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Chapter 1. DOS and the Personal Computer > DOS, Windows, and the PC

DOS, Windows, and the PC

You might find it hard to believe, but the personal computer is now more than 20 years old, and so is the MS-DOS operating system. At one time, more than 95% of all the tens of millions of personal computers sold used MS-DOS as the operating system. Nowadays, almost all systems use a variation of the Windows operating system, although DOS compatibility is still provided through DOS subsystems. Previously, in Windows 95/98, you could boot into an MS-DOS command prompt, bypassing the Windows user interface. With the release of Windows ME, this capability is no longer available.

The objective of this chapter is to familiarize those of you who are less experienced computer users with the inner workings of your system. If you are an old hand and already familiar with the way your computer and DOS interact, you might want to skim through this chapter on your way to Chapter 2, “Starting DOS.”


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