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September, 2017

23 Years of FreeDOS

On June 29th, 2017, FreeDOS turned 23 years old. There’s nothing special about "23," but I thought it would be great to celebrate the anniversary by having a bunch of past and current users share their stories about why they use FreeDOS. So, I made a call for users to write their own FreeDOS stories.

These stories are written from different perspectives, such as: "How did you discover FreeDOS?" "What do you use FreeDOS for?" and "How do you contribute to FreeDOS?" In short, I requested users to answer the question: "Why FreeDOS?"

This eBook contains the voices of many of the users who contributed their stories, as well as the history of FreeDOS. Many individuals have helped make FreeDOS what it is, but this eBook represents only a few of them. I hope you enjoy this collection of 23 years of everything FreeDOS!

You can find the free ebook at 23 Years of FreeDOS (ebook) on the FreeDOS website.

Thanks to Lauren Holly, Ben Norrman, and Shane Rose for serving as co-editors on the ebook. And special thanks to Shane Rose for the ebook design.

23 Years of FreeDOS is available for free, under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC BY 4.0).

Attending Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage

Over the next few days, I will be in Kiel, Germany to attend the Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage. I'm giving two talks while I'm there: one about usability testing in open source software, and one on the past and future of FreeDOS. You can find links to both in the conference program.

Are you planning to attend Kieler? If so, please email me so I can meet you!

Who wants to improve the kernel?

This article has changed since it was originally posted

I made an error when I originally posted this, so wanted to clarify. I thought the kernel was the only remaining part of FreeDOS that requires a non-open source software toolchain (Borland C). And in fact, I mentioned Borland in the Q&A from my FreeDOS talk at Kieler. From the FreeDOS kernel build.txt file:

This kernel compiles with Turbo C 2.01, Turbo C++ 1.01 (now freely available!), Turbo C 3.0, Borland C 4.51 & 5.01. It should work with other Borland and Microsoft compilers and (Open)Watcom C. GCC can compile the kernel but the result does *not* work (no 16-bit x86 support).

(emphasis mine)

I interpreted that the kernel "should" compile with OpenWatcom as being uncertain. But Rugxulo reached out to me and confirmed that "The FD kernel can already compile fine with OpenWatcom."

So thanks to Rugxulo for clearing that up for me! I haven't been involved in kernel programming since Pat died, so I didn't realize we now compiled on OpenWatcom.

I've edited this post to reflect this update.