Sunday, June 25, 2017

A collection of FreeDOS images

I'm going through some interesting moments in FreeDOS history, and I found a series of web images that highlight the popularity of FreeDOS. Here are a few interesting image collections:

Web award "stickers"

Looking back at the FreeDOS History timeline, you can see that 2000 and 2001 was when FreeDOS finally got noticed. Our FreeDOS Beta 5 "Lara" distribution, released August 2000, was very popular, and was distributed via CD in several computer magazines. Beta 5 raised our profile. In late January, Open Source Land Magazine recognized us as a "Link of the Week," also with an accompanying interview and article about FreeDOS Beta 5.

Then in March 2001, we released the FreeDOS Beta 6 "Midnite" distribution. This version was also very popular, and I think earned FreeDOS recognition from a web magazine with this "New Cyber Tech" award. I don't have the exact date of this web award, but it was probably early-2001. I have a vague recollection that we received this award before the FreeDOS Beta 4 "Lemur" distribution, released April 2001.

In January 2012, we released the FreeDOS 1.1 distribution. This was our first major release in almost six years (DOS doesn't need to change that much) and was immediately popular. Many websites offered a copy of the latest FreeDOS. DO Download recognized FreeDOS 1.1 with a web "sticker" indicating it was safe to download.

Also in 2012, Download Atlas was another website that offered a copy of the FreeDOS 1.1 distribution. They similarly awarded FreeDOS as the "Editor's Choice," with several options on web sticker.

I don't have the date for this one, but I think it was also for the FreeDOS 1.1 distribution, so around 2012. Download Route offered a copy of the FreeDOS distribution, and shared with us a suitable web sticker.


I'm not sure exactly when they started, but sometime around 2004 or 2005, a small group of developers forked a copy of FreeDOS in an attempt to forklift it to support 32-bit features. "FreeDOS-32" was an unofficial but recognized development effort. Unfortunately, it proved to be too ambitious; development on FreeDOS-32 stalled by 2010 and developers seem to have dropped out entirely after 2011.

An interesting note to FreeDOS-32 is their Sloth mascot. You see, we'd been discussing adopting a mascot for the FreeDOS Project. Linux had Tux the Penguin, BSD Unix had Beastie the Daemon, so why shouldn't FreeDOS have a mascot? I argued that we should adopt a seal, but there was already a SEAL Desktop with the obvious choice of mascot. Eventually, a user contributed a fish mascot, and that seemed to capture attention. Then Bas Snabilie sent in a very cartoony fish mascot that we loved, and officially adopted as our mascot in February or March 2004.

So when Salvo and the other developers forked FreeDOS-32 in 2004 or 2005, they decided to create their own mascot, too. They picked a sloth (name?) probably because they expected development to be slow. Here he is, in a fetching cap and t-shirt:

FreeDOS Web Ring

Do you remember "Web Rings"? These were a popular way for similar sites to associate themselves with each other. The idea of a "Web Ring" was that every website partnered in the ring, and used a web image to advertise the ring. Each website was issued a unique ID within the ring, and used "Next" and "Previous" links to navigate via the ring host to other websites in the ring.

FreeDOS was part of such a "Web Ring", and used this 3-D image:

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