Well, like I said, this was a because-I-can project. However, it could be useful for people with underpowered/old/Linux computers, or for easy access to modding tools on unfamiliar computers. (The File Emitter includes KeenGraph and the XP MSPaint, among other things.)
Unfortunately, because of licensing issues, I can't just publish an ISO based on Windows PE. Even though WinPE is free for anyone to download, Microsoft isn't OK with people redistributing it or modified versions of it. So, to get the ISO compiled, we have something of a process to go through:
- Download the AbiatharOS compiler and the patched resources
- Download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8.1 installer from Microsoft; run adksetup.exe
- In the "specify location" step, click Next (leave the default)
- Choose whether or not to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program
- Accept the license terms
- On the feature selection screen, uncheck "Windows Performance Toolkit" and "Windows Assessment Toolkit", leaving "Deployment Tools" and WinPE
- Wait for a while as the setup wizard downloads and installs the tools
- When it finishes, launch the "Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment" shortcut as administrator
- cd to the place you extracted the AbiatharOS compiler
- Run compile.bat
- Wait for the compiler to finish
- Burn the ISO to bootable media or add the WIM image to a Windows Deployment Services server
When you boot AbiatharOS for the first time, it probably won't see any writable drives. You'll need to use DiskPart to create an NTFS- or FAT32-formatted partition and assign it a drive letter.
Once Abiathar starts, you can work as normal. Under the OS menu, you'll find options to launch a command prompt (from which you can access system tools and accessories), run DOSBox, shut down, or install AbiatharOS to your hard drive.
So yeah, I don't really expect anyone to make serious use of this, but hey, if it helps you, great! I learned a lot from making it, so that's all I need. Happy Keen Day everyone!