Member Stories

IGODU.ORG welcomes member Willy a.k.a. Deevay from The Netherlands!

I guess my story goes for most people of my age.
Back in 1991 my parents thought the time was right to buy a personal computer. A 386 sx 33 MHz with a stunning 4MB of RAM, running MS DOS 5.1 and Windows 3.11.
Power Menu was our way of starting applications (including Windows), but it was much more fun typing commands at the prompt.
Through the years I managed to teach myself to work with various operating systems and even though Windows has improved over the years it's fun to see that the good old DOS Prompt is still used for a lot of tasks nowadays.

I must admit, due to time restrictions I'm spending a lot less time at having fun with my computer as I did back then, but every now and then I fire up DOS-box to play a nice old game.

Send us your DOS story and become a member.


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Thomas!

In 1988 I was home schooling my 12 year old and I realized that I needed to give him some computer experience to help him to be competitive. I went down and bought an old IBM-XT. It had DOS 3.3 and GWBASIC (Graphics Workstation). So in order to give my son something to work with, I had to learn to program in basic. I still to this day use DOS 7.11 and QB4.5. I write all of my software and some for the few of my friends who don't think that I'm out of my mind. Working in Windows is like pushing through a pile of goo to get to my computer. I can do everything faster and easier in DOS, I refuse to use Windows, even on my new pentium 6 machine.

Note of IGODU.ORG: Thomas, your email address doesn't work. Can you email us again?

Send us your DOS story and become a member.


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Dimmer!

After growing up with the ZX-81 and BBC Micro, my first DOS computer was an Apricot something or other (sorry, I forget the name). I really liked the design of the hardware -- the keyboard clipped onto the case, a carry handle was built in, the 3.5" floppy drives had a slide down cover, the monitor was tiny (maybe 9"?) but really high resolution, the keyboard had a eight digit array of softkeys with a programmable LCD to allow apps to label the keys). Unfortunately it had some issues software wise: it didn't have a very good BIOS/ROM, at the time 3.5" disks were a rarity and when IBM finally released the PS/2 line their formatting system wasn't compatible.

But I had fun. Writing screeds of nonsense in SuperWriter, spending 5 minutes in SuperCalc before deciding I didn't like numbers. My major accomplishment was writing a staff management application in DB2 for the Health Board I was working at. Ended up being about 4k lines of really bad, sloppy code that needed overnight processing to handle the input from the previous day. God, I pity whoever had to pick up that spaghetti monster after I left.

My other memorable item was a simple label printing program written in GeeWhiz Basic. It took about a day to write what was needed, but as I had time on my hands I added extra features just because I could: like saving a label to disk. That done, I spent about 4 hours writing an entirely pointless little graphic animation in a little box to the side of the functional part of the application. The users never questioned me on what that was or why it was there. But damned if they didn't use the label save/load function ALL OF THE TIME, even keeping a little looseleaf binder by the computer with a printout of each label with the filename to use. Dang.

Thereafter I moved on to Workbench and Mac systems. Nice as those are, I guess you never forget your (almost) first.


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Johan from Belgium!

I had only just survived the classes on Pascal programming back in 1984-1986 on a PC running CP/M when few months later, our first XT PC with 2 floppy drives (no hard disk!), 1024 KB RAM, Intel 8088-2 processor (with Turbo key combination to clock from 4.77 to 8 MHz), amber 80x25 monitor (with Hercules Graphics card) and accompanying noisy 9-pin needle printer were installed at home (in the living room!) taking up their square meters and family attention. Since the PC came with two 5.25" MS-DOS v3.2 boot diskettes, I went off to the bookstore for a manual on DOS. Back home, this called for an immediate start, typing the commands to see their outcome on screen. All went well on DIR and the *.* and /p combinations. Off to the next command: DEL, with its combinations *.*... only to find out the next on screen "Invalid COMMAND.COM" and an eternal loop on "(A)bort, (R)etry, (I)gnore"... after which I had to call for the first time the support line of the local computer store... I got a new copy, learnt how to put the small sticker protecting a diskette to read-only mode, and went for a career in IT, learning from experience...


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Jack from Texas, USA!

I go back a bit farther. Started with a CPM machine made from Radio Shack parts. The 8" disks were hard to misplace. Then my company sent me a Compaq PC with a 9" black and amber screen. I was in hog-heaven, as my sainted uncle used to say.
My first DOS problem experience was a 12 hour chore re-writing a database . . . when it really wasn't deleted. I just couldn't find it on the C: drive. Then, I couldn't understand why I couldn't see images on my screen like my friends did. Of course, I had no graphics card, but I never heard of graphics card, and didn't know what to do with one if I had it.
DOS, in my mind, stood for Dammed Old System.


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Margarida!

MS DOS is my alma mater. My one true love. The stuff of legend from my childhood and all the pompous names I can imagine. It was awesome. My tiny 4 yr old brain would drool in awe of the amazing graphics of Dangerous Dave and until 2010, the year dad finally sent the yellowed tired computer to a chip farm up north full of long fields of motherboards and golden wires, my record on CD-Man, achieved in a blaze of childish glory in 1994, still stood untouched. 6 years ago, my brother would still use the time on some less exciting Sunday afternoon to give it a go and try to bit the highest score.
Oh how terrified I always felt of messing around with the directories, afraid of accidentally deleting some important stuff (considering it was dad's working computer) - but most of all that amazing record on CD-Man.
True, I mostly used it for the games but I learned to type in Arkanoid before I learned how to spell my name.
Oh happy days :)


IGODU.ORG welcomes member MrWhy from the USA!

