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Should I get a 286, 386, or 486 computer?

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Thanks so much, and PM me your PayPal and shipping costs. :)

 

I actually was a massive DOS gamer starting in 1993. A little late on the scene, but I still have plenty of old disks. Yay!

 

 

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I can throw in a misc item, I think.

 

Some years ago, I ordered (what I thought at the time) was a single 3Com 10base-T ISA ethernet card. In reality, it was a shipment of 25 cards. Brand new, in cellophane.  I have the "surplus" in a closet someplace. I can totally put one of those in too. :D 

 

Getting networking going in DOS is an... advanced... topic.  However, it IS totally doable. Since FX supports IPX in addition to LPT and pals (and because ethernet cables are easier to source than laplink) it might be a good option for you. 

 

Let me make sure they are still where I left them before I commit to sending one though.

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NOPE-- Must have thrown them all out.  Can't find them.

 

Oh well, I did package up the drives, the SATA->IDE bridge, and I found a (basically brand new) 80 conductor EIDE cable.  All packaged up. Just need to head to the post office.

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There's a fair amount of Internet stuff for MS-DOS that makes it easier to deal with the fact that my Unisys CWD-5001 doesn't have a CD-ROM drive (and unless I can find a parallel model, can't have one - there's just no physical space for it).

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2 hours ago, The Usotsuki said:

There's a fair amount of Internet stuff for MS-DOS that makes it easier to deal with the fact that my Unisys CWD-5001 doesn't have a CD-ROM drive (and unless I can find a parallel model, can't have one - there's just no physical space for it).

Like THIS ONE?

 

You can get dos drivers for it even!

Edited by wierd_w

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9 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Getting networking going in DOS is an... advanced... topic.  However, it IS totally doable. Since FX supports IPX in addition to LPT and pals (and because ethernet cables are easier to source than laplink) it might be a good option for you. 

I got my Atari Mega STE online about two years ago. I use something called the WiFi232. It was a lot of fun going online BBS's after all of these years. Wonder if it would work in DOS...

Edited by Zap!

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Maybe, but if you get an ISA network adapter, you can do it natively.  There are DOS TCP stacks.

 

See for instance, this august software.

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/doscltcp.htm

 

It is entirely possible, with an old network card, to mount a share on a NAS as a drive letter in DOS. :D  Just make sure your NAS supports legacy SMB 1.0

Edited by wierd_w
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Well, the longer floppy cable arrived today, allowing me to hook up two drives at once. At first the 5 1/2” B: drive didn’t read. I cleaned the heads and popped in an old disk that I had. Wow!

 

 

F55A226C-D0B0-4D20-92ED-89339AD461C1.jpeg

D4EFC5D1-ECEB-4C17-8D67-15F217DD75C9.jpeg

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OK. Looks like the tracking number finally went active.  Expected delivery by Thursday.

 

Glad that the 1.2mb drive is working!

 

You can get quite a lot of vintage software from Archive.org by the way. Not sure how legal that is, so no deep links from me, but there are quite a few collections.  Since that win98 laptop has a diskette drive, you should be in business if you have plenty of empty diskettes laying around, at least until then.

 

I'll look in from time to time-- See how you are doing.

 

Did that UMB/EMS driver work?

 

Here's the link again so you don't have to go fishing.

 

From the motherboard pics you sent, yours should be supported. (chipset ID 4 in the list-- NEAT chipset with 82c351)

Dunno if you also have the "SCAT" chip or not. Might not get EMS, but you should definitely get hardware UMBs without needing EMM386.

 

The "EMM Simulator" driver he offers claims it will work without the SCAT chip, so there's that too.  Here's the docs for the EMM simulator, and the UMB driver, in that order.

The EMM driver document gives an example config.sys. 

 



UMB_EMS4.DOC       Version 5.22             02/20/92             Page 1


                      UMB_EMS4.SYS Device Driver
           EMS simulator for DOS 5.0 on 286 / 386 / 486 systems
              Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 All Rights Reserved

     Christopher Blum          CompuServe: 76625,1041
     1022 East Wayne Avenue      INTERNET: [email protected]
     Wooster, Ohio 44691              BIX: cblum
     (216)262-3786


IMPORTANT INFORMATION - DISTRIBUTION AND LICENSING


     UMB_EMS4.SYS carries no warranties expressed or implied.  It is
solely up to the user to determine its suitability for use on his/her
machine.
     This program is distributed as a self-extracting file containing
the device driver and its associated documentation as a part of the
UMB_DRVR.SYS package. Copying and redistribution is encouraged, but must
be the original, unmodified file containing this documentation, and the
transfer must not carry any fee or charge specific to this program: i.e.
general BBS access or line charges are OK, but no 'download fee' or
similar charge. This means that BBS operators may post this file for
download, but may not charge a specific fee for it, and 'Distribution
houses' may charge a disk-duplication fee, but not a specific charge for
the program.
     UMB_EMS4.SYS is made available on a 'try before you buy' basis.
It is not crippled in any way, and has no 'advertising'. The latest
version will be available on CompuServe in the IBM forum ( 'GO IBMSYS',
lib 1 ).
     Personal use license ( U.S. funds ) is $25 which should be mailed
to the above address if the program is used after a reasonable trial
period ( 30 days ). Please use the registration form at the end of the
UMB_DRVR.DOC document. Users who register receive the latest version of
the program, and may at any time send a self-addressed *and postpaid*
diskette mailer and a diskette to receive further updated versions.
     Corporate users must contact me for corporate rate or site license
arrangements.


