JP Software

This is a web page created by a person who felt immensely benefited by JP Software products.

Shell Overview/List

First, here's an overview of some various products that have been released by JP Software.

TC(C)
[#tccle]: Take Command Console LE (a.k.a. “TCC/LE” and “TCC LE”)

Take Command Console LE description has stated, in the “Pricing” section, “TCC/LE is free (but unsupported)”. JP Software Products page has stated about this software, “It is a huge upgrade from CMD and best of all its free.”

Comparing TCC and TCC/LE describes what this free version doesn't have that other versions do. One bad limitation is lacking support for using %= as an escape character (or even supporting an escape character): Advanced TCC Directives Dialog identifies as “Not in LE”. This isn't a super-advanced feature: this is simply compatibility that is broken.

This freeware release has a red circular icon.

  • When checked on November 1, 2015, TCC 18 was released, but TCC/LE was only up to version 14. The installers for version 14 appeared to be dated around September 25, 2015. The files were hyperlinked from some download buttons found on:

    (The higher download buttons had the v14. The same page had some additional download buttons that still hyperlinked to v13. Those buttons were towards the bottom fo the page, included as part of the yellow-backgrounded statement that directed people to the forums for support.)

  • When checked on October 31, 2014, JP Software released TCC 16 back in January 2014, and has shared knowledge about a public beta of version 17, but TCC/LE has not had an update since version 13. The latest version 13 update was mentioned on TCC/LE Announcement forum.
  • So, on September 25, 2015, after the June 2015 release of TCC 18, JP Software released the latest installers for TCC/LE 14, despite 4 newer versions of TCC (15, 16, 17, 18). This indicates that, when TCC/LE did get an update, JP Software did not choose to keep the version numbers similar. (Up to version 13, TCC/LE had been up to date with Take Command, and had similar version numbers.)
Shareware Releases

Note that both TC/LE (Take Command/LE) and Take Command are available for public testing as people may download the software.

Take Command(/LE)

Currently, Take Command/LE is a version that JP Software sells which contains a graphical interface and includes TCC/LE. (The program with the graphical interface, tcmd.exe, has a blue icon, and the title bar says “TC/LE”. The “TCC LE” program running within TC/LE has a red icon and does not show a slash in its name.)

Take Command (modern releases)

Currently, “Take Command” is the name of some other software similar to Take Command/LE, but it has more features (such as built in commands and functions) and it also does come with Take Command Console (TCC), which similarly has more features than TCC/LE. This “Take Command” product has a higher purchase price than Take Command/LE. A summary comparing these versions and also TCC/LE has been made available at JP Software Take Command Product Comparison. The graphical portion of TC uses an orange icon.

It doesn't appear that Take Command Console is obtainable separate from Take Command (although it is included with Take Command and can be run separately from the GUI that comes with Take Command). The full version of Take Command Console uses a green icon, compared to TCC/LE which uses a red icon.

There were also some older software releases called “Take Command” (abbreviated “tcmd”), such as the version for Windows 3.1, which did not include the “Take Command Console” (text-mode/console application).

Some text on JP Software's download page refers to a downloadable version of a release for the x64 platform. This may not be very prominently featured on the download page. The installer is called tcmdx64.exe and by default installs to %ProgramFiles%\JPSoft\TCMD??x64\ (where the ?? represents the major version number of TCMDx64).

[#4dos]: 4DOS
Microsoft's support for Operating Systems that used DOS bootup files
End of support document pubished Jan 6, 2006 and updated May 22 said: "July 11, 2006 will bring a close to Extended Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me as part of the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. Microsoft will retire public and technical support, including security updates, by this date. Existing support documents and content, however, will continue to be available through the Microsoft Support Product Solution Center Web site. This Web site will continue to host a wealth of previous How-to, Troubleshooting, and Configuration content for anyone who may need self-service."
Legality

4DOS has now become freeware.

The clearest license text is the one released from 4DOS 7.50.1 restricting 4DOS source use to FreeDOS. However, as noted below, there is indication that permission is meant to be usable for any DOS for any sort of DOS release, and Rex Conn from JP Software is simply not wanting people to port it to other operating systems (such as Windows, where 4NT serves the same purpose and remains shareware that JP Software sells).

Luchezar Georgiev is instramental in coming to that conclusion. To confirm his authenticity, two things were noted:

  • Perhaps the most visible, noteworthy indicator of Luchezar Georgiev's permission is that the JP Software site linked to 4dos.hit.bg (seen when checked on April 3, 2007). An older version of JP Software download page on JP Software's web site has said, "4DOS development is being continued by Luchezar Georgiev; you can download his latest build at: http://www.4dos.hit.bg." (Yes, the quote is accurate: the period was in the hyperlinked text. (I have modified the URL since the site isn't directly available at that location anymore.) (See the “Luchezar Georgiev contribution” section of this page for more details of what was on this site.)
  • From the JP Software forums (linked to from a JP Software page is forum page where a button labeled "Visit jpsoft_support without joining" can be clicked) is a forum post (to read it, seach for "New 4DOS versions" or search for the post by its date of Sun, 14 Jan 2007 15:10:21 -0500) that says, "Luchezar Georgiev has taken over 4DOS maintenance and development. He's added a number of new features, bug fixes, and compatibility fixes".

