On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM, Michael Robinson
<plu...@robinson-west.com> wrote:

>> Why are you assuming said DOS system will be accessed by multiple
>> strangers?  For things like FreeDOS, there will be a single user who
>> installs it in the first place and runs it after it is.  While it's
>> theoretically possible to set up DOS in a VM so that different users
>> have different DOS systems, t's far more bother than it's worth.
>> If I am setting up a kiosk, DOS is *not* what I'll use.

>    A kiosk is a multiple user system, but not necessarily a
> simultaneously multiple user system.  So DOS will work most likely.
> Chances are though, the DOS system files and tools themselves need to be
> on read only memory if there is any possibility of a person being at a
> command line and making a mistake or doing something malicious.  DOS

DR-DOS came about because Digital Research got requests from OEMs for
a ROMmable version of DOS for embedded applications.  You couldn't do
it with MS-DOS because it wasn't architected to allow the necessary
separation of code and data.  (Microsoft did eventually address that.)

> used in a kiosk breaks down if there is any persistent data tied to a
> particular person that needs to be saved on the kiosk, but often that
> isn't what you actually want.  A large ROM and a lot of ram placing data
> on a ram drive is an option.  Hit the reset button, the data is gone.
> Freedos in particular boots up quickly, so users can hit the reset
> button and the next person will be able to use the system shortly.
> Dos is simple compared to Linux, less to go wrong and troubleshoot.
> Dos supports some software that no other environment supports.
> Dos with local only area networking on a kiosk may be connected
> to a true multiuser multitasking OS so that individual user data
> can be saved securely.  A kiosk in essence should be just a terminal
> to a more advanced server.

> The advantage of a true single user fast booting OS is that you can hit
> the reset button and you won't damage it.

It's hard to damage most current OSes that way.  I used to have a
specialized telecommunications server in a computer room at one
employer that ran OS/2 Warp, on an HFS file system.  Have a problem
with it?  Power cycle.  It came back up fine *every* time, with the
problem that made me power cycle it gone.

I know if they still do, but the kiosks that print Amrak tickets at
Penn Station in NYC used to run OS/2.

> Don't hit the reset button on a Linux system, it may not boot again.

Haven't used Linux in a while?  That has *not* been my experience.  I
have *never* had a Linux system fail to boot after a reset.  I *have*
had *Unix* systems that needed file system *repair* after a reset or a
power outage, but current Linux filesystems are a lot more robust than
early Unix file systems were, and often journaling, so that resorting
to things like fsck is not required.  All the information to
successfully restore the last state is present and applied during the
boot process.

And file systems like Ext4 under Linux and NTFS under Windows are
*far* more robust than DOS FAT.  I've had problems under Windows that
required running CHKDSK.  Under DOS, that would result in a slew of
FILEXXXX.CHK files that might or might not be something salvageable,
and a system that would require fairly massive repair to make
operational once the file system was sane.  Under Linux, I've never
even needed to do fsck, and under Windows, CHKDSK matter of factly
corrected the file system, and put all the orphaned files back in the
proper directories under their correct names.  The only time it failed
to do so was when directory information happened to be on a bad block
and couldn't be recovered.  The *files* could, and recreating the
correct directory for them to live in was trivial.

If I have to set up a kiosk, I want a robust filesystem that survives
power outages and resets.  That's *not* FAT.  Boot time is *far* less
important than being robust when up and running, doing whatever the
kiosk does.  *That's* not DOS.

I repeat, if I need to set up a kiosk, DOS is *not* what I'll use.

Ridiculously easy VDI. With Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, you don't need a complex
infrastructure or vast IT resources to deliver seamless, secure access to
virtual desktops. With this all-in-one solution, easily deploy virtual 
desktops for less than the cost of PCs and save 60% on VDI infrastructure 
costs. Try it free! http://p.sf.net/sfu/Citrix-VDIinabox
Freedos-user mailing list

Reply via email to