Saturday, December 21, 2019

Wyse Thin Clients Part 4

I think I have both of these Cx0 configured they way I want them. I decided to forgo installing Lubuntu on either of them. Frankly I was getting nearly the same performance when I was booting it off the network, boot time aside. Instead I went with install DOS on both, figuring if I wanted Linux, I would just boot off the network work.

Once I installed the SD2IDE converter, I found FreeDOS installed without a problem. Whatever problem it had with the original 128MB storage cards, was solved by using an SD card instead. FreeDOS was my preferred DOS anyway, because it adds a lot of useful extensions, like support for partitions larger than 2GB and better memory management. Now that I have them both setup, my plan is to give on to the wife, there are plenty of old DOS games she enjoyed playing; Civilization, Monkey Island and Lemmings to name a few.

The other one, I am obviously keeping for myself, where it will take its place among my retro battle stations. The C64 and such are pretty cool, but honestly DOS is where I really started and working on this project has really reminded me of my roots. I have some really great memories of spending evening with Ric (Army buddy) editing config.sys and autoexec.bat files looking for every upper memory block we could find to open up spots for TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) programs and writing QBasic programs. Almost the first thing I did was use FreeBasic to compile my D&D Character generator from a few weeks ago.

Of course being a modern user of computers, going without a GUI, while not a show stopper, it does constrain me. I tried all the ones that come with FreeDOS, they either did not work properly with the modernish hardware or were just garbage. However, I did come across MCShell, which I used a little back in the day. It is basically a Macintosh System 7 work alike that functions pretty well, so that problem is solved.

Honestly, DOS in any of its forms is barely an operating system, but really, with a little scrounging around, it does become somewhat usable.

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