Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 22nd May 2002 04:45 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Some days ago we hosted a head to head review of Bochs, VMWare Workstation and VirtualPC. I received a number of emails asking why I haven't included Netraverse's Win4Lin in the article. The main reason was because Win4Lin is not an emulator in the "traditional" sense of the word; neither it runs under Windows XP, where our previous test were conducted. In fact, Win4Lin can only run Dos and Win9x/ME, under Linux. We got hold of the brand new version of Win4Lin, version 4.0, and here is our review accompanied by some screenshots we grabbed for you.
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You are indeed funny :)
by ddj on Tue 28th May 2002 17:49 UTC

> (and if you're honest), you wouldn't be repeating the rubbish that you are.

Neither would you ;)

> 16-bit DOS is active at the same time that 32-bit Windows is.

It is. Just ommit or load HIMEM.SYS or EMM386.EXE with your choice of parameters, and you will notice varying results with free resources, amount of free memory, types of memory and so on. So Windoze 9x is dependant on this, or at least can be extremely influenced by such stupid stuff that you put into your CONFIG.SYS file. If it was truly stand-alone this should not happen. Or just use DEBUG and overwrite the first 64 Kilobytes of your RAM with "00" (for liability reasons, I am not going to post that here, but anyone familiar with Assembler will know what I mean) - that's where the DOS kernel resides. You want to know what happens ? Well, your machine will instantly *FREEZE*. This is only possible on DOS based OS's, the same trick works for DR-DOS, PC-DOS, MS-DOS and last but not least with Windoze 9x. The very same assembler sequence does not function under Windows NT based OS's or OS/2, or any other true 32-bit OS for that matter. Any explanation on this, oh Guru ? ;)

> Well we know that without COMMAND.COM you don't have DOS, so
> delete any COMMAND.COM file you find.

Not entirely correct. COMMAND.COM matters only if it is the default "shell" (to use some UNIX style terminology) for your DOS installation. There have been plentiful of ancient DOS-based security enhancement software packages from third party vendors back in the 80's that would make boot sectors of your harddisk unreadable (so you could not boot from floppy and access the harddisk that way) and dump COMMAND.COM altogether and replace it instead with some restricted menu driven programs, where e.g. CTRL-C would not work and where you could not launch programs by typing in arbitratry commands. Anyone long enough in the industry will remember such tools and remember such tricks. It was fairly easy to define any other program as default shell instead of COMMAND.COM so that the computer could not run any unwanted programs.

Now guess what: Windows 9x is not any much different. The default shell there is WIN.COM (taaadaaaa !), and only if it cannot find this one you will get into trouble. Your example is void regarding this. As long as you do not delete the default "shell" program you can delete whatever you want on a DOS installation. As you mention editing, well, load a hex editor that is capable of editing harddisk sectors directly and search for the boot sector. You will find "WIN.COM" somewhere out there. Edit that one to something of your choice and suddenly pooof! Windows GUI is gone and the stupid DOS kernel there will load whatever program you told it to. Just like in good old MS-DOS 2.x

> Naming files the same names is an elegant solution to a bothersome
> problem.

So, you call Windows 9x "elegant" ? ;) <LOL>

> Or I can be lazy and ask you to explain why on a NT/2000/XP box I
> can bring up a DOS prompt

CMD.EXE can be replaced with anything you like. "GNU bash" for example. It requires some tweaking but it can be done. BTW, your argumentation is getting illogic. Just a few sentences above you praised Microsoft's art in keeping things consistent for existing programs and users. This here is no different and only proves that even after 20 years Microsoft has not managed to come up with a decent command line interpreter. But CMD.EXE is an entirely different thing. Windows NT is an entirely different thing, with a totally different kernel architecture than DOS and Windows 9x which are - and I will gladly repeat that - nothing but a form of MS-DOS 7 plus Windows 4.x on top.

> You're right, I think of you as an ignorant fool -- "daft", as you put it.
> You give me good reason to think so.

Ah, finally we share some mutual feelings about each other ;)

> You could have learned something useful,

ROFL! "Something useful" ... ? I will tell you what something useful is: OS/2 was useful, Windows NT is useful, as mastering it was the begin of my professional career ages ago, Windows XP is useful, MacOS X is useful, FreeBSD is useful and is an OS I want to learn more about in the future. Linux is useful, as it lets me do what I want to do on my home and work PC and doesn't get on my nerves with deliberate crashes and bluescreens (which only exists as screensaver). SUN Solaris is useful and HP-UX is useful, as mastering these two fine OS's is now the base of my income and my current career. Knowing PERL is useful as it makes your life easier, knowing PHP4 and Apache is useful. Being aware of .NET is useful as this seems to be where future Microsoft software is headed. Having an open mind is useful, being critic and cautious about the crap we are fed everyday in the news and in newspapers is useful.

But there is nothing useful you could have taught me, as your "knowledge" is no real knowledge but rather blind feverish belief what Microsoft and some of it's "experts" claim to have taught you. Reading stupid books written by stupid people about a stupid pseudo-OS is definitely not useful, and mentioning the crap you read there over and over again does not do you any favour.

> but instead you chose to be a jackass.

Eeee-aaaah ;)

> The joke's on you, kid.

Don't you worry, I have a splendid sense of humour. ;)

- ddj.