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FreeDOS Anniversary

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OSS
  • FreeDOS is 23 years old

    I have been involved in open source software for a long time, since before anyone coined the term "open source." My first introduction to Free software was GNU Emacs on our campus Unix system, when I was an undergraduate. Then I discovered other Free software tools. Through that exposure, I decided to installed Linux on my home computer in 1993. But as great as LInux was at the time, with few applications like word processors and spreadsheets, Linux was still limited—great for writing programs and analysis tools for my physics labs, but not (yet) for writing class papers or playing games.

    So my primary system at the time was still MS-DOS. I loved DOS, and had since the 1980s. While the MS-DOS command line was under-powered compared to Unix, I found it very flexible. I wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command line experience. And of course, I had a bunch of DOS applications and games. I was a DOS "power user." For me, DOS was a great mix of function and features, so that's what I used most of the time.

  • FreeDOS Is 23 Years Old, and Counting

    The FreeDOS Project has just reached its 23rd birthday! This is a major milestone for any free software or open-source software project.

    If you don't know about FreeDOS, it's a small project that replaces MS-DOS, which was the mainstay operating system for most personal computers in the 1980s and 1990s. During that era, I was a huge MS-DOS fan. I used DOS for everything and considered myself a DOS "power-user". I even wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command-line environment and make DOS more useful.

    I was aware of other operating systems, of course. In the early 1990s, my university installed Windows in the PC computer labs. But if you remember Windows 3.1 at the time, it was a pretty rough environment. I didn't like that you could interact with Windows only via a mouse; there was no command line. I preferred working at the command line.

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