SUMMARY: DOS Windows vs. SoftPC

Date: Fri Jul 26 1991 - 13:55:53 CDT

My original question was:
> Can anybody give me a comparison of Sun's DOS Windows product versus
> the SoftPC DOS emulator? We're running DOS Windows 1.0 here and aren't
> very happy with it. Is there a newer version? Is it any better?
> Is SoftPC recommended?
Although some said they were happy with DOS Windows, the general consensus is
that DOS Windows 1.0 is a slug. It supports CGA graphics at best. DOS Windows
1.0.1 is a bug-fix release but doesn't add any functionality or performance
SoftPC is a similar system (software emulator) which offers better
performance and supports Hercules/CGA/EGA (VGA?). Even Sun recommends
SoftPC over DOS Windows 1.0.1.
Here are some of the responses I received. Thanks to all who answered.
-Todd Pfaff
>From Thu Jul 25 13:22:01 1991
According to our Sun rep and to Insignia (they are the makers of
softpc) Sun has acquired the rights to a new version of softpc which
Sun will soon market as a new Dos windows.
>From Thu Jul 25 13:46:33 1991
There is a newer version of DOS Windows; it's version 3.0. Newer, bigger and
better versions are always coming... Whatever you choose, make sure that the
window environment on your PCs will be compatible with the one on your (SUN?)
server. SUN and IBM PC OS and window environments are compatible as long as
you match them up with the proper version. Your users should have a say in
selecting THEIR environment.
>From Thu Jul 25 14:22:09 1991
Sun recommends SoftPC as an intermediate solution until DosWindows 2,
based on SoftPC. Sun will even offer upgrade from SoftPC to DosWindows 2.
At least this is what i have been told. Ask your Sun salesperson.
>From Thu Jul 25 15:38:53 1991
Even Sun will recommend you buy SoftPC 2.0 instead of using DOS Windows
1.0.1. SoftPC is better, at least until DOS Windows 2.0 comes out.
>From Thu Jul 25 20:48:22 1991
Sun does have a bug-fix version of DOS windows out (version 1.0.1).
We have not purchased the upgrade, however, because Sun wants
$360 for it. Considering that we only paid $400 for it new, I
say kill the bastards.
SoftPC is $600 for the Sun. Considering that SoftPC is supposed
to run everything, including MS windows, and it emulates EGA (and
soon supposedly VGA) as opposed to CGA for DOS Windows, I would
forget about DOSWindows. Sun seems to have forgotten about
DOSWindows, whereas Insignia seems to specialize in DOS
emulators. I would pay the extra $240 and get a real product.
>From Fri Jul 26 01:33:08 1991
We are running the SoftPC on Sun Sparcstation IPC with 12MB RAM.
The software can be run both under OpenWindows and SunView.
We have also Sun's DOS Windows v. 1.0.1 (I think it's the latest version).
And it can be used only with SunView.
SoftPC has EGA, CGA and Hercules emulations.
Can access IPC's 3,5" diskette drive.
Can have one to two PC hard-disk's emulated on Unix filesystem.
Those "emulated" hard-disks look under Unix filesystem as files.
So you can't access files on those disks from Unix.
Instead you can access Unix filesystem directories from SoftPC
as emulated PC drives. You just give command:
  C:> net use h: /home/aro
And then you can access drive H: from SoftPC and tranfer files between
SoftPC and Unix.
There's two utilities: unix2dos and dos2unix , to change ascii files
between DOS and UNIX formats.
SoftPC is just an emulator so it's not fast, but one can run DOS software
with OpenWindows. More RAM would help... I tried to run Microsoft Windows 3.0
but it was too slow for me. With MS-WORD 5.0 the speed is OK.
You can get SoftPC for DECstations, too. I have not tried but was by the
salesman that one could very easely run it on DECstation even when it's
installed on a SUN. This could be done using X11 (OpenWindows, Motif) on
both SUN and DEC.
>From Gene.Saunders@West.Sun.COM Fri Jul 26 10:20:45 1991
SoftPC does EGA/VGA/etc while the *current* rev of DOS Windows (1.0) does
CGA at best. Other ways to run DOS programs are via Puzzle Systems'
386-on-an-SBus card, and Logicraft's OmniWare, which displays EGA/VGA screen
onto OpenWindows (via X protocol). The latter two are hardware solutions,
while DOS Windows 1.0 and Insignia Solutions' SoftPC are software only.

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