Dos makes sense for 8/16 bit computers that can't handle multitasking
very well. There are plenty of 8/16 bit computers around still, think
e-readers probably and other embedded devices that don't need the
higher functionality a 32/64 bit machine/multi core machine offers.
Dos was a quick and dirty operating system that was needed when personal
computers were far less powerful and something cheap was needed now.
Nowadays, except for special purpose/embedded devices, DOS doesn't make
much sense. As we move away from the original BIOS model, I hope dosbox
gets updated sufficiently. There is real time Linux, I don't know much
about it though.
About the time that Windows 95 came out, DOS lost official support.
Microsoft should have gone straight to NT, but Microsoft didn't.
Windows 9x is a nasty quasi dos/partial implementation of Win32.
It isn't DOS and it isn't NT. Unless your computer is a 16 bit
286 or older machine, Linux will run on it. A 386 won't run a
modern Linux distribution most likely and it definitely won't
run Firefox, but chances are good that it will run Freedos
directly or a pared down Linux system with dosbox. The 90's were
a sad period for diversity of general purpose computers and DOS as well.
The Tandy Color Computer III for example disappeared in the
early 90's and the Commodore seems to have gone away as well. The
DEC Alpha basically failed on the market about 1998 or so. Sun
Microsystems is no more and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that
Sun stations are no more. General purpose computer diversity has
diminished, but cell phones and tablets vary widely at least as far
as hardware and software. Hopefully, Microsoft's attempt to dominate
tablets won't lead to another period of Monopolization.
I blame the consumer for the Microsoft domination and the decline
of all of the competitors except Apple. Apple being 50% owned by
Microsoft isn't much of an alternative though.
As long as there are old computers, special purpose computers doing
real time work, and modern computers that can emulate older ones
Freedos should have a future. Freedos without Win32 though leaves
out a lot of software that has kinda fallen through the cracks as
some of this stuff doesn't even work in NT. I think ReactOS which
is based on NT is the better way to address that than adding a
Windows 9x compatible gui to Freedos.
I question the wisdom of maintaining Freedos long term. Sooner or
later, people will have to emulate for Freedos anyways which means
that they will have to deal with a modern operating system and modern
hardware. What will be needed going forward is capable software that
works on other systems. If you like Lotus 123 for example, you might
like LibreOffice or GNU cash. Syllable may take off and will likely
support software programs that are unique to it. Trying to address
the need for a system compatible to one that was popular in the past
is a difficult proposition, and there may be little interest if the
public as a whole is enamored with newer computers that can do more.
The wisest thing to do perhaps is to help projects like Syllable and
ReactOS and pressure legislators to crack down on Microsoft's strangle
hold on the software market. Freedos is in pretty good shape where
the developers can probably do more good by working on other systems
that are positioned to take better advantage of modern hardware.
On Wed, 2013-01-02 at 20:57 -0500, dmccunney wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM, Jim Lemon <j...@bitwrit.com.au> wrote:
> > If there was a Linux kernel in which the user could turn off everything that
> > isn't in DOS, that would be a way out.
> If you could turn off everything that *isn't* in DOS, you might have
> fun running the Linux kernel. You run DOS in an emulator on top of
> Linux because you can't *get* DOS to run native on that hardware.
> Drivers are needed that don't exist.
> What you probably want is a flavor of Linux modified for use in an
> RTOS, where a user process can preempt the kernel itself.
> But on modern hardware, "other time-critical programs that will carve
> out slices of CPU time" are likely a "Who cares?" issue. Commonly
> used hardware is orders of magnitude faster than the machines DOS was
> made to run on, and there are cases like games where you might
> specifically *want* to steal CPU slices, because otherwise your game
> runs *too* fast and is unplayable. .
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