/ jansonius / scientific software / dos
Obviously, DOS as a primary operating system is not very common nowadays. However, in the field of science, knowledge of DOS may be of crucial importance to keep your research running. Setup specific hardware, e.g. cards using ISA slots, require old computers - and thus DOS. Moreover, setup specific software for stimulus generation or data acquisition may be DOS-based, as may be specific data analysis software.
The image files as provided here contain a subset of FreeDOS 1.0, including example config.sys and autoexec.bat files, and several DOS utilities. You need rawrite to write an image file to a floppy disk. The resulting floppy disk can be used to boot a computer with FreeDOS. Subsequently, you can use sys (if you already run another DOS but want to change to FreeDOS), format (if you already have a DOS partition but want to make a clean start), or fdisk followed by format (if you have to make a DOS partition first) to continue. Next, config.sys and autoexec.bat should be copied to c:\ and the other files to e.g. c:\dos. In config.sys, a: should be replaced by c:\dos and if there is sufficient RAM, you may increase ramdrive size. In autoexec.bat, modify path to path=c:\dos and enable the mouse by removing rem in front of mouse if you have a mouse. If there is a CD-rom device, remove rem from the appropriate lines in both config.sys and autoexec.bat (the floppy disk has an editor included to make these changes). If your computer doesn't have a floppy drive, you may make a bootable FreeDOS CD using the iso. That's all you need to run DOS.
By default, USB is not supported in DOS. A solution is the use of USBDOS or DOSUSB. If this fails, USB support in BasicLinux can be used.
FreeDOS and the DOS utilities as provided here are essentially freeware (except for the shareware pk[un]zip). Sometimes free software may only be redistributed if all files from the original package are included. Obviously, that wouldn't fit on a single floppy disk. FreeDOS can be found here and most of the utilities here. For the time being, alternatives for FreeDOS LBACACHE (e.g., SMARTDRV) and FreeDOS DOSFSCK (e.g., NDD) might be prefered.