Hobbyist builds ChatGPT client for MS-DOS

silversurfer

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Aug 17, 2014
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On Sunday, Singapore-based retrocomputing enthusiast Yeo Kheng Meng released a ChatGPT client for MS-DOS that can run on a 4.77 MHz IBM PC from 1981, providing a unique way to converse with the popular OpenAI language model.

Vintage computer development projects come naturally to Yeo, who created a Slack client for Windows 3.1 in 2019. "I thought to try something different this time and develop for an even older platform as a challenge," he writes on his blog. In this case, he turned his attention to MS-DOS, a text-only operating system first released in 1981, and ChatGPT, an AI-powered large language model (LLM) released by OpenAI in November.

As a conversational AI model, ChatGPT draws on knowledge scraped from the Internet to answer questions and generate text. Thanks to an API that launched his month, anyone with the programming chops can interface ChatGPT with their own custom application.

Thanks to his new app, which can run on MS-DOS, Yeo can use a vintage IBM PC-compatible computer to chat with ChatGPT over the Internet. It's a similar back-and-forth conversation as the traditional ChatGPT web interface, albeit as a text-only, full-screen application running on the antique machine.


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