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Journal: DOS, Linux, or business as usual? 5

Journal by Angry Pixie
I was scouring the net looking for something completely unrelated when I came across Andrew D. McDonald and Markus G. Kuhn's paper entitled, StegFS: A Steganographic File System for Linux. So I though to myself. I want this. No, I need this.

Unfortunately, what I was originally googling for were some DOS links. I've been in this retro mood since downloading FCE Ultra. Apparently I can run MS-DOS 7.10. This is a pretty compelling idea. All it would require is for me to dual partition my notebook for FAT32 and NTFS. I could easily get a NTFS read-only driver for DOS, and I've found some free universal USB drivers for DOS. I could run Word Perfect 6.0 DOS (which I still have on floppy). Gaming isn't an issue, except for The Sims, which I'd still like to be able to play. It would be fun to fire up QuickBasic 4.5 and have fun programming again.

But then there's Linux. If I go DOS, I'll have pretty crappy PPP networking, n'est pas? I run a wireless LAN off of an internet gateway that's just an old Compaq Pavillion notebook that hasn't enough processing power to handle a better modem than the Lucent winmodem I've got inside. To make matters worst, I can only connect at 33.6 on my V92 56k winmodem. My computer is fine, but I need that for regular use. I'm thinking if I run Linux, it'll have better memory management, allowing me to gain that extra modem speed. I've heard that low processing power can result in poor winmodem performance. Maybe this is true. I just don't have time to play around.

DOS appeals to me because I remember it so well, but Linux reminds me of my Solaris days. I installed SLAX, an enhanced version of Slackware's Live ISO set. It's great, not really for me though. I prefer riding bareback... I mean operating systems. ;) I don't need KDE or GNOME. I'd rather run Slackware again, and if I go Linux, that is the distribution I plan to use.

But I do need anti-aliasing, damn it! DOS doesn't have it I know. I can't anti-alias FVWM or my RXVT terminal app, so what good is Linux to me then? Windows XP has ClearType, which is absolutely amazing. It's also highly configurable. If I am going to run Linux, I will need the following things:
  • -support for my PCTV Deluxe USB TV tuner.
  • -anti-aliasing for all my apps... all of them!
  • -game emulators for my arcade addiction
  • -color support for my HP-3620 DeskJet printer
  • -a good binary and text newsreader
  • -a reader for the Microsoft .LIT and .CHM formats

I know I can get DOS working under Linux, but why run DOS and Linux to together alongside Windows XP? I bet my Nintendo games will run even better under Linux. Programming under GCC will be fine for me, although I won't have my ANSI.SYS :( I could probably add anti-aliasing to my apps at compile-time, but how easy is this?? And I doubt I can find the software support for the apps I want to run under Linux (ie, The Sims, Macromedia Shockwave, McAfee Internet Security 6, SecureCRT, Virtual Dub, etc. WINE is an option, but I don't know how good an option it is. Can I run Direct X 9 based apps and WDM hardware drivers on WINE????

Maybe I can use WINE to install Windows XP within Linux. That way I can switch between the two easily!?!! Is this even an option?

On second thought, maybe I'll just stick with Windows XP. Cygwin isn't an option for me. I just don't trust it, and I can't explain why. Something about Windows emulating UNIX doesn't sit right with me. Oh fuck me gently with a Sawzaw...

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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