Original TUTOR(dot)COM

In 1985, Computer Knowledge prepared a basic tutorial about microcomputers and DOS. The exercise was to help students and to help me learn programming. The first goal was somewhat successful; the second, not so much as I look back on the code. 🙂

One of my ultimate goals is to recreate that tutorial in different form and updated to today’s technology. But, in the process, I thought it might be of interest to see the original. I picked the 1991 version as one of the last versions in the original format.

The original was a DOS-based program that displayed text-only pages, one page at a time. You could navigate the pages and at times the program would ask questions and expect an answer.

TUTOR.COM Color Selection When started, the program would go through a setup routine and asked if you wanted to view the text in color or monochrome and if you wanted sound or not. The sound was just simple beeps; nothing fancy.
TUTOR.COM Main Menu You were then presented with the tutorial’s main menu. There were nine different choices plus zero to exit the program. The choices are duplicated below and each will take you to a page where you can browse a gallery of screen shots for that topic. Enjoy…

TUTOR.COM Main Menu

  1. Tutorial which explains TUTOR.COM (version 4.5).
  2. A description of the expanded keyboard.
  3. Brief history of computers.
  4. Introduction to computers, binary numbers, and the CPU.
  5. Introduction to storage and input/output devices.
  6. Disk Operating System operation and commands.
  7. A tutorial on subdirectory structure and commands.
  8. Batch file commands and structure explained.
  9. A brief introduction to structured programming.

Additionally, you could start the program with the parameter OLDKEY and this would cause the #2 keyboard tutorial to switch from the expanded keyboard to the original IBM-style keyboard. That one is here…

Tutorial Which Explains TUTOR.COM

A tutorial that explains the TUTOR.COM program itself and includes the shareware order forms (with address information redacted since it’s now free). This tutorial is left as part of the complete archive but, frankly, you can probably skip it and not even notice you’d done so. 🙂

Below are the 15 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 15 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Introduction 001 Title Screen Title screen: Notes on TUTOR.COM.
Introduction 002 How to Use TUTOR.COM How to use the TUTOR.COM program.
Introduction 003 Answering Questions The answer capability.
Introduction 004 User Menu The user menu.
Introduction 005 What is TUTOR.COM What is the TUTOR program?
Introduction 006 Why Register Why register?
Introduction 007 What You Receive More about what you receive.
Introduction 008 How to Register How to register?
Introduction 009 Basic Order Form Basic order form.
Introduction 010 License Only Option License only order form.
Introduction 011 Site License Site license order form.
Introduction 012 Credit Card Authorization Credit card payment form.
Introduction 013 Out-of-US Registration Out of U.S. registrations.
Introduction 014 Support Support.
Introduction 015 End Screen That’s all there is to it!

The Expanded Keyboard

A tutorial that explains the expanded keyboard (the keyboard with the function keys at the top).

Below are the 22 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 22 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Enhanced Keyboard 001 Title Page Title screen: Notes on The New Enhanced PC Keyboard.
Enhanced Keyboard 002 Keyboard Differences Summary of the two keyboard types.
Enhanced Keyboard 003 Sections Function keys.
Enhanced Keyboard 004 Introduction Function keys (continued).
Enhanced Keyboard 005 Buffers Buffers.
Enhanced Keyboard 006 F1 and F3 F1 and F3.
Enhanced Keyboard 007 F2 and F4 F2 and F4.
Enhanced Keyboard 008 F5 F5.
Enhanced Keyboard 009 Caution Important program note.
Enhanced Keyboard 010 Function Key Summary Keyboard test of lessons learned.
Enhanced Keyboard 011 Function Key Test Another little test.
Enhanced Keyboard 012 Number Entry Cursor control and number entry.
Enhanced Keyboard 013 Curson Control Cursor controls.
Enhanced Keyboard 014 Cursor Control Cursor controls (continues).
Enhanced Keyboard 015 PageUP PageDown Example PageUp/PageDown
Enhanced Keyboard 016 Control and Alt Control and Alt keys.
Enhanced Keyboard 017 Pause and Stop and Restart Keystroke combinations (keychords).
Enhanced Keyboard 018 Shift and CapsLock Shift and CapsLock.
Enhanced Keyboard 019 Escape and Enter Escape and return keys.
Enhanced Keyboard 020 Tab and Backspace Tab and backspace.
Enhanced Keyboard 021 Print Screen PrintScreen.
Enhanced Keyboard 022 Endnotes End notes

The Original Keyboard

A tutorial that explains the original IBM keyboard (the keyboard with only 10 function keys on the left side).

