Thanks for pointing that out about FreeDOS'
interesting differences to MS-DOS. My knowledge of DOS is rather limited.
I'm not sure whether it is feasible, but, given the tortuous problems @hulkbuster
seems to be facing with FREEDOS, I'd suggest he consider installing DR-DOS
I had tried/used several versions of DOS over the years - I don't think I ever used FREEDOS though - the last I settled on being (I think) DR-DOS or MS-DOS 6.2 with JP Software's command-line interpreter 4DOS
on top of that, which I installed on every PC I supported/used. I do recall the various DOSes having minor differences, but I don't recall them having particularly different or peculiar syntax or control characters compared to MS-DOS. Looks like FREEDOS might have been an exception to that, anyway.
To get the most out of the chronically limited/constrained x86 PC resources on the PCs I supported, I employed a nifty boot startup control language ("Command32" or something - I forget) that I tweaked, together with a RAM optimiser - Quarterdeck Expanded Memory Manager (QEMM)
- to offer the user selective paths/choices at bootup, which optimised and configured the use of the 64K RAM (Upper/Lower) depending on what the user intended doing - i.e., whether one was going to play a game (e.g., DOOM) or do some number-crunching (e.g., Ashton-Tate's Framework
). I mostly avoided using Windows when it was introduced.
The Command32 (or whatever it was called) enabled the user choices to automatically dynamically change/reconfigure the parameters/commands
in the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files during
the booting process.
Last and for the longest time, I used DR-DOS/MS-DOS 6.2 with 4DOS - the latter being compatible with most DOSes, I think, (so it was not necessary to learn/remember any DOS version peculiarities) and which was really more of a macro-driven CLI extension to DOS with a whole bunch of extra (and quite powerful) commands in its command set. This all helped to insulate
one from the constipated and limited MS-DOS (or DOS variant) and one could literally program the DOS almost like a GUI, whilst making it far more user-friendly and efficient/fast. I rarely - if ever - needed to use the accursed native DOS or directly edit the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys files after that, never looked back, and forgot how to use DOS.
After that, to solve some specific problems of data capture at the time, I turned my attention to better capturing/controlling the I/O data flows through the dial-up modem, using a brilliant scripting tool included in Telix
All of this worked rather well, despite