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Spectra 1.0 GPL

Spectra is a very powerful GUI for DOS with many customizable skins to suite your taste. It is fully compatible with PTS-DOS, DR-DOS and MS-DOS. Spectra has many advanced features. Among them is the ability to treat ZIP files as directories. You may easily cut, copy, paste, delete and perform many other operations from within ZIP without having to worry about all those time consuming compression programs. Spectra also comes with a unique compression manager, which allows you to compress, decompress, test, fix and create self-extractable EXE files with ease from ZIP, RAR, ARJ, PAK and LHA archives.

Disktop file manager provides an excellent registry, enabling the user to assign multiple programs to a single extension. Many utilities are available for extensive drive, system and memory information, and printing.


Some of the users' comments:

"I have been using your WinDOS 220 and now the 250 and I think it is one of the best downloads I've ever had."

"... it makes Norton Commander look like a skinny program."

"I had been looking at a lot of GUI shells for DOS but yours had the best look and feel to it."

"... I love WinDos, its awesome ..."


Comments, ideas, bug reports and just greetings are welcomed at



Version 1.0 (GPL)

1. Renamed the WinDOS project to Spectra. Sorry, but I was forced to do so by Microsoft.

2. Minor improvements.

Version 270 (GPL)

1. Directory history size increased from 10 to 50 entries.

2. Drives can now be changed using ALT+DRIVE key combinations.

3. The copying process is now abortable with ESC.

4. The internal ZIP reading is now also abortable with ESC.

5. A BIOS 8x8 font is now read in a more compatible way in order to avoid printed "garbage" with some queer BIOS's.

6. Cleaned up code. Modularity improved, although still far away from being perfect.

7. The size of the package has been reduced.

8. Slightly decreased loading times of WinDOS and its utilities.

9. HTEDIT.EXE now supports the 50 line text mode.

Version 265

1. The most powerful extension registration system ever! Now supports multiline script blocks (batch style and unlimited size) for every program entry. Wildcard '?' is allowed to be used in the description of any extension. Registration of directories is also now available, which is ideal to be used with antivirus programs. Plus many other new features.

2. Added an option to run programs using COMMAND.COM (to solve some memory allocation and program location problems).

3. Added an option to flush DOS buffers before program execution to prevent SMARTDRIVE from crashing and corrupting WinDos configuration in some cases (due to bugs in this Microsoft product).

4. Created a utility to set a 50-line text mode (50LINES.COM). Very useful for use in the new extension registration system.

5. Created a utility to restore the standard 25-line text mode (25LINES.COM).

6. RUNNER.COM module was optimized. Disktop now takes up 4608 bytes of conventional or high memory.

7. All internal WinDos utilities are now executed without graphics mode switching, which was slow and annoying.

8. WinDos utilities are run differently to be fully compatible with PTS-DOS and DrDOS.

9. Disktop now scans for every drive from A to Z to support "floating drives". For example, for disks A: C: D: E: F: Z:, earlier versions of Disktop would have missed Z:.

10. A colour in Disktop's HiTech skin was corrected.

11. Disktop now pauses after "Help - On Selected Program" is selected.

12. Properties displays drive information correctly on versions of DOS without FAT32 support or without appropriate drivers.

13. Code optimizations made to PRINT.EXE module.

14. Added the ability for PRINT.EXE module to display the number of lines in a document.

15. PRINT.EXE now sends a page feed instruction to the printer when necessary to avoid line-skipping on some printers (including Canon BJC-210 series).

16. Updated the screen savers to work on all systems without exiting at startup.

17. OPTIONS.EXE module was updated. Automatic extension editor was removed as it was much more difficult to use and was incompatible with the new extension registration system.

18. BUG FIXED - the preview button in OPTIONS-ScreenSavers didn't always work.

19. BUG FIXED - the compression tools returned an error when very long paths were used.

20. BUG FIXED - the compression tools became disabled if files were copied from ZIP using Disktop's internal ZIP.

21. BUG FIXED - if a ZIP file was zipped and placed at the end of an archive, Disktop's internal ZIP displayed empty contents of the parent ZIP when viewed.

22. BUG FIXED - ZIP files smaller than 512 bytes were not viewed correctly by Disktop's internal ZIP.

23. BUG FIXED - Disktop reported an error during copy if a directory name contained a dot and was cut and pasted onto another drive.

24. BUG FIXED - If COMSPEC environment variable followed variables that were less than 8 characters (name and data), RUNNER.COM reported an error.

25. BUG FIXED - Properties memory information was corrected.

26. Updated documentation.

27. Other minor changes.

Version 250

1. Added capability of loading into upper memory, thus freeing ALL of conventional memory pool. If UMBs are not available, WinDos loads into conventional memory and takes up under 5 Kb of space Comparison with other popular shells: Norton Commander 5.0 - 13 Kb; Volcov Commander 4.01 - 19 Kb.

2. Added ability to run TSR programs correctly.

3. Faster program execution.

4. New Disktop File Manager interface.

5. New compression interface, optimized code.

6. New properties interface, optimized code.

7. Extended system, disk and file attributes information (properties). Disk information is now correct for drives > 2 GB.

8. New print utility interface, optimized code.

9. Colour schemes, or skins, can now be used with Disktop and its utilities.

10. "LIST:file.lst" flag for list file generation (extension editor).

11. "CURDRIVE" flag (extension editor).

12. Command line, passed to programs, is no longer capitalized.

13. Cut, Copy and MEM light indicators (Disktop).

14. Improved InputBox control (Disktop).

15. Commonly used keys (ENTER and ESC) are now functional in all information and input boxes (Disktop).

16. Faster execution of WinDos utilities.

17. BUG FIXED: In v220 the only resolution available in Desktop was 640x480.

18. BUG FIXED: If somefile.key didn't exist and a program containing the flag "KEYS:somefile.key" as part of its command line in extension list was called, then Disktop would have exited with an error.

19. BUG FIXED: If changing icons was attempted (using SELICON.EXE) in resolutions other than 640x480, a visual bug occured.

20. BACKSPACE - moves up directory.

21. Improved highlighting method in Disktop.

22. Other minor changes.

23. Updated documentation.

Version 220

1. A very fast internal ZIP support in Disktop module. Now you can browse through ZIP files as through folders, perform various operations on files inside ZIP including cut, copy and paste. However, PKZIP and PKUNZIP are still required for some features to work.

2. File associations are now functional inside ZIP files.

3. "Create Empty File" option was added to the File menu.

4. More hotkeys were introduced.

5. Minor bug fixes in Disktop (theoretical bugs, the chances of them actually occurring are very small).

6. Bug fixed: Incorrect directory as part of program path, recorded in Quick Menu, forced RUNNER.EXE to exit to DOS with an error.

7. Bug fixed: If QUICK method was used to launch a program with a command line, the command tail remained in memory after execution, which resulted in incorrect execution of other programs after the event.

8. Bug fixed: In some situations the command line passed to the double-clicked programs was not always a null string.

9. ScreenSaver "Magic Squares".

10. ScreenSaver "Hyperbola".

11. ScreenSaver "Acid Rain".

12. Improved "XOR" ScreenSaver.

13. Improved "HiTech" ScreenSaver.

14. Source code released for all ScreenSavers.

15. A stupid limitation was fixed. BAT files can now be selected in OPTIONS in the screen saver list.

16. PRINT.EXE did not print in version 215 (sorry). Now it is fixed.

17. Minor bug fix in the compression tools.

Copyright (C) HiTech Laboratories, Denis Andrianov