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PB-DOS 3.5 and 64-bit Processors

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  • PB-DOS 3.5 and 64-bit Processors

    Read that AMD and INTEL are going to release 64-bit processors for
    Desktops next year.

    Both backwards compatible with 86x-32 bit instructions sets.

    Will PB-DOS 3.5 compiled programmes be able to run on Desktops with
    such processors, providing of course there still is a DOS Prompt ?


  • #2
    otto --

    > read that amd and intel are going to release
    > 64-bit processors for desktops next year.

    i read the same thing. in 1999, 2000, 2001, and now in 2002.

    i think it's fair to say that it is impossible to know whether or not 16- or 32-bit programs of any kind will run on the 64-bit system until both the chips and (even more importantly) the operating systems are finished.

    but i wouldn't worry. imo it is unlikely that 32-bit computers will be replaced in the near future. 64-bit systems will start out in high-end scientific and graphics apps, then servers will begin using them, then high-end desktops...

    think about it this way: would you, or anybody you know, replace your 32-bit system with 64-bit if it would not run a significant number of the apps that you use every day? or if it meant that you have to buy new versions of everything?

    [added later]

    i just realized how timely your message was. in one of the threads above, dated june 22, 2000 (almost exactly two years ago) it says this:

    in the next two years, most new computers will use this kind of processor.

    don't believe everything you read in a press release.

    -- eric

    perfect sync development tools
    perfect sync web site
    contact us: mailto:[email protected][email protected]</a>

    [this message has been edited by eric pearson (edited june 07, 2002).]
    "Not my circus, not my monkeys."


    • #3
      Thanks Eric,

      I have been reading the same during the past years, but this time they
      could be more serious about doing so. Not many Cash Cows left to milk !

      What I really meant to ask was whether DOS 6.22 would still install on
      machines with a 64-bit processer if they, as ADM quote for their first,
      are still 86x/32-bit code compatible ? Intel plans to do the same later.

      Not an immediate issue for my clients because as you quite right pointed
      out, it will be quite a while before manufacture of current technology
      chips will cease !

      I could not re-code hundreds of my programmes for 64-bit, a bit too old for
      that and they have no chance of replacing my Bespoke Accounting Software with
      something else doing the same. A sort of "Windows Dependancy", guaranteed
      income situation for a while yet !

      You can see what I mean at:



      • #4
        I think it's safe to say that MS-DOS will *not* boot on the new 64-bit processors, which are here, though not in general consumer boxes.

        I think the key to code longevity is using tools that abstract and provide portability. For instance using posix tools and C, I can write programs that run on any Unix, Windows, Mac, and any platform with a posix API. The posix API is consistant, flexible and well thought out, unlike Win32 which is hacked together and kludged over the years. Posix abstracts the underlying APIs rather well (although many unices speak posix natively).

        Having said that, PB/CC is probably the best tool to make your pb/dos code have longevity in the windows world. Should there ever be a pb/linux, portability extends there. Now if the compiler were compilable using GCC you could put your basic programs anywhere (provided you had the compiler source code). Just like posix provides a consistant system API, the powerbasic runtime also abstracts the horrid win32 api into something managable from you basic programs.

        Anyway, you can always boot ms-dos in bochs ( which is an emulated virtual machine that can compile on most any platform 32-bits and up. If Microsoft ever drops the ms-dos virtual machine from windows, I'm sure dosemu will be ported to windows to fill in the gap. Despite this, it's probably better to port your programs as the new architectures come out. Industry has already made the difficult jumps from 16-bit dos to win16 to win32.

        This biggest problem in the windows world, though, is the portability of the win32 api. It's not. It's gotta be one of the worst hacks ever done. Everything seems kludged together. I say this only after having some experience with a friend writing a simple syslogger service for windows 2000. What a mess. Did you know that to extract an event log message you have to literally open the DLL and grab the string out of the file?! Why couldn't they just write the dang message to the event log using text?! </rant> If you code with hooks directly into win32, you will be needing to do significant work to port it to win64, then to win128, etc.

        DOS is looking pretty good at this point, isn't it. Stable, documented API. Simple. Reliable. Dos 3.3 was the best.




        • #5
          You just confirmed what I thought, Michael.

          When Processing changed from 16 to 32-bit instruction sets, Bob's crew
          had to amend PB-DOS to make it 32-bit capable ? No demand to upgrade
          PB-DOS to 64-bit.

          PB-DOS 3.3 your favourite ? I thought that 3.5 was better still, the heart
          and workhorse of all my programmes

          My 5o sites Pawnbroking, Check Cashing and Retail P.o.S. Software runs
          on NOVELL 4.2 / DOS 6.22 workstations only. Lean, mean and cost effective
          for this client. As long as there are 32-bit Athlons, Durons, Celerons,
          P3/4 processors and motherboards for on the market, I got nothing to
          worry about.

