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MS-DOS and Networking

In the days of MS-DOS, networking was an expensive and fairly uncommon option. Networking software for DOS was bulky, balky, and an afterthought to boot. Microsoft's networking product required you to load hardware-specific device drivers, followed by programs that managed network protocols, followed finally by a software layer that provided file services to DOS.

One lucky result of this was that MS-DOS application programs never dealt with network hardware directly; they let DOS and its underlying network layers take care of the details. The NTVDM environment supplies the same services through the redir.exe program that is loaded in AUTOEXEC.NT, so MS-DOS programs can use today's fast, inexpensive networks.


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