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posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 09.04.2009, 14:23

> I didn't refer to any exotic/experimental/toy DOSes, but to those DOSes
> which are intended to be actually used, not only tested/tried. To be more
> explicit I have enough experience with any of MS-DOS, FleaDOS, DR-DOS and
> PC-DOS, and limited experience with PTS-DOS and ROM-DOS. But by simply
> pointing to a heterogeneous list of software you convince no one neither
> that there will be a DOS better than MS-DOS 7.10, nor that such a DOS
> already exists. And there is no need to test exhaustively (i.e., in all
> possible situations, which is practically impossible) an OS in order to
> see how well it works.

Jim Leonard heavily prefers PC DOS over any other, and that's on an IBM 5160 8088 (I think) with CGA. I think he said it's fastest but also just plain good. I've never tried it.

Matthias Paul worked on DR-DOS for years, and he heavily preferred it. Every time I read some message he wrote on Usenet or otherwise, he makes it sound like DR-DOS truly is better in every way (memory management, tools, speed). Obviously, though, it probably won't ever be updated (nor will MS-DOS) and only supports FAT16. So, if those are your requirements, you'd better prefer FreeDOS. (And BTW, OpenDOS lacks about a year's worth of work that Novell DOS had. And DR-DOS had a lot of work done since then too. I'm not trying to split hairs here.)

Having never tried PTS-DOS, I can't say much about it, but it had built-in compression, smaller footprint (written in assembly?), and CD-ROM redirector built into the kernel among other things.

Note that my testing scenario means you have to test all popular compilers, network redirectors, USB and other quirky device drivers, TSRs, as well as make sure things like codepages/COUNTRY.SYS/NLSFUNC.EXE etc. work correctly. Some work better than others, and if you'd really kept up with FreeDOS, you'd know how hard it is (and how impossible it is for one DOS to truly be better in all ways.)


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