On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 3:23 AM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:34 PM, dmccunney <dennis.mccun...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:51 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> No, many compilers make it totally transparent to the end user. So you
>>> don't even have to write any non-portable code (usually). And this
>>> goes even beyond obvious "32-bit DPMI" DJGPP-based ones (GCC, GPC,
>>> FPC, FBC).
>> They do now.  They did not then.
> DJGPP started in 1989. It's not new. And it wasn't the only one.

The period I was referring to was at least 5 years before DJGPP began.
I was talking about the *old* days when PC meant IBM PC with 4.77mhz
8088 CPU, CGA graphics, dual 360K floppies, and *maybe* 640K RAM.
(Lotus 1,2,3 largely forced everyone to go for a full 640K to run
enormous worksheets.)

>> Since you *have* Linux, BSD, and even Windows, which support all that
>> out of the box, why should anyone *bother*?
> The whole point of a "free" "DOS" was to be a free/libre alternative
> that is binary compatible on similar hardware! None of those OSes do
> that!

And you don't *care*, because you don't *use* that original hardware.
You long ago got something newer.

> There are *many* OSes out there, often touting "legacy free". But even
> they have to start somewhere. Most people don't create their own cpu
> or write their own compiler. Heck, they port third-party apps over and
> use similar toolsets and formats that are already available. I mean,
> some of them even import drivers verbatim! Reuse is the name of the
> game. It just takes too much work to throw everything away.

If you are smart, you do go for re-use.

> Sure, some people think it's "better" to throw things away. Some
> things are of questionable benefit. But it's certainly not always
> true. Sometimes you have to live with what you already have. Sometimes
> the cost of recreating something from scratch is too much.

Lets get serious.  I run FreeDOS on an ancient box that I use as a
testbed to see what perfomance I can wring out of limited hardware.  I
do *not* use the box, or FreeDOS, to do actual work.  The box is a
toy, and diddling FreeDOS is a *hobby*.

On the more modern machines, I have a few ancient DOS apps I support
via NTVDM (on 32 bit XP), or vDOS (on 64 bit Win7).  There is no need
for FreeDOS there at all.

There is still potential use for DOS in the embedded space, but I
expect that is dropping as HW becomes more powerful and cheaper.
Embedded systms are increasingly built around 32 bit ARM CPUs, where
DOS is not an option but you can run a flavor of Linux or an RTOS.

There are a few folks still using DOS to do actual work, and some hang
out here, but they are rare exceptions to the general rule.

I happy FreeDOS is out there, and it's fun to play with, but "play
with" is the operative word.  If it did not exist, I would not miss
it.  My actual needs are met by more current gear, and there are
limits to the effort I'll expend to support older hardware.  I place a
reasonable value on  my *time*.

What do you run as your "production" OS?  I'm willing to bet it's not
a flavor of DOS.

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