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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bassbeast Member since:

Actually the funny part? You CAN still get DOS 5 and Win3.11 from MSFT by having an MSDN. Yeah i know, I was amazed myself but I asked a bud who checked and said yep, the .ISOs are still there for the taking, they just don't offer any support past the KBs that are still around.

And why would you need to reconfig your router for a KVM switch? Unless you are trying to keep boxes on different floors it is easier to just get a standard KVM, most of which come with cables. I prefer the Trendnet KVMs myself. they are nothing fancy but they get the job done and more importantly seem to be able to take quite a lot of abuse.

And finally as for clutter? Here is what you need...look online for the "Compaq Deskpro En SFF" which I have seen the 1Ghz version going for $35 and the 733MHz for around $20. It is a VERY small phonebook style desktop designed to be sat under a monitor, the classic ugly beige but a can of black high gloss and a little masking tape fixes that real quick. More importantly while it doesn't have AGP slots it DOES have full height PCI slots which are just the perfect thing for older GPUs like the MX4000 or Riva cards. It also holds 3x128Mb sticks which is just about perfect for DOS and Win9x, and since it is trivial to boot straight into DOS from Win98 you have the best of both worlds, both Wingaming classics and DOS games to boot!

So really it couldn't be easier to have real hardware DOS gaming for the ultra cheap. A small box, a cheapo KVM, and a GPU one can pick up at any yardsale or Goodwill and you are good to go!

Reply Parent Score: 1