Hi Michael,

> I like dos when I have an old computer and some old games that 
> work under dos.  Running Windows on a 486 is a pain in general.

True true. You kept a 486 because games are too fast otherwise?
I think a Pentium 3 or K6-2 is a good compromise: Fast enough
for newer OSes and mainboards have ISA (DOS sound!), PCI, AGP.

> As far as web browsing and dos, isn't dos susceptible to almost
> every single virus on the planet?  Another thing, some people 
> want to run dos thinking that it can't browse the Internet.

DOS is too old to support modern viruses, so unless you download
infected copies of old DOS software, risks are quite acceptable.
And of course you can use antivirus software for DOS...

> What I don't like about Arachne is that it doesn't have any 
> kind of filtering apparatus built in.  Internet Explorer does, 
> but it's too paranoid.

Try "adblock plus" and "noscript" for Firefox. That and the
nosquint (zoom), colorful tabs and download helper (youtube)
plugins are the ones I always recommend ;-). For Arachne you
have no such plugins, but it supports not much javascript in
the first place and you might be able to filter some ads by
using a "hosts" file to put banner servers on etc.

> Arachne tries to integrate email access assuming a pop
> account.  I use imap.

So basically you are happy with having email software but
unhappy with the missing imap support ;-).

> There is a desire in some cases to network dos, but what for?

If you have a 486 as mentioned above and somebody else is
already browsing the internet on your modern PC, it could
be fun to use the 486 as second internet PC... Unless you
use a Pentium 3 or so which you can dual-boot DOS / Linux.

> Well, some dos games can be played over a network.  Freedos
> can be upgraded over the Internet, though I'd rather build
> a local repository say on my Linux server and upgrade from
> that.

Or just download the zips from the fdupdate repository on any
operating system manually and then unzip them in DOS ;-)

> The most valuable update to freedos that I can think of is 
> one that makes it more compatible with MS-DOS.

But WHAT is not compatible with MS DOS yet? I mean apart from
the one known case, Windows 3 386enh-mode and Windows for Work-
groups... By the way, for that case, you can try the "winkern"
of FreeDOS 1.0 which has experimental support for WfW 3.11 etc.
Note that old Windows often has problems with new hardware...

> I want to go the Netware route because Netware without
> special IPX to IP gateway software isn't Internet compatible

You want to avoid internet compatibility??

> I'd like to see the MARS netware emulator brought
> over to freedos and revived.

Why not, say, Samba? There already is smbclient for DOS.

> of Freedos being to revive old computers that aren't
> powerful enough to run Windows or Linux and I see it's
> purpose as being to provide a simple OS for the embedded
> computing market.  Yes Freedos can be run in an emulator,
> but that isn't my favorite application of it.

It is indeed useful for embedded computing and when you
want a small OS which is not in the way while you want
to access your hardware directly. I also like running it
in dosemu or full emulators, for old games and testing.
As I only use one (modern, fast, energy-efficient) PC
normally, I do not typically revive ancient PCs ;-).

> Something that would be nice would be a modified dhcp
> client for freedos that through some reasonable trick 
> can accept a different configuration for a particular 
> machine than it would normally get.  I'm thinking, an 
> isolated network for freedos with an update repository 
> on that network would be nice.  The alternative...

I see no reason to isolate DOS. Only servers are at risk
regarding "bad internet trying to infect your PC" and in
DOS, you do not have any server running in the background.
That said, I wonder how safe Sioux / EzNos DOS servers are.
(And you can also tweak dhcp SERVERS, instead of clients)

> Freedos needs to be as clean as possible and as stable
> as possible.  Small is good, there should be a very small
> footprint base install.  Cross dependencies where freedos
> has so called super packages that are meant to do everything
> should be broken purposely.  Small utilities with very
> specific purposes are better than monstrous ones that
> try to do everything in a very constraining manner.

BASE already fits on 2-3 diskettes depending on how much of
the docs you want to include. Most dependencies in FULL are
only things like "needs internet" or "needs cwsdpmi". List:

(note: FdInstall already is in our new wiki but not FdDependencies)

> One request for freedos is a nice Gem based backup program
> that can back the system up in part or in entirety to
> anything from a network share to a local DVD burner or
> hard disk.  I'm thinking a modern and free program
> with a MyBackup like environment.

While it is not GEM, what do you think about:
cdd c:\ and then...

- xcopy /e /s c:\ x:\ (where X: is your USB stick or similar)
- zip -r x:\everyth.zip c:\ (same idea as above but compressed)
- use doscdroast GUI or mkisofs/cdrecord (iso9660 CD or DVD)


PS: For GEM ideas, please contact Shane on the Shaneland GEM page.

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