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FreeDOS Not Dead; 1.0 Release Imminent

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the wide-wide-world-of-os-hacking dept.

196

Lisa writes "Jim Hall, creator of the open source MS-DOS operating system project FreeDOS, says that while work on the project may have slowed recently, he isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. In fact, Hall says he hopes to see version 1.0 released as soon as the end of the month." (So rumors to the contrary can be safely ignored.)

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Let me be the first to ask.... (-1, Flamebait)

Radi-0-head (261712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652847)

Does anyone care?

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (0)

$p4(3_P1r473 (982882) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652858)

No They don't.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15652932)

Yes. Embedded systems vendors, firmware upgrade disk image producers, people who like the simplicity of DOS, PC manufacturers who want to get around Microsoft's refusal to OEM-licence windows to them if they sell PCs without any Operating System (Microsoft has a big, nasty industry campaign against "naked PCs"...). There'll be a niche "market" for FreeDOS pretty indefinitely, it's pretty much the "last DOS standing", since Microsoft gave up on MS-DOS. No, not _many_ people will care. But with Open Source, a few are enough.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (2, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652942)

You're the kind of nay sayer that says that since Duke Nuke'em: Forever has been in production for the last decade it probably isn't worth caring about.

I, for one, wait with baited breath for FreeDOS 1.0, and Duke Nuke'em: Forever... which will be out "when it's done." (Read: Any day now.)

Anybody who says waiting for vaporware is like watching grass grow is just crying over spilled milk the cow jumped over the moon the queen of heart of the problem child. ... Apparently there might be some psychological drawbacks to waiting on such things.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

MacgyverJr (926057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653197)

We use freeDOS to run many mission critical sytems at my work...Like VisiCalc [bricklin.com] and WordStar [wordstar.org] (both pop)

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

d'fim (132296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653271)

"baited breath"

I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but with what do you bait your breath - worms?

And just what are you hoping to catch?

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

blixel (158224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653378)

Just a guess here, but I assume he meant "bated breath." I also assume you knew that and are just being a dick.

so Sens youv got. nothin beter too dew then ignoure teh relivant parts-of-teh-post, and fokiss ownly on typographikal errs er othar misstaekes; then heers a hole "mesage four, you two tier apart. Hav phun. O, & Git a liefe looser.

Lift your game Blixel! (1, Flamebait)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654039)

so Sens youv got. nothin beter too dew then ignoure teh relivant parts-of-teh-post, and fokiss ownly on typographikal errs er othar misstaekes; then heers a hole "mesage four, you two tier apart. Hav phun. O, & Git a liefe looser. You correctly used two periods and one comma. That's a little careless, but my main concern is that, aside from the surrounding punctuation, there are six words in that message which are both correctly spelled and correctly used. Now, because some of the smaller words like 'a', 'on' and 'and' can be somewhat difficult to misspel, I was prepared to cut you a little slack. But you failed to misuse 'your' in place of 'you', and correctly spelled 'apart'. That's just sloppy.

Re:Lift your game Blixel! (1)

blixel (158224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654050)

That's just sloppy.

You failed to distinguish my part of the post from your part of the post.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

walstib (620771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653857)

I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but with what do you bait your breath - worms?

With whisp'ring humbleness, of course.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653922)

Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway. -John Wayne

Interesting quote from a draft dodger.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652950)

Everyone that builds network imaging boot CD's does.

Freedos rocks. Tcp/ip stack and all the goodies to make imaging machines from a network image repository with ghost of other dos based imaging apps a real treat/breeze.

universities love freedos, researchers do as freedos works on old Pc104 386 based boards for space based or rugged terrain data collection on hardware that the only collection app is an old dos one that will not run under linux. most machine shops love freedos as it's the only way to keep those old machines that use dos running instead of buying new CNC hardware and software for tens of thousands of dollars when the old machine works just fine.

I can go on for hours if you really want me to list everyone who cares about FreeDos....

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (3, Funny)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653103)

Hey, cool, man! I love Fritos too!

