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Operating Systems Microsoft Software

FreeDOS Turns 10 Years Old Today 263

Jim Hall writes "The FreeDOS Project turns 10 years old today! PD-DOS was announced to the world on June 28, 1994. The PD-DOS project was later renamed to the FreeDOS Project. We've come a long way in 10 years. Today, FreeDOS is ideal for anyone who wants to bundle a version of DOS without having to pay a royalty for use of DOS. FreeDOS will also work on old hardware, in DOS emulators, and in embedded systems. FreeDOS is also an invaluable resource for people who would like to develop their own operating system. While there are many free operating systems out there, no other free DOS-compatible operating system exists. Read more about the FreeDOS Project history in the About FreeDOS page."
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FreeDOS Turns 10 Years Old Today

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  • by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:16PM (#9555841)
    FreeDOS is also an invaluable resource for people who would like to develop their own operating system.

    Doesn't sound like the heritage I would like to learn from :-).
    • Re:os development (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      People who use something like DOS to develop their own OS use it for testing their OS, not building off of DOS. DOS's strong point is its weak point, it can run another OS inside of it. People have been known to run linux from inside DOS. This is also a bad thing as far as security goes, you can take complete control of the computer, which is a reason why user accounts were useless in Windows 95/98/ME which was run on top of DOS.
      • Re:os development (Score:5, Informative)

        by BladeMelbourne ( 518866 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:57PM (#9556141)
        User accounts on Win9x/ME can offer preference/config personilisation for different users sitting at the computer. Convenience was the goal, not security. As Win9x/ME reside on FAT16/32 filesystems, any user can gain access to any file.

        If one of those users wanted "complete control" of the computer - all they have to do is reboot the computer with an OS on a bootable CD (Knoppix, Gnoppix, etc). This can be done to take control of Linux, Win2K, WinXP, etc. NTFS is no obstacle, nor are the myriad of file systems available for use by a Linux installation. Encrypted file systems can prevent root access - but very few people have the time for this setup - plus recovery can be a real beatch.

        The strong point of DOS is not being able to run another OS - it's being able to have more control over how you run certain applications. It can also facilitate recovery when things go wrong. The hardware requirements are less. Flexibility is a good thing. There is no need to port legacy apps that have been working flawlessly for years.

        I personally dont use FreeDOS - I still have a Win98 partition with DOS installed. If I didn't own Win98 - FreeDOS is something I would explore for the rare occasions I would want to play old-school games.

        DOS 6.22 (unsupported) can be downloaded free from: Micro$oft.com [microsoft.com]

        • by sr180 ( 700526 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @08:38PM (#9556789) Journal
          If one of those users wanted "complete control" of the computer - all they have to do is reboot the computer with an OS on a bootable CD (Knoppix, Gnoppix, etc).

          No, in 95/98, all they needed to do was click escape at the login box.

          • I think it is click Cancel or press Escape to bypass the login screen.

            Regardless, any user on Win9x could install/do/delete what they liked. Using DOS/FreeDOS provide similar flexibility (without needing to logon of course).

            In many situations (like with my home PC) - physical access to the box by others is not a concern. At home I value the convenience over physical security as I know I am the only person who will sit at the keyboard. (yes I am firewalled - network security is another matter).

            My point

        • Re:os development (Score:3, Informative)

          by bhtooefr ( 649901 )
          That's a Step-Up version. Step-Up is the MS-DOS equivalent of Upgrade editions of Windows. It requires DOS to already be installed.
    • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @08:35PM (#9556770) Journal
      Doesn't sound like the heritage I would like to learn from :-)

      Come on, it beats even Linux hands down in the remote exploit area! I can't say I know a single person that had his DOS boxed hacked into remotely. I guess it's because of this there was no DOS firewalls! Who needs them when it has rock solid network security!?
      • Re:os development (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drwho ( 4190 )
        I can't say I know a single person that had his DOS boxed hacked into remotely.

        Ever heard of PC Anywhere? Several times I have come across these things, hooked up to DOS based PCs. These are typically long-forgotten specialty boxes, such as the one controlling the community events board of a cable TV franchise.

  • DOS is still alive! (Score:5, Informative)

    by oldosadmin ( 759103 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:18PM (#9555858) Homepage
    DOS is still alive as a great platform for limited uses.