Below are the 23 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 23 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Old Keyboard 001 Title Page Title screen: Notes on The PC Keyboard.
Old Keyboard 002 Function Keys Function keys.
Old Keyboard 003 Alphanumeric Keys Alphanumeric keys.
Old Keyboard 004 Numeric Keypad Numeric keypad.
Old Keyboard 005 Discussion Keyboard overview.
Old Keyboard 006 Buffers Buffers.
Old Keyboard 007 F1 and F3 F1 and F3.
Old Keyboard 008 F2 and F4 F2 and F4.
Old Keyboard 009 F5 F5.
Old Keyboard 010 Caution An important note.
Old Keyboard 011 Function Key Summary A short test.
Old Keyboard 013 A Function Key Test Another little test.
Old Keyboard 014 Numeric Keypad Cursor controls.
Old Keyboard 015 Insert Delete PgUp PgDn Cursor controls (continued).
Old Keyboard 016 PageUp PageDown Example PageUp/PageDown.
Old Keyboard 017 Control Alt Control and Alt.
Old Keyboard 018 Control Key Combinations Keystroke combinations (keychords).
Old Keyboard 019 Shift and CapsLock Shift and capslock.
Old Keyboard 020 ESC Return/td>

Escape and carriage return.
Old Keyboard 021 Tab and Backspace Tab and backspace.
Old Keyboard 022 PrintScreen PrintScreen.
Old Keyboard 023 Enhanced Keyboard Preview Enhanced keyboard.
Old Keyboard 024 Endnotes End notes

History of Computers

A tutorial that summarizes the history of computers.

Below are the 18 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 18 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

History 001 Title Page Title screen: Notes on Computer History.
History 002 Introduction Introduction and references.
History 003 Beginning The beginning.
History 004 Babbage Babbage and The Countess of Lovelace.
History 005 Babbage Contribution Babbage’s contribution.
History 006 Hollerith Herman Hollerith and the 1890 census.
History 007 World War II World War II.
History 008 First Generation The generations: first.
History 009 Second Generation The generations: second.
History 010 Third Generation The generations: third.
History 011 Fourth Generation The generations: fourth.
History 012 Microcomputers Microcomputers.
History 013 Early 1970s Microcomputers (continued).
History 014 1974-75 Microcomputers (continued further).
History 015 1976-77 Micros: the 70’s continue.
History 016 End of 1970s Closing out the 70s.
History 017 1980s The 1980’s.
History 018 Future The future.

Computer Terms (Part 1)

A tutorial that summarizes the basic terms associated with computing. Binary numbers are introduced as well as a basic description of what makes up a computer.

Below are the 21 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 21 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Computer Terms 001 Title Page Title screen: Definitions of Computer Terms, part 1.
Computer Terms 002 Introductory Notes Introductory notes.
Computer Terms 003 What Computers Do What computers do.
Computer Terms 004 Best Computer Uses What is the computer best at?
Computer Terms 005 Hardware vs Software Hardware versus software.
Computer Terms 006 Computer Systems Computer hardware.
Computer Terms 007 Division of Hardware Division of hardware.
Computer Terms 008 Basic Hardware Elements Basic hardware elements.
Computer Terms 009 Computer Hardware Elements Hardware element diagram.
Computer Terms 010 Quiz Time out for a quiz.
Computer Terms 011 Time Coming to terms with time.
Computer Terms 012 Nibble or Byte When you eat do you Nibble or Byte?
Computer Terms 013 Basic Binary Binary numbers introduced.
Computer Terms 014 Binary Numbers Binary to decimal conversion.
Computer Terms 015 Many Bytes Start counting from zero.
Computer Terms 016 Addressing Addressing.
Computer Terms 017 CPU in Detail The CPU in detail.
Computer Terms 018 Registers Registers.
Computer Terms 019 CPU Operation CPU diagram.
Computer Terms 020 Today's CPUs Today’s CPUs.
Computer Terms 021 Summary Let’s rest now!

Computer Terms (Part 2)

A tutorial that summarizes the basic terms associated with computing. Storage, input/output, device communication are among the topics covered.

Below are the 22 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 22 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

More Computer Terms 001 Title Page Title screen: Definitions of Computer Terms, part 2.
More Computer Terms 002 Introductory Notes Introductory notes.
More Computer Terms 003 Secondary Storage Secondary storage.
More Computer Terms 004 Floppy Disk Tracks Floppy disk: Tracks.
More Computer Terms 005 Floppy Disk Sectors Floppy disk: Sectors.
More Computer Terms 006 Floppy Disk Grades Floppy disk: Single/double Sided.
More Computer Terms 007 Floppy Disk Density Floppy disk: Density.
More Computer Terms 008 Floppy Disk Safeguards Floppy disk: Handling and safeguards.
More Computer Terms 009 Other Floppy Formats Other formats (3.5-inch disks).
More Computer Terms 010 Hard Disks Hard disks.
More Computer Terms 011 Hard Disks Continued Hard disks (continued).
More Computer Terms 012 Monitor Monitor.
More Computer Terms 013 Monitor Continued Monitor (continued).
More Computer Terms 014 Input Devices Input devices.
More Computer Terms 015 Output Devices Output devices.
More Computer Terms 016 Printers Printers.
More Computer Terms 017 Non-impact Printers Non-impact printers.
More Computer Terms 018 Impact Printers Impact printers.
More Computer Terms 019 Interface Interface.
More Computer Terms 020 Computer Communications Computer communications.
More Computer Terms 021 Networks Networks.
More Computer Terms 022 Summary Summary.

