DOS/V Tips You Can Use
by Ben Sherman
I recently received a new used computer on my desk at school. It's an old IBM PS/2 Model 70 with a hard disk of 60 megabytes and 6 megs of RAM. Not a powerful machine by today's standards, but adequate for my word processing needs. I installed IBM's PC DOS version 6.0 and as I did so I learned a few things that I think others should know too.
Some programs will only work under the English environment of DOS. Usually these are English DOS programs like utilities. Descent, the popular 3D game guaranteed to make you dizzy and which everybody should have on their work computer for those late night "overtime" hours, will not work under DOS/V. To use such a program you have to change environments. There are two ways to do this: "Switch" and "Chev".
By default, the initial language of DOS/V is Japanese. In order to move to English utilizing the latter method, one must type a no-doubt ethnocentric command, "chev us". While to change back one must type "chev jp". The Chev command, literally meaning "change environment to US (United States equals English, desho?) /jp (Japan equaling Japanese is not so much of a problem for me)," also causes the computer to change from one language to the other but it does so without rebooting through autoexec.bat and config.sys. I like to use this command because it changes language environments quickly and without forcing you to turn off your computer. This is especially useful when you are working in Japanese Windows and you need to quickly use an English DOS program of the kind described above. You jump to the DOS prompt, type Chev and then you can start your program.
The "Switch" command causes the computer to reboot through config.sys and autoexec.bat, and changes the onscreen language from Japanese to English, or vice-versa. This means you cannot use it from inside of Windows because the process of rebooting will close Windows and any programs you are running, thus losing any information that has not been saved. I believe you use this one when you have two sets of Windows on your machine, one the English version and the other the Japanese version. It goes without saying that each Windows version will only run under its corresponding DOS language environment.
To install tools you did not select in the beginning installation, type "setup /e" at the DOS prompt.
If you have a mouse that the computer has not detected for some reason, add this line anywhere in your autoexec.bat file "c:\dos\mouse", click the "save" option and then reboot the computer. This tells the computer to use the mouse driver provided with DOS as the driver for your mouse.
There is a free utility included with DOS that is not automatically installed. This is called RAMBOOST. It optimizes your RAM when your computer boots up. Perhaps it speeds up my computer; I can't really tell, but I am willing to try anything to make this thing go faster.
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