System 7.5: Overview Of DOS Compatibility (1/96)

This article provides an overview of how with System 7.5 you can read, write, and edit ProDOS, MS-DOS, Windows, and OS/2 files with your Macintosh computer.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Macintosh PC Exchange and Macintosh Easy Open are a set of utilities that let ProDOS, MS-DOS, Windows, and OS/2 data files be opened and edited with compatible Macintosh applications. They work in tandem on the Macintosh to let you efficiently exchange data with users on these other platforms.

Macintosh PC Exchange


Macintosh PC Exchange lets you insert a DOS-formatted floppy disk into an Apple SuperDrive and view the disk's contents from the Macintosh desktop just as if the floppy came from another Macintosh system. When you double-click on a DOS or Windows file to open it, Macintosh Easy Open automatically searches for applications and file translators that are capable of opening it and lists the applications for you. Once an application is selected, Macintosh Easy Open manages the translation and opening of the file.



Besides offering built-in AppleTalk networking, Apple has consistently provided compatibility with all major networking and enterprise systems. Apple builds Ethernet and Token Ring connectivity into its Macintosh systems and also supports a range of options for connecting with networks supporting IBM's SNA, Digital Equipment Corp.'s DECNet, Novell's IPX, and the TCP/IP and OSI protocols.

With System 7.5, Apple is now building in support for TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), a major communications protocol for UNIX networking that is implemented pervasively in the higher education and research communities. It is also the standard protocol for the Internet communications network. TCP/IP networking protocols let multi-vendor computers communicate or connect with each other over a network. MacTCP, which has been sold standalone as Apple's standard software implementation of TCP/IP, lets you use your Macintosh to access information on Cray supercomputers, UNIX and Sun workstations, VAX systems, and a variety of hosts. Building MacTCP into System 7.5 ensures that TCP/IP support is readily accessible to the broadest base of Macintosh customers.

DOS Compatibility Card


If you own a Centris or Quadra 610, you can use the original DOS Compatibility Card, which allows you to have a real Intel x486SX processor inside your Macintosh computer.

If you own a Power Macintosh 6100, you can use the DOS Compatibility Card for the Power Macintosh. This card provides the same functionality of the orginal DOS Compatibility Card, but adds Sound Blaster capabilities, Windows 3.1, and an Intel x486DX processor.

If you own a Macintosh 630 computer, a DOS Compatibility Card functionally identical to the Power Macintosh DOS Compatibility Card is available.

These cards give you the advantage of using both MS-DOS/Windows and the Mac OS without a decrease in the Macintosh OS performance.

Third-Party Options




If you have a Power Macintosh system, with System 7.5 you can have an additional level of compatibility with DOS and Windows using emulation provided by SoftWindows from Insignia Solutions. SoftWindows comes both as a native PowerPC application, and a 68040 application. Both versions emulate an Intel x86 processor and lets you run DOS and Windows applications on top of the standard MacOS.

Insignia Solutions also provides SoftPC and SoftPC Professional for Macintosh owners without a PowerPC or 68040 Processor.

DOS on Mac:


DOS on Mac by Rely Corporation comes in several configurations depending on the model Macintosh you own. This card is similar to the Apple DOS Compatibility Card, since it provides a hardware solution to run MS-DOS/Window applications.

As a DOS and Windows user you can retain your investment in DOS and Windows data and take advantage of all the additional capabilities of the Power Macintosh platform.

The Tech Info Library article titled "Locating Vendor Information" can help you search for a particular vendor's address and phone number.

Article Change History:

04 Jan 1996 - Minor technical corrections.

05 May 1995 - Added 3rd party information.

14 Feb 1995 - Reviewed for technical accuracy.

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Published Date: Feb 19, 2012