13 December 2006

A better DOS than DOS

I've been loaned a Win32 machine to play some games CDs for the littlies, & (surprise) immediately ran into problems with it.

Every single game wants to run with its CD in place, so you can imagine how long mis-handled CDs are going to last. Half of the games want to register themselves on-line, & one of them insists on running in 640*480*256 (ie, 8 bits deep). Which the ’Doze driver won’t do.

I’d forgotten what it was like to run with this kind of junk programming.

I tried running an “MS-DOS program” CD in the adjacent Linux box under DosBox, with the result that:

  • it runs without the CD
  • it runs in sane video modes
  • there’s no DOS box to close afterwards
  • I don’t have to pull the lid off & fiddle with the power button to get it started
  • I can run them from any screen in the house*

I’ll run the other games under WINE to see how far I get.

It’s a big time-saver already, & we haven’t even started to visibly wear out any CDs yet. Hopefully, I’ll have all of the games Wined before the ’Doze box blows up.

* Yes, even the ’Doze box, with the aid of XMing. Ironic that ’Doze won’t run a ’Doze game without Linux intervening. (-:

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