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FreeDOS 1.1 Released

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-don't-need-no-memory-protection dept.

Open Source 266

MrSeb writes with this excerpt from an Extreme Tech article about the latest FreeDOS release and a bit of project history: "Some 17 years after its first release in 1994, and more than five years since 1.0, FreeDOS 1.1 is now available to download. The history of FreeDOS stems back to the summer of 1994 when Microsoft announced that MS-DOS as a separate product would no longer be supported. It would live on as part of Windows 95, 98, and (ugh!) Me, but for Jim Hall that wasn't enough, and so public domain (PD) DOS was born. ... Despite what you might think, FreeDOS isn't an 'old' OS; it's actually quite usable. FreeDOS supports FAT32, UDMA for hard drives and DVD drives, and it even has antivirus and BitTorrent clients." The official release announcement has more details on the improvements, and the FreeDOS website has the release for download.

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266 comments

But what use would I have for it? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586678)

I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

Running old programs maybe?

Re:But what use would I have for it? (5, Funny)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586720)

Someone needs to make a CoreBoot-style bootloader that uses this. Then they could call it "DOS Boot".

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

rotorbudd (1242864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586722)

To play Doom?

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586844)

I do, in fact, have a FreeDOS VM for the purpose of playing Doom and Quake. One of these days I'll try Duke Nukem 3D, too. Not sure about Carmaggedon II, though.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587348)

You're better off using one of the more recent source ports. eduke32 is particularly impressive with HRP and polymer.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (5, Interesting)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586752)

I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

Running old programs maybe?

POS apps. Embedded apps. Yes all legacy stuff, but even in a VM, emulating UDMA and a DVD drive is useful.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587218)

POS apps

I think there's a joke somewhere in there, having something to do with running windows on dos, but I just can't put my finger on it.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (4, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587244)

I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

Running old programs maybe?

POS apps. Embedded apps. Yes all legacy stuff, but even in a VM, emulating UDMA and a DVD drive is useful.

But don't most Piece Of Shit apps run under Windows?

Re:But what use would I have for it? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586808)

The same as for Linux. Program, learn, experiment.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587724)

But I have Linux to experiment with already, and it's a lot better experience.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (4, Funny)

ruanime (2543534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586846)

I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

Running old programs maybe?

Yeah I would, maybe one day I can start that BBS that I always wanted.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587070)

Does FreeDOS support fossil drivers?

Though in all seriousness, you can run a classic BBS over telnet with synchro.net and it is fantastic.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (2)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587552)

Funny you mention fossil drivers and running a BBS over telnet, because I did exactly that back in 1995. The recipe is this: shell account on UNIX server. Custom fossil driver (written by me). The driver dials the shell server. The shell account runs a small daemon, ibbsd (also written by me), which listens on a port, and does a netcat-style copyover -- on the PC end, the BBS software thinks it's waiting for a regular modem call. The fossil driver does the magic there.

You could telnet myisp.com 14919 and get the Renegade login prompt. I never did get virtual multi-connections working, that would have required designing a real protocol between ibbsd and the fossil driver and, being a teenager, I didn't have the ability or wisdom at the time.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587686)

I think that BBS's over the internet loose a lot of the charm of what BBS's were in the 80's and 90's. There was something about being mostly restricted to an area code that kept BBS's more intimate, and I think a lot of the discussion boards a lot more interesting than the mostly anonymous discussion today. There was something to be said that if you said something to really piss somebody off, they might just drive over to your house to confront you in person. Not to mention the monthly user gathers at the mall or as part of a computer club. Things like FidoNet and the rare BBS that was able to host Usenet was very cool, but was a subsection of the BBS most times, and the main focal point was the local message bases. Then in the 90's, there were the Apogee distribution sites, and excitement would build when a new title was coming out.

A lot has changed, and most of it for the better, but I do miss the old BBS days. I've tried a few of the internet based ones for nostalgia, but nothing will capture the experience of being at the end of a modem either as a user or a SysOP.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587824)

While I can see your sentiment, I think to some degree it may just be a case of seeing the past through rose-colored glasses.

