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Nomadikhan

MS-DOS is FUN

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Posted (edited)

I had an itch to play some old games from my childhood.  So as any person does these days I installed DOSBox... yeah it's over-glroified, I wasn't happy.  So in good Nomad fashion I sourced parts via Craigslist, ebay, thriftshops, and back-alley shaddy deals.  I bought a grand total of four computers and I'm not going to admit how many other parts.

 

Yep, I built a computer for DOS.  No I'm not using windows 98se, no I didn't do VMWare with 98se, I did the emulator scene in my teenage years, downloading SNES emulators in the Library at School onto zip drive disks to take home (because the School had a T1 line).  As I got older I realized there's nothing like the original hardware, console games and computer alike.  So I built a computer dedicated for MS-DOS 7.10.

 

I ended up with a horizontal Desktop case, beige ofc. But as some know, those days not every case was wire harnessed to fit every motherboard connection (for HDD LED, Power LED, Power Switch, , Reset Switch, etc).  I butchered one case by grind cutting the power switch out.  I took the wiring harness that fit my desired motherboard and with some extra wire from donated fans, and one of the four cases along with some heatshrink tubing, spliced my own custome wire harness that fits this case.  I then grind-cut the power supply location to open the back panel so that no matter what power suply i used, it will let the plug and on/off switch fit.  I cable managed the s*** out of the IDE and Floppy ribbon cables, to get a nice clean look.  So I ended up with...

- Pentium III 450mhz

- 128mb RAM (managed via QEMM to replace HIMEM.SYS and EMMS86.SYS)

- 16MB AGP video (I've sourced a few cheap s f*** 32mb agp cards for next weekends shopping)

- Ensoniq AudioPCI 5200 Soundblaster Pro card.

- 2x 3.5in floppy drives and bought nearly 150 floppy disks, because original hardward :P.

- NEC Multispin 4x CD_ROM drive, think CD-ROM drive jukebox.. it holds 4 discs.

- 5.25in bay stereo speaker (wanted to go for the console effect.  I can pack it away and no need for external speakers)

 

As you can imagine, drivers can be hard to find.  For the soundcard I found someone that had an original CD who zipped the files to me.  I wanted to remember the "fun" of QBasic 4.5 so I used a binary file splitter to chop up the driver files into 1.44mb floppy sized chunks.  13x disks in fact.  I then coded a SETUP..EXE to process copying all 13 files, splice the chopped parts back together, update the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS, then ATTRIB+H CONFIG.SYS again, then clean up temp files from splicing.  Mega fun, takes a special kind.  I plan on coding more SETUP.EXE's for the CD-ROM driver, and VGA card as well.  I could just use a CD  and manually copy/paste them and update files, but why settle when I can use 13x floppy disks!

 

I've installed Daggerfall, which as crappy as it's controls are, plays buttery smooth, Wizardry, Bard's Tale, and a few random games like Jill of the Jungle, Jazz Jackrabbit, and Blake Stone Aliens of Gold.  Soon I'll get the classics, Duke Nukem, Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, etc.

 

There's just one issue I can't seem to solve atm...

Spoiler

SHE WON'T STOP PLAYING ON IT SO I CAN DO STUFF!

 

8pcRFWv.jpg

 

Edited by Nomadikhan

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I built my first PC, a Pentium III 600 I believe, specifically to play TES 2: Daggerfall.

 

The game's system requirements were consulted for every aspect of the build.  That was the (only) game I wanted to play!

 

Congratulations on the (much more challenging) task of building your machine in 2019!

 

...and especially a round of applause for passing on that special joy to the next generation!  :) 

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Oh my God! Nomad I am seeing you in a whole new light... You are my hero...

 

I grew up on those games. You took me on a trip through memory lane! Holy hell look at that computer case!

 

My first pc was a i386 with 4mb of ram and a 40mb hard drive running on DOS 5.1

 

Dear God...

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black gold was great, also the settlers, the good old transport tycoon. 

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My first PC was a Commodore 64.  My first self-built PC was a 486DX2-66.  Been building my PCs ever since.  

