FreeDOS success story

2003-04-07

This really should be connected to Technote141, but I decided to post it separately so it didn't get lost. -jh

Eric Auer sent me this email to clarify a bit on Technote141:

This is from the "Re: Re: [fd-dev] Using Borland C 4.5" thread. I wrote about BSA and Tony replied. He first forgot the word "years" so I am re-sending a fixed version. Might be nice for your "FreeDOS is useful" collection of text snippets. -Eric

| That Borland offers their old stuff for free is really nice.
| And this in spite of them being members of the BSA anti-piracy
| group, I believe. I saw a form on the web last weekend where I
| could check a checkbox "yes I admit to use unlicensed MS DOS",
| although MS DOS is no longer sold at all! The form on the UK
| site (bsa.org? bsa.co.uk? I forgot...) showed a list of packages
| by the assoc. companies and after filling it in, BSA promises
| that they will not prosecute you for a while, to give you time
| to count copies and buy proper licenses, or similar...

Last I heard MSDOS is still available for purchase thru some special embedded program of Microsoft's. so its not quite 'abondonware' yet..

But it wasn't a single user box they were offering, it was more expensive, and geared to large developers..

I was looking into it a couple of years (about 3) ago, as the plant I worked at used a number of dos based controller units and I was trying to stay legal. ( and we didnt know Italian.... ) [the language of the DOS that the machines already had - Eric]

I switched to FD instead. it had enough functionality to get by and the price was right.

Comment Eric: The plant had to swap machines often as the rough environment put lots of stress on the hardware. So over the time, licenses got dissociated from machines. Tony even planned to use Etherboot and FreeDOS, but basically the company is falling apart and he left it 1.75 years ago.

Tony also wrote: ...

I had first checked in to buying *new* licenses from Microsoft ( I had a MOLP for 100 workstations of NT so I thought they might cut me a deal ) when I found out how much that would be. ( and for 20 some odd machines, I wasn't worth their time ) At that point I just said screw it and went the OSS route.

He adds on the job of the controller PCs (386, parallel port...): ... Later the goal was to include a dos based browser ( after netbooting ) and make them into 'plant info terminals' to report production and trouble tickets on the machines.. not just run the dedicated controller.. ..

[the "Last I heard ... price was right" part is probably the most interesting one, although maybe not a fully-fledged "FreeDOS sucxess- story" because the project got abandoned, the plant is falling apart, and is in the process of being sold now ... Happy DOSing... Eric.]