Oh, FreeDOS. Sorry, my mistake.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653133)

Code monkey like FreeDOS
Code monkey like TAB and Mountain Dew

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653130)

Ahmen. Booting an OS off of a floppy is something that still needs to be done from time to time and this is one of the best wayst to do it. I must admit, though, I was a bit concerned by this paragraph at the end of TFA
"I really want to break out of the mold of MS-DOS, and start to extend what DOS means," he says. "FreeDOS-32 is along that direction." Hall says that software will include features like multitasking and flat memory. "I'd also like to see more utilities to make it possible to replicate some of the advanced features we take for granted in modern operating systems, such as Linux." Hall says he hopes Linux users will feel right at home with FreeDOS. He also wants to bring Mac users into the fold, but understands their need for a strong GUI.
32-bit? Multitasking? Is he serious? I hope this part is just another joke. The beauty of light-weight is it's lightness.

TW

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (3, Insightful)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653270)

A 32-bit multitasking DOS could still be "light-weight". Remember DESQView [wikipedia.org] ? I can't imagine(*) it would be all too difficult to add some sort of a supervisor to manage multiple DOS sessions. Any DOS box (box as in hardware) running an Expanded Memory Manager (such as EMM386) is already on its way there as the EMM continues to run DOS in V86 mode.

(*) In my imagination, there's a mysterious genius out there who understands every nuance of DOS and I86 hardware who's more than willing to put time into this. :)

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (2, Insightful)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653965)

Kind of like early versions of Windows?

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653282)

> "FreeDOS-32 is along that direction."
> Hall says that software will include
> features like multitasking and flat memory

Throw in windowing, and you would have FreeDesqView-386.

sPh

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653729)

Throw in windowing, and you would have FreeDesqView-386.
... and there would be much rejoicing.

*ahem* (4, Interesting)

absurdist (758409) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653296)

You know, it would be nice if people would actually bother to do a little research before they post...

If you'd bothered to even glimpse at the FreeDOS web page, you'd see that the first priority of FreeDOS is and always has been to maintain a lightweight, completely DOS compatible OS. FreeDOS-32 is a completely different project. Any multitasking extensions (think DR-DOS in its latter days), GUIs (FreeGEM, notably, among others), etc... have always been planned after and as an adjunct to FreeDOS, not to replace it. There's still plenty of life left in DOS and the DOS environment. I for one would love to see a high-performance, single-user OS optimized for modern hardware without the cruft of the NT based MS OSs OR Linux.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (2, Interesting)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653306)

And the beauty of a lightweight OS that uses the 32-bit flat memory model and has the 'hooks' for multitasking integrated should be apparent to some of us.

I mean, the multitasking sounds optional. A flat memory model would be really, really great for high performance tasks where you just want the core machine.

You'd be better off with... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653649)

...a realtime kernel library you can link into your code.
Most "high-performance" programs you write in full-on flat mode do this anyway. They either coordinate via the timer, vertical retrace, or hard drive/sound card DMA fill-request interrupt. And then they run a set of "tasks", that is, a bunch of potentially unrelated functions, in order, then return to the main busy loop.

So why not a small, RT kernel that lets you structure you program into seperate modules? It might provide you with some nice memory/syncro primitives that you can leverage. You can probably fit the text for a feature complete implementation with threads, round-robin and hard deadlines in 32K.
In this fashion you can potentially "schedule" a bunch of DMA requests, and then collect the "results" out of order. This gives you a bit more flexibility in your coding without having to roll up your own state machine and stuff.

Since when did the existing DOS disappear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653231)

What was wrong with the DOS that came with the CNC machine?

Re:Since when did the existing DOS disappear? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653289)

Machine shops aren't necessarily the most healthy environments for people or computers.

The heat and the dust in the air can contributed to shortened lifespans for equipment. If that 10 year old HDD dies, why replace the whole machine when you can replace the bad HDD and use FreeDOS?

LK

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653249)

Everyone that builds network imaging boot CD's does.