Back in 1957 we had a Ferranti Pegasus (at the Maths Dept, next door). To program it (in Fortran) you sent your code via punched cards. A week later (unless Pegasus was blown up) you got back a HUGE pile of blank or does-not-compute punched cards.
I was designing a LINAC and the theory was useless. So I thought "So the device I built needs to be changed THIS much".
So I asked the lousy theory WHAT to do to CHANGE the result that much. At least it sent me in the right DIRECTION!
Twenty years later I discovered this "what will happen if" is called "simulation" (and I trained aircraft pilots with it).
Then in the US, the company mainframe was "at our service" and free local phone calls. The manuals were rubbish, so you learnt by error and error! Took six months for you to get things working and then they "upgraded2 it - so back to square one!
Then (just for our lab) we bought an Atari and rather than pay $200 for a working one we built our own (using telephone Wirewrap technique!) So THAT one never worked!

Its successor was a real joy - 8 tggle switches to set each byte of code. Better finish and debug BEFORE the day ended as NO MEMORY OVERNIGHT. Back to square 1 in the morn

Then a TRS80 - later expanded to 32 K memory and warble-tone cassette audio tape memory. This began s l o w l y and had 3 error messages "What?", "How", "Sorry"
It ran QDOS - best software ever!
The next Dos started with huge CLATTER in ONE second!

I now ONLY program in BASIC - it allows you to think of the TASK (not idiot code syntax!!)
I have defeated Bill Gates's efforts to STOP me running it on WinXp - the "least bad" Win ever!

Spent TWO DAYS getting QB64 to run last week on my Brother's DREADFUL win7(=lose!) machine!

best wishes


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Michael Wyldman from Australia!

Michael: "My DOS story starts with Dos 3.3. I was very pleased with my first computer ab ibm compatible atari 8286. It took me a while but I understood Dos and started to play games. From there I migrated into applications. First I tried EDLIN. No matter what I did I could not get my head around this inbuilt program. Instead I turned to shareware and got my first experience with people sharing there work on an honesty system. I was hooked.
In a tandy store I saw a program DrProgrammer. Here I discovered the world of GWBasic programming. I was amazed that I could create programs that worked. I set to work creating simple programs for my daughter to help in her education.
Eventually I bought my first "big box". A 486 SX with Dos 6 and WFW 3.11. Here I was introduced to QBasic. Around 1994-5 I bought the QB45 compiler. Here my programming really took off.
Even though Win 95 had arrived I stuck to my DOS. It wasn't until Win 98 came along that I migrated to Windows exclusively. DOS is still my favorite because of its simplicity (once you know it) and its reliability. But time has marched on and the world has moved on but I will never forget DOS."

IGODU.ORG welcomes member Suzy81 from Belgium!

Suzy: "In the 80's I was the helpdesk of my town. Not that many people had pc's and if some one had a problem people in my home town said: 'Suzy can help you for sure'. So I received a lot of phone calls and sometimes I earned a little money to help strangers with their software problems. The funniest experience was in the late 80's. An old farmer family invited me to fix their computer. When I saw their computer it was still packed. Their problem was that they were too afraid to use it. When I turned on the PC I started Dosshell. The man of the family reacted very surprised. He shouted: the thing has colors!"


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Bartjaah a.k.a. Dosgamert from The Netherlands!

Bartjaah: "When I was 2 years old (1992), my father decided to buy our first Personal Computer with DOS and Windows 3.11. The fact that I was 2 years old did not stop my father to learn me how I could control this great 386 computer, that we later turned into a 486. He learned me how I could simply start Windows from MS-DOS by simply pressing "W I N" and hit the enter button (because our computer booted in DOS and not in Windows), while I could not yet read nor write. For years we used Quickmenu III for making fast and easy shortcuts, our own style, theme's and icons (32x32) in 16 colours. I loved to play games like Aladdin, Lion King, The Smurfs, Commander Keen, Putt-Putt/Fatty Bear, Volvied, Antrun, Tetris, Dr. Mario, Hocus Pocus, Wolfenstein, Spear of Destiny, Bolo(ball), Duke Nukem and so on, and heck, I still love it! I love it that much that I still play those games and record them for my special Youtube-Channel. You can find that channel on
Once (1994/1995) we were at friends of my parents and they had Windows '95, I couldn't believe my own eyes. I'd never seen such great PC-graphics! So we decided to use that since then.
Years later my brother learned me how to use some simple commands in Q-Basic (2000/2002), and had lots of fun programming with it. Because I only had internet in the weekends over at my fathers house. So monday to friday I had a computer over at my mothers house (a 486). So I had my DOS-era for a really long time. Long story short, I love DOS, Dosgames and everything around it. It's a big part of my childhood."


IGODU.ORG welcomes member Mr87box from Finland!

Mr87box about DOS:
"First I saw DOS on my Amstrad PC 386. My friend wrote me a post-it which had instructions to start Sokoban from a 5" floppy! Wow! Those were the days! Then came year 1995 and dad bought an IBM Aptiva 486. It had Windows 3.1 which was crappy for gaming, so I used DOS. Shortly updated to 4dos and suddenly life went into colors! *.exe, *.com etc. was in different colors. It was AWESOME! I played for hours and hours Warcraft- Orcs and Humans. I still got my beloved 486 and I play now and then games like Tempest 2000 and C&C."