    If you need some utilities to go along with freeDOS, try my site, Old Os [oldos.org] or if you have problems setting it up try our forums [oldos.org].
    • I have developed many systems running in DOS. A TSR will do pretty good when task scheduling isn't a big problem. But I do miss a good command interpreter. It's much quicker to write "ls *", rather than setting up the structures and calling the functions that read a directory in C. Wait... Is there Perl for freeDOS?
      • Re:Will it run bash? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @07:14PM (#9556260) Journal
        I have developed many systems running in DOS. A TSR will do pretty good when task scheduling isn't a big problem. But I do miss a good command interpreter. It's much quicker to write "ls *", rather than setting up the structures and calling the functions that read a directory in C. Wait... Is there Perl for freeDOS?

        Then just use Linux, or if you strongly prefer Windows, use Cygwin. I use both equally. Perl is a standard package in Cygwin (have to select it, tho) or you can install Perl in Windows with several different binary ports.

        For those of you that are unfamiliar with Cygwin (cygwin.com), its a Unix like environment for Windows. It takes up one directory and if you put the ../bin directory in your path, you can use the utilities in a Win9x/XP command prompt. Its called as a batch file, and its like SSHing into your own machine. it has a virtual directory structure that gives you full access to your whole drive or its own / structure under its windows path (safe), and most of the useful Unix utilities.

        The setup program lets you install Perl, GCC, plus other languages and compilers, and even an Xserver, although my luck with that is not so good. Even if you are a Windows only user, its a great way to get introduced to a fairly powerful shell, with several options like tch and bash, without the problems of a dual boot.

        It is NOT "Linux in Windows", its a set of APIs to be able to compile and run many Linux programs from source, with just a few mouse clicks to install the most common programs. Find it here. [cygwin.com] It's Free.
        • Until I can get a Linux-in-a-chip system, that won't do for me. I'm looking from the hobbyist point of view, a system I can build with a dozen or so chips. I have lots of leftovers from the early days, things like 8088 CPU's and TTL chips. DOS is fine for building small interfaces that can communicate with a larger computer. Of course, I could use PIC's [microchip.com] for that, but then what would I do with my collection of old chips?
          • by nutsy ( 33125 )

            You're looking for a system on a chip, but you want to use bash?! Uh... you might want to consider re-weighing your priorities there: bash is huge, over 460KB on my personal system. You might also want to try looking into 4DOS [jpsoft.com].

      • Yes, there is Perl port to DOS, as well as bash port. Unfotunatelly, for 386+ only. Check out DJGPP project [delorie.com]. Also there was project called GNUish to port some GNU apps to 16-bits.
      • Re:Will it run bash? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The bash.exe from the Free Software Foundation's "GNU Tools for MSDOS" cd and book should work just fine, as long as you have a memory manager.

        I know someone who ran the FSF's bash.exe through an exe-to-com converter, and then named it command.com. It worked, and viruses which typically depend on jumping to particular place in command.com to run something now failed. However, I believe Word Perfect 5.1 also would not run.
    • DOS is still alive as a great platform for limited uses.
      Yeah, I still really enjoy playing the Dunjonquest games under TRSDOS on the xtrs emulator. That is the DOS we're talking about, right?
  • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:20PM (#9555874)
    I guess posting your website on /. counts as a Free Denial of Service(FreeDOS) attack?
  • by bairy ( 755347 ) * on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:20PM (#9555876) Homepage

    FreeDOS aims to be a complete, free, 100% MS-DOS compatible operating system.

    FreeDOS was previously known as "Free-DOS" and originally as "PD-DOS." For a little trip down memory lane: In 1994, I was a physics student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Most of my work for school had been done using DOS - writing programs, dialing up to the university computer, network, analysing lab data, etc. I really loved DOS; I did everything with it. I had a '386 desktop system in my dorm room and an XT laptop that I would carry around with me to do work "on the go".

    I liked the simplicity that DOS offered. As a DOS user, you have the equivalent of 'root' access on your computer. Anything that you want to do on the PC is possible. Nothing is really stopping you, other than hardware limitations. I found that this additional degree of freedom was nice to have, although since I worked in both environments (UNIX and DOS) I tended to write programs that stuck to "safe areas" that worked on both platforms. DOS was great.