Or "uses", of course.

But networking in DOS, like just about everything else in DOS is still ugly, limited and painful. And if you remove the need to support a legacy application, it's usefulness approaches zero.

I can go on for hours if you really want me to list everyone who cares about FreeDos....

And I could go on about the what I see as my wasted years in the DOS world, to say nothing of the first few generations of Windows. To be fair, you are correct, DOS is still alive and well and very much in use, but my hopes for the new generation is that after using for the first time something like a Knoppix live CD is that they never even consider learning or using what the rest of did, and turn their noses up at the very thought of it.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653252)

> Freedos rocks. Tcp/ip stack and...

Does this mean that I can finally get my PC XT on the Internet?

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653396)

Does this mean that I can finally get my PC XT on the Internet?

If you have an 8-bit NIC, sure... If not, the TCP/IP stack won't do you any good, and you just need the old SLIP/PPP programs for DOS.

SSHv1, Telnet, FTP, etc. There's even BOBCAT for a lynx-like browser, except that it's somewhat painful on an XT, and crashes after every ~20 pages you visit (out of memory).

It was only a couple years ago I still had an old 286 up and working this way. Not for any good reasons, mind you, just for the hell of it.

Finally? You must be kidding/trolling. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654270)

Umm that isnt hard to do, never has been..

Ever hear of SLIP or PPP? How about an 8 bit network card?

None of these things are new. I was running ethernet on an XT running X11 ( via desqviewX ) at least 15 years ago.. might have been longer..

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653415)

Tcp/ip stack and all the goodies to make imaging machines from a network image repository with ghost of other dos based imaging apps a real treat/breeze.

I have found that netbootdisk [netbootdisk.com] works well with all of my disk imaging needs.

I care, sort of. (3, Interesting)

Jett (135113) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652968)

At work we found an ancient "portable computer" built by Compaq - we couldn't find any installer disks old enough to work with it so we installed FreeDOS. It wasn't really useful for anything, but it was fun - especially since most of us are young enough that if we have used DOS it was when we were children. Everyone was amazed that we got the old beast working. I'm sure somewhere out there is someone who needs DOS for something, if only an hours entertainment...

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653048)

Anyone who needs to reflash their BIOS might be interested. I bought an amd64 machine, running gentoo and never purchased anything from Microsoft. So when it comes time to flash, I need to make a bootable cd/disk. And for that, I use FreeDOS.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653336)

In fact, Hall says he hopes to see version 1.0 released as soon as the end of the month." (So rumors to the contrary can be safely ignored.)

Likewise, I hope to be married to Hallie Berry as soon as the end of the month. Unfortunately, I don't think rumors to the contrary can be safely ignored.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653480)

Yep, they surely do. Freedos is fscking brilliant for simple data collection/hardware control projects on oooold hardware (386 era stuff up, ie anything you have lying around). Does everything you need, backwards compatible with all kinds of useful software, and several orders of magnitude easier to install/use than its competitors. And most importantly (for me anyhow), it doesn't try to get between you and the hardware.

btw. I'm usually a linux advocate...

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653555)

For playing legacy games on new systems it should be an excellent choice, shouldn't it? they may be old but games like the Dommander Keen series, Doom (yeah, I know, Linux and Windows ports exist and have for some time), and many, many other older DOS games are still just as much fun to play now as they were back when they were new.

Re:Let me be the first to ask.... (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653858)

IME, those old games don't work that well with FreeDOS. You are much better off to get DOSBox [sourceforge.net]

Let me be the first to answer... (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653700)

Yes, a lot of people care.

DOS still has a large user base out there, espcially in the embedded and machine controller markets. So yes, people care.

FreeDOS on other platforms (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654287)

Everyone here seems to be concentrating on FreeDOS running on x86. Which is fine -- x86 is the dominant architecture, after all, but I'd be really interested in a stable, minimalist OS that would run on other architectures as well -- perhaps architectures that there aren't any open-source OSes available for right now.

