mentioned, if you have a machine with both DR-DOS and Windows 95, replace
these with AUTODOS7.BAT and DCONFIG.SYS.
Windows 3.x Utilities Not for Windows 95
If Windows is detected, any Windows 3.x utilities which can cause
problems when run under Windows 95 are not installed by default.
Note: If you have Windows 95 on your computer, never use the following commands
on disk volumes accessed by Windows 95: STACKER, DISKOPT, CHKDSK, DISKMAP,
DELWATCH or UNDELETE. Use Windows 95 management tools only because they support
Running DOS from ROM
Your computer may have DOS in ROM (read-only memory). In this case you will
find that the operating system is already installed on your computer and
starts automatically when you switch it on.
Year 2000 Support
DR-DOS version 7.02 is Year 2000 compliant. The DR-DOS kernel will correct
the system date even if your BIOS does not.
Year 2000 support works in the following way:
- If the BIOS reports the year in the range 1900 through 1980,
DR-DOS sets the century to 20xx. For example, 1900 becomes 2000 and 1917
- If DR-DOS is running at midnight on 31st December 1999, it still
reports the year 2000, even if the BIOS reports 1900.
This feature can be turned off using the new YEAR2000 command in CONFIG.SYS.
This may be necessary for some software such as the Stealth features of
Quarterdeck's memory manager QEMM. See Chapter 9,
"Configuring the System" in DOSBook for more information.
Note: Although DR-DOS corrects the system date, this does not prevent
problems with all software applications. You must check all the software
on your PC for Year 2000 compliance and load required updates to ensure that
no problem occurs.
Extending Your Computer System
You may wish to extend your computer system by adding extra hard disks,
memory boards, or diskette drives. You should consult your dealer about
what you can use with the operating system if you are in any doubt.
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