DOS? What is That Again?

Surreal moment of the day. Scene: The office the programming folks (or whatever we call ourselves) are using while renovations are going on. Random Dude Who I’ve Never Seen Before walks in.

Random Dude: “Is $otherprogrammer here?”

Me: “No”

RD: “Maybe you can help me, do you know DOS?”

Me: <Long pause>”Uhmm…. it’s been a while”

The long pause was me going through the dilema that I think every geek (or as we’re known to the outside world, “computer person”) goes through any time they’re asked for help with anything technology related… even if we don’t know it we can figure it out. So I haven’t used DOS for many years, but it’s like BASH (in a retarded 3 year old sort of way), but when I did use it I was an expert at it, but that was a long time ago, but I digress…

RD: “I’m trying to copy a file from the aye colon and it’s giving me an error.”

Me: “Uh huh”

RD: <long and rambling explanation of what he was typing in>

Me: Can you show me?

Random Dude Who I’ve Never Seen Before takes me and shows me one of the two or three non-macs here in the office, an NT box, with a command prompt open. I noted immediately a couple of things in his typed command.

A:> copy a:\ ntdll c:\winnt\system32

So I re-type the command for him without the extra space and with the proper file extension, hit enter, asked him if this was what he really wanted to do (replace what I assume is an important NT system DLL with one off a floppy), hit enter, and went back to work.

I can’t help but wonder what someone who doesn’t understand the intrinsic subtleties of the “copy” command is doing replacing and NT core DLL file?

3 Comments on “DOS? What is That Again?”

  1. OK, I admit that I was doing something similar, but not quite that bone-headed. At one point I was trying to copy all of the windows95 .cab files and from the ’95 CD and ran into problems with DOS when trying to do recursive directories.
    Am I a complete idiot (possible) or is this impossible without the xcopy command? If so, how the freak do you get a windows98 boot disk with a working xcopy??
    I eventually solved the problem, but suggestions are welcome!
    Also: I think saying DOS is like a “special needs” 3 year old is giving DOS a little too much credit.