    But that year, there was an announcement that Microsoft would stop support for DOS, that a new version of Windows was going to be released that completely removed DOS from the picture. Of course, this was Windows 95, and it still did have DOS, but at that time we all had the vision that Microsoft was trying to kill our favorite operating system. Everyone was pretty shocked. We didn't want to be forced to use Windows, which completely removes the command line. In DOS, everything is done on the command line, and a true command line "guru" can do amazing things there. In Windows, you are stuck with the mouse, and if the menus don't let you do something, it pretty much can't be done. So things were looking pretty bleak. We were all very upset about Microsoft's decision to ditch the DOS platform.

    Then, I saw a discussion thread [google.com] on the DOS groups asking "hey, why doesn't someone write their own free version of DOS?" Remember, this was about three years after Linus Torvalds announced his work on the Linux kernel, and by 1993 Linux had shown that free software can achieve incredible results. So in 1994, the suggestion that we could write our own free version of DOS, and give it away with the source code so others could work with it and improve it, really didn't sound all that far-fetched.

    Unfortunately, no one seemed to pick up the ball. The idea sort of sat there, waiting. I didn't have much experience in writing C or Assembly programs (most of my analytical work in physics was limited to FORTRAN) but I had written some C programs. So I sat down one weekend and hacked out code for a bunch of DOS file utilities. I posted what I had done to the DOS newsgroups, and announced that I intended to form a group on the Internet to write our own free version of DOS.

    I took the opportunity to fix some things. There are some things about what Microsoft did with DOS that do irk me. The biggest is that MS-DOS commands lack options, not that there are lots of MS-DOS commands anyway. I wanted to have more powerful tools than what MS-DOS provided me with. So I hacked some of my own. (I wasn't a strong C programmer at the time, so this wasn't very beautiful code.)

    There were several "beta" pre-release packages of my stuff:

    • 0.10 - contained a few basic utilities, just to get the easy ones out of the way: clear (like CLS), echo, more, rem, type, ver, wait (like Pause)
    • 0.11 - added date, test (some do-nothing test program), time
    • 0.12 - added choose
    • 0.13 - fixes and some cleanup
    • 0.14 - added tee (like UNIX 'tee')
    • 0.15 - added bgc (sets background color), fgc (sets foreground color), man (like UNIX 'man')
    • ...
    • 1.0 - clear replaced by cls, man replaced by help, wait replaced by pause, bgc and fgc moved into cls. Added del, find, reboot, unix2dos.

    Afte

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:21PM (#9555878)

    Their project is basically a 16-bit wrapper of FreeWINDOWS product.
  • Does it play games? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jakel2k ( 736582 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:24PM (#9555909)
    The real question is does it play those old games. I miss SimAnt, SimCity (the DOS Versions), Warcraft, Leisure Suite Larry, Space Quest, Heros Quest, Police Quest, Kings Quest and all the other old dos games of the time. Heaven forbid running these on MS-DOS.
    • by Mesaeus ( 692570 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:31PM (#9555956)
      That's where you use DOSBox [sourceforge.net], a DOS emulator (mainly) for old games. It doesn't play all dos games yet but every release gets better.
      • by dosius ( 230542 )
        DOSBOX only does 286. There are a good number of DOS games that need a 386. (My favorite, Wolfenstein 3-D, isn't one of them; it runs just fine on a 286. I actually use DOSBOX to test my hacks on Wolf3D.)

        Moll.
      • OMG where has this been all my life! This totally kicks VMware's ass when it comes to running old games!
    • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:35PM (#9555993) Homepage
      Runs Descent, Descent2, Jazz Jackrabbit and One Must Fall 2097 for me. Although DOS4GW doesn't work on it, but you can replace the extender with the Zurenava DOS Extender [zr.spb.ru], for example.

      The site's in Russian, but it's simple to use. You run it on the game executable to replace the extender it uses. After that it works fine. Some games seem to lock up on exit on my laptop, but everything works fine during play, so it shouldn't be a huge problem.
    • Games is why I use FreeDOS on my laptop (dual-boot with Slackware 9.1).

      What I have on it now, which works: Boloball, Bridge, Checkkers, Civilization, Hexjump, Texas Hold'em, Battle for Atlantis, VGA Joust, Larn, Bugs, Othello, Starcon-1, Wari, WarZone, XCom, XCom Terror from the Deep.

