Hi guys,

>> I just need to figure out the best way to network...

>> FreeDos starts so fast I might try transferring to a qemu image...

If you ask me, it is easiest to copy the files to your
target disk while it is connected directly to Linux.

As you are interested in small computers, you might
be using USB, SD, CF or MicroSD anyway. If you use
network, you would have to take care to have drivers
for your network card for DOS, which is tricky for
new chipsets. You can also dual-boot and simply put
DOS and Linux on the target disk and then boot your
computer to Linux when you want to do internet stuff.

> it's things like DPMI which are complex as all hell.

Which is why compilers like DJGPP make sure that you
barely have to use DPMI explicitly. Common interaction
with the DOS kernel as file I/O is handled by your C
library there, so you do not have to worry about how
to transfer data between 16-bit "real" mode DOS and
32-bit protected mode DJGPP program. If you look at
for example the DOSFSCK port, you will see that at
most some rather specific interrupt calls needed any
explicit DPMI related action.

If you want more than 640k RAM the easy way, protected
mode compilers such as DJGPP are really useful. There
will be a moment for learning how to do fast graphics
(VGA, VESA, VBE, test...) I/O in protected mode, but
you can check existing examples. If you only care for
speed-uncritical text mode, just let DOS or BIOS handle
the I/O, which is automatically wrapped for protected
versus "real" mode interfacing by the DJGPP libraries.

If you totally love the old DOS compilers and still
need more than 640k RAM, you will have to learn how
to use EMS or XMS to page or copy small areas of your
large memory allocations to/from the small DOS world.

In any case, I do NOT describe it as world of hurt :-p
Will be away from DOS for a few days, have fun :-)

Eric


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