Thanks for the info. I forgot about the freecom XMS swap thing, i'll look into that first. The reason i mentioned the keyboard is that when i first tried to fire up the computer (i just bought it yesterday) i got a keyboard error:100 Luckily i have a vast collection of old PC parts, including a vintage IBM PC keyboard - this one worked. The modern ones, i forget what they are called, started sending characters to the screen without me pressing any keys. When i tried to run TED on another 8088, the same phenomenon occured with a working keyboard. I hope that makes sense! So i guessed that it was caused by a keyboard incompatibility. Maybe these fullscreen DOS text editors only work with the modern kbd hardware?

As for old hard drives, you would be surprised! I have about a dozen HD's ranging from 30 - 500MB, all working fine, although i haven't scaned them aggresively for bad sectors or anything. I have successfully installed FreeDOS on all my old PC's (all 7) ranging from 8088 - 486DX/2 except my Tandy 1000 (circa 1984) because it only has 128kb RAM and no HD (running DOS 2.11) but it's still working great!. The Tandy 1000 is the equivalent of a IBM PC jr. I read that all the memory is actually video memory, so it's as slow as they come. Although IMO the 8088's 8-bit data bus probably is no faster than the RAM anyway.

I love the FreeDOS project and i want to contribute to it. Although i am a programmer still in training, not skilled enough to contribute code YET - but would be happy to do any hardware testing for the project.

You asked what i plan to do with my XT? I use it to mainly test code that I write using Turbo C, Arrow ASM and NASM. I always try to optimize my code to the max, and the 8088 is the perfect test to reveal code efficiency.

Thanks again for the advice!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Auer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 8:49 PM
Subject: [Freedos-user] Re: text editor's and mem command

Hi, I assume that your problem is because the used editors either use too much RAM or because they are optimized for 286 or 386 CPU... You should try EDIT 0.7b ( as an alternative branch, maybe EDIT 0.82 is optimized for 286 CPU? However, even TED3 crashes, which is strange.

You should also try a "non XMS swapping" FreeCOM shell
version: The normal command com will keep a lot of data
in XMS, and if there is no XMS, it will use a lot of RAM.
The "non XMS swapping" version does not use XMS. Instead,
it has the "call /s program options" command, which can
be used if "program options" does not work because not
enough RAM is free. The call /s command makes FreeCOM
"hibernate" while your program is running, so you get more
free RAM for your program.

For MEM, please try version 1.7 beta... In
both cases, I assume you can find the files with google
or from the software list.
has the newest stable (non-devel) FreeCOM versions. The
binary zip is for you, the xmsswap zip is for users with
XMS, the other zips are special versions, toolkits, source. has the newest devel and CVS stable
kernels (potentially daily updates), use the stable one.
As your harddisk is small, use the non-FAT32 kernel to save
a bit of RAM. has many versions
of kernels and (only XMS swapping ones, sorry) shells. Try
for example kwc8616 zip or ktc8616 zip. might be interesting, too.

Brand:  Laser Turbo XT (circa 1987)
CPU:    4.77Mhz 8088
RAM:   640kb
Video:   VGA

(with 5.25" diskette drives and 30 MB slow harddisk, actually surprising that the disk still works. Most disks below 1 GB size have fallen apart to dust by now :-| or gotten unreliable)

Let us know if you find other programs in the distro (the ODIN
one diskette one, for example) which fail to work on your PC
even though they are supposed to work without EMS / XMS. Do
not try defrag, will be too slow without XMS and unneeded stress
for your old harddisk.

If programs are VERY slow on your PC, let us know, too.
I mean slower than you would expect for a DOS program on 1987 PC.

By the way, what are you planning to do with that PC XT?
Interesting that such machines are still alive :-).


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