I'm thinking particularly about the old Apple machines (II series); it would be cool to get an OSS operating system and application stack (compiler, etc.) for some of the platforms that wouldn't comfortably run Linux.

Maybe even cooler than the Apple IIs (for which it's not terribly hard to find software for anyway) would be something that would run on some of the old minicomputers. Not sure how practical/possible it would be to target something designed for x86 for them, but if it's anywhere near feasible, it would be neat (if only from a geek perspective).

Maybe I'm missing something... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652854)

They haven't released anything in 12 years and its that lack of "recent" progress that's hurting them. What is it that I'm missing?

Re:Maybe I'm missing something... (4, Informative)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652914)

They actually have released several versions over the past few years. Although, recently, they have been a bit slow to realese new versions, over the past year or so. FreeDOS is functional and can be used to do things including run many older DOS titles. I think they have been saving the 1.0 version for a point where they have obtained a very high level of compatability with MS-DOS.

I have used FreeDOS to run several programs, and it is useable for many tasks, although it still does have some way to go before it is a perfect imitation. Nevertheless, I am glad to see it is still progressing, since I do think there is a use for this kind of thing.

Re:Maybe I'm missing something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653882)

They haven't released anything in 12 years and its that lack of "recent" progress that's hurting them. What is it that I'm missing?

I think you're thinking of "freedows", not freedos.

Good to hear this (3, Informative)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652865)

I have used FreeDOS previously and indeed it has quite a bit of importance and valuable to use, both as an OS for older hardware, and as well, for running old DOS software games on newer hardware. I have run FreeDOS on Bochs for nostgalgia's sake, to run various old DOS titles. A fully MS-DOS compatable OS does indeed have many applications, such as running older software, nostgalgia, preservation of old computer operating systems, and for older hardware and modern hardware for which a small, lightweight OS is needed.

Re:Good to hear this (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652919)

I agree, and embedded systems running some variant of DOS are very common. I've delivered more than a few of those myself. Claims that "DOS is dead" aren't really accurate, and won't be for some time to come. Speaking of DOS games, would you happen to know if Build Engine games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood and so forth work under FreeDOS?

Re:Good to hear this (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652992)

I do not know if those will work, perhaps they might. It would be nice if they would however, one of the best uses of a DOS is running older software such as this. Perhaps someone else knows. I think there is also OpenDOS (http://www.drdosprojects.de/), which is actually based on DR-DOS which was made open source a few years ago by Caldera (which ironically became the now-evil SCO). I am not sure if that will work any better either. I think Linux and FreeBSD also have some sort of DOS emulation layer. (http://www.dosemu.org/)

Don't forget... (5, Informative)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653098)

Check out DOSBox [sourceforge.net]

It's an excellent DOS emulator for Windows, Linux, MacOSX, BeOs, FreeBSD, OS/2 and toasters... Wait, it might not run on toasters. You may need to do a little fine tuning, but I haven't found a better way to run old DOS games.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653287)

"You may need to do a little fine tuning, but I haven't found a better way to run old DOS games."

How about a P133 with a VESA-compatible video card?

Re:Don't forget... (1)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653732)

How about a P133 with a VESA-compatible video card?

Nope... That'd take up more space, and my space is sort of limited these days. With DOSBox, I can run old Sierra games in a window on my Linux box while I'm ignoring the work I'm supposed to be doing.

Re:Don't forget... (0, Offtopic)

eekygeeky (777557) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653914)

what's wrong with rightclick>properties>compatibility>run this program in compatibility mode?

Re:Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653970)

You mean besides, 'It doesn't work'?

Re:Don't forget... (1)

tchristney (133268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653971)

Um, it doesn't work?

Re:Don't forget... (1)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654021)

Funny - I can't find "compatibility mode" options anywhere in KDE. I wonder why.............

Re:Don't forget... (3, Insightful)

creepynut (933825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654079)

A few problems.

1. It doesn't work.
2. Have you ever, you know.. used Linux? It could be my memory playing tricks, but I can't for the life of me recall the "Run in Compatibility Mode" to run my DOS games in Linux.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654028)

Wait, it might not run on toasters.

