I've got an HP 200LX, which runs DOS 5.0 from ROM, and I'm using EMM200 to provide some EMS from the C: RAM disk (it uses the memory controller to directly map the "disk" blocks into memory, and thus doesn't rely on disk I/O for swapping).
What options do I have for doing simple multi-tasking on this system? Note that I don't need actual concurrent/background execution. Suspending one program and switching to another is perfectly fine. Ideally, I'd like something that can make use of EMS, both for keeping itself out of the lower 640 KB as much as possible (I know it would need at least a few KB for an interrupt handler), and potentially for actual task swapping, instead of dumping to disk.
These are the ones I know of:
- DOSSHELL - Functionally, not too far from what I'm looking for, but I don't think it takes advantage of EMS, and the startup time is unacceptably long as it reads the whole disk structure into memory whenever launching or switching back.
- Software Carousel - I know this was always a favorite among 200LX users, but it's commercial software, and seems to still be available from Thaddeus Computing for about $50. I want to make sure there aren't better/equal options before spending the money.
- DESQView - Can this even be used on anything prior to the 386? And is it useful on such chips?
Do any of the old file management shells like Norton Commander or X-Tree provide this kind of functionality?