Document #02980000: This document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. This document will in no event replace any part of the license agreement accompanying the software. It's purpose is strictly informative.
Why are ADQ & SIDED using DOS?
Nowadays DOS is a dying platform, nevertheless it is quite useful as a platform to run diagnostic software. This document explains why our diagnostic programs use 'ancient' DOS.
Multi-tasking OSs and low-level disk access:
For diagnostic programs such as ADQ and SIDED, multi-tasking OSs are quite a hostile environment. This is also the reason why both programs do not run in DOS boxes under such OSs. The main problem is that multi-tasking OSs will not allow low-level access to hardware, but expect this access to go through drivers. Besides the question whether it's possible to run proper diagnostics through such drivers, the task of our diagnostics packages is to detect hardware failures (SIDED) or the hardware configuration (ADQ) and not driver problems or settings.
Using DOS creates a sort of OS indepedence. You can run DOS using a single boot floppy regardless of the operating system currently installed on your harddisk. Remember it's quite useless to have a diagnostic program for an operating system that you're not able to boot. Although ADQ and SIDED themselves need DOS to run, they do not depend on OSs installed on the disk to test. In fact harddisks do not even have to be installed into CMOS setup.
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