Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 21:46 UTC, submitted by mpxlbs
OSNews, Generic OSes No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - we have actually have not one, but two news items on hobby/small operating systems on the same day! You thought the day would never come again, but hey, here we are. You're welcome. Now, what are we talking about? FreeDOS - a test release has been, uh, released for FreeDOS 1.1.
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But why would you go through all that trouble when old boxes are practically (or even) free? I don't know how it is there but here in the USA one can find plenty of give away 700MHz and less which are just perfect for DOS gaming.

More clutter, which I don't need. But yeah, real hardware always beats emulation.

You can get a 2 port KVM for less than $20

I need to get one sometime soon for other reasons (but first reconfig my router, meh).

So while I'm grateful for FreeDOS and wish them nothing but luck for really old games one can't beat Win9x installed on actual hardware.

Win9x chokes when you have gigs of RAM anyways. There are hacks to use 2 GB (and the rest for a big RAM disk), but that's not ideal either. Even though Win9x is better than WinNT for DOS stuff, even it doesn't run everything that plain DOS does (and its DPMI leaves some things to be desired). Anyways, you can use up to 4 GB of RAM in DOS with the appropriate DPMI server (CWSDPMI r7 or HDPMI32), though I think RAM disks typically are only <= 2 GB (and even FreeDOS still has the 2 GB file limitation, even for FAT32, oh well).

The main advantage to FreeDOS is ... it's free! ("BASE" is GPL, not that Debian or Fedora agree [re: DOSEMU] ... "uses non-free tools", ugh, only because OpenWatcom [OSI] offends them.) In other words, you don't need a proprietary OS to run or develop DOS apps, which is an advantage, esp. when Windows (mostly) doesn't support DOS anymore.

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