The page at 4dos.hit.bg addresses the issue in the 7.50.1 source code license about being restricted to FreeDOS:
When asked "what about MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR DOS etcetera?", Rex Conn answered: "I don't have any problems with people using it on those OS's (although I'd be surprised if there was a lot of MS-DOS or PC-DOS action left). That license was written by the FreeDOS people . it was probably worded that way because it's impossible to list every possible variation of the DOS OS's."
--http://4dos.hit.bg/ (mirrored at 4dos.tk below that mirror's banner ad)

As further evidence that this seems to be the spirit in which 4DOS source has been shared: The FreeDOS's "LSMs for util" page starts (due to 4DOS being first in alphanumerical order) with 4DOS saying "open source (modified MIT license, cannot port to non-DOS)".

Footnotes on 4DOS page on Wikipedia refer to forum post and forum post.

On an unrelated note: 4OS2 version 3.04B source has been released. This may be easier to port to many newer operating systems than porting 4DOS, and 4dos.hit.bg even says "Try to port 4OS2 instead or" wait for JP Software rather than trying to port 4DOS. (No, TOOGAM does not think that 4OS2 was a new enough version to support the internal FTP that 4NT added but which 4DOS did not receive.)

Some downloads
Some tools for developing 4DOS are found at: 4DOS.info sources. If a newer version is released, the likely locations to check for updates are versions of 4DOS: Open Source versions (7.51 and newer), and 4DOS.info site updates. FreeDOS page about 4DOS lists ibiblio.org [#lucg4dos]: Luchezar Georgiev contribution
  • Latest version
    • The latest version of the files that Luchezar Georgiev released, which were for version 8.00, have been re-shared at 4DOS.info sources. (The third file offered in the “Sources” directory is a file containing the binary executables: http://www.4dos.info/4dsource/4dos800.zip is called “4DOSs 8.00 binaries”). [sic: extra s]
    • 4DOS.info: 4DOS versions: #751 (second bullet point) has a hyperlink called “Free 4DOS” which points to http://www.4dos.info/4dvers/4dos800.zip

    Despite the same website offering the file at two different URLs, the files were confirmed to be byte-for-byte identical.

    Wikipedia's article for 4DOS lists www.4dos.info as the project's current website, so that is probably the best place to seek out the latest version.

  • Version 8.00
    • This website has created 4dos8zp?.zip files that contain the version 8 files as distributed from 4DOS.info

    (At the time of this writing, the current intentions are to archive any newer releases that become available.)

Note that the source 4DOS source code, as distributed, is incomplete (at least for version 8.00). 4DOS.info sources says that a non-free product, Mix Software's C/WinDOS Toolchest, is needed. This product can be obtained from Mix Software's C/WinDOS Toolchest. (Maybe not all of the 4DOS source code packages required this? Presumably that wasn't a restriction for the version released as part of FreeDOS?)

Luchezar Georgiev has released newer versions of 4DOS, up to version 8.00 (which was simply the version released after his released version 7.99, so the jump to version 8.00 was not a major increase in the version number).

The web site at http://4dos.hit.bg redirected to http://4dos.zzl.org/ which stopped responding well. 4dos.hit.bg also linked to mirror sites at 4dos7.extra.hu (mirror at Budapest, Magyarország/Hungary), 4dos.ilbello.com (mirror at Gunzenhausen, Bayern, Deutschland/Germany), and 4dos.isgreat.org (mirror at Columbus, Ohio, United States of America). None of those sites are showing as active anymore: At least one of those sites has been reported, by Firefox, as being a forgery site. 4DOS.Info updates noted on March 5, 2009, that Luchezar made an announcement which says, “There will probably not be any never versions from me past the current one (8.00).”

  • 4HELP change: supports mouse wheel. Perhaps not a big deal, other than that it may be a nice way to test mouse wheel compatibility.
  • Some better support for other DOS versions: DR-DOS startup keys, FreeDOS, PTS-DOS, RXDOS, and more.
  • Build 143: Restored DOS 2.x compatibility, now aborts on attempts to run in DOS version 1.x.
  • Build 142: 8086/8088 (PC/XT, Pravetz-16, etc.) compatibility.
  • Other than downloading the latest binary release, the site refers to the following files:
    Patches.zip
    http://4dos.hit.bg/PATCHES.ZIP? (a URL ending with a question mark, that led to PATCHES.ZIP) has patches from the source code to the latest version. (Therefore, the patches.zip file downloadable at that location is version dependent, even though the URL/filename does not reference what version it is for.) See download page which now references patches.
    VCCRT
    ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Softlib/MSLFILES/VCCRT1.EXE and ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Softlib/MSLFILES/VCCRT2.EXE for msdos.h to build 4DOS.COM.
    MASM 6.1x
    Although 4DOS.hit.bg refers to the Visual C++ Processor Pack SP5 upgrade, that may not be quite as compatible with DOS as some other MASM releases. For more details on getting MASM releases, check out the Software Development Page (and/or a sub-page under there).
    patch
    patch(1) (from http://www.delorie.com/pub/djgpp/current/v2gnu/. (There are multiple pat*.zip files.) )
    FreeDOS site release 7.50.# files

    The FreeDOS News Archive points to the release announcement from Nov 14 2006 08:57 of 4DOS 7.50.1 source code.

