WS DOS is a small utility program, for your C128, that basically turns it into a fast loader for your C64 programs, which you execute in C64 Mode. In a nutshell, WS DOS makes use of the C128 “burst mode” when coupled with a 1571 floppy disk drive. It loads a program written for the C64 into the appropriate section of RAM, using the faster disk speed of the 1571, then automatically goes into C64 mode and then runs the program. If you don't have a 1571 disk drive, WS DOS will still work with a 1541 disk drive, you just won't get the faster load times that “burst mode” provides.
Once you're done with your program, you can press the C128's reset button, which will take you back into 128 mode, where WS DOS is then re-executed from memory and ready for the next C64 program.
Along with this faster loading feature, WS DOS also provides a few extra short-cuts to help make your disk commands a little easier to use. For example, if there are some 64-mode programs that you routinely use, you can assign shortcut keys to WS DOS that will automatically be loaded up for you when you hit the C128's reset button. You can assign the number keys 0 through 9 as shortcuts. All you need to do is have the proper floppy disk in the drive, hit the reset button and hold the appropriate key as WS DOS boots up.
WS DOS also provides you with a really easy way to copy individual files between disk drives 8 and 9, and makes it easy to scratch files from the floppy disk (with
@s:) and format new disks (with
@n:). Here is a list of all of the neat things you can do with WS DOS:
|@||Disk commands and disk error fetching|
|↑||Load and run a C64 program|
|/||Load and list a program|
|$||Display disk directory|
|?||Find the address-mark of a program|
|*||Copy a program/file to the opposite drive (8 or 9)|
|#||Change active drive (8 or 9)|
|%||Edit and display assigned auto-boot shortcuts|
|!||Load the auto-boot data file from disk|
|←||Save the auto-boot data to disk|
|HELP||Show the help screen|
More information can be found in WS DOS documentation, which I have made available here: WS DOS Instructions.PDF
WS DOS will stay in memory and will remain active as long as you don't shut power off to the C128. You can return to the regular READY prompt by simply pressing the ESC key. To activate WS DOS again, all you need to do is press the C128's reset button.
I think that this is a great little utility if you frequently use your C128 in 64 mode; and it's even more useful if you have a 1571 floppy disk drive. I should also mention that it works in both 40 column and 80 column video modes.
Note: I've also uploaded both the .d64 disk image and instruction PDF to the Internet Archive, which can be found here - https://archive.org/details/WSDOS41