Back in the day the BBS's were great for someone who was first being introduced to anything resembling a networked computer. I had had a computer that I was hacking away on for a few years before I got my first modem, and once I discovered that I was pretty much CONSTANTLY on some BBS or the other. A lot of that time was browsing file archives, or playing games (Legend of the Red Dragon anyone? :)) . It was an exciting time, but it was also very limited compared to what we have today.

Heck one of the major challenges back then was actually finding out what the numbers to the BBS's were. Luckily I eventually found one around here (the Ashley Oaks BBS :)) that kept a running list of all of them in this area. It would call all of them on the list periodically and if they were unreachable for an extended period of time it removed them. It was great.

One thing that hasn't changed vs the internet though was that a lot of the BBS's had an "adult" image section. To a kid in his early teens that had a great appeal to it too :).

Re:But what use would I have for it? (2)

Droog57 (2516452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587830)

Yeah, good memories.. I still have a couple of shoe boxes in my garage full of 3.5" floppies, full of 100-250k programs that I downloaded from local BBS's in the 80's. I kept them all, mostly because I'm a data packrat, but also because I spent SO much time downloading them all over my 1200 baud modem.. Doubt that they would even work nowadays, and I'd have to dig up an old PC with a floppy drive to even check. Oh, and if anybody cares, I have a full version of Windows 2.0 on 5 1/4" (floppy) floppies. No way to check that either, although it's been in a dry, EMI free place for many years, so decent chance of being functional. C:\> dir /w

Re:But what use would I have for it? (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586868)

Mostly I've used it for running old games (via DOSBox), but I've encountered it when using BIOS updates and other standalone boot utilities.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (5, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586884)

I actually used it extensively last November to develop an Option ROM BIOS extension. DOS is a convenient long real assembly code testing environment. Compile a COM program with NASM on Linux, use mtools to copy the output to the (live) VirtualBox FAT floppy image and execute in (Free)DOS.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586982)

If you have to ask... ...then it's a great time for you to learn about real-time, low level, low-overhead embedded devices!

Re:But what use would I have for it? (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587228)

I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

Running old programs maybe?

I use it for installing BIOS and other hardware driver updates that need a DOS boot disk. The process goes something like this:

http://www.tummy.com/journals/entries/jafo_20080920_234755 [tummy.com]

Re:But what use would I have for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38588222)

A) Sounds like you don't care that it's FreeDOS, it was just what you used because the vendor used it.

B) I'd like a better system anyway, for the whole process, but I've been wanting that for 20+ years anyway.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (3, Interesting)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587726)

Run it in VirtualBox - I had better success running some old DOS games in that combo than in DosBox...

Re:But what use would I have for it? (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587932)

Actually yes. I know of people that keep old dos computers around just to run one old program.
Also Embedded systems. DOS is light and small and does not get into your way. If you have a crash you can almost bet money that the problem is 100 your code.
Under DOS you can also bit bang hardware interfaces that would be difficult to do with anything else.
As to uses let me give you an example. Their are some old devices that used 3.5" floppies but with a custom format. There are programs for dos that can read that data. If you have one of those devices then this is exactly what you need.
And of course to flash bios.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588178)

I had a motherboard that provided a ROM flash program as a DOS application. FreeDOS ran it.

Re:But what use would I have for it? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588266)

Quake for Steam ships with (I think?) DOSBox. Once you buy the game it downloads the non-DRM game and you could conceivably install it on FreeDOS. Other games, like the DOS version of Tie Fighter has some features (an entire campaign, I think?) that you don't get even in the Windows or Collector's Edition version. In both instances I ended up using DOSBox though.

I bet this package has some popularity with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586704)

the devs at Intel, AMD, and VMWare.

Writing Viruses for AV (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586728)

FreeDOS is surely #1 on the list to require AV, I'd say it's safer than mac in regards to security through obscurity. AV not to be confused w a firewall, the latter helps quite a bit.

Re:Writing Viruses for AV (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586792)

Right... because prior to Windows 95 there where no viruses! So there's NO WAY that the old floppy disc you have with your copy of Elder Scrolls could possibly have a virus on it.

This is DOS we're talking about. There has never been a more virus filled OS in history. What kids today think of as viri are just worms and trojans. DOS has REAL virus issues. Self replicating bastards that attach onto other executables.

