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Slashdot: Interview: FreeDOS Leader Jim Hall Answers

Jan 28, 2000, 20:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Hall)

"While it is very nice to have some sort of non-MS DOS available (at least for us gamers), it still basically 15-20 year old technology. How much longer do you think DOS, or DOS emulation, will be necessary?"

"Jim: I think DOS will be around for quite some time yet. DOS remains a great environment to work in if you are building an embedded system, for example. The operating system is light, so it will run well in a device that doesn't have a lot of memory. You can burn it into ROM, boot from a floppy, or a small micro-drive. There aren't many operating systems that you can find these days that will boot from a floppy, yet still leave you enough room on the disk for your embedded program and maybe some room for data files."

"I think the embedded systems market is one of the markets that will keep DOS alive, at least for several years to come. (Exactly how many years that will be is hard to guess. Yoda: "Always changing is the future.") Look at some of the alternatives that you have today if you want to build a small embedded device: DOS, Windows CE (and there's a reason they call it "wince"), or an embedded Linux (ala Elks). Look at it a little more closely, and you'll see that if space becomes an issue for you, DOS is really the only way to go. Linux and Windows both require too much overhead to build an efficient embedded system."

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