      What doesn't work: Warcraft-2.

      What I have somewhere but haven't installed/tried under FreeDOS yet: Warcraft-1, Descent-I/II/III, Quake

      -- TTK

  • oh wait a sec.....
  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:27PM (#9555930) Homepage
    ...but when will it turn 1.0?

  • by jedrek ( 79264 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:34PM (#9555975) Homepage
    I use FreeDOS quite (well, relatively speaking) often, but only for one thing - flashing my motherboard BIOS. I got rid of floppy drives long ago, after my last one died back in the previous century, and haven't looked back. Usually, I'll download the FreeDOS ISO, inject the drivers into it and burn it to a CD-RW. Then just boot up from the CD, flash the BIOS and I'm good.
  • Unfortunately without VMWaare's fancy graphics drivers that don't work when the guest OS is DOS it was too slow to play the old game I was interested in (MOO 1).

    (But, DOSBox worked once I played with frameskip!)

    I think it's cool that we have these options today.
    • DOSbox (Score:3, Informative)

      by phorm ( 591458 )
      DOSBox seems aimed more at games than general applications, which seems to explain why some of the nicer points of freeDOS (such as printing/netprint support) don't seem to work as well/easily in dosbox. Easier to setup though, and good for some of the stuff that dosEMU doesn't handle as well yet.
    • DOSemu (Score:3, Informative)

      by dmaxwell ( 43234 )
      I've had better luck running games in newer versions of DOSemu. I'm running a 2.4 Ghz PIV and I couldn't get a decent framerate in anything I tried in DOSbox. DOSemu ran almost everything I threw at it acceptably. The biggie was Carmageddon.

      I'll keep trying new releases. Either it will improve or I'll come into a machine fast enough to emulate a P75 with it. The following specs seem to cover all the ground needed to play games before the Win95 era began.

      Pentium 75
      Soundblaster AWE32
      32 MB RAM
      Trio64/VES
      • Re:DOSemu (Score:4, Funny)

        by Wakkow ( 52585 ) * on Monday June 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#9556850) Homepage
        "Either it will improve or I'll come into a machine fast enough to emulate a P75 with it."

        Or find an old P75 in the trash and use it to play those games...
        • Or find an old P75 in the trash and use it to play those games...

          Ah, but space is at a premium. When you have a wife and kid and don't live in a big place, there is only room for one machine. The emulator doesn't take up space and isn't old cranky hardware that will have to be maintained.
      • Here's what I've got in my MAIN system:

        Pentium 233 MMX
        ESS ES1868 ISA
        96MB RAM
        nVidia TNT2 M64 32MB PCI (no, that wasn't stock, stock was some Cirrus Logic card and a Voodoo I)

        Why not just run a P75, AWE32, 32MB RAM, and a Trio64?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ReactOS uses a 32 bit port of freedos command.com as a cmd.exe replacement. It is 1000x better than that broken POS Microsoft ships with Windows that they call a shell.
  • by ljavelin ( 41345 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:37PM (#9555996)
    I find it humorous that it's still in Beta after 10 years of development.

    I'm not poo-pooing the effort, but you have to admit that that's a long time before declaring 1.0!

  • Dell and FreeDOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ed1park ( 100777 ) <ed1park@hotDEGASmail.com minus painter> on Monday June 28, 2004 @06:50PM (#9556086)
    Funny that this should come up as I only noticed yesterday that Dell sells systems with FreeDOS now.

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare .a spx/desktops_n?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

    This is great as I've been buying the cheapest SC servers to avoid the microsoft tax. With prices starting at $319, i can now afford to buy the 20 or so systems i was planning on for the business. nice
  • Hey, has anyone tried making this a DOS session on Linux? That would be sooo cool!!!
  • DOS is small! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2004 @07:00PM (#9556155)
    I don't see why some people dislike DOS.. Is it just because you teens have not ever used it, or your Linux/WinXP is so much cooler? Whatever, I don't care. You still have to use DOS to upgrade your motherboard/GPU BIOSes. You know what a BIOS is, do you.. I've even made one!

