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 Multi-task on a 286 View next topic
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

How do I multi-task on a 286? System has 2MB on an AST memory card, 640KB on the board. It's a clone with an AMD 10MHz chip.

DesqView will load more than one program but when you switch a program to the foreground, the others stop what they are doing.

Do I need a partiuclar kind of memory card for this?
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Windows 3.1?
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Windows 3.1 will run in standard mode only on a 286.

DesqView should be able to preemptively multi-task on a 286, but I think that you must have a particular type of EEMS memory card to make this happen. What happens now is that only the active window runs. I can load a COM program in one window and XyWrite (or Word Perfect) in another window but only one program actually runs. If I switch to the word processor while I am downloading a file, I lose data. If I switch to the COM program the printer stops until I switch back. It looks like the computer is either swapping out to extended memory or to the hard disk.

I know there is a way to make it time slice between the two programs but I think the issue here is my memory management program. Do you think that QRAM and HIMEM.SYS would help?
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

QRAM can help your 286 get UMBs, but it won't help with your multitasking problem. I could be wrong, but doesn't Windows 3.1 still "multi-task" on a 286? I was pretty certain that programs still run in the background when you have something else active.

What good is Enhanced mode anyway? The operating system is mostly 16-bit, the programs would never take advantage of 64tb of virtual memory (much less 1GB of the 286).

I say give it a shot. Programs that require a 386 are probably fewer than you think.

*edit*
Was it DOS applications or Windows applications that you wanted to "multitask"? For applications native to windows I think there's no problems, but on a 286 you won't have the multiple DOS boxes like with 386.
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Puckdropper
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Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 760
Location: Not in Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Windows 3.1 does cooperative multitasking. When the program doesn't need the CPU, it gives it up and Windows gives it to another task. Windows 95 introduced preemptive multitasking to the Windows line.

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