Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 13:15:00 CST 2017

On 21 November 2017 at 19:16, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> As of "things" mentioned above, my current understanding is, those may
> be both active code (virri, worrmms etc), as well as Darth Vader's
> hand reaching out from the inside of VM and manipulating bits of
> memory on hosting machine. Chances are, I worry too much about this,
> but I suppose Pentium does not make a good platform for running VMs,
> only a cheap one (although it used to look like a decent one, but
> today it is only cheap).

A file-based virus could escape _if_ the VM had access to the host
filesystem. But mine don't, partly because it's moderately hard,
partly because it takes a _ton_ of RAM in DOS terms.

I should devote more effort to it but it's not massively useful to me
so I've not.

But it can't propagate if the host OS can't run DOS binaries.

> My current understanding is, emulators without JIT should be more
> decent. They sometimes enable one to have a peek into running
> "machine", which might be nice thing to have, too. And speedwise, they
> should be much closer to the original ;-P

I am trying to avoid emulators. This is the original native OS of x86
PC-compatible hardware. I want it to run on the metal.

> Well, owing to lack of time, I am so far from creating anything like
> "my own" that any actual problem with more interesting stuff just does
> not come into my mind (and I have close to zero knowledge about
> Desqview, which I regret because it looks great on those pictures out
> there). Most probably I will go with some frankensteinish solution
> involving Dosemu or Dosbox,

DOSbox is an emulator, so I've not looked at it. Ditto Bochs.

DOSemu works but it's not very stable. It's easy to crash it and lose
your session.

I don't think there's much chance of getting DESQview or anything
ambitious like that running on it.

> whichever could run assembler without a
> flop,

I don't understand that bit.

> Emacs on native side for editing,

Euw. ;-)

> thus hybrid
> multitasking.

Well, yes, with host-based multitasking, you don't need in-VM multitasking.

But on the metal, it could potentially be useful. Mostly, though, it's
a toy and a tech demo.

> FreeDOS, for me, is the advanced way to do it, but as
> the developers keep improving it (prepackaged utils and stuff), so I
> might actually go for it - laziness pays.

As you prefer. It has a _very_ slow release cycle, though.

> But the main reason for me
> to go there would be to play with assembler, rather than with other
> software.

DOS assembler can be run on almost anything. MS-DOS, PC DOS, DR-DOS,
FreeDOS, whatever.

> There are also MenuetOS and KolibriOS, which look like nice "couldbe"
> multiplexers for Dosbox, but I am not sure (would have to find time to
> research) if there is any possibility to run DOS programs under their
> control (and I could not find explicit answer in few minutes).

They're not DOS-compatible, AFAIK.

> --
> Regards,
> Tomasz Rola
> --
> ** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
> ** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
> ** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
> **                                                                 **
> ** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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