On Sun, Nov 30, 2014 at 10:22 PM, dmccunney <dennis.mccun...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 30, 2014 at 9:55 PM, Thomas Mueller <mueller6...@twc.com> wrote:
>> from dmccunney:
>> I can't run FreeDOS or any other DOS from hard drive because of GPT;
>> only way is if I can install to a USB stick using FAT32 and get that to boot.

You never tried UNetBootIn or RUFUS? Maybe you could ask
www.osdisc.com to custom-build you one.

>> I can't access the Internet from DOS because of lack of driver for modern 
>> Ethernet chip.
>> Conceivably I could boot FreeDOS by NFS and even run from big ext4fs 
>> partition.
> I don't even try.  Even if I could, DOS browser support is lacking.
> Yes, Arachne exists, but web standards have changed to the point where
> many sites simply won't work in it.
>> Even if I could access the Internet from FreeDOS booting through NFS, 
>> applications are
>> far behind what is available for Linux and the BSDs, meaning essentially an 
>> exercise in frustration.
> Precisely.
>> Main purpose for accessing the Internet from FreeDOS would be to see if it's 
>> possible.
> It may be *possible*.  What you could do once you had would be another matter.

One of the big problems (not counting HTML5 or Javascript or Flash) is
HTTPS. Not just for DOS but for any OS that isn't top tier (big three:
Mac, Win, Linux).

It has recently come to my attention that many popular websites are
now requiring it, which makes it very hard to operate unless your web
browser can support it. And, in case it wasn't obvious, there are only
a handful of "modern" web browsers (and host OSes) that work for such
"modern" needs. Thus, anything that isn't top tier (Firefox, Chrome,
IE, Safari) is practically ignored / banned. And even some of those
are struggling.

We're lucky just to have anything that halfway works anymore (mTCP,
Dillo, Links, Arachne).

>> I never heard of vDos fork of DOSBox, can't find it in either FreeBSD ports 
>> or NetBSD pkgsrc, emulators category.
> It doesn't exist there. vDos is specific to Windows, and intended to
> support 16 bit character mode DOS apps in a 64bit Windows environment.
> Because it's intended for character mode business apps, it drops a lot
> of stuff in DOSBox intended to support MSDOS games.  It works fine
> here to run things like WordStar 7 under Windows 7 Pro 64 bit.  If
> what you run is Linux or *BSD, DOSBox is your option.

DOSBox hasn't had a proper release in over four years. It's very good
and portable but slow. I don't know the exact original motivation they
had for writing it. Obviously "games games games", but still, I assume
it wasn't meant for "x86 host only" or "Windows only". Of course you
could have it much faster and more compatible, in theory.

I keep whining about VT-X, but nobody here seems to know or care what
it is. We've already got several emulators (hypervisors: VirtualBox,
Hyper-V, bhyve) using it, and it's indeed better and faster than
"software only" emulation. (Though that doesn't mean DOS runs well
there by default: haven't tried except VBox.) Even Bochs, while not
(AFAIK) using VT-X, seems to heavily prefer SSE2 (SIMD) compiles these
days just for faster speed.

But the problem again is that not everybody has all these (cpu, OS)
features, so they can't "just use it."

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