          My Accounting Software does use DOS in Windows up to 98 SE, running from
          the "Desktop", but only for use by me, my family and selected friends.

          If that can not be done on 64-bit machines, they will have to get other
          Software. My son has changed to QUICKEN years ago already, TRAITOR

          I got PBCC and other recent Software from PB, not so much for serious use,
          but more to support PowerBasic which helped me make a lot of money


          [This message has been edited by OTTO WIPFEL (edited June 08, 2002).]


          • #6
            In Michaels reply, "DOS 3.3" refers to MSDOS 3.3, not PB/DOS 3.3 (we've never released PB/DOS version 3.3 - it went from 3.2 to 3.5).

            PowerBASIC Support
            mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
            mailto:[email protected]


            • #7
              With many offices not up to Xp yet and still using Office 97, they won't jump
              too high to get to the next platform, IMHO.

              There will be things out for it, but just like I was on a 233 machine for
              a long time, just changing today to a 1.7gig one, I don't plan on
              moving over-up.

              And if it is a DOS related program, how many DOS applications are
              placed on the "old" machine when it is the main application in
              use. We do that all the time. If it is the main or only item that runs
              on a certain machine, it isn't getting the machine with a 80gig hard
              drive and a gig of memory.



              • #8
                 [quote]I think it's safe to say that MS-DOS will 
                *not* boot on the new 64-bit processors, which are here, 
                though not in general consumer boxes. [/quote] 
                DOS, perhaps, but that might not be as serious an issue as 
                it seems. Consider AMD's baby, which MS has already stated 
                it will support. From an AMD press release: "...users will 
                want to mix their old 32-bit packages with newer 64-bit 
                programs. The ability of AMD's upcoming eighth-generation 
                processors to handle both 32-bit and 64-bit applications 
                will simplify this migration process and ease support 
                issues throughout the industry infrastructure." 
                For the first time Intel and AMD are taking truly different 
                paths--making different, highly expensive bets on the 
                -- Greg
                [email protected]


                • #9
                  For the first time Intel and AMD are taking truly different paths--making different,
                  highly expensive bets on the future.
                  This recent article I am referring to quotes Intel as saying that they too will release a
                  32-bit code compatible chip. But not with the first one, if I remember reading that part
                  of it correctly.

                  Can't let the competition get an edge with a good idea ?

                  Seems my majot client has got nothing to worry about and I can carry on spending their
                  money on more Add-Ons for my MS Train Simulator

                  [This message has been edited by OTTO WIPFEL (edited June 09, 2002).]


                  • #10
                    The funny thing about the Intel plans is that Intel was hoping to shift the market away from the dead-end archaic x86 platform to the new itanium (risc or vliw?) platform. In the meantime, AMD announced the hammer, which is basically another hack to the x86 platform to get 64-bit instructions (register size, data patch size). Since this guarrantees backwards compatibility (at least to the 386), the market has reacted very favorably to AMD's chip. In the meantime, only high-end servers have latched onto the Itanium platform, so it looks like Intel is going to fall back to their backup plan and actually clone or license the 64-bit instruction set from AMD.

                    This is actually too bad, as the Itanium is a *really* cool architecture with loads of registers, good pipelining and support for on-chip multi-threading. Of course it would take a huge rewrite of windows to run on this beast (I believe it's finally been ported in the meantime), so Microsoft has announced full support for the AMD hammer.

                    Also, Otto, since it seems like much of your software is fairly vertical market (especially POS), then the hardware you are going to be targeting will be pretty conservative. DOS still powers many POS stations, although their slowly being replaced with Windows (yikes), and some linux-based (from IBM) systems. So you probably will be okay for some time.

                    I used to be big into DOS programming, and assembly, but the move to Windows really soured me on programming in general. Then I discoverd Linux and found all my old DOS programming skills were suddenly relavent again, so I'm pretty happy. I have pretty much moved away from BASIC entirely, but I still am fond of it. Whereas I used to love assembly language programming (for efficiency and speed), I now shun it, for portability reasons. There's something really cool about taking my program and having it run (complete with GUI) on Linux, Solaris (even 64-bit!), HPUX, and even Windows with cygwin. I'm also finding that truly compiled programming languages are less and less relavent. You can do amazing things with php (not just web), python, perl (awful language , and even Java and C#.



                    [This message has been edited by Michael Torrie (edited June 09, 2002).]


                    • #11
                      Thanks Guys !

