On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM, Karen Lewellen
> the answer is no then, thanks.
Beware of simple answers. They may be right most of the time, but
there are often workarounds and dark corners.
> As I said in my reply to John, Eleni wants to leave windows behind for a
> variety of reasons.
In this day and age, that's very difficult. Unless you're an amateur
sysadmin or have such tech support nearby, it's very hard to do
anything outside of the generic end-user (consumer) mindset.
Windows is everywhere. While it's not my favorite, it's quite popular,
so finding solutions to problems is much easier. To a lesser extent,
Mac OS X and Linux are popular too (but mostly among multimedia or
tech savvy people, respectively). But getting peripherals (modems,
routers, printers) to work in a non-Windows PC is (often) a pain, if
not (sometimes) impossible.
> She will have to decide what is more important for her,
> multitasking, as indeed Dr dos 7.03 includes as a part of its structure,
> or a large hard drive, which cannot be achieved with it.
You can dual boot, either two DOSes (on two separate partitions:
FAT16, FAT32) or DOS compatibles (OS/2, Windows) or
Linux+DOSEMU+DOSBox or whatever. It isn't just "either or" here.
> Personally I have no problem doing multitasking in dos as I define it at
> least. I can say run my word processor and go on the Internet at the same
> time without issue.
Most common DOSes do not support multitasking very well, at least not
for 100% of all apps like Linux and Windows (etc.) do. Even DR-DOS
7.03 has some annoying bugs (DR-EMM386 always loaded) and limitations
(64 MB max per task). Nothing is perfect.
You could also look into RDOS or SanOS (cmdline Win32 console-only
clone), but I'm very skeptical.
> Having never personally used windows, and having made sure over the
> years that my computers were custom built to manage the things I desire in
> dos, more than that has never been needful for me.
> thanks for the no answer on freedos and multitasking though.
FreeDOS does "mostly" (?) support "standard" (286) mode in Win 3.1.
That's not really multitasking, just task swapping, IIRC. (That is due
to obscure bugs, lack of interest, the proprietary nature of Windows,
and its old age.) No idea if DOSSHELL or DR's TASKMGR would work in
FreeDOS, maybe (with the right drivers, e.g. DR-EMM386). It shouldn't
care about FAT32 (and I don't know why it would).
Dunno about Desqview or Desqview/X in FreeDOS, maybe the latter needs
QEMM386, dunno if that works. You could try, though, if desperate.
DR-DOS has better Win 3.1 support, but no other DOS besides MS-DOS 7
will work with Win9x. With OS/2, you can allegedly run various DOSes
in their "(M)DOS box", but I don't know if that would be acceptable or
not (even eCS 2.0, latest version last I checked).
Linux+DOSEMU is fairly good for common things, but even that requires
a fairly bulky Linux install. Or at least nobody seems to have slimmed
it down, so your best bet for minimal would maybe? be Debian (no X11).
So, basically, multitasking means using a DOS subsystem atop another
host OS. You could maybe even try a slim hypervisor (or minimal Linux
distro with VirtualBox bundled, though I forget its name) and boot DOS
from there (VT-X heavily preferred!) or QEMU or similar. (DOSBox is
only for games, so I don't recommend that.)
P.S. Your friend would have to be very savvy to "program" multitasking
atop DOS, e.g. usually that means coroutines or cooperative
multitasking. Various solutions for those kinds of things exist for
DOS, but that is somewhat unpopular (though better than nothing!), so
that could be useful, in theory. But that's more for programmers (and
those who want "lean and mean") than end users.
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