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long file names, anyone know the history?

Old 01-13-04, 10:41 PM
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long file names, anyone know the history?

I recently spent some time with my old franklin ace (apple ][ clone) and had forgotten that apple's DOS supported long file names and file names with spaces even way back then. what were the reasons for having only 8 character names on PCs until windows 95?
Old 01-13-04, 10:51 PM
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I believe it was a carryover from CP/M (which MS-DOS came from) which only allowed 8 characters for the filename and 3 for the extension (FAT12 filesystem I think). I believe Windows 95 allowed long filenames because it made multiple directory entries as needed to handle the longer names (FAT16).

Then larger hard drives and FAT32 came along and there was room allocated in the directory space for longer filenames.
Old 01-13-04, 10:52 PM
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Re: long file names, anyone know the history?

Originally posted by Eeyore
I recently spent some time with my old franklin ace (apple ][ clone) and had forgotten that apple's DOS supported long file names and file names with spaces even way back then. what were the reasons for having only 8 character names on PCs until windows 95?
Windows started off as an extension of MS-DOS. MS-DOS had short file names all the way back from when Microsoft bought it from the original writers of the program. The original "QDOS" was something of a clone of an OS called CP/M (in much the same way that Linux is a clone of Unix). So the file naming convention goes back far before the Mac.
Old 01-13-04, 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by X
I believe it was a carryover from CP/M (which MS-DOS came from) which only allowed 8 characters for the filename and 3 for the extension (FAT12 filesystem I think). I believe Windows 95 allowed long filenames because it made multiple directory entries as needed to handle the longer names (FAT16).

Then larger hard drives and FAT32 came along and there was room allocated in the directory space for longer filenames.
I don't think that the longer names problem was FAT16/FAT32 related. FAT32 wasn't even available in the first release of Windows 95. And FAT used to be only 12 bits-- I'm sure that you remember when hard drive partitions maxed out at 32 MB.

check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAT

http://www.maxframe.com/HISZMSD.HTM

http://www.patersontech.com/Dos/Byte/History.html
Old 01-14-04, 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by Darren Garrison


http://www.patersontech.com/Dos/Byte/History.html
This history leaves out the part about Bill Gates breaking into the author of DOS's house, stealing the code, farting in his face as he sleeps, and kicking his dog on the way out.

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