                      I have enjoyed reading your comments as always and learned something from them !



                      • #12
                        If as you sagest 16-bit nor 32-bit code will run on a 62-bit
                        computer. I would not weary much. As, I will not be bying one soon.
                        I have $100 worth of 16 and 32-bit software, as I am shere most
                        do to, and will not throught it all away to run a 64-bit computer.
                        And I am shere there will be a work-a-round to such a problem.
                        Why do I feel that way? I use DOS, Windows, and Linux. On the
                        linux box I run DOS, Windows, Mac, Playstation, Nintendo, Others.
                        So, theres my 2 cents worth.

                        Gary Russell
                        [email protected]



                        • #13
                          I would not sweat about this topic too much... CNET news carried an interesting article in todays edition... see for the low-down.

                          PowerBASIC Support
                          mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
                          mailto:[email protected]


                          • #14
                            Personal conversation with an interesting man in a black t-shirt at
                            a certain hamburger joint in College Station yesterday. It had
                            huge white letters 02-07-2002 on the back. It had a collection of
                            a few odd looking icons on the front. Looking face on to him:

                            -----------------Picture of a Hammer------------------

                            Picture of a Penguin---------------Picture of a Window

                            ---------------Picture of a Sinking Ship--------------
                            Older gent, was with family here eating. Curious, I asked him,
                            "Gee, what's the significance of all that on your shirt?" He grinned,
                            replied back, "OH! I work for AMD over in Austin!" He continued,
                            "02-07-2002 is the date we first got silicone on The Hammer! This
                            is the LINUX Penguin! This is Windows! And this is the sinking
                            Itanium!" He went on to comment, "There is a real window out there
                            for CPU chips, at most maybe five years max. Itanium is just too
                            far out of its window to make it."

                            "Besides, this one is designed to be integrated into lots of stuff
                            the board makers might want to do. A general purpose chip..."

                            A few comments from me suddenly brightened his whole demeanor! We
                            continued our chat while his wife noted, "I really wonder if he
                            should wear that shirt? I'm afraid he'll spend too much time talking
                            about it!"

                            My question, "Gee, how long have you worked for AMD?" Answer, "Oh,
                            twenty-one years now! I'm due for my Sabbatical in a few months!"
                            Question to his wife, "Is he going to go back after that?", my voice
                            trailing off somewhat as the words came out.. She didn't answer,
                            he did, "Oh sure! Too much to look forward to!"

                            Aggieland is only 90 miles from Austin. Surely if Hammer will run
                            LINUX and WIN, it will run DOS and OS/2, I thought.. But he was
                            long gone out the door before I could muster enough courage to ask
                            him that one!

                            Mike Luther
                            [email protected]

                            [This message has been edited by Mike Luther (edited July 08, 2002).]
                            Mike Luther
                            [email protected]


                            • #15
                              Of note in EWEEK for July 8, 2002 on page 12 is a quarter pager.

                              It is headlined, "Dell declines Itanium2 - HP, IBM and others will
                              support chip, but snub could undermine rollout"

                              In the article is also noted in re a 1GHZ version, " .. with 3 MB
                              of Level 3, on die memory cache priced at $4,226 .. " and drifting
                              down to a lower end price of $1,338 for a 900 Mhz little heffer...

                              OTOH .. it would be fun to see even that 'lil calf run on multiple
                              pre-emptive sessions of DOS-VDM's if it ...

                              Maybe, if as the last of the article suggests, they recover enough of
                              their costs, it will fall victim of cost cutting such that even us
                              'po Aggies might even get a chance to try one ... or sumpin like it!

                              One also wonders if ..

                                  IF ISTRUE BIT(pbvHost, 8%) THEN '   In WIN environment
                                     ! push DS
                                     ! mov AX, &H1680
                                     ! int &H2F
                                     ! pop DS
                                  ELSE '                      Not in a WIN environment
                                     ! push DS                ; Save DS for PowerBASIC
                                     ! mov AX, &H8600         ; Place function $AH68in AX
                                     ! mov CX, &H00           ; Use less than 1000 MS delay
                                     ! mov DX, &H0A00         ; Try &H0A00 for a delay in DX
                                     ! int &H15               ; Call timer interrupt
                                     ! pop DS
                                  END IF
                               Z0$ = INKEY$
                              Would throttle it too, and what you'd have to do to tame the PB IDE
                              to make any money out of your investment over such things as well?

                              GDRFC ..

                              Really all in humor here... realizing that you can't ever stand
                              still for being killed by the weezel if you don't hear it coming!

                              Mike Luther
                              [email protected]
                              Mike Luther
                              [email protected]