Windows 3.11 and Windows 9x seem to be the closest thing to a 32 bit DOS
environment that I know of. I agree that creating a "32 bit dos" would
be awkward. Heck, 20 bit memory addressing is awkward, isn't it?
If you need to run dos games or want to run a Wordprocessor like
Wordperfect on an old computer that can't run Linux, Freedos 1.1
debugged makes a lot of sense. As far as 32 bit Dos or a Windows
95/98/98SE/Me clone, I guess that is too much work and that it really
doesn't make sense.
Actually, I wish someone would release a Windows 3.1 driver that can
get my ATI Rage 128, XPERT 2000, card to output 256 colors. For that
matter, how hard would it be to make a Windows like graphical user
interface that can run Windows 3.1 software?
What might make sense is being able to dedicate one core in a multi core
64 bit computer to running freedos via say a hypervisor. A hypervisor
is a simplified OS where it's sole purpose to exist is to create a
virtual hardware environment for other OS'es.
Dosbox seems to run on any modern computer at this point. Syllable is
very interesting from the standpoint of being simple, but the project
needs more help.
I think the number one source of complexity today in operating systems
is that companies which produce computer hardware are Microsoft Windows
NT centric. In other words, they develop for a proprietary OS and keep
their mouths shut about how their product is actually laid out. Linux
gets a bad rap because many modern graphics cards don't work 100%,
especially AMD video cards. If there was enough competition like there
used to be and people were more aggressive about using open source OSes,
companies wouldn't be able to survive keeping their mouths shut and
focusing on NT only. AMD and NVIDIA do release Linux drivers, but they
are always deficient which I think is on purpose.
If you want to be able to run Windows software, help the ReactOS people.
ReactOS has a long ways to go where I think significantly more help
would improve the outlook of people who have been working on the project
a long time and overall increase productivity. Testing ReactOS is
helping. Say you reverse engineer a piece of modern ATI/AMD hardware
that a lot of people have which doesn't even work well in Linux.
Something I've been mulling over is putting together a company that only
produces standards compliant computer hardware where the standards are
open ones that are readily available to everyone. It would be a big
jump though to go from a B.S. in computer science to a company producing
computer hardware that is both cutting edge and OSS compatible. What
would the business model for such a company be?
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