Ok, I didn`t really wanted to hijack this topic so I use another topic 
for this interesting discussion.

What are the reason why someone would use DOS?
- just some of my first thoughts, perhaps what I planed to do
- classic DOS games
- legacy applications
- nostalgia
- interesting for programmers
- easy hardware access
- very lightweight, starts very fast
- special purpose (backup, scan virus...)

Eric Auer wrote:
>> It`s quite problematic to run FreeDOS on modern hardware.
>> (lack hardware and driver support)
> I disagree... For example somebody recently asked me how
> he could remove a preinstalled FreeDOS from his PC, as he
> wanted to install Windows. It turned out that his SATA
> harddisk was supported by BIOS (and DOS) but not by the
> default install of Windows, so he had to use some driver
> disk to be able to install Windows on that computer.

Never encountered this problem. But seams in this case you are forces to 
mess with vista, xp might be a bit to outdated to get this working out 
of the box.

> Keyboard, mouse and harddisk are almost always DOS compatible.
> If you can boot from it, it is DOS compatible. And USB mouse
> and keyboard are often supported via some "legacy" BIOS option
> which makes them look like PS2 mouse and keyboard for DOS.

Some BIOS are stupid like mine. It has really no legacy emulation, 
neither keyboard/mouse nor soundblaster. Blame legacy BIOS, I hope for a 
good replacement (EFI) will full legacy support. The lucky thing is: I 
still had adapters.

If this is not the case, then FreeDOS isn`t a good choice. That`s why I 
meant with problematic.

> Next aspects are graphics and network: Graphics almost always
> supports VGA or even VESA VBE BIOS functions, and often has
> hardware VGA compatibility, so DOS text mode and DOS games
> should work just fine. Sometimes new functions take too much
> space and old functions are dropped: A typical aspect is the
> 8x14 EGA font. Luckily you can load a TSR which contains such
> a font, so EGA games will work even if your BIOS has no 8x14.

My graphic card (Nvida Geforce FX) has VGA and VESA. There are not DOS 
drivers from Nvida. Neither univbe nor freevbe are working.

If I do some stress test like scitech display doctor it will crash. Also 
the benchmark is very slow (only 5-15 frames per second).

The web browser arachne runs with 1024*768 with 2 MB VESA very slow.

When I start some classic game like [1] the graphic is pretty messed up.
[1] http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/574/International+Karate.html

Other games also look messed up. Some games are working (perhaps the 
better programmed ones) well.

Also other strange behavior. The system hangs or applications crash 
randomly. I am not sure if this is only related to the graphic board or 

But if I look on google I find that most people recommend dosbox or 
dosemu for legacy applications. Very much don`t recommend to mess with 
DOS on new hardware. DOS compatible hardware is recommend.

Not much success storys about running on hardware like P3. I try it 
anyway. :)

> Network can be more tricky. Either you get a network card with
> a classic chip, like Realtek rtl8139, and use a DOS packet
> driver from crynwr or similar sources for that. Or you check
> if there is an ODI or NDIS driver for your network card and
> then you use a wrapper from ODI/NDIS to packet. You should
> find HOWTOs about this online. Even my current nForce board
> uses a GBit LAN chip for which official nVidia ODI/NDIS DOS
> drivers exist. I believe this is because GHOST with network
> drives is still a popular DOS app and this somehow likes the
> "network drive" related ODI/NDIS drivers?

Can`t comment on this yet.

> The CPU and RAM of a modern PC are still trivially supported
> by DOS. Of course my dual core AMD Athlon64EE (energy efficient,
> now also available as BE which uses even less energy) is quite
> under-used in DOS: there are no 64bit calculations in DOS, you
> cannot use more than 4 GB RAM in DOS, and you can only use one
> of the cores. But still DOS is happy to run on this hardware.

>> In the long run emulation will be the way to keep DOS alive.
> I only agree for one aspect: an emulated soundblaster so old
> DOS games can play sound while you really have AC97 or HDA :-).

Yes, sound is one of the biggest issues currently. My AC97 is not even 
detected in quickview.

What a shame, it was a nice imagination not to boot a full windows just 
to watch some media.

> There were some discussions about this on the BTTR forum recently:
> you could use AC97 drivers from MPXPLAY (a DOS media player) or
> from Linux Alsa-Project and the emulated soundblaster of DOSEMU
> (or Bochs, Qemu, similar...) to create a DOS "driver" which uses
> virtualization functions from, for example JEMM386 to trap all
> access from games to soundblaster, simulate a soundblaster, get
> all the audio data, and play it using the real AC97 hardware.

 > (this also discusses whether there can be a bounty - we can collect
 > some funds to motivate volunteers to write a JLM sound driver module)

Yes, I did read the whole thread. Interesting. But doesn`t seam like 
something is really happening at this time. :|

> A similar project already exists from somebody in Russia:
>> Virtual Sound Blaster is here:
>>> zap.eltrast.ru/en/dldos.html
>> VSB sources are here, Assembly:
>>> cs.ozerki.net/zap/pub/vsb/
> (found by Spiro, thanks :-))

Also interesting one. Not sb2.0 but might be still useful for someone. 
To bad this only works if you have already *any* recognized soundcard. 
In my case, this isn`t the case.

Michael Reichenbach

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