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Open Source Operating Systems News

FreeDOS 1.1 Released 266

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we-don't-need-no-memory-protection dept.
MrSeb writes with this excerpt from an Extreme Tech article about the latest FreeDOS release and a bit of project history: "Some 17 years after its first release in 1994, and more than five years since 1.0, FreeDOS 1.1 is now available to download. The history of FreeDOS stems back to the summer of 1994 when Microsoft announced that MS-DOS as a separate product would no longer be supported. It would live on as part of Windows 95, 98, and (ugh!) Me, but for Jim Hall that wasn't enough, and so public domain (PD) DOS was born. ... Despite what you might think, FreeDOS isn't an 'old' OS; it's actually quite usable. FreeDOS supports FAT32, UDMA for hard drives and DVD drives, and it even has antivirus and BitTorrent clients." The official release announcement has more details on the improvements, and the FreeDOS website has the release for download.
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FreeDOS 1.1 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:44PM (#38586678)

    I mean seriously, how am I going to use it?

    Running old programs maybe?

  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:54PM (#38586792)
    Right... because prior to Windows 95 there where no viruses! So there's NO WAY that the old floppy disc you have with your copy of Elder Scrolls could possibly have a virus on it.

    This is DOS we're talking about. There has never been a more virus filled OS in history. What kids today think of as viri are just worms and trojans. DOS has REAL virus issues. Self replicating bastards that attach onto other executables.
  • Re:Kid's first OS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brillow (917507) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:10PM (#38587000)

    Why not just start them with linux? Is to too pornographic?

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:29PM (#38587226) Journal

    I am, so that likely brings the total of excited people up to 6, maybe 7. Everyone else is busy marveling over their iPad and iPhone (oooh, round corners....) and other walled gardens. Like you, I miss being able to actually communicate directly to the hardware, from the command line. I miss hand tweaking my config.sys and autoexec.bat files to squeeze out an extra 500 bytes (yea readers, 1/2 of a kb) of lower RAM. Using QEMM and DesqView to quazi-multitask by multiple line BBS on my 486 with 4mb of ram. (3 lines, but I still have plenty of ram left for a prompt to do maintenance while monitoring chat) There was a certain empowerment that came from operating a computer back then. We actually knew exactly how much power the system had, because we easily found ways to saturate it, just to get every ounce of power out of it. Back then, we did things just because we COULD, and we enjoyed learned from crashing and burning stuff.

    I also remember the good old days when the Internet was hard to use. THOSE were the days. No spam, no popups, and if you could find a website, likely it had real information on it because only computer "experts" and universities had servers. The days before the "Browser Wars", when every Congressman didn't know what the Internet was, instead of now where they know what it is, but still have no idea what it is. And who could forget BBSes, Gopher, and Veronica, Archie, and password protected FTP accounts brimming with goodies like Wolfenstein.... :)

    That said, I don't MISS those days, but at 47, I'm glad I got to be a part of those days, and the days before that with CPM, portable computers with 8086s that weighed 50 pounds, original Macs, and even a VIC 20 with no storage device. You can't recreate them, or duplicate them, so those days are gone for good. It's up to us to create new ideas to eventually become "the good old days".

  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:10PM (#38587706)

    Slashdot today is more of a political geek site, where a specific demographic comes to rant about copyrights, the DMCA, Apple, etc. Probably generates more revenue that way. I remember when programming articles used to make it to the front page.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @05:15PM (#38588984)

    With Linux, you get to learn about a real OS, which uses things like protected memory, processes, virtual memory, etc. If you come up with something useful, then you can deploy it on Linux systems everywhere or share it with the world so others can use it on their Linux systems.

    With FreeDOS, you're only learning about an obsolete program loader. No one would create a serious application to run in DOS any more, because to do so would be utterly stupid. It's a lot like getting a Commodore=64 to learn about computers; they were fun in their day, but they're so utterly obsolete any more that it's pretty pointless unless you have a lot of time to burn.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

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