Reversion therapy (2)

Remember MS-DOS 4? The Vista of its day, it allowed for some amazing advances in the state of the operating-system art — imagine, support for 2-GB partitions! — but it was buggier than a Minnesota lakeside. Microsoft eventually got around to fixing the issues, but some of us slid over to DR DOS, a Digital Research product already at a 5.0 level, rather than jump through Microsoft’s hoops. (Digital Research, cannily, never had a version 4.x; they went from 3.41 to 5.0.)

If nothing else, eventually you get over the notion that Newer is Better. A couple of years ago, I supplanted XP’s woefully-inept search function with something called Copernic Desktop Search, which, once it had indexed however many thousands of files I had, did a splendid job of finding stuff.

That was version 2.x. Version 3 revealed a development fork: a small amount of advertising would support the free version, and an industrial-strength version would cost you. Fine, I said, I can stand a few ads. What I couldn’t stand: the reduced functionality, and the amazing number of CPU cycles version 3 wanted to consume. I’d have paid for the functionality, but maxing out my processor is unforgivable. So the current project is to restore version 2 (already done, reindexing under way) and to keep it from phoning home and demanding updates (in progress).


  1. McGehee »

    11 April 2009 · 8:58 pm

    Remember MS-DOS 4?

    Yes. Yes, I do. Buggier than a Nebraska windshield. Mostly what I remember about it is that 4.01 came out so quickly afterward it made noticeable eddies in the time-space continuum.

  2. unimpressed »

    11 April 2009 · 9:28 pm

    Speaking of old applications one might miss was (this on a DOS-based system) called ACD (Automatic Change Directory). After running it on the drive(s) in the machine, “acd down” would automagically change the directory -directly- to the one wanted. If you had several “down*” directories, it’d give you a drop-down list allowing you to choose. This was especially nice way back when I ran a two-line BBS with two almost identical directory trees (node1 and node2) and two drives. It ceased to function when I got a machine with ’95 on it.

    I managed to skip right over DOS 4, going from 3.3 to 5.

    The same “newer is not necessarily better” happened with 6.0; 6.2 and 6.22 were actually backsteps from something seriously wrong with the first release.

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