How compatible were "MS-DOS Compatible" machines?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Fri Feb 8 04:01:23 CST 2008

> Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 16:38:58 -0600
> From: Jim Leonard <trixter at>

> My summer job between college terms was working at Egghead software, and
> there was a massive, MASSIVE push from Egghead to sell MS-DOS 5.0.  We
> (lowly sales floor associates) were bussed to a convention center and
> shown various presentations on why MS-DOS 5.0 was dA b0mB and why it was
> the perfect add-on to any and all sales already in progress at the
> register.  Many cheezy sales guides and videos followed.  While I liked
> the built-in memory management and disk compression (because I'm a
> compression geek) of 5.0, I was extremely turned off by the push.

Speaking of cheezy MS-DOS, does anyone want a copy of the MS-DOS 5.0 
user's manual, beta version, labeled "Microsoft Confidential"?  May 
17, 1990 and the usual rough-copy workup with lots of boxes labeled 
"This artwork not available for this release".   About 350 pages.  
Otherwise, I value the binder it's in more than the paper, so the 
ephemera will go into the recycling pile if unclaimed.  I don't know 
how it differs from the release version, as I never bothered to read 

Real programmers don't need no stinkin' user's manual.


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