It probably does, there's a NetBSD package [netbsd.org] ...

Re:Good to hear this (1)

triso (67491) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653077)

Speaking of DOS games, would you happen to know if Build Engine games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood and so forth work under FreeDOS?
Duke 3D and SW are available in native Linux versions using OpenGL and 32-bit textures. See http://jonof.edgenetwork.org/ [edgenetwork.org] for details.

Re:Good to hear this (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653373)

Tons of other stuff won't and never will. Some of them because all that exists are binaries. So it's cool that ways of running them in modern environments exist. Especially when a 'sandbox' approach allows them to run on modern hardware. But for the real experience, you want to keep around an old 386 system with a real sound blaster, etc.

Re:Good to hear this (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653352)

Speaking of DOS games, would you happen to know if Build Engine games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood and so forth work under FreeDOS?

I would predict they would. The whole concept for those games fits with the MS_DOS philosophy which is that the OS should be capable of 'getting the hell out of the way' of an application that comes along and does it all itself.

Many modern programmers are terrified of having to code to the bare hardware, and many act like it's always a bad thing. I've had to 'clean up' embedded controller projects written by programmers who mostly have experience relying on a 'system' to initialize timers, interrupts, and what-not. It isn't pretty.

Re:Good to hear this (2, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654133)

Many modern programmers are terrified of having to code to the bare hardware, and many act like it's always a bad thing.

On the other hand, some of us welcome any chance to do so, and have stuff like the Windows DDK, and PIC, 8051, Z-80, and other emulators laying around in our toyboxes. If you don't know what an 8255 is without having to look it up, you probably shouldn't be programming PC hardware directly. :-)

Re:Good to hear this (4, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653115)

I still run several DOS applications and even piddle around with my old PowerBASIC compiler in FreeDOS running under DOSEMU. DOSEMU works very well for most things (non-graphical) and runs several orders of magnitude faster than bochs (no emulation of the cpu). FreeDOS and DOSEMU are a great match. Plus all the years of Unix innovations in the command line have been incorporated into the FreeDOS shell, makeing DOS actually quite nice to use in all its 16-bit glory. For graphical DOS stuff, I use dosbox which has it's own DOS implementation but, like bochs, emulates the hardware as well (but is way faster than bochs) and allows sound and vga emulation for running the old Sierra games.

FreeDOS still has a bright future in several niches. There is still a need for a 16-bit, real-mode operating system in a number of embedded situations.

Re:Good to hear this (1)

chgros (690878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653135)

FreeDOS on Bochs
You may want to consider DOSBox [sourceforge.net] instead.

Re:Good to hear this (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653446)

Bochs is a more widely ported environment. But it's good, and important, for both projects to continue.

Remember, all kinds of stuff can run on Bochs, which makes it a more universal option. DOSBox seems to be almost entirely focused on making old graphical games run. Which is cool, but it ain't CP/M-86, it isn't all sorts of weird old stuff that it's cool that there is a bare x86 emulation environment for. A CP/M-86 prompt on a Macintosh SE/30 running NetBSD? No problem! Run it on your SparcStation IPC, too! (don't plan on running anything fast)

Re:Good to hear this (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653850)

OK, granted that a freeware MS-DOS clone has value. (I use it together with Dosbox [sourceforge.net] to run old games under XP.) But why is it good news that people are still working on it? It's been around for 12 years now. And it's a clone of a truely simple-minded OS. Indeed, you could argue that MS-DOS is just a program loader — it lacks almost all the features of a real OS.

Re:Good to hear this (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654037)

Bios upgrades typically require booting to DoS.

this is good! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15652895)

It means I can still play Duke Nukem 3D until DNF comes out. At least I don't have to worry about any lack of overlap in the DN releases...

