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Chapter 23. DOS Isn't Dead: Unleashing t... > Creating a Program-Specific Startup ...

Creating a Program-Specific Startup Configuration

DOS was never a one-size-fits-all operating system. Every program had its own unique combination of device drivers, memory requirements, environment variables, and settings. Trying to satisfy all your programs' needs was time-consuming, frustrating, and, sad to say, only rarely successful. Things improved a little when DOS 6 introduced the Startup menu, which let you execute lines in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT conditionally (that is, based on the menu item you selected at startup). Unfortunately, the resulting configuration files were usually hideously complex and could be irreparably damaged by brain-dead installation programs that couldn't figure out the new structure.

Happily, Windows 98 does away with all that poppycock. You can now create custom CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files for each of the programs that you want to run in MS-DOS mode. This lets you specify only those drivers and settings that are needed by the program, thus immeasurably simplifying the configuration process (and improving the chances that your program will run successfully and reliably).


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