Monday, May 18, 2020

DOS applications - Ability

This video was suggested by a fan.

You know that I love spreadsheets, and DOS word processors. My favorite spreadsheet is As-Easy-As, and my standard word processor from the 1990s was Galaxy.

Peter K suggested the Ability office suite for DOS. I'd never heard of Ability, but it turns out to be an outstanding DOS office suite. Featuring a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics, and database, Ability hits all of the marks.

In this video, I walk through the Ability Spreadsheet, and Ability Word Processor. Both are great, and provide an easy to use DOS office environment. The spreadsheet seems to be command-compatible to other DOS spreadsheets of the era, which means you need to start functions with the @ sign, such as @SUM to do a sum of a range.

Ability has released the DOS version for free, without support. You can download it from their website at Ability Plus 3.0.

I wish other software manufacturers would do this. While I prefer that these programs from their back-catalog be released as open source software, I recognize that this is not always possible. (The code may no longer exist, or there may be legal issues in opening the code.) If you can't release a DOS program as open source, I am glad that these software companies release them as free (gratis) software.

We only include open source programs in the FreeDOS distribution, so we can't include Ability in the FreeDOS distribution. But at least you can download Ability and use it on your own.

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