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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 09 2016, @02:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the retro dept.

Via FOSS Force, the founder and coordinator of the FreeDOS Project writes about FreeDOS 1.2:

Tim Norman wrote our first command interpreter to replace COMMAND.COM from standard DOS. Soon after, Pat Villani contributed his DOS-compatible kernel, which others later improved to add networking and CD-ROM support. We released our first "Alpha" distribution in only a few months, in September 1994. From this small beginning grew FreeDOS, an open source implementation of DOS that anyone could use.

We released several alpha versions over the next four years, then posted our first beta in 1998. By this time, Microsoft had all but eliminated MS-DOS, so FreeDOS didn't have to chase a moving target and shifting compatibility with new MS-DOS versions.

[...] We posted the FreeDOS 1.0 distribution on September 3, 2006, and released FreeDOS 1.1 over five years later, on January 2, 2012.

[...] Big-name computer vendors like Dell and HP shipped it as a default operating system on some PC desktops and laptops. Even today, you can find popular manufacturers pre-installing FreeDOS on some computers. But the story doesn't end there. Soon, we'll have a whole new version of FreeDOS--and I'd like to tell you about it.

[...] The Utilities package group includes several new useful tools. For those who use FreeDOS to play classic DOS games, we provide SLOWDOWN to let you run certain older games on a fast CPU. We provide several image processing programs such as GIFSICLE and PNGCRUSH. If you wish for a more Unix-like environment, we also include several familiar commands such as SED, GREP, HEAD, TEE, and BC.

[...] One major change is the inclusion of a new Games package group. We've avoided games in previous FreeDOS distributions, but since so many people prefer FreeDOS to play their favorite classic DOS games, it seemed a good idea to include a variety of open source games from different genres.

[...] The official FreeDOS 1.2 distribution will be available on Sunday, December 25, 2016.

In the comments there, someone mentions the popularity of FreeDOS for doing firmware updates. (It always seemed crazy to me to be running a multitasking OS when doing something that has the potential to brick your box.)
Any Soylentils using FreeDOS for that or something other than that?


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by bzipitidoo on Friday December 09 2016, @03:52PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday December 09 2016, @03:52PM (#439200) Journal

    Long time ago I made a bootable flash drive with FreeDOS 1.0. But I didn't record exactly how I did it, and had forgotten how when FreeDOS 1.1 came out. Thought it would be easy to figure out again. Nope!

    FreeDOS wasn't the best way to play classic games on modern computers. The problem is that hardware has changed so much that old drivers will not work. Sound in DOS is most likely to work with Sound Blaster hardware, not the integrated, high quality, surround sound capable audio hardware common today. Video has done better at keeping backward compatibility, but it too might not work. Another barrier can be the lack of disk drives, both floppy and CD. If the modern machine has a CD-ROM, can an IDE driver access it? Maybe not unless you fiddle with the BIOS settings to choose legacy mode for drive access. It's just easier to run an emulator such as DOSBox or DOSEmu.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @06:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @06:28AM (#439609)

    Try YUMI. If that doesn't work, contact the YUMI developer and make your request:

    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/ [pendrivelinux.com]