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Date:      Thu, 18 Aug 2011 22:21:57 -0500 (CDT)
From:      Lars Eighner <>
To:        scott mcclellan <>
Cc:        "" <>
Subject:   Re: new to os
Message-ID:  <alpine.BSF.2.00.1108182221410.1428@abbf.6qbyyneqvnyhc.pbz>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Thu, 18 Aug 2011, scott mcclellan wrote:

> I'm looking to try something different with my machine (or maybe I'm going
>through a midlife crisis).  Currently run Wimdows (point and click), and
>would like to gravitate back to DOS (this is a thing of the ancient past
>for me 30 years - on a TRS-80).  I know remember extremely little of OS

The main problem with DOS is lack of applications.  If it was not so,
I would be running it myself.  You might, for example, still have your copy
of WP 5 -- I do.  But printers that work with the printer drivers are now
museum pieces.  There are work-arounds for this sort of thing -- including
the hobby of maintaining ancient hardware -- but as for a working machine to
do anything practical, there are stumbling blocks like this at every turn.

> Am I biting off more than I can chew, or is there a OS commands for
> dummies out there, or does FreeBSD have such a critter that one can go
> through.

Of course there are still many old DOS tutorials online in various archives
and some games and stuff. But now you are asking about FreeBSD, I think.

One of the virtues of all of the unix-like systems (the BSDs and  Linuxices)
is that there are many maintained command-line applications, and the basic
stuff is well-domuented with the online manual (man command).  These
applications are very similar from one BSD or Linux system to another, and
are often compiled from the same source code.  They all have true
multiprocessing so you can switch from one command line environment (virtual
terminal) to another with a keystroke.  They are a little short of
command-line (launched) graphics programs (viewers, paint, etc.) but they
have a choice of GUIs, some of which are very lightweight, when you have to
have graphics, and you can switch between the GUI and a command line virtual
terminal with a keystroke.

> I'll pour through the FAQ and got hrough the online manuals for now. But
> it all seems greek.  Can someone point me in a diresction to degreek this
> stuff for me.

No ONE thing comes to mind.  There are some web versions of the man command
online, which is a good place to start.  But the best thing seems to me is
to find some disk space and make a small installation.  Start by running

#man man

and go from there.

Lars Eighner
8800 N IH35 APT 1191 AUSTIN TX 78753-5266

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