Re:this is good! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653072)

This is a bit off-topic, but if you're into Duke Nukem 3D as I am, you might want to check out Jonof's JFDuke3D port. It's a remarkable Windows port of Duke ... you need access to the original game data but if you have that it works great, adds a lot of visual enhancements using modern video cards. Even supports multiplayer, and the game plays just like the original.

jonof.edgenetwork.org [edgenetwork.org]

how's about Free95? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15652899)

Once we've gotten up to FreeDos 6.2, will the next release be Free95 (release date 2095), which replicates Windows 95 in a feature and bug-complete way?

Okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15652903)

But how does this change anything important?

http://www.uncoverip.com/ [uncoverip.com]

A for determination (1)

theaddkid.com (983011) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652918)

Oh well got to give him an A for determination right.

Why? (2)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#15652964)

Because.

(Oh, and also because FreeDOS running in a VM plays some wierd DOS games very well.)

Re:Why? (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653060)

That's the main reason I'm interested in it. A lot of those old games will run too fast on modern hardware (if they run at all), and finding old enough hardware that runs well enough and will continue to be reliable is getting more and more difficult. A VM + FreeDOS seems like a good solution to me, though I suppose DOSBox would work too.

Re:Why? (1)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653165)

Trick I use to slow down old apps on old OS's (win95), is to fire up paint, make an image 99999pixels by 999999pixels, hit create, then play your game. The swapping into the swapfile of paint will slow the game down the perfect amount. you can also run more than one copy of paint to get even slower. If you get out-of-memory errors then up the swapfile to an unlimited size. I used it for "Risky woods" all the time... :) An alternative method is to type "echo bigvideo.avi > LPT1:" at command prompt, and the PIO mode transfer to LPT1 uses so much CPU (even on modern machines like XP it still uses 100% CPU to copy at under 300 kbytes per sec) that all other apps slow down.

Re:Why? (1)

Ythan (525808) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653325)

Wow, makes me feel rather unoriginal for just using MoSlo [hpaa.com] ...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653065)

Is there a xen port or is it easier to stick with DOSBOX?

Re:Why? (1)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653107)

i'm very interested if free dos can do usb support. the ability to use ghost 2k3 with an usb hd is like the holy grail.... ok maybe not. but for any tech that invented new bad work and new variation using the three letter word trying to ghost some image on a usb harddrive this could be a lifesaver.

Re:Why? (1)

RGRistroph (86936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653590)

What you want is a bootable Linux CD such as Knoppix, and to clone the windows on and off the harddisk to the USB, ntfsclone (which is already in Knoppix).

http://alma.ch/blogs/bahut/2005/04/cloning-xp-with -linux-and-ntfsclone.html [alma.ch]

If you have piracy in mind, note that Windows own protections will mess things up when you reboot on the new hardware -- this is a good way to backup windows after you have just spent a day installing software, however.

hear that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15652998)

*crickets chirping*

Obligatory joke, forgive me... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653039)

Netcraft [netcraft.com] confirms it: FreeDOS is dying!

I use freedos on a daily basis (5, Interesting)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653099)

I use freedos on a floppy, with NTFSdos pro, to do some handy scripting changing registry entries on windows boxes without booting them. No other way I can thing of doing it, other than a liveCD of something, but that negates the point, as everything must fit inside about 4MB for my purposes. Also, occasionally, use a network freedos floppy, but I'm annoyed at the lack of a "universal" ethernet driver - even if performance is slow - rather like the universal 640x480 video driver in windows. Also, support for SATA drives is poor at best - and I can't find a driver for most chipsets. (although having said that even the windows XP install doesn't find most right!)

Re:I use freedos on a daily basis (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653330)

Also, occasionally, use a network freedos floppy, but I'm annoyed at the lack of a "universal" ethernet driver - even if performance is slow - rather like the universal 640x480 video driver in windows.

It's just not possible to have a universal NIC driver. Videocards all impliment SVGA and VESA compatibility, but networks cards don't have any similar universal standard.

Still, probably a handful of different NIC drivers will handle 95% of ethernet cards you'll come across. Tulip, NE2000, RTL8139, SIS900, 3C905, etc.

