While MS-DOS was by far the most popular disk operating system at the time, similar disk operating systems were also made like IBM's PC-DOS and Digital Research's DR-DOS. However, since all of the OSs are essentially clones of each other when it came to game play, they will not be covered in this Wiki.
Since version 5.0, DOS includes QBASIC, a crippled version of the Microsoft QuickBASIC programming language with a few example programs to help showcase the language. Two of those programs, QBasic Gorillas (DOS) and QBasic Nibbles (DOS), include simple PC Speaker music.
Music and Sound
Since DOS is a software platform, it does not have any built-in sound capabilities, but it does assume any computer running it has a PC Speaker and three programmable interval timers, which programmers can set to a fraction of 1193181.8 Hz (down to 18.2 Hz):
- Timer 0 is used to run things at a steady rate. The chosen rate determines how precise tempos can be. For example, at the default 18.2 Hz, tempos can be as coarse as 121, 137, 156 or 182 BPM, but nothing between. Worse, timer 0 is easy to disregard, which is why early games, songs and samples are way too fast on later computers. Unlike on 8-bit platforms, synchronizing audio with the screen refresh is very unusual.
- Timer 1 cannot be used for audio and will not be further explained here.
- Timer 2 directly determines the pitch of the PC Speaker.
The majority of third-party sound hardware devices manufactured in the late 1980s and early 1990s supported DOS. Here is a list of some audio devices:
- Ad Lib, Inc.: Ad Lib Music Synthesizer Card, AdLib Gold 1000
- Covox: Sound Source, Speech Thing, Sound Master, Sound Master Plus, Sound Master II
- Creative: Creative Music System, Game Blaster, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 2, Sound Blaster Pro 2, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE 32, Wave Blaster
- Disney: The Sound Source
- Ensoniq: Soundscape, Soundscape Elite
- Gravis: UltraSound, UltraSound Max
- IBM: PCjr 3 Voice, PC Music Feature, PS-1 Audio
- Innovation Computer Corporation: SSI 2001
- Logitech: SoundMan Games, SoundMan 16, SoundMan Wave
- Media Vision: Pro AudioSpectrum, Pro AudioSpectrum 16, Pro AudioSpectrum 16 Studio, Thunder Board
- Roland: CM-32L, CM-64, LAPC-I, MT-32, MT-100, RAP-10, SCC-1, Sound Canvas
- Tandy: Tandy 3 Voice, Tandy DAC
- Yamaha: FB-01
DOS was the primary platform for the PC gaming market in North America for the majority of the life of MS-DOS, and after being localized to many different languages, found life in the foreign market as well. Some of the more popular computer lines that used MS-DOS include:
- IBM PC (1981-08-12)
- PC-9801 (1982-10)
- PC XT (1983-03-08)
- PCjr (1984-03)
- PC AT (1984-08-14)
- Tandy 1000 (1984-11)
- PC1512 (1986)
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_DOS - Wikipedia.