Monday, January 1, 2018

Write about FreeDOS!

It's a new year, and we wanted to encourage people to contribute to FreeDOS in new ways. If you're already working on FreeDOS through code, design, testing, or some other technical way - thank you!

If you aren't sure how to contribute to FreeDOS, or want to contribute in a new way, we'd like to encourage you to try something new: Write about FreeDOS!

Please share your tips about programming for FreeDOS. Post them on your own blog, or email them to us and we'll do guest posts for you.
What should you write about?
Write about something that interests you! Others will want to see how you're using FreeDOS, to run existing programs or to write your own programs. A few suggestions:
Tips and tricks:

1. Partitioning
2. Optimizing RAM usage
3. Getting the network up and running
4. Make some noise (sound cards)
etc.

Recipes and use cases:

1. Gaming
2. Office work
3. Internet usage
4. Multimedia consumption (jukebox)
5. Home/Office file server
6. Development
7. Database server for other FreeDOS clients of old accounting software of some sort
etc.
suggestions by FreeDOS member Nicolae Crefelean—or come up with your own!
Or if you're a programmer, you might write a "how-to" article about how to manage very large arrays in memory, or how to load very large files. Or maybe you could talk about how to optimize a DOS program's I/O operations, such as how to read chunks of a file into a memory buffer using read() rather than using streams. Or you might want to write an article about how to use the conio functions to control the screen and read from the keyboard. Or maybe you could write something a little more "entry level" like tips to use the FreeDOS Kitten library to support multiple languages in your program.

Your "how-to" articles don't necessarily need to be about coding in a language like C or Assembly. If your preferred programming language is Pascal or BASIC, then write something about how to write programs in those languages for FreeDOS. If it's a programming language that's included in FreeDOS, we'd like to include it in the FreeDOS summer coding challenge.

Don't limit yourself to compiled languages, either. You can do lots of clever things at the FreeDOS command line and in BAT ("batch") files. So you could write an article about how to use a batch menu tool, like Jerome's V8 PowerTools included in FreeDOS 1.2, to create a neat interactive "program" as one smart batch file.

We want to hear from everyone! It's not just about developers, or people who contribute to the FreeDOS Project directly. Tell us how you use FreeDOS.
How do you write an article?
If you don't often write for a blog, then writing a FreeDOS "how-to" article might seem a little daunting. But really, it's easy!

I recommend you write your article as though you were explaining it to a friend. If it helps, write a draft in your email program, so you can convince yourself you're emailing someone about programming in FreeDOS. And if you like, you can actually send that email message to me (jhall@freedos…) and I'll use it as a guest post on the FreeDOS blog.

If you have your own blog or website, post your story on your blog, and email me to let me know where to find your article. If you don't have your own blog, I would be happy to post it for you as a "guest post" here. I'll even do light editing for you and take care of formatting.

Don't worry about making it perfect. I can do light editing for you before I put it up as a guest post. I'll edit for spelling, grammar, and style. I won't make changes to content or to the flow of your article—but if I do, I'll always run the changes by you first.
If we can gather enough articles by Spring, we'll try to collect them in a "how-to" ebook in time for the 24th "birthday" of FreeDOS on June 29.

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