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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

DOS: More CPU Intensive Than Windows

Ben, the Virtual PC Guy, posts about a fascinating and little known fact about DOS. Apparently, unlike modern Operating Systems, which stop doing anything when there is nothing to do, DOS doesn't even know what that means. When you're doing nothing, DOS is actually locked "in a very tight loop of code which is responsible for blinking the cursor and checking for new user input". So DOS actually uses any and all available processor cycles. You need a modern utility to actually get DOS to slow down. Interesting.

2 Comments:

Blogger JohnO said...

This is from the "Journal of Duh"

DOS is a single tasking OS. There is not such thing as "idle" time on it's CPU.

Even the TSRs which made made DOS seem to be multi-tasking were simple interupt driven processes that only came "alive" on specific events.

4:25 AM  
Blogger mvaneerde said...

If there's nothing to do, so what?

11:52 AM  

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