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Modern tools you use in Classic Computing/Gaming?

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What are some of the modern-day tools you use in your classic gaming/computing hobby? I'm not necessarily talking soldering irons or logic analyzers and scopes. But rather PC based tools like emulators, or file organizers, databases, file archivers & compressors, file viewers and things like that.


My toolkit consists of:

Windows File Explorer


Adobe Acrobat

Foxit Reader (older non-bloated version)

MS Office 2003




A big box full of emulators

Assorted PC <-> Classic Computer file transfer utilities and kits

CFFA 3000



Disk Commander

Assorted and platform specific graphic converters

Platform specific compressors and decompressors



EasyDuplicateFinder (older non-bloated version)

CCleaner duplicate name finder

Filename date/time changer

D-FileMU file renamer


ISO Workship





..and probably some others I'm not thinking of at the moment..


Lame topic? Maybe.. But the point is to discover and discus what tools on a modern PC make classic computing and archiving more fun and practical.


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Right now I use ADT Pro, CiderPress and a Floppy Emu with my Apple IIGS, along with various web sites where I get disk images.


I've had various emulators but the only one I really keep around permanently is MAME.


In terms of PC-based stuff, I think that's actually about it.

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Some of the tools that I use with some regularity:


Emacs (obviously)

Adobe Photoshop

various graphics converters (*)

Audacity (to record/convert emulated sound for posting clips)

Linux dd (to write disk images)



plus some of the ones you list above.


Actually I think "assorted utilities", "platform specific tools" and alike would be more interesting to list, as those are the tools that most users or aspiring developers would have the hardest time to hunt down and that is what FAQ's usually try to cover. The fact that we use WinRAR or 7Zip, Photoshop or Paint.net, MS Office, Notepad, Acrobat Reader, command shell etc shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as these are programs that pretty much everybody use for various needs.


Perhaps more interesting then for what we use them. I import full colour images in Photoshop, shrink them and reduce to a smaller palette and by hand fix pixels to get graphics that work on the platform of choice. For full screen images there are specialized programs that do the same even better, but for small chunks I like to have some control, although graphics isn't my game. I suppose a word processor mostly is used to write documentation, so nothing spectacular. Our pure text editors that others might just use to keep simple notes, usually are our programming tools where code is written. Some environments even allow syntax highlighting, attaching compilers to turn them into IDE's etc.

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For hardware:


  • IBM model 25
  • Tandy 1000 T:L/2
  • 486 DX 4 100
  • 486 DX2 Server
  • IBM p70
  • Apple IIC
  • MAC LC II (Two)
  • K6-2 a PIII Etc.
  • ZIP Drives for easy file transfer from Newer Desktop, Plus a 3 1/2 Floppy



  • DOS 6.22/7/Win95/98/OS2/Apple OS
  • WinImage

I usually stick with DOS but I do have 98 on an Athlon with Geforce 6100 I think card you can get, Sound blaster for running games that were made for 95/98.

DOS 7/95 on 486 because the FAT32 and the 80GB Hard drive I managed to stuff in it. Mostly just boot into DOS


Mostly do most of the extraction on my Newer Desktop, write to a floppy or Zip. I have like 200 Floppies and 20 or so ZIP disk (People toss ZIP disk) I grab them and scandisk them, they usually test good after a format!


A roll of tape :) to cover the little hole because a couple my computers only have 720k drives.


A stack of IBM 5150, 5160 and 5170 I'm rebuilding

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I've often use a spreadsheet program like GNUmeric (Excel or LibreOffice also works) to make game lists. Being able to sort by catagory and export to a text file is very useful...

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