Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 7, NO. 8 / DECEMBER 1988

Product Review


by Rich Tietjens

Atari 8-bit computers are alive and well in Europe. Many new products are introduced every month for the "little" Ataris, as the West Germans refer to the 8-bit line. BIBO-DOS, released in July 1987, is a powerful disk operating system with important new functions that standard Atari DOS doesn't have.

I tested BIBO-DOS on an Atari 130XE computer with an XF551 disk drive, a "vanilla" 1050 and a U.S. Doubler-equipped 1050. When you enter BIBO-DOS, you will see the DOS name and version number across the top of the screen and menu items A through N. In Version 5.2, you get Normal and Fast modes. I was able to measure a speed-up of about 20% with the US Doubler.

BIBO-DOS has a status line telling you which drives are active, how many file buffers are available and the size of your RAMdisk (64K to 256K).

You can get a normal disk directory by pressing the drive number key, or a "special" directory by pressing [SHIFT] with the number key. The special directory shows all filenames on the disk, with codes indicating erased files and files with errors (such as open for write). You don't need to press [RETURN] after making your selections.

BIBO-DOS is made up of a pair of files called BDOS.SYS and BDUPSYS. According to the 25-page manual, BIBO-DOS is fully compatible with Atari DOS 2.0 and 2.5.

Selection C (file copy) now works with either a single drive or multiple drives. It also copies all files except BDOS.SYS when you specify only a drive number or wild cards--unlike Atari DOS 2.0 and 2.5 which require specific input to copy AUTORUN.SYS and won't copy DUP.SYS at all.

The Write DOS command (H) lets you reconfigure your system. For a new RAMdisk size, switch RAMdisk and keyboard buffer on or off, keep RAMdisk files or reformat RAM on reboot. You can also choose to write or not write the BDUP.SYS package.

Selection I (Format Disk) formats any properly equipped drive in single, medium, or double densities, or just clears all files without reformatting.

Selection J (Recover File) lets you undelete a file that you didn't really want to lose.

Selection N generates AUTORUN.SYS files.

Essentially, the BIBO-DOS menu has all the functions provided in external COM files with DOS 2.5--no RAMDISK, DISKFIX or SETUP files taking up valuable disk space.

On the other hand, four very useful new files are added--a multi-density sector copier (SCOPY14), a multi-file copier (MFCOPY), a DOS 3.0 to DOS 2.x converter (CONV32D) and a RAMdisk tester (RDSKTEST).

On price, performance, compatibility and elegance, BIBO-DOS rates very high. All it lacks is subdirectory support, but that isn't necessarily serious with small-capacity (180K and under) disk drives. Version 6.0 of BIBO-DOS is supposed to support the full 360K capacity of the Atari XF551 disk drive. I'm eagerly awaiting.

The menu looks like this:
1-8: Directory Dn
A: Disk Inhalt
B: Zum Basic/Modul
C: Datei kopieren
D: Datei loeschen
E: Namen aendern
F: Datei sichern
G: Datei freigeben
H: Dos schreiben
I: Formatieren
J: Zurueckholen
K: Binaer Save
L: Binaer Load
M: Start ab Adr.
N: Autorun Gener.

About $12. Requires Atari 1050 disk drive. COMPY-SHOP OHG, Gneisenaustrasse 29, 4330 Muelheim/Ruhr, West Germany.