>> ... Japheth likely inherited [the "bugs" I listed] from his
>> predecessors.   So, FD-EMM386 (A) cannot handle a VCPI switch,
>> (B) has DMA-buffer address problems, (C) has VDS function-call
>> problems and (D) has EMS-page problems!!   Are those enough
>> examples for you??!!
> Tom Ehlert and Michael Devore implemented plenty of things in
> FD-EMM386, there's plenty of stuff to be thankful for.   I'm
> just glad Japheth saw the opportunity to improve things even
> more.

In creating JEMM386, Japheth did not merely improve things!   He
made FD-EMM386 RUN PROPERLY!   I am not faulting the work of his
predecessors, I say only that they "stopped too soon" in writing
FD-EMM386.   But, so did Gates & Co. "stop too soon" with EMM386
and left it an even WORSE "mess" in my opinion, when they flatly
"abandoned" MS-DOS in 1995!

> Also your drivers work pretty well.

Thank you!

> Just for the record, Japheth also has a slightly improved version
> of HIMEM up, renamed HIMEMX.   I don't know if that is enough for
> people or if XMGR is a definitive improvement, making HIMEMX (and
> HIMEM) completely redundant.

HIMEMX and XMGR both improve on the "old" 30K MS-DOS HIMEM which is
overloaded with obsolete "A20" code for now-defunct PCs.    Japheth
and I have some differences, but I have used HIMEMX and think it is
quite equal to XMGR.   XMGR does have direct support for UMBPCI, as
I note in the README for my drivers, so I have retained XMGR as the
real-mode solution for those who do not need a full "EMM" driver.

> ... What I see happening on real machine is XMS driver loaded,
> then some HMA message, then a hang before shell is executed ...

If this applies to XMGR, send me a private E-Mail, and I will try to
help resolve this.   Should NOT happen!

>> Then why, Eric, does FreeDOS have JEMM/HIMEMX in its "Base Software"
>> list??   Your comment disparages the very system you support!!
> As you said lots of software is buggy, I think Japheth's drivers
> should be considered default, likely with XMGR replacing HIMEMX
> though.   For 286 platforms, FDXMS286 (predating HIMEM) is still
> the only option to my knowledge.

As I note above, XMGR v.s. HIMEMX is an "even call", so you can
likely keep FreeDOS as-is and go on using HIMEMX as "standard".
No knowledge of FDXMS286, as I have never used an 80286 system.

> JEMM was made more compatible to MS EMM386 indeed, altered from
> previous default FreeDOS behaviour.   That's not a bad thing.

Don't tell ME, Sir, since I use and recommend JEMM386!   Tell all
those who "put DOWN" JEMM386, for a lot of often-INVALID reasons!

>> ... Why not recommend that users who create "boot" diskettes DO
>> NOT include any "EMM" driver in such "boot" activities?? ...
> Boot configurations without at least an XMS driver can be quite
> troublesome as they consume lots and lots of DOS low-memory ...

I did NOT say "No XMS driver", I said "No 'EMM' driver", i.e. no
JEMMEX/JEMM386/EMM386/QEMM/386MAX/etc.!!   I agree that the lack
of an HMA for the DOS kernel would use all 640K low-memory, in a
"hurry"!   XMS drivers are less complex and thus more "reliable"
on unknown systems than "EMM" drivers often prove to be!

> 4DOS is a bit better with this ...

Like many "one size fits all" programs, starting with the original
IBM/360 "full OS" in the 1960s, ANY program that tries to "Satisfy
everybody" will end-up "Satisfying NOBODY"!   I finally gave-up on
4DOS because it became simply too BLOATED in size to be useful any
more, and I no-longer recommend it!

>> You are BADLY misinformed!   Make a copy of Lucho's old "boot"
>> diskette (from the COMBOOTF.EXE file on Johnson Lam's website)
>> and "boot" from it using Lucho's "Option 5", which is FreeDOS.
>> Would you care to GUESS the first message XMGR will give you??
>> Something like "NOTE:  A20 line found on!", maybe??!! ...
> Ah I found this message on my real hardware as well.   Not sure
> if that was only inside MEMDISK, or also if loading FreeDOS
> directly from USB flash disk.   It's worth trying with MSDOS
> indeed ...

I "guarantee" you will NOT get XMGR's message with V7.10 nor with
V6.22 MS-DOS, as I have tested both for years and use V6.22 every
day.   And, as Lucho's "boot" diskette does NOT have a "MEMDISK",
I can ALSO guarantee that XMGR's message IS coming from FreeDOS!!

>>> In short, I would be happy about a "force-on" "A20 method".
>> Glad to hear that, since your own FreeDOS is already DOING so!
> I'm wondering about what JEMMEX does different, as it does work
> for me, while others find it trashing their system and/or data.

Not "my department" -- Ask Japheth.

>> ... Such [BIOS "A20"] calls were defined by Gates & "Flunkeys"
>> about 20 years ago!
> Never underestimate BIOS writers for their spaghetti code ...

I do NOT "underestimate" them, I rather call them the BLOODY FOOLS
they DESERVE to be called!   Starting with Gates & Co., who SHOULD
have made CD/DVD logic go directly into the BIOS instead of making
a separate "MSCDEX" with its pack of [lousy!] add-on drivers, back
about 1988!!   Imagine how much farther-along PC systems might be,
if many "All we want is MONEY!" decisions [i.e. "cheap" solutions]
HAD NOT been made, and just-a-bit more THOUGHT had been applied!!

>> The kernel already IS doing part of the work!   Try ALL of the
>> options on Lucho's "boot" diskette"!   You will find that only
>> MS-DOS and PC-DOS are not hard-enabling "A20" when they load ...
> So some drivers can't cope with buggy BIOS/kernels with regard
> to A20 (and E820) ?

I did NOT say that, either -- I only replied to Eric's suggestion
about the kernel handling "A20" by saying most of them already DO
handle it!   Perhaps "mistakenly", since there ARE still programs
which will "not like" kernels that hard-enable "A20", as I noted!
One of the reasons why I choose to REMAIN with V6.22 MS-DOS, even
despite my many-other thoughts about Gates & "Flunkeys" -- He and
all his F's in fact DO handle "A20" as their XMS specs recommend!

Jack R. Ellis

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