OpenGEM Release 3 is now officially out, and can be download for free from (4.32mb download)

OpenGEM Release 3 is designed for FreeDOS, and is intended to provide a
simple and powerful GUI for the FreeDOS community as it progresses towards
version 1.0 of the operating system.  OpenGEM Release 3 has been tested in
BETA form by several members of the FreeDOS community, and no errors have
been reported so far :)  In fact, testing has had some pretty positive
feedback.  To quote one tester:
"OpenGEM 3 Beta is way better than OpenGEM 2. It runs DOS games pretty well.
It never crashed while I used it, and I ran a few of the programs and they
seem to work fine. OpenGEM 2 had a handful of annoying problems, which are
fixed in OpenGEM 3. Woohoo! In essence, OpenGEM 2 kind of sucked, but
OpenGEM 3 is quite nice! Keep up the good work!"
Another user said:
"OpenGEM is running quite well, the record is 14 hours without crashing. and
that is just in 3 days."

The third generation of the OpenGEM GUI distribution features many advances
from the previous versions, not least a vastly improved memory overhead and
increased stability.  It is also almost one megabyte smaller than OpenGEM
2.2.0.  OpenGEM Release 3 is 8.7mb fully installed, as opposed to OpenGEM
2.2.0's 9.5mb.  Amazingly this is not at the cost of removing applications.
OpenGEM Release 3 features all the GEM applications people have become used
to, including word processing, web browsing, spreadsheet and DTP software.
The motto with this third generation release is to get rid of junk, cut out
unused options, and generally think "switch on and use" when it comes to the

I believe that OpenGEM is pretty much the number one 16bit GPL GUI, and I
hope to further consolidate this position with this new release.  No one
even comes close in the range of applications, development and reliability.
The good news is that OpenGEM Release 3 is designed to be much easier to
use, to update, and generally to maintain on your machine than ever before.
It is designed to be the most simple, most effective and most useful 16bit
GPL graphical user interface for DOS based computers.

OpenGEM Release 3 will be supported by myself and my website
( until at least December 2005.  I will continue
to support OpenGEM 2.2.0 and GEMini Release 2 until the same date.  If you
need support simply email me at [EMAIL PROTECTED]

In the meantime I am moving to Japan on the 24th of August!  My address (in
case anyone wants to drop by) is going to be
Shane Coughlan
#A-102 Sunlight Heights
667-1 Butsushozanchokou

On a final note, I see that FreeDOS is now ten years old.  Congratulations
all your FreeDOS people.  OpenGEM is three years old this year, and GEM
itself is actually having a bit of a special birthday.  DR GEM is twenty
years old (it was first released in 1984).  We should all have parties :P

Best regards


PS:  Jim said he'd place a note on the FreeDOS site about OpenGEM when he
gets back from vacation.  Lucky chap.

PPS:  I am aware that I announced I would not develop OpenGEM further last
May, but people just kept emailing me.  I gave in.  I just have to continue
the development of this software :P

PPPS:  In case you are curious about the software, but cannot be bothered to
go to the website, here is some information:

OpenGEM Release 3

- Get a graphical user interface that's good for you

As FreeDOS reaches version 1.0, the DOS world needs to have software that is
easy to install, easy to use, and easy to apply to individual problems.
OpenGEM qualifies for all three 'easies.'  It's a realistic contender for
being a base component on PCs that need a small and powerful graphical user
interface.  OpenGEM is not about fancy skins, colourful wallpaper, or 3D
gaming.  OpenGEM is about understanding that DOS users need some simple,
reliable applications to do their jobs, and they don't want rubbish to fill
their hard drives.  Perhaps we're biased, but we believe OpenGEM is by far
the best 16bit single tasking GPL GUI and application set that you can get
for DOS.

- Use a graphical user interface without a degree in rocket science

When you install OpenGEM (through its automatic install files!) you just go
to C:\ and type GEM.  That's it.  OpenGEM starts, and you get to play with
your graphical user interface right away.  What's more, OpenGEM works on
almost any IBM PC ever made.  As long as it has a 086 or above processor,
and 512kb of RAM, OpenGEM should start itself happily.  And the best part is
that OpenGEM looks and feels pretty much like any other 'windowing' system
out there.  This means you should be up and running in no time at all.

- Run applications without problems

GEM, FreeGEM and OpenGEM applications almost always run first time, every
time.  They are small, compact, and don't need endless updates just to
function.  In fact, the only thing that might hold some of them back is
limited conventional memory on some systems.  Good thing that OpenGEM
Release 3 uses significantly lower memory than previous versions!

- Change drivers without the hassle

You want to change a driver for your video card, your sound card or your
printer?  In the past this meant deleting and copying files from all over
the place.  Not with OpenGEM.  Simply type SETUP from C:\, and a menu will
appear showing you all the driver options for OpenGEM.  Select the one you
want and 'whoosh', it's installed.  It's as easy as that.

- Get help when you need it

OpenGEM includes documentation on most applications and functions in the
GEMAPPS\HELPZONE folder and sub-folders, and for those times when only a
real person will do...we have the network.  OpenGEM is supported by Shane
Land (, and you can always get help by emailing
us at [EMAIL PROTECTED]  GEM, FreeGEM and OpenGEM are also supported
through the GEM-DEV mailing list at

- Experience something with a pedigree

OpenGEM is based on FreeGEM components, which in turn are based directly on
the Digital Research GEM code that was released under the GPL license by
CALDERA (now LINEO Inc.) in 1999.  DR GEM was originally released in 1984.
When you use OpenGEM you are using tried and tested code based on a strong
foundation.  It's not just close to commercial level software.  Its heart is
a commercial design by one of the best software companies that worked on
DOS.  OpenGEM is software you can trust.

- Wow...that's really interesting...but I just want a file manager

Hey, we thought of you too!  OpenGEM is a big solution to a small problem if
what you need is a graphical file manager.  Not to worry though, as OpenGEM
has a little 'brother.'  GEMini is a minimal package of the core bits from
OpenGEM, and comes to just 400kb when installed. Yes, it's really that
small.  You want a boot disk with a graphical file manager (that features
drag and drop)?  No problem.  You want a baby file manager that zooms
through the hundreds of folders on your C: drive?  No sweat.  You can get
GEMini Release 2 from our download pages.

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