We simply had MS DOS on stand alone Amstrad 1640s IIRC and we accessed everything from the command prompt. In the Turbo Pascal we had, the compiler and editor were the same thing. We also had Cobol, Fortran, Wordstar, DBase 4 and some DTP package that was a horrible shade of pink running on GEM. We also studied a DOS module. In fact the end of year project was creating an ASCII GUI for DOS that could traverse the disk file structure, allow you to move, delete and rename files and start DOS commands (.COM files only). This used the Amstrad mouse (which emulated the arrow keys rather than normal mouse calls you have now). The Turbo Pascal we used had a curious bug, in that it could call .COM files, but only if the file being called was smaller than the compiled TP file. To get around this we had to simply append text as a comment at the bottom of the source file so that the compiled version took up the full 64K.
Piracy wasn't really an issue because no-one had PCs. Me and a couple of others had Amiga 500s, on which we ran monochrome ASCII only PC emulators and yes, we poached a copy of what we wanted, but it ran so slow on the Amiga, it really wasn't worth it. To draw the first 80 x 25 screen of my DOS gui took about 10 minutes.
In the last few weeks of college, they did install a program called Protec, which was an ASCII based security GUI menu that called up programs with a view to restricting what could be ran on the machine. Unfortunately because we had access to Turbo Pascal, we could look at the contents of RAM (all 640K of it) and very quickly found the admin password, which was obfuscated using a simple cypher, i.e. A = D B = E kind of thing. We got a "well-done" from the course leader when we pointed it out.