The Box - A Real-World FreeDOS Application

I call this thing "The Box" because I can't really tell you much about it since I'm under a non-disclosure agreement. But the information included here has been OK'ed by my employer, so I'm OK.  I designed the software for the box.  Taylor & Sons, Inc. designed and built the box and the hardware inside, including a custom PCB.  Anyone needing any type of hardware/software engineer design is welcome to contact them for pricing or other information.

I created this page to document a real-world application that uses FreeDOS. These pictures are of the first prototype, so there are no labels for the controls, etc. but it works!

It is a box with a single board computer (a 486DX made by Ampro), and an LCD display, two volume bnobs, and four push buttons.  The push buttons are connected to four inputs of the PRINTER port, and the software polls the printer port inputs to read the key presses and control the operation of the program.

Here is a few shots of the unit powered off... As with all these pictures, you can click on the picture to see a larger size photo.

Front view

Side view

Back side with floppy drive connected.

First, we'll look at the guts of the box. I can't give a lot of details, but the cool thing is the single board computer (SBC) and the big LCD display!

Inside the box.

The LCD controller (it stacks on top of the SBC.

The SBC and the LCD controller seperated.

A close-up of the the SBC.

The back of the front panel (LCD display, etc.)

OK, enough hardware stuff... Lets see this thing boot!

The BIOS information on boot

That familar FreeDOS boot screen! :-)

A wider view after I typed "dir" and "ver /r"

Here is the actual application that will run on the box. It runs pretty good on FreeDOS. I wrote it with Turbo C 3.1. Ain't it cool!

Main Menu Screen

The program in action.

OK, that's about it.

Go to the FreeDOS web page at to get FreeDOS for yourself or find out more about it.