Free Software for DOS
Information, Reference, Research

21 Aug 2006

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Probert E-Text Encyclopaedia (PENC) — Text-only encyclopedia.

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[updated 1998-11-10]

This text-only encyclopedia (not a program) is comprehensive enough to be useful. An encyclopedia this small can't add much detail to entries – and it doesn't. It should not be viewed as "authoritative" since there is no reference to author's source information. The text version is obviously difficult to navigate (hint: use LIST viewer and its find function). There are online encyclopedias on the Net (including the updated, but commercial / copyrighted online version of this one) that are easier to use and won't gobble up your disk space. Beyond these limitations, this may be a useful reference for you. It is divided into major topical sections, within which entries are sorted alphabetically. There are some areas covered which some "popular" CD-ROM dictionaries often neglect.

This encyclopedia has become a shareware / commercial product – the final freeware versions listed here are still available, but are no longer being updated.

Author: Matthew Probert, UK (1998).

1998-08-02: Edition 16.0.

Download either format
Plain text

Browse the current edition of The Probert Encyclopaedia online.


 Also see Trilogy.

INMAGIC Plus — Powerful database program for textual information.


[added 1998, updated 2004-04-20]

INMAGIC Plus is a database program for maintaining textual information such as bibliographic, library, or legal documents. The DOS version has apparently been used in many libraries, but is now superseded by a Windows version. I haven't played with it much, but here is some unsolicited praise I've read:

These are NOT TRIVIAL products. If you're interested in a painless, no-cost method of experimenting with the Inmagic approach, and maybe starting up a prototype or developmental database, this offer should be of interest. Inmagic products have good export and translation features, so whatever you build or start to develop in the way of a datafile will definitely be transportable.
It's an excellent product, one of the standards in libraries, and used to cost about $1,000.

Publisher: Inmagic Inc. (1997).

1997-02-24: v1.0 Rel. 5. Last version for DOS, now freeware.

Download (431K).

REFERENCES — Bibliographic database program.


[added 2000-02-20, updated 2006-08-21]

From the docs:
REFERENCES is bibliographic software for authors of scientific manuscripts and for management of bibliographic data on articles in periodicals, books and chapters in books. REFERENCES supports LaTeX including BibTeX. REFERENCES is able to import bibliographic records in the MEDLINE format. Retrieval of references by keywords, authors' or editors' names, date of publication, title of article, book title, journal name or combinations thereof is possible. Lists of references can be compiled in any (user-defined) format required by the publishers of scientific journals.

Notes: "This software package includes a Win32 implementation of GAWK (version 3.1.1)". Other specialized tools perform various tasks. Requires external text editor. Docs in English and German. Under active development, see links below to find the latest version. Source code available. Distributed under GNU General Public License.

Author: Volker Kiefel, Germany (2000-2005).

32-bit DJGPP build, requires 80386+. Binaries, docs, extra utils and source, all in one download package.
Win32 console
DOS version of the executable is not distributed by the author, but it can be compiled from the source code – see next item.
32-bit DJGPP build, requires 80386+. Not officially supported.
Win32 console
Available as both ZIP archive and EXE installer. DOS version can be compiled from the source code.

All files
Binaries, manual (pdf)

Binaries, manual (pdf)
Binaries, manual (pdf)
Binaries, manual (pdf)

For latest Windows binaries, helper apps, and source (C), go to the Download page.

Get more info and installation help at the Home Page.

Get all versions 4.x at the File List page.

Get some more info and news at the Project page at SourceForge.


Periodic — Simple, useful periodic table of the elements.

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[updated 2006-03-14]

Displays a periodic table in color, with elements' symbols, atomic number and atomic weight. Select an element, and get a popup box with full name, electron shell data, oxidation states & more. Goes up to element 107. Keyboard operation only. Requires DOS 2.0+, EGA+.

1988-10-16 release.

Author: Unknown.

Download (40K).


Also see Kindred Connections, a useful, free, but Win3.1-based program.

Roots Master – Genealogy database with GEDCOM import / export.

* * * * 1/2

This simple but well designed text mode program is a database for storing family information and generating documents showing family relationships. Mouse driven, and very nice for a free program. This is the only genealogy program I've ever used (or needed) – I haven't compared it with the shareware competition.