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Its been a lot of fun.  Like I mentioned before, most drivers i need are CD base and thats okay... But its fun getting to use qbasic again.  I am splitting files into floppy disk sized chunks and writing setup programs to automate copying, splicing, updating autoexec.bat and config.sys, etc.

 

The sound card drivers occupy 13x disks and the CD drive drivers 2x.  What took me hours to download, remember how to setup, etc will now take minutes the next time.

 

If only I could get my daughter off Word Rescue lol

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At each turn Nomad's been keeping me informed of his progress. I share his passion for retro, but not quite his commitment to actually going ahead and manage through the hardware and software build process.

 

Bravo Nomad!!

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STqfajar.jpg

 

CD-ROM and Audio driver install setup programs done and working.. phase 2 begins...

 

Labeling disks!

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AGP video cards... man that takes me back lol... 

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Posted (edited)

DOS 6.22 or bust.

 

 

 

Well......was when I got into computers in High School anyways.

Edited by nicedreams

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I personally prefer Windows 95. And yeah I am using Windows 95 on my Smartwatch every day!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Sklo:D said:

I personally prefer Windows 95. And yeah I am using Windows 95 on my Smartwatch every day!

 

I had thought of doing 95 or 98 but several games were not compatible, I found a couple the simply wont run properly under them.  They ran fine under 3.1 but that is basically just a GUI slapped on DOS at the end of the day and the drivers were virtually the same where as 95 on up were 32bit system drivers.  Example, Ultima 7 wont run properly in windows 95 even in dos mode when I tried it.  Trying again in 98se is only going to prove the same as they are using nearly identical versions of DOS and 32bit drivers.  Ultima 7 has been known to be a DOS only game and even DOSbox has issue with it from what I read.

 

Sometimes simple is better, no blue screens for me lol.

 

I do find it hilarious anyone would ever use 95 again, even for show on a watch, it was mega buggy even at its end of life.

Edited by Nomadikhan

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I prolly started with Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.11

I really miss Ultima Underworld.

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I got two Gravis gamepads off ebay pretty cheap.  They are sticky but work.  Next project is to disassemble and clean them.  One is a Super Nintendo clone, I remember playing Blakestone with one.  The other is the Playstation controller type.

 

I'm still working on making some setup programs to replace the installers that came with games like Doom and Heretic.  I want to utilize expanded memory for some of the games that use conventional by default but run okay in expanded.  Its a silly hobby or project but oddly I like it.  Its like a console system you can customize and I always loved programming in QuickBasic.

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I preferred win98, it was a great operating system for the time... most everything I played at the time were  great... I was never a fan of win Xp I found it to be a bit clumsy... win vista wasn’t bad... sadly now I’m stuck with win10... with my machines... win8.1 was a half decent OS... but 98 was most certainly the best I ever used...

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2 hours ago, ozmods said:

I preferred win98, it was a great operating system for the time... most everything I played at the time were  great... I was never a fan of win Xp I found it to be a bit clumsy... win vista wasn’t bad... sadly now I’m stuck with win10... with my machines... win8.1 was a half decent OS... but 98 was most certainly the best I ever used...

 

Well nowadays you wouldn't jump very far with Win 98 :D I guess you are very good with Win10

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I recall having access to one of the first laptops. Thing had like 10 minutes of battery time, bw screen and a docking station size of a full tower pc.

 

Good times.

 

P.s. if you say that w98 was your best os you probably were not the administrator of the machine. Or may be you just don't remember the pains that were drivers. 

 

P.s.s. around time xp was released Ive poked Linux for the first time. Given I was rather young, it didn't stick for long. Still have a VM with Mandrake of the ages for nostalgic purposes though. It also reminds me how long of a road have we come from the early 2000's in regard with software. Obviously, some of stuff was somewhat better at the time, but the childhood problems of modern desktop PCs were quite annoying.

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Well considering that I had my first computer when I was  26, unlike some... I didn’t grow up in the computer age... I ADAPTED... to it lol.. when I was growing up computers and the super. Highway were a thing of fantasy... but now look how far we have come since the launch of 95, in around 25 years, we have gone from big clumsy towers that took up half your desk, to devices that fit in the palm of your hand... 

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