Text encoding Babel. Was Re: George Keremedjiev

Maciej W. Rozycki macro at linux-mips.org
Fri Nov 30 21:19:07 CST 2018

On Fri, 30 Nov 2018, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:

> I found the bad spot and put a SECTORS.BAD file there, and then was OK.
> The Microsoft Beta program wanted cheerleaders, and ABSOLUTELY didn't want any
> negative feedback nor bug reports, and insisted that the OS had no
> responsibility to recover from nor survive hardware problems, and that
> therefore it was not their problem.  I told them that they would soon have to
> do a recall (THAT was EXACTLY what happened with DOS 6.2x).  They did not
> invite me to participate in any more Betas.

 Well, ATA drives at that time should have already had the capability to 
remap bad blocks or whole tracks transparently in the firmware, although 
obviously it took some time for the industry to notice that and catch up 
with support for the relevant protocol requests in the software tools.  
It took many years after all for PC BIOS vendors to notice that ATA drives 
generally do report their C/H/S geometry supported (be it real or 
simulated; I only ever came across one early ATA HDD whose C/H/S geometry 
was real, all the rest were ZBR), so there is no need for the user to 
enter it manually for a hard drive to work.

 Of course the ability to remap bad storage areas transparently is not an 
excuse for the OS not to handle them gracefully, it was not that time yet 
back then when a hard drive with a bad block or a dozen was considered 
broken like it usually is nowadays.

> I had a font editor that wouldn't tolerate 3.1, and quite a few XTs (no A20),
> so I continued to keep Win 3.0 on a bunch of machines.

 Did 3.1 support running in the real mode though (as opposed to switching 
to the real mode for DOS tasks only)?  I honestly do not remember anymore, 
and ISTR it was removed at one point.  I am sure 3.0 did.


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