Saturday, June 3, 2017

FreeDOS blog challenge

You may have noticed that I've started to write about interesting moments in FreeDOS history, starting with a brief history of the FreeDOS logo and then a history of FreeDOS as banner ads. Check back over the next few weeks for more. I'm also planning a similar article about a visual history of FreeDOS button icons, and various contributed images.

I'm writing about FreeDOS history because later this month, FreeDOS will turn twenty three years old.

You probably know the history already: like many others, I was a big fan of DOS in the 1980s and early 1990s. So I was a little upset when Microsoft announced in 1994 that Windows would replace DOS. If you remember Windows 3.1, this was a not a great prospect. So I took to the comp.os.msdos.apps group on USENET to discuss creating our own version of DOS. Others liked the idea, so on June 29, 1994, I announced what would become the FreeDOS Project.

I wrote about the origins of FreeDOS in December, when we released FreeDOS 1.2.

And since June will mark twenty three years of FreeDOS, I would like to do something special: I'd like to see everyone write about how they first started using FreeDOS.

So I'm announcing the FreeDOS blog challenge! If you use FreeDOS, for anything, please write about it! Maybe you use FreeDOS to play classic DOS games. Or maybe you boot FreeDOS for the classic DOS experience. Or you might be one of the many people who have contributed to FreeDOS programs in some way. Or you could have used FreeDOS to rescue an old system.

However you use FreeDOS, I'm asking you to write a blog post about it. Post an article on your own blog by June 28. Email me or drop a comment here to let me know where to find your blog article, and I'll include it in a special blog post on June 29.

If you don't have your own blog, that's okay! I would be happy to post it for you as a "guest post." You can email me your article as either plain text or OpenDocument Text (such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice format).

Don't worry about length. Maybe your story is short—that's okay! If you have a lot to say about FreeDOS, that's great too! If you're looking for a word-count target, maybe shoot for 600–800 words. But longer is okay too. (For reference, my story about the origins of FreeDOS is 645 words.)

I ask that you contribute your story under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY). This can be a simple statement (at the end) that says "This blog post is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)."


  1. Hi Jim,

    Here is my FreeDOS blog challenge contribution. I kept it as short as possible. I could write for hours about my good experiences with FreeDOS. Yet I hope it is helpful. Thanks for all the great work <3

    1. Great blog post - thanks!

      Since you didn't mention if your blog post is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0), I need to ask: is it okay if I make an archive copy of this on the FreeDOS website? I'm thinking we should collect these FreeDOS stories in one place. :-)

    2. Hi Jim,
      here there's my little contribution, even if I used FreeDOS for a single project. It is CC by-nd-sa, feel free to include in the challenge if you think it is worth.