Re:I use freedos on a daily basis (3, Interesting)

mottie (807927) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653375)

Floppies are dead. Put BartPE [nu2.nu] on a USBkey or on a creditcard cdrom and you have way more functionality and you can add any driver [reatogo.de] with ease (if there's not already a plugin built, which there are a LOT of)

Re:I use freedos on a daily basis (3, Insightful)

babyrat (314371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653770)

Apparently floppies aren't dead as this person uses them often.

    There are lots of older PCs that don't have a working CD and tons more that don't have usb ports, or don't have a bios capable of booting from USB.

Re:I use freedos on a daily basis (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654017)

For those of us who are trapped in the dead-end jobs that require installing Windows Server 2whatever on new hardware, the joy of the F6 diskette is fleeting, replaced by the realization that our new hardware has dispensed with the obsolete, but needed, floppy drive.

The exercise of creating a USB key that mimics a floppy drive with those F6 drivers is nontrivial. Just give me a floppy, or tell Bill and the Redmond Insults to change the installer ever so slightly and look at all media for those cursed drivers.

And yes, I have several different ways to do that, and several different keys that do it. I'm just recovering from an extended rollout. Thank God it wasn't something painful, say RH9.

rick

Man, I can't wait for this to come out!! (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653154)

Now, if only someone will come up with a decent window-manager and GUI toolkit to run on top of it...

Re:Man, I can't wait for this to come out!! (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653982)

They tried that once. I'm still recovering from Windows 3.1

Re:Man, I can't wait for this to come out!! (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654008)

Geez, that's a long time... have you tried cleaning your tape drive? ;)

Re:Man, I can't wait for this to come out!! (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654087)

I was talking about the psychological damage that "GUI" inflicted upon me, but that was pretty good. LOL

Re:Man, I can't wait for this to come out!! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654041)

Yeah, XFCE would rock! Nothing much to run, but hell, who cares: we got a gui!

Yeah, but will it support (2, Funny)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653172)

DoubleSpace?

Re:Yeah, but will it support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653494)

I remember using DoubleSpace on my 200MB hard drive that I purchased for $200. After I got the drive, I thought "wow I can store 400MB of stuff on here!". What I did not realize was how it actually stored "double" the amount of space. First of all, I had a lot of ZIP and ARJ files which were obviously not much more compressable, so didn't seem to do much as far as extra hard drive space was concerned. Secondly, it slowed down the computer like hell just trying to compress/uncompress files as they were being used.

Needless to say, I did not use DoubleSpace for long.

Re:Yeah, but will it support (1)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653722)

DoubleSpace?

Real geeks use(d) Stacker and QEMM.

It's effectively dead... (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653269)

Even if he's still going to make another few releases, FreeDOS is still dead.

MANY, MANY years into the project now, and yet compatibility with MS-DOS is in a rather sad state, the partitioning/formating programs create corrupt partitions that MS-DOS/Windows will choke on after a little bit or writing to. Many of the programs (Defrag?) still can't even handle FAT32, even though FAT32 has been around forever, and is largely obsolete now. What are the chances of FreeDOS 2.0 adding NTFS support?!

DR-DOS is still freely available, and a much better choice for boot floppies/CDs, as well as running old DOS programs (something like xmess will probably include 100% DOS compatibility before FreeDOS does).

DOS is too old and simple to be of any use in embedded apps as well. Projects like ELKS and ucLinux are far better options. It might be usable by companies' boot disks, but the limited compatibility might make licensing one of the many commercial DOS implimentations a cheaper and more reliable option.

The project is a zombie. It can continue walking on, but it's still long since dead, whether it knows it or not.

Re:It's effectively dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15654072)

And when did DOS support NTFS?

In Other News... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653307)

...Calls to participate in an open-source replacement for Windows 3.11 / Windows for Workgroups are now being heard...

Visual Basic for MS-DOS (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653381)

I will have to throw together a Bochs environment sometime soon and try running Visual Basic for MS-DOS under FreeDOS. Because I can. And because it's a pretty cool 'dead-end' product from Microsoft, to be honest.

