On Jan 9, 2013 11:06 AM, "dmccunney" <dennis.mccun...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I thought WinME removed the real mode bootup, hence lower compatibility?
> I'm
> pretty sure there was still DOS underneath like in ME.  Removing the
> real mode loader didn't occur till NT.

I don't know the details, they just somehow made it slightly worse for
faster bootup (or so I thought).

> The question is what DOS actually did under it.  Memory
> and process management would all be on the Win side.  DOS might get
> involved in file system access, but I'm not sure I see why.  The same
> sort of thing could be done native from Windows instead of passed
> through DOS.

For whatever reason, probably legacy, it was heavily reliant upon DOS
stuff, even if a big chunk was rewritten. I don't think it was as separated
as implied.

> > Besides, you could still use more (kinda sorta) via EMS. It was many
> > years before extended RAM was cheap and common enough for software to
> > be useful over 1 MB.
> EMS used a 64KB page frame located in the block between 640K and 1MB,
> and paged memory above 1MB into it for use.

I vaguely thought EMS 4.0 didn't need a page frame? (Where's Eric to
explain all this when you need him? Heh,)

> I also had a freeware utility that could grab up to 96K of unused
> video memory above 540K and map that to DOS.  I had 64K available,
> because I used a Hercules card, so DOS booting thinking I had 704K.

I think some people (rarely) use unused VGA RAM for extra conv. memory with
cmdline apps. Though these days it's uncommon to see a huge need (esp.
since lots of stuff is 32-bit pmode only, whether necessary or not).

> On my desktop, I have 4GB RAM, but XP can only use about 3.2MB of it.
> I found a freeware RAMdisk driver that can use the RAM XP can't see,
> and have a 763MB RAMdisk seen as Z:, with a compressed NTFS file
> system.  I do things like run Firefox from it.

Very clever. I never found a reliable RAM disk for Windows. Everything I
ever saw sounded buggy, at best. Not sure why it didn't come standard (and
the old SDK example doesn't count).

> >> You can still get OS/2 from an outfit called eComstation:
> >> http://www.ecomstation.com/product_info.phtml
> >
> > Yes, it sells a 5-pack of licenses for [EDIT] $149 USD or such. Not
> > sure how well the DOS support still works, but I think it claims to
> > have semi-recent Firefox, OpenOffice, Java, etc. Though I would be
> > skeptical that it wouldn't boot properly, honestly, but hopefully
> > they've fixed most of that in their [EDIT] 2.1 release.
> I don't see why DOS support shouldn't still work.

Me either, but some people are busy, lazy, dumb, indifferent, etc. (cough,
NTVDM, cough).

> The Firefox port is
> third-party - Mozilla officially supports Windows, OS/X and Linux -
> but the underlying code was designed to be portable.  For that matter,
> I believe there are still people doing VMS ports.

I don't think "portable" is the right word here. All modern software, for
whatever trendy (but insane) reason refuses to play nice outside of their
own niche. Usually that means (at best) the big three, even if sometimes
they (falsely) hide behind standards (e.g. POSIX). They can't even reliably
stick to anything, it's always a constant upgrade, very frustrating.
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