On a whim, I installed the latest pre-release release of ReactOS today. I tried it a long time ago and had no luck whatsoever — black screens, nonbooting or just generalized irregular behavior — and so I rarely give it a thought.
But I was surprised to find that the live CD version — which weighs in at a size comparable to Slitaz — works great, and the installation version does its job too.
For the most part. I get a weird split-screen effect, with the lower half of the screen rolling up from the bottom, like a TV with a busted vertical hold. And the resolution doesn’t scale to the Inspiron‘s LCD, which means the right third of the screen is lost somewhere in the ether.
Add to that the fact that nothing aside from the touchpad, the video and the hard drives seem to work — no wireless network, no PCMCIA, no audio, no USB, etc., etc. — and it’s not exactly functional for me. I’d show a screenshot, but I’m at a loss for a way to get the image off the machine.
However, every computer is different, and every installation is different, so it might be that your hardware is the lucky combination that works as an entire system. No harm in trying.
And even if it’s not 100 percent functional, it’s nice to see progress made on something as lofty as a cycle-perfect imitation of Windows. Regardless of your philosophy on the subject, some people are working very hard on this, and it seems their labors are bearing some fruit.