Re:Visual Basic for MS-DOS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653564)

Qbasic works just fine under both FreeDOS and DRDOS, in dosemu, as far as I have tested it.

Freedos writes OS2 Warp floppy disks (5, Interesting)

Penicillus (755795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653412)

A long time ago, I copied my OS2 Warp installation CD to my hard drive; the CD is now someplace safe. In February, I used FreeDos to make OS2 Warp disk images from the hard drive, and installed OS2 onto an old 486. When the OS2 disk creation program is run under MSDOS 6, 7, or Win98 the 1.88 meg installation disks are created occasionally, and with agony; the dos window format of W2K and XP won't touch anything over 1.44 megs. FreeDos writes the 1.88 meg format easily on normal HD floppies, and all the floppies work the first time. Thank You FreeDos Developers!

I know I've heard this story before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15653438)

DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!
MORTICIAN: What?
CUSTOMER: Nothing -- here's your nine pence.
DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!
MORTICIAN: Here -- he says he's not dead!
CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.
DEAD PERSON: I'm not!
MORTICIAN: He isn't.
CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
DEAD PERSON: I'm getting better!
CUSTOMER: No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment.
MORTICIAN: Oh, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations.
DEAD PERSON: I don't want to go in the cart!
CUSTOMER: Oh, don't be such a baby.
MORTICIAN: I can't take him...
DEAD PERSON: I feel fine!
CUSTOMER: Oh, do us a favor...
MORTICIAN: I can't.
CUSTOMER: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
MORTICIAN: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson's -- they've lost nine today.
CUSTOMER: Well, when is your next round?
MORTICIAN: Thursday.
DEAD PERSON: I think I'll go for a walk.
CUSTOMER: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?
DEAD PERSON: I feel happy... I feel happy. [whop]
CUSTOMER: Ah, thanks very much.
MORTICIAN: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
CUSTOMER: Right.

Yawn... and this belongs in the ??? category... (1, Interesting)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15653461)

A few things come to mind... 00. Will the project never get released if there is pre-release press about it never coming out? 01. Will the dozen or so users/developers bail out if there is bad press after release 1.0? 10. Is there actually anyone interested in using FreeDOS instead of a ripped/stolen copy of the real thing? 11. Is the FreeDOS project really cleanroom, or can we expect M$haft to come and stop this before it really starts. There are more questions to be asked, but I'm not sure I really care all that much other than to post something that makes me sound smarmy and cute. I'm still laughing at this post, and have to ask is the news day so slow today that this kinda stuff makes it out of OSNews and into /.-land... To be discontinued.

Re:Yawn... and this belongs in the ??? category... (1)

TheZorch (925979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653500)

Unlike Windows an agreement was made that allows other developers to make their own versions of DOS that are compatible with MS-DOS. There have been several different varients of DOS in the past including DR-DOS, PC-DOS (by IBM) and the DOS OS used in DosBox.

I can see FreeDOS used with things like Parallels for Mac OS X so people can run old DOS software if they want.

Parallel's for OSX (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654077)

Ok, I'm about blown away by the implementation of Parallels, not having a thing to do with this threat apart from your mention. Question I have is for 49.99 is Parallel's worth the price, does it really work well, and does the virtual rooted window of each OS get in the way as it has in the past like X11 in the rooted solutions of years gone bye? I'm very interested in the product, and may just move me from my PPC eMac (which is still a great machine 1.5 years old and going strong, albeit some service work that cost Apple 'retail' about 1700 USD on a 700 USD machine :) to a dual core mini... The life-time-bomb on this eMac is ticking now, mwhahahaha.

Version 1.0 due out soon? (1)

Nybble's Byte (321886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653595)

What prompted this?

I think FreeDOS is genius: (2, Insightful)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654058)

Everything you need to boot an XT PC onward to today's PCs, format and/or do system installs?
Open-source too?
A very useful project!
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