Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rumored death of FreeDOS greatly exaggerated

Lots of us disparage MS-DOS. Compared to the command line in Linux, it's not very powerful, but there are communities of folks who still use DOS and know how to make it stand up and dance. Our own Buddwig is one of those.

MS-DOS is long gone, though. FreeDOS is intended to replace it with an open source implementation and has actually pushed it forward some. There is renewed interest in developing it and the team has started working again. Previous versions have been eminently usable and now they are ready to push out version 1.0, with a few more good things about it.

Some of us use FreeDOS on utility disks for rescue work. The Ultimate Boot CD is based on FreeDOS, at least in some versions. And I have several proprietary repair disks which use it. (Makes me wonder if they're in violation of the license, now that I think about it.)

Don't bother with FreeDOS for nostalgia sake. But if you need it, go get it. I boot the 386 Deepak gave me for our wedding with it, occasionally, just to remember how much I've forgotten or never knew. It's fun.


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