On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It seems that other recent OSes also come as emulator images.
> In particular, I'm thinking of ReactOS 0.3.17. So it's obviously not
> that unpopular an idea. It certainly makes it easier to test things
> out.
> https://reactos.org/node/911
> BTW, half the reason of mentioning this here is this:  "A major new
> feature for this [ReactOS] release is the inclusion of NTVDM, which
> provides support for a wide range of 16bit applications, a long
> requested feature by the community. NTVDM is still undergoing work but
> we felt that it was ready enough to provide a sneak peak to the wider
> community."

It seems the VirtualBox download (125 MB .ZIP) comes as a microscopic
.vbox meta file and the main .vdi is roughly 300 MB. Yet it must be
some kind of dynamically-sized image as VBox itself seems to indicate
it's 40 GB.

I hope I didn't get anyone's hopes up too high. Obviously its NTVDM is
not quite ready for prime time. A lot of stuff, e.g. 32-bit extended
pmode (DJGPP), doesn't work at all. In fact, only very very simple
stuff works (e.g. PSR Invaders), and it's still very buggy. Presumably
this will improve in later releases.

Overall, ReactOS itself is fairly good but not totally stable, it will
still crash or hang on some parts. It's still considered "alpha", but
the Win32 API support seems much better than I expected. That part is
fairly reliable, at least for some reasonably complicated programs
(see Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel). I don't expect 100% (or
even 50%) compatibility for all Windows tech, but it's quite
impressive that they've accomplished this much. However, once again,
it's clearly not really ready to be a full-time Windows replacement,
so don't get your hopes up so high that you mistakenly erase all your
old Windows installs just yet!

BTW, in case it isn't totally obvious, you can download files via
their "WINE Gecko"-based Internet Explorer (under Program Files) or
Add/Remove a few things from Control Panel, e.g. some versions of
Firefox, 7-Zip, FBC, Lazarus (FPC), etc. I didn't test all of these,
and there are some bugs, but it's impressive that they got this far.
Oh, almost forgot, Bochs and DOSBox are there too.

So if you're really bored, there's plenty to test. However, this is
getting a bit off-topic, esp. for DOS, which isn't a first-class
citizen in ReactOS (yet??). I just mention it because I found it
vaguely interesting.

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