Hi Bret,

> On Mar 17, 2023, at 9:41 PM, Bret Johnson <bretj...@juno.com> wrote:
>> Tom's suggestion of using IDLEHALT is most likely the best solution.
>> As you suggest, Using IDLEHALT for VM's and FDAPM for real
>> hardware on installed systems will be easy to do.
>> Since such decisions cannot be made automatically during boot in the
>> CONFIG at present, probably just switch to using IDLEHALT on the
>> LiveCD as well.
> Just a couple of ideas from some things I've been working on.  One is that 
> with my ISLOADED program I can now detect about 25 different specific VMs and 
> also have a set of tests that can detect the presence of a "generic" VM 
> without specifically being able to identify which one it is.  The program is 
> not yet "ready for prime time", but I will send the code and current version 
> of the program to anyone who wants it.  It might come in handy for the 
> FreeDOS install program.

At present, VM detection is performed with VINFO <http://vinfo.com/> (part of 
V8Power Tools for DOS). That  testing is very reliable. But, it only tests for 
the (in my opinion) major virtual platforms VMware, VirtualBox, QEMU and 
DOSBox. It also performs a generic VM test in an attempt to catch others. It 
also performs some other tasks related to installation, like CPU, hard drive 
and MBR boot code detection. 

By no means is VINFO perfect. In fact, there is a known issue in detecting some 
486 based machines that I have not got around to fixing. Also, there some other 
things that could be done better. But, they are mostly minor issues that I have 
not found the time or motivation to remedy. Generally speaking, it is “good 
enough” for what it does and is under 3k when UPX compressed. 

Possibly at some point, we may switch to “better” tools to perform the tasks 
required of VINFO. I’m definitely not opposed to switching. After all, I’m lazy 
and that would keep me from needing to eventually improve that utility. But at 
least for time being, I don’t think it would be worth the effort of trying to 
migrate to a different utility for a more nuanced VM detection. 

I though I saw ISLOADED somewhere before. But, I just made a quick visit to 
your site and didn’t notice it. If I recall correctly, the program does a lot 
of other things as well. 

> I also have another program called BATTSAVE which I think is sort of 
> "in-between" what IDELHALT does and what FDAPM does and it may work better 
> than either for the specific problem you're trying to fix.  It's "not ready 
> for prime time" either, but I can send it to anyone who wants it.  I 
> developed it mainly for use when I am traveling and using my laptop and need 
> the battery to last longer when I'm using DOS.

When you say “not ready for prime time”, why? Compatibility, incomplete, 
documentation, etc?
Just generally speaking, how is it “in-between” IDLEHALT and FDAPM? 

Regardless, both programs sound interesting. When you feel they are ready for 
more public use/testing, it might be nice for them to get wrapped in a package 
and put on the download repo. Possibly, included on one of the release media as 
well. But, that is a discussion for another day. :-)

On a completely unrelated and non-FreeDOS related topic…

When I was at your site, I noticed you put your city/state on the page. I’ve 
been out your way twice when the balloon thing was happening. Once in the 
mid-90s, and again a couple years later. Hundreds, if not thousands, of hot air 
balloons in the sky. Flying hamburgers, fork-lifts, animals and stranger 
things. Some not making it and crashing into trees and houses. It was 
definitely a sight to see. They still do that each year?



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