On 7/5/11, Chris D <chri...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> I don't "need" FreeDOS on that machine, full install or otherwise.  All
> I wanted to do was take a look at FreeDOS to find out what it can do.

I know, I mean, I figured that much. I just meant, "What apps do you
want to run?" (The full FD 1.0 is quite huge for my tastes. In fact,
I've never installed it except in tiny pieces manually. Also because
it was fairly outdated when I stumbled upon it, but I'm picky, heh.)

> What I found was that the boot floppy created is incomplete and that
> therefore the installation doesn't work.  I got around that with help
> from this group but found that this did not install a boot menu to allow
> me to carry on using the existing PC-DOS, contrary to the Install wiki
> which says:

FD 1.0 has some quirks and bugs, yes. I think it's laudable to make
installers, but often they're more trouble than they're worth. A good
document explaining (or better, somebody who's "been there, done
that") is worth much more. (No offense to Jim's recent efforts.)

> "If you install to a C: drive which already has another DOS or Windows
> 95/98 on it, the installer will often be able to automatically install a
> boot menu and keep FreeDOS configuration separate from the config and
> autoexec of the other DOS or Windows."
> Okay, it says "will often be able to" but in my case it didn't.  There
> is probably a way to get it to work but at this point I concluded that
> it's just not worth the effort.

Story of my life, things never "just work" like they claim to.

Anyways, here's the dual boot solution(s) ...

1). Metakern


2). BootMGR


Both are pretty easy to use.

(Actually here might?? be a good place to again suggest my "slightly
outdated" [2008] mini distro, three floppies, esp. since it has both
of these and more stuff. Kinda old [which I hate!!] but better than
nothing, and I can assist you if you have any problems.)


> What I will do is to start again from scratch, set up a dual boot of
> PC-DOS and MS-DOS, and install Windows For Workgroups (for networking)
> and DesqView (because I love it).  I prefer PC-DOS but it doesn't seem
> to like QEMM which is required for DesqView; hence the need for MS-DOS.

I have no idea (and highly doubt) WfW or DV work in FreeDOS, though,
so caveat emptor. But otherwise FreeDOS works really well !!

EDIT: Oh, if you're restarting from scratch (reformatting), **MAKE
SURE** that you instead make two FAT16 partitions of 500 MB instead of
one big 1 GB one. It will save you cluster space in the end (though
maybe you'd prefer one big one for simplicity, but I wouldn't
recommend it). Actually, there are newer PC-DOS versions (IBM Server
Toolkit?) with FAT32 support, but I assume you're not using that here.
(FreeDOS supports FAT32, but most others don't, e.g. DR-DOS 7.03 or
MS-DOS 6.22.)

> This machine was built in about 1995 and originally came with Windows
> 95.  I was given it in about 2000, immediately replaced Win 95 with DOS
> and have been using it frequently ever since.  I have several more
> powerful computers, including another laptop, but I like this one and
> find it useful so I'll continue running it until it dies.

Sounds perfectly reasonable!   :-)

> Here are the specs:
> Toshiba T1950CT
> CPU: 486 DX2

Good, FPU helps a lot.

> RAM: The maximum possible, a massive 20 Mb

Should be plenty for anyone.   ;-)

> Graphics: VGA, VL-bus

Good standard minimum.

> Sound card: None

No huge loss unless you're a music fiend.

> CD: None.  Hence the problem

No huge loss.

> Mouse: A tracker ball which clips on the side and works with any
> standard Microsoft mouse driver.  Personally I hardly ever use mice on
> this machine and avoid them elsewhere.

Ditto, mouse isn't killer for me, personally.

> It also has a PCMCIA slot in which I have a network card.

Wow. I must say I'm always impressed when people get networking
working. For me it's always "not-working".   ;-)

> The original
> hard drive was 200 Mb but I put a 1 Gb drive in, running OnTrack Disk
> Manager to overcome the BIOS restriction.

Plenty of space for playing around.

> I use it for writing (WordPerfect), spreadsheets (Quattro Pro) and so
> on, as well as programming in C and Clipper.  The battery life is good
> enough for me to take it out to the cafe, I like the keyboard and the
> whole machine feels solid and reliable.  I'm very fond of it.

Sounds good.

BTW, C / Clipper? Does that mean TopSpeed / JPI? There was a guy
around online recently (Pemberton) looking for that to use with some
translator for some old PDA of his. Heh, maybe I shouldn't mention it,
I don't know if you want to be bothered compiling little trinkets for
him.   ;-)

> Because it's my DOS computer it was the natural choice to try out
> FreeDOS.  I also have FreeDOS on other computers, including under dosemu
> in Linux, but those are all multi-boot machines and DOS never seems to
> get used as much as the other operating systems.

DOSEMU has some minor issues, esp. installing, but otherwise is pretty
good. (But so is DOSBox.) I find DOSEMU best for compiling stuff
(LFNs) but DOSBox good for anything multimedia (e.g. games).

> What I've also learned from this experiment is that the users are
> helpful, knowledgeable and friendly, so I'm not entirely giving up on
> FreeDOS!

(cue 80's music) Never give up, never surrender, never say die!

All of the data generated in your IT infrastructure is seriously valuable.
Why? It contains a definitive record of application performance, security 
threats, fraudulent activity, and more. Splunk takes this data and makes 
sense of it. IT sense. And common sense.
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