Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"what is the command to create a file?"

This question troubled me a lot few years ago! I had just started learning computers. It was the time when I had 8086/8088 based diskless machines running MS-DOS 3/4.

Every book I found mentioned that computers store stuff in files. "Everything is file", they said. It was difficult to understand this because we never created files back then!!

Why so?
Our teacher would...
 - Boot up the PC using a DOS bootable disk.
 - type CD BASIC
 - type GWBASIC (BASIC interpreter would start and then the bootable floppy would be removed)
 - We would happily type our "Hello World" codes, run and just turn off PC when done :D No hassles of saving code :D

Soon our DOS lessons started and then using "DIR" I could see that the bootable disk that we used contained two files and one directory - COMMAND.COM, GWBASIC.COM and BASIC. Phew! There were indeed files in computers.

Next command was "MD", yes, fnally it seems I was getting closer. "MD creates a directory. MF would create a file?", I asked myself and tried the command

Bad command of filename (blah!)

I was surprised and broken :( No file for me :( I went to my teacher and asked him - "what is the command to create a file?". He couldn't understand my plight too and I couldn`t understand what he explained. My search of answer continued...

Years later, I met that teacher again on Facebook. I was really glad that he remembered me too.

Thankfully, I now know a little more about computer files than before :D