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Overview 4DOS is most often used with the MS-DOS-Windows 95 stream of operating systems and it can be also used with Windows NT type machines, IBM PC DOS and also later DR DOS versions. Since Windows NT-2000 includes both Command.com and cmd.exe, 4DOS and 4NT and derivatives can both be installed. Earlier versions of 4OS2 can be run under Windows NT, and OS/2 can run the two MS-DOS and Windows NT shells, all three can be used on Windows NT-type machines and OS/2 multiple boot machines.
Amongst the many commands, statements and functions that 4DOS has and MS-DOS/Windows 95/98 Command.com does not by default include reading keyboard input and a simpler method of working with colors of screen and text.
The default file extension for 4DOS scripts is .btm
Like Command.com, 4DOS has both internal and external commands, statements, and functions. Provided that the subdirectory containing 4DOS is the search path, the external commands can be co-mingled with MS-DOS in batch files (and vice versa) and used from the shell prompt; this is also the case with 4OS2, 4NT and other command shells like the Hamilton C shell and MKS Toolkit's Unix shells. The inverse is also true. One example of this would be a shell script needing mathematics function or stronger text-handling abilities so grep, awk and sed can be called from a 4DOS batch file. More involved functionality can be added to shell scripts including batch files by means of one of several methods of calling Perl, QBasic, VBScript, Rexx &c
A graphical version of 4DOS, 4OS2, and 4NT, called Take Command was released with a feature set corresponding to version 4DOS 5.5, 4OS2, and 4NT 2.5 and updated after this. Development on this line stopped with the corresponding character-mode versions. There was a graphical program Take Command/16, for Windows 3.1.
4OS2 is a similar replacement for IBM's OS/2 command interpreter. This was first released at the same time as 4DOS version 4, and has a similar feature set. Like 4DOS, this is released as open source, and is still being actively developed. It appears in the feature set of 2011's eComStation 2.10, and in the freeware os2free project. Take Command for OS/2 is not currently being developed.
4NT was first released as 4DOS for Windows NT (versions 1.x, 2.x), but became 4NT until the restructure after version 8. The program is a recompile of 4OS2, and continues to have features of OS/2's command processor (
[CMD.EXE[), such as running REXX scripts, and EXTPROC support. A corresponding Take Command/32 exists for this, version 1 corresponding to 4NT 2.5. 4NT and Take Command/32 were released in both ANSI (Windows 9x) and Unicode (Windows NT) forms, with the ANSI version dropped at version 5.
A new Win32 program Tabbed Command Interface (TCI), was released at the time of 4NT version 7. This program allowed one to attach (thereby reducing screen clutter) and unattach tabbed consoles to a single window. This program requires Windows XP or later.
A new version of Take Command extends the original Tabbed Command Interface, expanded with extra windows to allow input to be composed, to graphically navigate directories and files, and extra features. 4NT is bundled as Take Command Console. A light or feature-reduced version of TCC is released as a free download. JP Software then released TC (full pack of TCI + TCC), or TCLE (TCI + TCC/LE), or TCC (just the command utility), or TCC/LE. This has been released from versions 9 to 12.1, corresponding to the underlying 4NT/TCC version.
Intro Overview Features History and current status NDOS See also References External links
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