Viruses from the dawn of time

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2013 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: Virus, msdos, !virii

It was a simpler time of black screens and white text, perhaps green or orange depending on your flavour of monochrome, where ancient viruses roamed the world of 3.5" floppies and MS-DOS.  These were not the viruses of today that do their best to sneak onto your machine and hide their shame from the user as best they could, these were created by people who wanted to show off their skills by letting you know something funny was going on.  Wired talked with Daniel White who has amassed a huge amount of information on malware that covers decades of computer abuse, with a YouTube video for each and every one.  While some may bring back horrible memories of your fights with old viral enemies the ones from the MS-DOS era which were mostly benign and very entertaining may bring a smile to some older geeks faces.  

They did leave out one of my favourites, jump to 2:15 in the video below to see CASCADE.COM in action.

"But while the recent Windows worms may be the most familiar, another subset of White’s archive is even more interesting. The viruses he’s collected from the MS-DOS era are malware from a simpler time–a glimpse into a largely forgotten and surprisingly creative subculture."

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Source: Wired

Older than DOS ... but not dirt

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2011 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: qdos, msdos, microsoft

Back in the ancient days before the comment "Drop to command prompt" made sense as the command prompt a little known company called Microsoft bought QDOS and renamed it as MS DOS.  That was also back when IBM was the be all and end all of 8086 (and 8080) processors and planned for their newly designed Personal Computer to run an OS called CP/M-86 but couldn't get a good enough deal on the licensing; which lead to Microsoft's product being adopted.  It also lead to the Personal Computer catching on much more quickly and thoroughly than anyone predicted.

From that humble beginning came what was first used to slow your 386DX based computer enough to be able to control Wing Commander and now controls almost 90% of the PCs currently running and keeps techs employed world wide.. 


"Thirty years ago, on July 27 1981, Microsoft bought the rights for QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products (SCP) for $25,000. QDOS, otherwise known as 86-DOS, was designed by SCP to run on the Intel 8086 processor, and was originally thrown together in just two months for a 0.1 release in 1980."

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Source: ExtremeTech