    Files with binary executable files (rather than source code) based on the above source code have been released: 4dosx.zip via http (and 4dosx.zip via ftp) is described in the 4dos.lsm via http) (also available via the URL for 4dosx.lsm via ftp). The 4DOS.lsm viewer at http://www.freedos.org/cgi-bin/freedos-lsm.cgi?q=f&a=util/4dos.lsm seems to now be unavailable.

    In the same directory of that source release (or the directory without the "www." in the URL: 4DOS source directory on ibiblio) are:

    4DOSHELP.ZIP
    Files to make a 4DOS.HLP file from text files, and 3 text files that are designed to be used to make .HLP files
    4HELPSRC.ZIP
    ?
    4dos7502.diff
    Called (by 4DOS7503.TXT) the "KJD release - thanks, Jeremy!", the READ.1ST file in the 4DOS source directory on ibiblio applies to this release. The file was renamed locally to shorten the extention by one letter.
    4dos7503.rar
    Contains three 4DOS7503.* files: .TXT, .LOG, .DIF files. Meant to be used with 4DOS 7.50.1 initial source release. From the 4DOS7503.TXT file: "Although it builds now, there are still quite a few warnings." "Warning: it's not thoroughly tested, so there may be errors still."
    Last official release
    • JP Software has given its blessing on some releases newer than what can be found on its site. As 4DOS has managed strong backwards compatibility, and has not grown substantially with new releases, the most compelling reason to run an old version may be for the few features that have been removed with newer versions, such as DOS 2.0 compatibility. However, the unofficial builds have become compatible with DOS 2.0 again, and can work with XT systems, and have restored the /Y switch (to the 4DOS.Com executable). The issue of legality on other operating systems is addressed above on this page: After Luchezar Georgiev's statements, JP Software continued to link to the site.
    • In response to post about 4DOS removing /Y option, build 133 from http://www.4dos.hit.bg/ (7 Dec 2006) re-adds it.
    • 7.50 Freeware
    • http://4dos.hit.bg/ says the site by Klaus Meinhard "provides a wealth of information on 4DOS and is a must visit for any serious 4DOS user."
    Some misc notes/hyperlinks/references
    • http://www.4dos.info (formerly 4XBTM.DE)
    • Club Dr-DOS Wiki's 4DOS page
    • Some forum post said latest version is http://www.4dos.hit.bg/ (which would refer to material referenced by the “Luchezar Georgiev contribution” section).
    • http://4dos.ilbello.com/demo.php requires Java, and was described by 4dos.hit.bg as “Virtual 4DOS: online demo”.
    • 4DOS.ini file (zipped) contains some custom settings including directory colors and, for 4DOS, placing some data inside memory other than the “conventional memory” which is often nicer to have free for other applications. This may also be useful for other JP Software products (such as setting color settings), although some settings (especially memory settings, also things referencing long filename settings) may cause some interactive messages, due to the specific setting not being valid, when used with some of the other software.
    [#4os2]: 4OS2

    Like 4DOS, but for IBM's OS/2 operating system. JP Software has turned this into Freeware and released 4OS2's source code. (This was done before 4DOS had source code released.) 4OS/2 freeware from JPSoftware. Also, there is Take Command for OS/2 (freeware from JP Software. 4OS2 version 3.04B source

    4OS2 3.04h is said to be the latest version by Klaus Meinhard's 4OS2 Versions page. This is newer than Doug Lindquist's releases of updates from the 4OS2 source files, even though Doug's releases had a higher version number (4.02A). Klaus Meinhard's 4OS2 Versions page refers to this "version being discontinued in favour of a unified version from SciTech." SciTech did not use the 4.x versioning scheme for 4OS2. netlabs.org 4OS2 site mentions that some 3.x versions are newer than some 4.x versions.

    The Scitech 4OS2 releases were 4OS2 3.04e, 4OS2 3.04f, and 4OS2 3.04g.)

    Doug's releases: 4OS2 4.00A, 4OS2 4.01A, 4OS2 4.02A

    Klaus Meinhard's 4OS2 Versions page has information on other 4OS2 versions that are older, including some download hyperlinks. There's also History of 4OS2. For more versions (which aren't based on open source code), see Klaus Klaus Meinhard's 4OS2 Versions page.

    Take Command
    Older releases
    Take Command for OS/2 (freeware), Take Command (freeware). The 16-bit Take Command included "Caveman" technology to have an MS-DOS program appear in a GUI window.
    Newer releases
    See JP Software.
    4NT, TCI
    Older versions of a version of 4DOS released for Windows NT and compatible operating systems. TCI had a tabbed interface. It seems both are now discontinued, having their functionality rolled into Take Command 9.0.

    Additional Info/Notes

    Some JP Software Compatibility notes are now available.