In September 1990, Microsoft released a repackaged version of Microsoft QuickBasic version 4.50 for MS-DOS. The new packaging is more compact and costs less to ship. There have been minor file changes, one added utility (UNPACK.EXE), no new features, no documentation corrections, and no software corrections.
By repackaging QuickBasic 4.50, Microsoft has reduced production overhead without sacrificing quality, as follows:
- Shipping without a box and shrink wrapping the product.
- Combining the three manuals into one single manual. The earlier 4.50 manuals are bound together (in a "perfect bound" binding). No pages have been renumbered.
- Shipping the product with packed files. This reduces the number of 5.25-inch disks from five to four, and 3.5-inch disks from three to two.
Additions/Changes Found in the Repackaged QuickBasic 4.50 Product
- Includes a "Using QuickBasic on a Two-Floppy System" section in the README.DOC file.
- Includes 14 pages of "The Ten Most Common Questions Asked of MTS Phone Technicians." Rebinding the manuals freed some blank pages, which enabled us to include this supplement on new pages 309 to 322 of the "Microsoft QuickBasic 4.5: Learning to Use" manual. (MTS stands for Microsoft Technical Support.)
- Information on MTS has been deleted from the online Help system. The new Languages/Hardware support phone number, (206) 637-7096, is on the "Product Assistance Request Form" in the manuals.
- The "Product Assistance Request Form" was rewritten to solicit complete and correct information from customers the first time they contact Microsoft concerning a problem. This form also discourages letter writing and encourages phone calls:
The form states that Microsoft currently cannot respond to technical questions submitted by letter, but will take suggestions and problem reports by letter. This policy was implemented in October 1990. Microsoft responds only to QuickBasic letters that are solicited by Microsoft.
- The repackaged version 4.50 product is shipped on four 5.25-inch disks instead of five, and on two 3.5-inch disks instead of three. Files are in the same compressed (packed) format as is used with Microsoft Basic PDS versions 7.00 and 7.10. The PACKING.LST file is updated to reflect the new disk layout. The version 4.50 SETUP.EXE program is modified to unpack files off of the original disks. The UNPACK.EXE utility is included in case SETUP.EXE does not run on a particular machine.
If SETUP.EXE fails on your computer (for example, due to a hardware incompatibility), we recommend unpacking each file with the UNPACK.EXE utility. (In the earlier version 4.50 package, release files are not packed.) Because setting up QuickBasic 4.50 does not entail building libraries, unpacking all the files will enable you to use QuickBasic. As an alternative to using SETUP.EXE, you can write an MS-DOS batch file (based upon the PACKING.LST file) to speed the manual unpacking process.
Article ID: 65291 - Last Review: Jun 17, 2014 - Revision: 1