Hi Bernd,

and 1.0 Preview series should start in Januari 2006.

No point rushing it:)

If we only would have to consider the same goals as Microsoft's DOS 5.00, then we're at 99% currently.

Surely it's way ahead of any real-mode o/s Microsoft has ever written? I'm already using it (with the help of umbpci) to build production servers with the latest hardware. MS-DOS 5 and 6 are unusable on these boxes. MS-DOS FDISK isn't scriptable, and can't cope with huge hard drives, and EMM386 can't cope with SCSI and bootable USB devices properly. Nor can they manage the memory required for networking and NTFS drivers. FreeDOS runs all this like a dream without even switching to prot-mode.

When I go out to corporates now, I just take one CD with me - FreeDOS.

It's the added features,
like uninstallation, dualboot scenarios with other operating systems,

I don't really understand the interest in this. Why would anyone want to "install" it? I mean we all have CD-ROM and bootable memory sticks these days. Why not just release a bunch of files and let people write their own installers. It's a ten minute job. The convoluted SYSLINUX installer and crazy FDCONFIG.SYS menus just cause confusion. All you need is a boot sector, a kernel and a few pure-text config files. Some guys will create ready-rolled ISOs and that's fine, but I don't see why it needs to be part of the core o/s.

being able to run Windows3.xx and installing Windows from
FreeDOS that are taking some effort.

Why anyone would run Windows 3.x I don't understand, but installing Windows from FreeDOS is a snap. I have 48 client PCs and 4 production servers all running Windows 2000 which were installed "hands-free" by FreeDOS. You can even use LBACACHE during the file copy phase and you get bags of memory. Way superior to Microsoft DOS.

Although I think Microsoft are trying to make it so you can't install Windows from real-mode anymore. They are trying to push people towards WinPE which is only available to rich corporations. You can still do Windows Server 2003 from FreeDOS, but I don't know about Vista and beyond...

> Other concerns are 8086
compatibility and FAT32 support, as well as being able to compile
FreeDOS components with opensource (or at least freely available) compilers.

For me, the bigger issue would be native NTFS, UDF and NFS support, although I understand these are not really "DOS" as such. I mean how many FAT32 drives do you see these days? Not many, although I guess USB removables are causing a major FAT comeback!

One thing that crosses my mind a lot is "Should I be using Linux for boot environments instead of FreeDOS?". I don't know the answer, but I imagine Linux will cope with very modern hardware such as x64 and protected execution, serial SCSI, USB and so on, but right now FreeDOS does everything I need.

Gerry Hickman (London UK)

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