    I just did a bootable 1.44MB FreeDOS floppy that plays mp3/ogg files with MPXplay [geocities.com], and then put it on to a bootable CD-ROM with all the music content I like. Voila, free, open source, standalone car/home/whatever music player which does not need a hard drive (for swapping). Just boot from ATAPI CD-drive and play some tunes, even at your friend's house!

    Now try to do that with Linux/Windows/*BSD. I would have if I'd know how to do it. Preferably with a BSD system.

    I was looking a player that could play tracker songs (you know, those before mp3s when 80386 and dinosaurs ruled the earth), mp3s and oggs, but no DOS player can do that as far as I know. XTC-Play [uni-koblenz.de] could do tracker songs and mp3s, but not oggs.

    I will eventually put a website of the bootable FreeDOS ogg/mp3 CD project. Maybe post it here..
    • Re:DOS is small! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      On a cover CD I got with a PC mag of mine (Atomic MPC, Aussie Mag) they had a full media bootable CD. It was based on knoppix and had support for getting video from networked PC's (ic. wireless) PC tuner, HDD recorder (HDD wasnt needed to run, but it could save stuff to em), play DVD's / SVCD's / the rest of it.

      It could be fully loaded to RAM if you had enough, and you could add media to the CD or use a different CD.

      It was created for media set top boxes, and having a stuff around on my desktop it looked
    • Re:DOS is small! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @09:21PM (#9557019) Homepage

      I just did a bootable 1.44MB FreeDOS floppy that plays mp3/ogg files with MPXplay, and then put it on to a bootable CD-ROM with all the music content I like. Voila, free, open source, standalone car/home/whatever music player which does not need a hard drive (for swapping). Just boot from ATAPI CD-drive and play some tunes, even at your friend's house!

      Now try to do that with Linux/Windows/*BSD.

      I did it three years ago:

      http://freshmeat.net/projects/mjbd/ [freshmeat.net]

  • Free - XP (Score:5, Funny)

    by uberfruk ( 745030 ) <uberfruk@yahoo.com> on Monday June 28, 2004 @07:07PM (#9556205) Homepage
    I have decided to embark on a free Windows XP-like operating system. I plan to stick to a traditional Longhorn release time table; so the first release can be expected in the beginning of 2025. Also, I have very little experience coding, so you can expect numerous flaws similar to the ones already present.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've kinda a strange question here...

    Is there a way to Windows 3.11 on top
    of Linux, short of VMware?

    Should a person expect Windows 3.11 to
    run on top of DOSemu and FreeDOS?

    OR would the original Windows 3.11 +
    DOS 5.x be expected to runon top of
    DOSemu?

    If anyone has a definitive answer, I'd
    like to know.
  • Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

    by MisanthropicProgram ( 763655 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @07:09PM (#9556221)
    I'm still waiting for :
    FreeAS400
    FreeOS360
    FreeOS/2 (dammit!)
    FreeLinux - Oh wait. Duh! My Bad. I got a little carried away here. Nothing to see.....Move along....
  • Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xYoni69x ( 652510 ) <yoni.vl@gmail.com> on Monday June 28, 2004 @07:18PM (#9556300) Journal
    I recently took an assembly programming college course. The course covered Intel x86 assembly and development in the DOS environment (DOS interrupts, etc.). (Yeah, it's outdated. Oh well.)

    The DOS emulator in Windows is not especially great. Particularly, direct access to the video buffer is not always emulated correctly on my machine, the timer interrupt is not precise (not well-synchronized with other processes in the background), and a few other annoyances.

    Instead of fighting and arguing with Windows, I took my old unused Pentium 1 and booted into FreeDOS on it, after making an ODIN (a one-disk distribution of FreeDOS) [dosius.com] boot floppy. I did my work on that computer, and the emulation was perfect.

    Thanks to the FreeDOS project!

    (Now I gotta figure out what to do with that P1... I think I almost have to install Linux on it, being a Slashdot poster and all.)
  • How do you determine the "birthday" of a piece of software?

    1) When the idea was first thought up?
    2) The first diagrams designing key features were released?
    3) The first line of what was to become the OS was typed?
    4) Launch date of alpha version?
    5) Other?

    Just a thought...
  • While there are many free operating systems out there, no other free DOS-compatible operating system exists.

    I guess it depends on what you mean by "free," but MS-DOS 7.10 [yginfo.net] was released (by Microsoft, of all evil empires) under the GNU Public License.

