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DOS Lesson #1

DOS is an acronym which stands for Disk Operating system. Until recently, it was the most widely used operating systems for personal computers (PC). DOS is a set of programs that control the communications between components of the computer and between you and your computer. Your computer stores data and programs in files on the disk. Every file has a name, such as prntshop, followed by an optional extension like .com. By the use of special commands, you instruct DOS to perform useful functions such as displaying files on the screen, reading and writing to the disk, or run a program (there are three executable file types in DOS, with the file extensions of .exe, .com, and .bat).

Activity: Basic DOS Commands

At the DOS prompt, type the following and record your observation on the space provided on the right

dir ______________________________________   dir /p __________________________________

dir /w _________________________________   dir /ad ________________________________

What you see are a set of file and directories. Can you tell which one are files, and which ones are directories? Files are placed in directories for better organization. To get into a particular directory we use the current directory (change directory) command: cd (this is not the same as the "CD" that plays music or the "cd-rom" that software comes on). Lets say that we want to copy a file from directory c:\club. All you do is type cd \club and voila your are in the club directory

           cd \club

Ok so you are in the club directory. Now you are going to make your own directory in which you can store files. While in the club directory, type md yourname. However, make sure that is is not more than eight (8) characters long. Then type cd yourname to go into your directory.

          md leroy
          cd leroy
Now we would like you to go back to the club directory just type cd .. and you should be in c:\club. Now let's copy a file from the club directory to your directory. Copying file is simple--just use the Copy command. Type 'copy filename.extension c:\club\your directory.

          copy dos.txt c:\club\leroy

DOS provides the user with help...to get help on a particular command, just type 'command/?' eg copy/? will give you all the help on using the Copy command. With this little exercise you are on your way to be an expert in DOS...just remember though, it takes good typing practice to make you efficient in DOS.