At 12:39 AM 10/11/2005 +0200, Bernd Blaauw wrote:

Again a nice theoretic discussion :) Anyway, are FreeDOS related programs and drivers also ment to be used on MSDOS or not as partial replacement?

The drivers could be used on MS-DOS freely, it is only the control programs which would extend FreeDOS. So nothing would break MS-DOS, MS-DOS just couldn't do everything FreeDOS does. A happy state of affairs for FreeDOS, actually.

However, a lot of the associated 386-level griping may now be bypassed. After three days of on-and-off hacking on it, I built a mutant UPX 1.25 to compress EMM386.EXE and HIMEM.EXE to work both as a device driver and as a stand-alone EXE file. As almost always is the case, the actual changes were small, figuring them out was the hard part.

Using the custom mutated UPX will eliminate SY3PACK closed-source issues, including the 80186-level requirements for the [de]compressor (I think that's the SY3PACK minimum CPU opcode req).

What will make you sad is that SY3PACK compression actually beats UPX by a few hundred bytes on each of HIMEM and EMM386 files, but file growth is what you'll have to live with to keep the masses happy. SY3PACK winning may be due to the UPX rebuildable open source using the less efficient UCL compression library than the optimal UPX build which uses the closed-source NRV big-brother version. I can't do anything about that, either.

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