Re:Writing Viruses for AV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38588118)

I have about 200 floppy disks in my grarage that still probably have the Empire Monkey B virus on them if you want.

I'm now waiting on FreeQEMM (4, Funny)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586750)

and FreeDESQview as well.

Re:I'm now waiting on FreeQEMM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38588210)

FreeDoubleSpace

Kid's first OS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586786)

I'd use it as the first OS my kid uses, and then move him/her on from there ... so he/she gets the 'full' experience and can kick it old-school.

Re:Kid's first OS (2)

meloneg (101248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586864)

Kids these days! It was *AMAZING* when I upgraded to a PC w/ DOS. Third system, if I recall correctly.

Re:Kid's first OS (2, Insightful)

brillow (917507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587000)

Why not just start them with linux? Is to too pornographic?

Re:Kid's first OS (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587194)

Because I'd like them to someday have a job.

Re:Kid's first OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38588280)

Plenty of jobs for people with knowledge of Linux.
Also plenty of free educational software for Linux , so they will learn a lot.

Re:Kid's first OS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587378)

Because he isn't a freetard and his kids won't grow up to live in the basement fucking inflatable sheep and fleshlights?

Re:Kid's first OS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587238)

Your kids are destined for prostitution.

Re:Kid's first OS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587324)

"I told you, tou're not getting your kitten back until you configure HIMEM.SYS and solve that IRQ conflict with the Gravis UltraSound!"

yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586802)

and there was much rejoicing

Is No One Excited? (4, Informative)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586918)

I remember the early days of Slashdot where this would have everyone talking. It's pretty damn cool. At this point it's prefect for reproducing real old school gaming. DOSBox is great for that too. But look... you're running a real DOS here! No VM needed! Pull out your 486! Get out your 1994 era Pentium 90! Relive the days when computing was actually fun! I installed FreeDOS with GEM (which was the better GUI compared to Windows back in the day until Apple ruined it by suing Digital Research) on a laptop from 1998. That thing is a BEAST now. Seriously, doesn't anyone get excited about this stuff anymore?

Re:Is No One Excited? (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587224)

Anybody who flashes BIOS ought to be excited.

Real CDROM support means we should be able to have a .288 file that doesn't need to be mounted loopback and modified with mcopy for every different flasher. An big BIOS images aren't a problem anymore.

One stock boot image that gets written to the ElTorrito sector and then jump to the CDROM drive to continue execution of the startup script.

Boilerplate FTW.

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587908)

Anybody who flashes BIOS ought to be excited.

Along those lines, as of two months ago there was no downloadable ready-to-use USB image ready for dd'ing to your handy flash drive. I wrote up the steps I took to make one [honeypot.net] on OS X using VirtualBox. I've spoken to James Hall about making the resulting image file available for download directly from freedos.org, but it looks like he hasn't taken me up on it yet.

Re:Is No One Excited? (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587226)

I am, so that likely brings the total of excited people up to 6, maybe 7. Everyone else is busy marveling over their iPad and iPhone (oooh, round corners....) and other walled gardens. Like you, I miss being able to actually communicate directly to the hardware, from the command line. I miss hand tweaking my config.sys and autoexec.bat files to squeeze out an extra 500 bytes (yea readers, 1/2 of a kb) of lower RAM. Using QEMM and DesqView to quazi-multitask by multiple line BBS on my 486 with 4mb of ram. (3 lines, but I still have plenty of ram left for a prompt to do maintenance while monitoring chat) There was a certain empowerment that came from operating a computer back then. We actually knew exactly how much power the system had, because we easily found ways to saturate it, just to get every ounce of power out of it. Back then, we did things just because we COULD, and we enjoyed learned from crashing and burning stuff.

I also remember the good old days when the Internet was hard to use. THOSE were the days. No spam, no popups, and if you could find a website, likely it had real information on it because only computer "experts" and universities had servers. The days before the "Browser Wars", when every Congressman didn't know what the Internet was, instead of now where they know what it is, but still have no idea what it is. And who could forget BBSes, Gopher, and Veronica, Archie, and password protected FTP accounts brimming with goodies like Wolfenstein.... :)

That said, I don't MISS those days, but at 47, I'm glad I got to be a part of those days, and the days before that with CPM, portable computers with 8086s that weighed 50 pounds, original Macs, and even a VIC 20 with no storage device. You can't recreate them, or duplicate them, so those days are gone for good. It's up to us to create new ideas to eventually become "the good old days".

