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SvarDOS for contemporary machines with more RAM

Hi. I've been very curious about DOS for the past few years, and have tried out both FreeDOS and SvarDOS. I have, however, a fairly superficial knowledge as to how a DOS system -- and a computer in general, on the lower level -- actually works. Hence my question: Considering that SvarDOS is aiming 8086 compatibility, would you recommend it (over FreeDOS) for more current machines with 512+ MB of RAM? I'm thinking of learning how to utilize large ramdisks, etc. I see the HimemX memory manager is available in the repos -- so extended memory should work just fine, regardless of SvarDOS aiming the 8086, right? I guess I would also be OK with installing FreeDOS, but I very much like the barebones-philosophy of SvarDOS: only include the absolute necessities and build up on your own from there. This system feels really clean (full respect to the FreeDOS project also, of course!). So I would much prefer going with Svar for my machine (an 1.6 GHz Intel Atom netbook, I think with 1 GB of RAM). Thanks for any replies!
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Hello, and welcome to the DOS world! SvarDOS is aiming at 8086 compatibility, but it does not make it in any way less capable on more modern machines. While the goal is to make its "CORE" work on any ancient PC, all FreeDOS packages (and many more) are available in the repo so the user can start with the bare-bone CORE installation and build its way up accordingly to his needs (to the point of mimicking a FreeDOS system, if that's a goal). Hence no, SvarDOS is no worse than FreeDOS. On the contrary, if anything it's more flexible because it includes packages that FreeDOS does no allow because of a much stricter stance on licenses. That being said, a 1 GHz PC with 1 GB of RAM is totally overkill for any kind of DOS, so you will end up using maybe 5% of its capacity anyway. :-) Mateusz
Thanks Mateusz! I was thinking of using a (huge) ramdisk in DOS to store some WAV files. Because of the recent improvements regarding DOS audio (SBEMU, Intel HDA working out of the box), I can test out some "fringe" ideas: actually using a DOS system for some work that involves listening to high-quality audio. We'll see. :) Reading your reply, I definitely like the direction you've taken with SvarDOS. It looks to be an excellent way for the user to maintain an (extra-) small, hand-tailored, really clean DOS system. Maybe some kind of affirmation - "SvarDOS is also great for conteporary computers, even if they are over-powered for it" etc :) - would be good to have right on the svardos.org landing page? It would assure that it is not only meant for retro-enthusiasts. Other than that, it is actually really strange (and enjoyable!) to see DOS in general becoming a "contemporary", actually quite usable system for somewhat-tech-capable users, fans of minimalism and recycling e-waste. Like, this is against all odds, but it seems to be happening -- people are actually writing new software for DOS. How cool is that. We'll see how I will be doing with my own tiny experiments regarding audio usage. Your work is really inspiring! Best, m.

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