    It's about as good a DOS as you'll find--and installs much more readily (and with a bunch of neat-o options) than FreeDOS, at least in my experience.

    I always stick a little 30MB partition at the beginning of the first HD on my Linux systems and install MS-DOS 7

  • Didn't work in VirtualPC last time I tried it (early February).
  • by jensend ( 71114 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @08:36PM (#9556774)
    The last time FreeDOS had a real distribution release was two years ago. Looking forward to 1.0 is all well and good, but a Beta 9 (sans the ugly graphical installer of the latest "we'll call it RC even though we would never consider actually releasing this as B9" releases, perhaps?) would certainly be nice.
  • by Futurepower(R) ( 558542 ) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Monday June 28, 2004 @09:00PM (#9556899) Homepage
    Anyone have USB support for DOS?
  • by eltoyoboyo ( 750015 ) on Monday June 28, 2004 @09:14PM (#9556983) Journal
    Say what you want about FreeDOS, and Free software in general. But FreeDOS has won. No one need ever pay for MSDOS, DRDOS, or PCDOS again. Those programs are dead. Surprisingly, a 25 year old operating system (even older if you count predecessors like CP/M, TRSDOS, and VTOS) still has uses.

    While not 1000x better, as a previous AC posted, ReactOS [reactos.com] is taking up where the FreeDOS project left off. If completed, it will replace more Windows and OS/2 systems than it's nearest free competitor.

  • KillDisk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ryen ( 684684 )
    for a moment, i kinda laughed to myself saying "who the hell would use DOS still"...
    yet at that very moment i had the lowly task of wiping hard drives clean and was using a utility called KillDisk [killdisk.com].

    i i popped it in and to my amazement FreeDOS began loading program files ;)
  • Spinrite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by detritus. ( 46421 ) * on Monday June 28, 2004 @09:46PM (#9557149)
    If there's one program that I have used continuiously over the years to diagnose hard drive problems is Spinrite [grc.com]. I was especially pleased with Steve Gibson's commitment to keeping the program DOS-based. There were alot of diagnostic utilities that ran off DOS that I wish were still updated to support modern hardware. Hopefully others will follow Gibson's lead :)
  • by lpangelrob2 ( 721920 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:33AM (#9557960) Journal
    Slightly off topic, but I just had a bunch of free DOS (or FreeDOS, as it turns out) utilities save quite a bit of my time tonight, and reading this story reminded me of that experience.

    Since our church uses three programs that don't run on Slackware, I had to replace it with Win 2k Professional, which is decently stable and fits our needs. Well, I had one XP boot disk that booted into Windows ME (shudder), no utilities, and no way to access two CD-ROM drives that I needed to install 2k from.

    To the rescue? Nothing less than Free FDISK [23cc.com] and a Win98SE floppy [freepctech.com] with generic IDE drivers.

    One MySQL client and a Win 2k installation later, and everything looks on track. Who says you don't need DOS anymore? (ahem... Microsoft...)

    Thanks for another rescue, folks at FreeDOS!

  • The DOS Legacy (Score:3, Informative)

    by AVryhof ( 142320 ) <avryhof@NOsPaM.gawab.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:50AM (#9558313) Homepage
    DOS is a true RTOS. If you want mission critical and fast, DOS does it. It can boot up in seconds, it's fault tolerant (reboot=fixed) and had full direct hardware access.

    I have run a lot of operating systems. QNX claims to be an RTOS, Windows CE Claims to be an RTOS, neither are as responsive as DOS.

    There is no stupid hour glass in DOS. Batch files make automation a piece of cake, and you don't need a degree in Computer Science to write one.

    There are players for all your wonderful media types available. There are also a number of classic game emulators (Genesyst, Nesticle, etc.) available as well.

    So, next time that video poker game sitting on the counter at your local bar goes kaput, just remember, it's still running DOS.... turn it off (unplug it?) and turn it back on, you'll doo the next poor drunk a big favor.

    Thank you, have a nice day.
    • Re:The DOS Legacy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )
      DOS is a true RTOS.

      Really? Where can I get the upper-bound response time datasheet? If you mean "quick and responsive" (which it darn well ought to be) then I'd agree. However, I've never heard any evidence of it being a real RTOS (which has an exact technical definition).

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