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587556)

Using QEMM and DesqView to quazi-multitask by multiple line BBS on my 486 with 4mb of ram.

Bah. OS/2 FTW!!

recently installed it (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588144)

os/2 had settings too that might need twiddling, file control blocks (FCBS), buffers, RMSIZE, vemm.sys, etc.

Re:Is No One Excited? (4, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587796)

Nostalgia is a deceptive mistress. It tends to glorify things that weren't objectively good but carry sentimental feelings. You miss communicating directly with hardware and editing DOS startup files, but the DOS developers who had to support everybody's esoteric PC hardware sure don't. In fact, those days were a step back from the initial push in the 60s and early 70s toward higher-level abstraction that we've only now come back around to but took a detour from during the initial commoditization of low-end PC hardware. But you explained why you liked it--a sense of mastery that mentally justified the time investment.

Re:Is No One Excited? (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588150)

Agreed. Fuck that. I miss TIE Fighter, Ultima 2, and PROCOMM+ terminals pointing at old BBSes. I don't miss having to spend 4 hours tweaking a three-level config.sys menu to squeak out an extra 2k out of 8MB of ram...

Re:Is No One Excited? (2)

Droog57 (2516452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587992)

This brings up an excellent point that I've been considering for a while now. I was forced to work with a Win7 PC and absolutely hated the changes made to Explorer. I looked at some boards and saw that I am far from being the only one with the same issue, but 99% of those posts were replied to with (paraphrasing) "Get with it, new is good". No, it's not. It occurs to me that most Computer/SmartPhone/Tablet manufacturers would rather that you didn't have deep access to the OS or file system. And tailor all current OS's to limit access as much as possible. I bet that 10 years down the road, you won't be able to see the root of your HD no matter what you (legally) do. And therein lies the pernicious nature of "Upgrades". LESS power to the people, and power to the people was the driving force behind the PC revolution in the first place. We have been had by Apple, MS etc. They want total control. I know it sounds like I wear a tinfoil hat, but think about it, it's where we are heading, and Apple is, perversely, the worst offender. If Woz wuz dead (sorry woz, I know your out there), he'd be rolling already. PS, can freedos run with 16gb of RAM?

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588002)

There are free realtime OS where you can talk to the hardware directly, but that is not the best for a general purpose personal computer for the masses. But you can still play, invent or tinker if you want.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_real-time_operating_systems [wikipedia.org] (columns where source model == open source)

Or you can write a driver for Linux or a BSD kernel....yes more complicated, hence more fun.

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587334)

If someone released a new version of the Model T Ford, would you expect many people to be excited? Would you buy one?

Re:Is No One Excited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587412)

if it was being given away (or at a nominal cost) hell yes!

Re:Is No One Excited? (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587450)

If someone released a new version of the Model T Ford, would you expect many people to be excited?

Absolutely! Haven't you ever been to an antique car show? If Ford put the Model T, or an updated replica, back into production I think it would create a lot of excitement.

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

cmtuan (897618) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587812)

But will it be street legal? Doesn't new cars need to have ABS/airbags/tire pressure monitoring, meet emission and crash protection standards and who know what else. So even if Ford made a new Model T, I don't think it will look anything like the old Model T.

DOSbox versus/vs. FreeDOS for old DOS games... (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587482)

Does FreeDOS work well with old computer games like in DOSbox?

Re:DOSbox versus/vs. FreeDOS for old DOS games... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587512)

Not really. But think of the fun you'll have trying to figure that out! :)

Re:DOSbox versus/vs. FreeDOS for old DOS games... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587618)

Bah. Have fun from games but not trying to make them work. Oh yeah like the old days with free conventional memory, EMS, XMS, etc.! :P

Re:Is No One Excited? (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587706)

Slashdot today is more of a political geek site, where a specific demographic comes to rant about copyrights, the DMCA, Apple, etc. Probably generates more revenue that way. I remember when programming articles used to make it to the front page.

Re:Is No One Excited? (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588110)

Computing in these days are more fun than mucking about config.sys just to get a program to work. But maybe that's just me.

