Enthusiast Discovers Oldest Copy of 86-DOS Version 0.1

While more modern and efficient operating systems have long replaced MS-DOS, it remains one of the most significant milestones in the history of the computer industry. Since its release on early IBM PCs in the 1980s, it quickly became an industry standard and contributed to the growth of the computer market over the following decades. Recently, vintage code enthusiast Jean Buckle, known on the Archive.org platform as f15sim, discovered a floppy disk in his collection containing one of the earliest versions of the predecessor to MS-DOS – 86-DOS Version 0.1.

Jean Buckle, the developer of the custom flight simulator F-15C 80-0007, and a big fan of vintage code, expresses his passion through the exploration of old storage media, including various floppy disks, and their archiving. While examining a set of over 400 8-inch floppy disks gifted to him a couple of years ago, he stumbled upon an old but still functional copy of the operating system 86-DOS Version 0.1, predating even the oldest known versions of MS-DOS.

Contrary to common belief, MS-DOS was not created by Microsoft but by the company Seattle Computer Products, and its name resulted from rebranding the original SCP product. Initially, developers dubbed their creation “Quick’n’Dirty Operating System” (QDOS), but later changed it to a more acceptable and marketable name for further implementation – 86-DOS. Buckle discovered its early Version 0.1, consisting of 9 files, while archiving his floppy disk collection. Interestingly, on the same day, he also found another early version of the SCP OS – 86-DOS Version 0.34, which briefly held the record as the oldest predecessor to MS-DOS until it was surpassed by Version 0.1.

According to Buckle, he anticipates making many more intriguing discoveries, as there are still numerous original 8-inch floppy disks in his queue for archiving. For instance, he estimates that one of the disks contains a complete set of MicroPro products, including WordStar and SpellStar – some of the earliest word processing programs. Additionally, in Buckle’s collection, there are around 1500 5.25-inch floppy disks, which may also contain samples of old operating systems and programs. In the meantime, interested individuals can explore 86-DOS Version 0.1 on Archive.org and try running it on an emulator like the Open SIMH Project.

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