Hi :-)

> "shrinking your eyes and fingers"

Actually the 10in eee-pc and a more recent "9in with
wider keyboard" seem to be quite okay, I read... :-)

> I am particularly interested in using the netbook as a data
> logger for an ascii text stream to the RS-232 serial com port.

I assume most netbooks have no real serial port any more.

> I could use Windows hyperterminal for this but
> I like the notion of using DOS.

Note that many netbooks are also available with Linux ;-)

> It's very clean and relatively easy to automate for a
> dedicated function, especially one involving text only.

If you log data in dos, it does not really matter whether
it is text or binary,  but it does matter that dos gives
you all the cpu unless you ask dos to do work for you :-).

I once used that for "real-time" data logging to RAM with
a 32-bit (DJGPP compiled) C program. As nothing else uses
much space, my program had many megabytes of space to pool
data and then write it to harddisk in experiment pauses.
In particular if you write to USB flash, either with BIOS
help or with DOS drivers, you should expect some latency.

> I assume that none of the netbooks would have a standard
> com port so I was thinking that I could use a USB-serial
> adapter to create a virtual com port. Does anyone know
> if there are any available DOS drivers for these adapters?

For PS/2 (keyboard, mouse) and now also for storage (flash
but also floppy/harddisk) the BIOS will "be your driver".
Only a few BIOSes support LPT or COM over USB,  I believe.

What you can do is use the dosusb driver by Georg Potthast
which also has some "serial over USB" support. The COM-USB
part is relatively new, so you could help testing it. The
driver comes in two parts: The USB stack and a small driver
which converts requests for a DOS character device into USB
requests to the stack. You can also buy the source code if
you want to fine-tune things yourself. The interface of the
stack is documented, so you can write new drivers which use
the USB stack as a black box which does the lowlevel work.

Note that the DOSUSB stack does not support IRQ or callbacks
yet, so the COM-USB module might be using (slower) polling.


>> Has anyone ever thought about installing (or has installed) FreeDOS
>> on any of the new Netbooks, such as the Asus Eee PC S101?

PS: This is a "slim 25mm, high price" variant of the EEE PC,
so maybe it is better to use a PC104 single board PC to save
even more space. With the S101, you pay for XP, 10in display
1.6 GHz CPU, 16 GB SSD, 16 GB SD and 1 GB RAM... but you can
already gather data in DOS each msec on a Pentium III or so.

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