Screenshot of 1.1 (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586930)

C:\>_

(Hmm, never noticed how much that looks like a clown smiley.)

Re:Screenshot of 1.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587318)

You're seeing it upside down. It's a penguin, a foreboding of Linux.

Windows ME did not have DOS. (0)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586974)

It would live on as part of Windows 95, 98, and (ugh!) Me...

One of the reasons Windows ME had such stability issues was because they removed DOS from it and replaced it with an emulator. While Windows 95 and 98 were essentially the Windows GUI on top of glorified DOS internals, Windows ME was an attempt to move away from DOS entirely while keeping the GUI. The intention was to ultimately elimiate the legacy DOS internals outright.

But this failed miserably. This failure resulted in their subsequent low-cost home OS, XP Home, to be based on the NT line instead of the DOS/9x line. If ME had been successful, the Windows home line might still have been 9x-based possibly until SP2 or Vista/7, when security started becoming a visibly major issue.

Re:Windows ME did not have DOS. (4, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587144)

Windows ME had DOS just like Windows 98 did, Microsoft just disabled it. You can hack several bytes, and you get DOS back again.

You must be thinking of Windows XP or Windows 2000, which did not have DOS.

Re:Windows ME did not have DOS. (2)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587542)

Almost got it right. Yes, they did more or less neuter DOS in ME, but the well-known stability issues of ME were also due to MS trying to remove much of the underlying 16-bit code from the OS and make it "more" 32-bit than 9x. DOS was of course a part of this underlying 16-bit code, although hacks could bring part of it back.

Re:Windows ME did not have DOS. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587180)

You *got* to be trolling!

Windows ME = Windows 4.90.3000 (Notice how they wanted to say: This is probably the last version of 4.)
Windows 98 SE = 4.10.2222
It was still the same line. And it still was DOS inside with Windows 4 / Chicago on top.
They just gradually hid the DOS away more and more with each version. But it was still there. Since it had to be.
Only with 2000 did they start with the "emulator". Because it was a completely different OS. (NT / OS/2 line).

FAIL.

WTF? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587358)

You are totally wrong. ME had not replaced DOS with an emulator, DOS mode had just been removed from the startup menu (and could be returned with a simple tweak).

It was impossible for 9x-era OSes to be much more advanced than ME, mostly because of limitations of the underlying 16-bit kernel code. For example, no SMP, primitive USB drivers, rudimentary memory protection and non-reentarble code (DirectX apps could hang the whole OS by forgetting to release a surface), etc.

Re:Windows ME did not have DOS. (0)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587374)

Actually, you are flat out wrong. I see zero fact in your post, just mere speculation.

Windows ME *REALLY WAS* the most stable of the win9x's. The "instability" issues were bad HARDWARE of the time and piss poor drivers. No one remembers when Win95/98 would just blue screen out of nowhere. They will still do such inside a VM. Windows ME doesn't. The difference? No native DOS. Once you opened a DOS window inside win9x, it was a countdown until a crash. People just blamed Windows and rebooted, never paying attention to the consistency of the problem.

Re:Windows ME did not have DOS. (2)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587642)

Windows ME *REALLY WAS* the most stable of the win9x's.

No, it was worse than 98 SE.

It added a lot of new stuff that didn't work great.

Windows 2000 was supposed to be released in "Professional" and "Home" editions. But the home market just wasn't ready for NT as too much stuff the home market used didn't work.

Printers, scanners, mp3 players, and so on lacked NT drivers. Too many games and utilities didn't work.

So only windows 2000 pro ever got released, and then Windows ME was created released to update Windows 98.

When XP came out the market was a lot more ready for NT at home, and we got XP Pro and XP Home.

Windows 2000 Pro had been really successful as both a business OS and had made a lot of inroads in the home market as well, so the NT driver situation was much improved, and most of the new games and utilities and hardware supported both 2000 and 98.

Completely agree. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587994)

When I bought my Athlon (1.1GHz!!! 512MB RAM!!!!) in 2001, I insisted on Win2K pro instead of WinMe.

I loved 2K. I liked it much better than XP.

I ran 2K at home for about 7 years before I finally bought XP (pro). Went to Win7 Pro 64 when I upgraded my mobo/cpu/ram again.