Basic DOS Introduction

A tutorial that summarizes the basics of dealing with DOS, the disk operating system used on IBM-PC computers before Windows made an appearance.

Below are the 25 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 25 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

DOS 001 Title Screen Title screen: Intro to DOS.
DOS 002 Operating Systems Operating systems.
DOS 003 Parts of DOS Parts of DOS.
DOS 004 Input-Output System Input/Output system.
DOS 005 Command Processor Command Processor.
DOS 006 Starting the Computer Starting the computer.
DOS 007 Default Drive Default drive.
DOS 008 Device Names Device names.
DOS 009 Rules for Filenames Rules for filenames.
DOS 010 DOS Commands DOS commands.
DOS 011 Command Syntax Command syntax.
DOS 012 Disk Directory Disk directory.
DOS 013 CLS VER and VOL Commands Three simple commands (CLS, VER, and VOL).
DOS 014 Date and Time Date and Time.
DOS 015 FORMAT Format disk.
DOS 016 Additional Comments Additional comments.
DOS 017 Erasing and Renaming Files Erasing files and renaming files.
DOS 018 Copying Files Copying files.
DOS 019 COPY to Concatenate Copy command tricks.
DOS 020 COPY CON to Create a TXT File Use copy to create a text file.
DOS 021 XCOPY XCOPY.
DOS 022 TYPE Typing a file.
DOS 023 DISKCOPY Backing up a disk.
DOS 024 CHKDSK Checking the disk.
DOS 025 Notes Notes.

Advanced DOS Introduction

A tutorial that summarizes the concept of a directory tree along with the commands necessary to navigate it.

Below are the 21 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 21 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Advanced DOS 001 Title Screen Title screen: Advanced DOS.
Advanced DOS 002 Introductory Comments Introductory comments.
Advanced DOS 003 Subdirectory Subdirectory.
Advanced DOS 004 Tree Structure Tree structure.
Advanced DOS 005 Tree Structure Tree structure (continued).
Advanced DOS 006 Tree Structure Tree structure (continued further).
Advanced DOS 007 Pathnames Pathnames.
Advanced DOS 008 Pathnames Pathnames (continued).
Advanced DOS 009 Pathnames Pathnames (continued further).
Advanced DOS 010 Pathnames Pathnames (continued further).
Advanced DOS 011 MD and RD Commands Make and remove subdirectories.
Advanced DOS 012 Dots Mysterious dots.
Advanced DOS 013 TREE Command Tree.
Advanced DOS 014 TREE Example TREE command results.
Advanced DOS 015 Subdirectory Review Subdirectory review.
Advanced DOS 016 Subdirectory Review Subdirectory review (continued).
Advanced DOS 017 Subdirectory Review Subdirectory review (continued further).
Advanced DOS 018 Subdirectory Review Subdirectory review (continued further).
Advanced DOS 019 Environment DOS environment.
Advanced DOS 020 PATH PATH.
Advanced DOS 021 Organizing Your Hard Disk Organizing your hard disk.

DOS Batch Files

A tutorial that teaches about batch files; including how to use batch files to construct simple programs that operate within the operating system to simplify tasks.

Below are the 30 screenshots that make up this tutorial. Click on each thumbnail to expand it and/or move through all 30 (assuming you have JavaScript active for this site).

Batch 001 Opening Screen Title screen: Batch Files.
Batch 002 Definition Definition.
Batch 003 AUTOEXEC.BAT AUTOEXEC.BAT.
Batch 004 Parameters Parameters.
Batch 005 Parameter Example Parameter example.
Batch 006 Subcommand List Batch subcommands.
Batch 007 ECHO Command ECHO.
Batch 008 REMark Command REMark.
Batch 009 PAUSE Command PAUSE.
Batch 010 Short Review Test A short review.
Batch 011 MORE Command More.
Batch 012 GOTO Command GOTO.
Batch 013 IF Errorlevel Test IF.
Batch 014 IF String Comparison IF (continued).
Batch 015 IF Exist Test IF (continued further).
Batch 016 Password Example An example.
Batch 017 SHIFT Command SHIFT.
Batch 018 FOR IN DO Command FOR..IN..DO.
Batch 019 FOR IN DO Example FOR..IN..DO example.
Batch 020 FOR IN DO Example Continued Example continued.
Batch 021 FOR IN DO Example Continued Example continued further.
Batch 022 FOR IN DO Command FOR..IN..DO using DOS commands.
Batch 023 CALL Command Call.
Batch 024 At Sign Another DOS 3.3 addition.
Batch 025 Backup Example Sample #1.
Batch 026 Find Example Sample #2.
Batch 027 Branching Sample Sample #3.
Batch 028 GETKEY.COM GETKEY.COM.
Batch 029 Endnotes Notes.
Batch 030 Summary A summary.