Key features:
  1. View and print ancestors, descendants, family groups, alphabetical lists, birthday lists, longevity analyses, etc..
  2. Can enter an unlimited number of people.
  3. Can export to the GEDCOM format, which is readable by most genealogy programs. If you advance to a professional package, you won't have to re-key your information.
  4. Allows you to enter name, address, birth date and place, marriage date and place, death date and place, and sex for each relative. Once entered, you can easily tie relatives together with father, mother, and spouse relationships.
  5. Supports an unlimited number of multiple marriages.
  6. Excellent search and filtering capabilities. Query-building feature.
  7. Prints out family history worksheets which can be used to help collect family history data.
  8. Does not catalog family pictures.

Limitations: I've observed and confirmed a rare problem maintaining certain spouse links (even after correcting errors).

Author: Robert K. Summers / RKS Software (1995).

1995-10-06: v2.3. Last for DOS.

Download (310K).

Sounder — Creates name database from genealogy data files.


[updated 2006-03-14]

Sounder is a genealogist's tool, developed in Clipper. From user input, or from imported GEDCOM or Nameview/Namedrop data files, it builds a database of names and Clipper soundex codes. Output files are in dBase format.

Author: Patrick C. Deatherage (1993).

1993-08-25: v2.0.

Download (151K).


NUT — Food and nutrition database, records and analyzes meals.

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[added 2003-03-26, updated 2006-08-21]

From user input, and from data in the (included) U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, NUT analyzes meals for nutrient composition, and more.

From the docs, some of NUT's features:
Record Meals: Foods are found in the database, a number of servings, weight, or calories is entered, and thus a meal is recorded showing the amount of each food eaten.
Analyze Meals and Food Suggestions: An analysis of meals in the database is presented in terms of the percentage of each nutrient, where 100% signifies a rate of 100% of the DV (Daily Value) per day.
View Foods: Foods can be viewed using the same interface as for "Record Meals," specifying whatever serving size the user wishes to see analyzed for nutrient content,
Add Foods and Modify Serving Sizes: This item has three selections, "Add a Recipe," "Add a Labeled Food," and "Modify Serving Sizes."
Plot Daily and Monthly Trends.
Print Menus from Meal Database.

NUT's display is plain DOS, no colors, no graphics. Data and operations are selected from menus. No online help: Read the manual and play with NUT, to find out what it really does.

32-bit DJGPP program, requires 80386+ and a DOS Protected Mode Interface (CWSDPMI or other).

Author: Jim Jozwiak (2006).

2006-07-06: v11.5.

Download (1.1MB).

Get more info, Linux/Unix versions, C++ source from the author's site and from the Project page at Freshmeat.

Meal-Master — Full-featured database program, organizes recipes into indexed, searchable files.

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[added 1999-02-28, updated 2006-03-14]

Meal-Master is a compiled database program, with a user interface consisting of dBase-type, text-graphical, option menus with data entry boxes. A recipe may have a maximum of 100 lines, and a database may have a maximum of about 65,000 recipes. The number of databases is limited only by available disk space. Meal-Master has nice printing capabilities, with setup files for HP, Epson and other popular printers. Printouts can be 66-line pages, index cards & more. Runs on anything, from a PC-XT with 512K up, any monitor, any writable disk.

From the docs:
When entering the ingredient or category search criteria, you can specify multiple ingredients and "connect" them with "And" and "Or" to form complex searches. For example, you can search for "Chicken or beef and -salt" to find all the recipes that contain EITHER Chicken or Beef, but no salt.
After using the Search feature to "Mark" several recipes, the Shopping list function can be selected from the Utilities menu. The ingredients from each marked recipe will be extracted and combined into one list, sorted alphabetically. Quantities of ingredients that occur on multiple recipes will be combined, and their unit of measure automatically converted when needed.

Input recipes must be in plain text, but formatted with keywords (Title, Category, Ingredient, etc.) in precise positions. No online help: Read the manual and explore Meal-Master, to find out what it does.

Author: Scott Welliver / Episoft Systems (1998).

1998-10-24: v8.06. Free for use by individuals and non-profit organizations.


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