A new OS?! This changes everything! (5, Funny)

brillow (917507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586992)

Does it have an app store?

Re:A new OS?! This changes everything! (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587222)

Though I know you were joking, that isn't a bad idea. It could make FreeDOS money and make application discovery easier.

Invaluable for our lab equipment (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587072)

In our labs, we have a shit-ton of expensive analytical and other scientific equipment which is controlled by some DOS-based software. We have been installing FreeDOS on replacement computers, and are all deeply grateful for its existence.

No LiveCD? (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587132)

Come on, in the days of dos you sometimes had to boot from floppies and now all I can have is a pseudo live cd which is only good for installing itself to the HD?

I guess this is really meant to be used with a virtual host?

Re:No LiveCD? soon (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587438)

give them a few days, i am sure there will be a live CD soon, what i want to see is a file server full of abandoned DOS games

Re:No LiveCD? soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587646)

There is here. [google.ca]

(Free)DOS can still be relevant ... (5, Informative)

DigitalDreg (206095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587230)

DOS and FreeDOS are still relevant in some niche areas:

- Turn-key and embedded hardware often use DOS
- Retro-computing: Some of us like dragging out our old hardware to play with it
- Learning to code closer to the metal; DOS gives you enough services to get you going, while giving you a feel for embedded programming

FreeDOS runs on almost everything from an original IBM PC (1981) to a virtual machine under VMWare and VirtualBox. People (hobbyists) are continuing to work on the utilities to keep it refreshed. For example, in the last year there was a new set of TCP/IP programs added, a utility for sharing folders with a VMWare host, and a new web browser based on Dillo.

It's not for everyone, but if you are curious check it out - it's pretty painless to run in a VM. (Or you can drag out your XT or Pentium 90 for the full effect.)

Re:(Free)DOS can still be relevant ... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587602)

"- Turn-key and embedded hardware often use DOS
- Retro-computing: Some of us like dragging out our old hardware to play with it
- Learning to code closer to the metal; DOS gives you enough services to get you going, while giving you a feel for embedded programming"

All of these are better served by using a hand rolled linux. You can roll a linux kernel, FS and busybox that is smaller and far more capable.

I have a old PC-104 386 motherboard acting as a robot that runs linux that I play with regularly. I can get drivers for things like webcams that you cant get for dos.

Re:(Free)DOS can still be relevant ... (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587730)

>All of these are better served by using a hand rolled linux. You can roll a linux kernel, FS and busybox that is smaller and far more capable.

No. Hand rolling linux is hard. Installing Freedos takes 2 minutes, mostly that 2 minutes is spent rummaging in the draw to find the usb stick with the install image on it.

Re:(Free)DOS can still be relevant ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587868)

All of these are better served by using a hand rolled linux.

Not necessarily. I spent most of the last decade working on the Point-of-Sale system for a very large QSR (Quick Service Restaurant, i.e. "Fast Food"), and we had over 100,000 computers in the field, running MS-DOS. I *think* they were all at least 80386-based, but I do know that many of them had as little as 2 MB of RAM.

I'm not aware of any version of Linux that would allow us to operate in that small a memory footprint.

BTW, there are still hundreds (probably thousands) of stores still happily running the old, DOS-based system.

And fails for.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587580)

The damn HP palmtops. They had to use the Bizzaro PCMCIA chipset in those that NOBODY supports and the freaking crap dos drivers will not load in FreeDOS

And yes, a Dos Palmtop is very useable. IT works great as a RS232 analyzer for integration.

Raspberry Pi (1)

Possan (1601927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587728)

Someone should port it to arm an put it on the Raspberry Pi... that would be an interesting embedded combo.

helps boot stubborn thin clients (3, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587834)

I love to make servers and appliances out of thin clients. But some of those thin clients refuse to boot GNU/Linux or BSD from native file system in external device, or in some cases from large (>2GB) partition. But they will boot GRUB in a FREEDOS partition.

FreeDOS + Raspberry Pi (3, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587876)

Would make an interesting combination for people who used to have old computers hooked up to TV sets for monitors like I did back in the day. Even though Raspberry Pi is using a few flavors of Linux, having a DOS option like that would be awesome in a retro kind of way.
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