Fish for free

FreeDOS & DOS-Networking
FreeDOS is what it sounds: DOS as free software, provided by an open source project. It is still beta, but enhanced continously.

Of course reproducing MS DOS doesn't mean it is DOS 1:1. In some ways FreeDOS is better (for instance the "shell", i.e. the commandline or it's tiny mouse-driver). In other ways it still lacks some functionality: For instance it is not possible to run Win 3.1 on it.

On the Compaq Contura Aero FreeDOS works astonishingly good. Most compaq-tools like winlink, power-management and pcmcia-drivers can be used as usual. The only thing I really miss is support for the pcmcia-floppy: It is detected if plugged in before booting, but hot-swapping fails and it conflicts with other pc-cards.

Reasons for using FreeDOS

FreeDOS is a good supplement to a GNU/Linux installation on the aero - because of its bogomips-problem: The power-management features of the aero 4/33's bios force it to start with half speed - so linux detects only 8 bogomips instead of 16. You find a full description of that problem here.

This has bad effects on the performance of the aero under GNU/Linux. With FreeDOS this can be solved by booting the aero to DOS and then automatically starting linux with loadlin. So you get the full 16 bogomips - and without the need of a non-free OS in the background.

On these pages I document some of my steps towards a stable FreeDOS-system and a dos-networked aero. You even may download a special FreeDOS/Network-package for the aero from this site, so you don't have to go through all the described steps yourself.

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