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14 Years & Kicking: FreeDOS Is Still Alive

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  • #11
    Originally posted by wargames View Post
    There are some great games for DOS, like Little Big Adventure for example. But most of them can be played using DosBox AFAIK. I really see no reason to keep FreeDOS alive.
    There is still a need for an updated DOS system for some legacy hardware. For instance, many retail outlets still use DOS based hardware for handling purchases, although I admit this is something I have been seeing less and less of recently.

    Of course, the main and best reason for having it is simply because it is so god damn cool.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
      There is still a need for an updated DOS system for some legacy hardware. For instance, many retail outlets still use DOS based hardware for handling purchases, although I admit this is something I have been seeing less and less of recently.
      Indeed, cash registers from IBM and probably other manufacturers came with DOS until at least 10 years ago or so, and why would you buy new cash registers as long as the old ones still work?

      There is also legacy software that contains a lot of process info, and drives industrial processes & equipment that nobody dares to replace, because doing so would likely disrupt production majorly for weeks or months.

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      • #13
        FYI: there is a package manager for freedos, and that was one of the main features for FreeDOS 1.1.
        See http://https://sites.google.com/site/blairdude/fdpkg

        From what I've heard, DosBox uses a fork of freedos that uses bcc as compiler.
        But, there are games and programs that work better with dosemu--which runs its own dos.
        One of the main use cases for FreeDOS is in a virtual environment (VirtualBox, Qemu, VPC, dosemu, and just about any PC emulator in existence)
        Also, there's testing for stuff like SeaBIOS, and Zet (the FOSS clone of the x86 architecture; currently discussing how to add 386 support)

        International text editing is available via blocek and mined.
        LFN is available, after a fashion (with the right shell and TSR)
        While I'm not aware of a Midnight Commander port, there's doszip, and Necromancer's DOS Navigator (NDN), and a few other *DN variants.
        And I know slang and ncurses have been ported, so it should be possible...

        Off topic, I hear that they've been getting 40,000+ downloads /mo. lately.
        Last edited by Ibidem; 01-27-2013, 02:59 AM.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
          FYI: there is a package manager for freedos, and that was one of the main features for FreeDOS 1.1.
          See http://https://sites.google.com/site/blairdude/fdpkg

          From what I've heard, DosBox uses a fork of freedos that uses bcc as compiler.
          But, there are games and programs that work better with dosemu--which runs its own dos.
          One of the main use cases for FreeDOS is in a virtual environment (VirtualBox, Qemu, VPC, dosemu, and just about any PC emulator in existence)
          Also, there's testing for stuff like SeaBIOS, and Zet (the FOSS clone of the x86 architecture; currently discussing how to add 386 support)

          International text editing is available via blocek and mined.
          LFN is available, after a fashion (with the right shell and TSR)
          While I'm not aware of a Midnight Commander port, there's doszip, and Necromancer's DOS Navigator (NDN), and a few other *DN variants.
          And I know slang and ncurses have been ported, so it should be possible...

          Off topic, I hear that they've been getting 40,000+ downloads /mo. lately.
          Wow, that's great news. I was always wondering if it were possible to have that sort of functionality with the limitations of a 286 processor.
          I found that people are still writing FOSS GUI's for this single tasking OS too which is interesting.
          The latter doesn't have any form of multitasking (i.e. when you open any program, it'll quit the desktop shell to run it), but the former does to a degree as long as they interface with the Ozone shell, as far as I can gather.
          https://lightdos.wordpress.com/
          https://code.google.com/p/nanox-micr...-fltk-for-dos/
          There is also a distribution based off FreeDOS called Doscore, however while it is freeware the desktop shell, either a fork or rewrite of Ozone, is not open source, which is a pity because the guy looks like he's doing some good work with it.
          http://doscore.net/

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          • #15
            http://sagetos.blogspot.com/ is interesting.
            http://www.bttr-software.de and http://www.bttr-software.de/forum/board.php are the main page and forums for bttr software, the main generic DOS website.
            I see semi-regular updates over there, with a recent announcement of DOS binaries for x265.
            I've also run across several other projects there: the fltk/nano-x stuff meant dillo and flwrite ports were possible, I've seen a couple media players (mplayer and a native DOS one) and pdf viewers (mupdf port), compilers, games, ports like ffmpeg, (p)7zip, and so on, drivers, and the most interesting is HX: a sort of "Wine for DOS" that can run some programs that even Win98 can't, including a few GUI ones.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by intellivision View Post
              Wow, that's great news. I was always wondering if it were possible to have that sort of functionality with the limitations of a 286 processor.
              DOS is not limited to 286 processors at all, you just need a DOS extender (supplied with most DOS compilers) that allows your application to switch to 32-bit/i386 protected mode. That's what lots of games did, even when Windows 3.1 & 95 were around already.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by JanC View Post
                DOS is not limited to 286 processors at all, you just need a DOS extender (supplied with most DOS compilers) that allows your application to switch to 32-bit/i386 protected mode. That's what lots of games did, even when Windows 3.1 & 95 were around already.
                I was more referring to the minimum requirements of fdpkg (the DOS package manager), but then I looked back and saw that even using it on 8086 might be possible.
                Good to know though.

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