Enterprise Software

Dinosaur Sightings: DOS 4.01 Shell

By Greg Shultz

The Shell in DOS 4.01 was designed as a menu system to enable you to more easily run application programs as well as use common DOS commands.

The Shell consisted of two distinct interfaces called Start Programs and File System. You can think of the Start Programs interface as the precursor of the Start menu and File System as the precursor of Windows Explorer.

As you can see, the Main Group contained four items: Command Prompt, File System, Change Colors, and DOS Utilities. The fourth item, DOS Utilities, is actually a sub group.

To navigate the Shell in DOS 4.01 from the keyboard, you used a combination of the [F10], [Tab], and arrow keys. Even better, you could install a driver and use a mouse to navigate.

By Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.