As for VAPORWARE that is any software that does not exist but some one cites a example of how it could be faster on modern hardware compared to existing old hardware.
(Despite the new hardware does not have a single program that exists to do it!) VAPORWARE is musings with no evidence.
I would love to set up MESS but every attempt requires me to load something like Visual Studio which of course I do not have. Or load things that breaks other things.
Last attempt broke my BOOTCAMP drivers and made a mess that took me 3 days to fix.
Don't worry, I know what vaporware is Rich... I'm using the same definition as you.
Anyway, I've gone through the steps to set up MESS on my Windows work machine (Windows 7) and put together a zip file for you. It runs fine on my machine.
If you download the above file and unzip it to a folder of your liking on your system you should have a fully functioning MESS install. It also includes the XHI and YAPP disks I mentioned above, as well as the extended basic and editor/assembler modules. In order to use it you will need to use the command line though, so be aware of that.
Suppose you've unzipped to folder to c:\mess then you can use the following commands to run XHi and YAPP respectively:
c:\mess\mess.exe ti99_4ev -skip_gameinfo -peb:slot8 hfdc -window -nomaximize -natural -cart carts/extended_basic.rpk -flop1 disks/XHI.dsk
c:\mess\mess.exe ti99_4ev -skip_gameinfo -peb:slot8 hfdc -window -nomaximize -natural -cart carts/editor_assembler.rpk -flop1 disks/YAPP.dsk
To run YAPP, you go to E/A option #5 and load DSK1.YAPP
Let me know if you need any further help with this.