TECHNICAL SUPPORT


     Technical support, including pre-registration questions or install
assistance, is available at your expense at the above telephone number.
Please be aware that I am in the Eastern US time zone ( GMT-4 or GMT-5
depending on season ) and try to call at a reasonable hour: i.e. 9 AM to
Noon, 1 PM to 5PM, or 7 PM to 10 PM. Saturday is OK, but *PLEASE* avoid
Sundays. I can also be contacted via Email on CompuServe, BIX and
INTERNET ( IDs above ) - I monitor my mail almost every day. It is not
necessarily a good idea to leave me messages on CompuServe in the forum
sections unless your question or discussion is of general interest. The
Postal Service may also be used ( address above ).
UMB_EMS4.DOC       Version 5.22             02/20/92             Page 2


INTRODUCTION


     UMB_EMS4.SYS is a device driver providing EMS simulation from XMS
( HIMEM.SYS ) extended memory. It is a software implementation of the
LIM 4.0 standard, implementing all features of the specification except
page aliasing, which requires actual hardware support.
     All XMS extended memory is considered to be available also as EMS.
The XMS memory is dynamically configured to EMS and back as programs
open and close EMS handles. You should see, when you do a MEM display,
that the EMS available and XMS available track with each other.
     The driver must be installed *AFTER* UMB_DRVR.SYS and HIMEM.SYS
have been installed, preferrably using the DEVICEHIGH command to load
into upper memory. It requires about 72K of memory to initialize, and
takes no parameters.


REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS


     UMB_EMS4 has been run on 286, 386 and 486 systems with excellent
results. It will run on any system supported by UMB_DRVR.SYS, DOS 5.0
and the HIMEM.SYS XMS server.

     Do *NOT* use simulated EMS provided by UMB_EMS4 for disk cache
programs such as PC-Quick, HyperDisk, SMARTDRV.SYS, etc. They will work
better with extended memory than simulated EMS ( see also following ).

     The driver is Windows-386-enhanced-mode-aware, but you need to
start Windows in enhanced mode using 'WIN /3' ( UMB_EMS4 will back
itself out at Win init and reinstall at Win exit, but you must force
enhanced mode ) if you want it. The driver will not allow Windows to
start in enhanced mode if any simulated EMS users are active. This is
to allow Windows full use of extended memory, and further explains why
you can't have any cache programs use EMS if they need to run while
Windows is active. This can also affect shell programs or COMMAND.COM
replacement programs such as 4DOS. If you have a choice, select to use
extended memory for any such applications.

     I *STRONGLY* suggest that you set your XMS handle count to 64 by
using /NUMHANDLES=64 for HIMEM.SYS, because the driver uses XMS handles
and the EMS 4.0 specification says you should have a minimum of 64. It
will work with the HIMEM.SYS default of 32, but there is some chance
that programs which normally would run might not in that environment.
UMB_EMS4.DOC       Version 5.22             02/20/92             Page 3


MISCELLANEOUS NOTES


     If you're interested, here are some benchmark figures, run on a
16Mhz 386sx with Chips & Technologies NEATsx chip set with 4MB memory.
The hardware figures below reflect the NEATsx EMS facilities using Chips
and Technologies NEAT EMS driver version 2.0 and 2MB EMS.


*** PC Magazine Labs Benchmark 6.0

                    Hardware     UMB_EMS4
                    --------     --------
     EMS read        527.83        12.80   ( KB/sec )
     EMS write       527.83        12.80


*** MOVETEST ( PC Labs EMS Move test, 256KB move timing in seconds )

                               - 64 byte records -  -- 128KB records --
                               Hardware   UMB_EMS4  Hardware   UMB_EMS4
                               --------   --------  --------   --------
   EMS => Conventional           1.81       1.42       .05        .05
   Conventional => Conventional   .71        .65       .05        .05
   Conventional => EMS           1.86       1.42       .05        .05
   EMS => EMS                    1.86       1.64       .05        .05


*** Disk defragmentation program
  ( 100MB drive, 80MB data. Program run two times, organizing data in
    two different orders. Identical initial data for all runs. Program
    used 2 MB of EMS or Extended memory for buffers )

                   Run #1   Run #2   Average  ( times in min:sec )
                   ------   ------   -------
  EMS ( Hardware )   7:03     7:15     7:09
  EMS ( EMM386 )     7:15     7:32     7:24
  Extended ( XMS )   8:53     9:14     9:04
  EMS ( UMB_EMS4 )  11:50    11:05    11:28

     Don't let these figures scare you... most programs tested run very
well with UMB_EMS4 and show little performance difference. The above
figures are 'worst case' and do not reflect the average program. Many
programs such as Quattro Pro 3.0, Lotus, DBase, Paradox, a selection of
games, several TSRs including a print spooler, and various others have
been tested with no problems.
UMB_EMS4.DOC       Version 5.22             02/20/92             Page 4


INSTALLATION

     *PLEASE BE SURE YOU HAVE REVIEWED THIS DOCUMENTATION* prior to
installing. Also, make sure you have backed-up your system and that you
have a diskette you can boot from in case you have problems with your
CONFIG.SYS settings.
     Installation is via the lines:

         DEVICE=UMB_DRVR.SYS ...
         DOS=HIGH,UMB
         DEVICEHIGH=HIMEM.SYS /NUMHANDLES=64
         DEVICEHIGH=UMB_EMS4.SYS

     The driver will print a status report at initialization, and self-
explanatory error messages if installation fails.

     If you do not have enough upper memory to load UMB_EMS4 high, you
may use DEVICE= to load into conventional memory, but it is much better
to load it high if possible. Rearranging your CONFIG.SYS to do so is
highly suggested.

     Again, as with any new software, *MAKE SURE YOUR SYSTEM IS BACKED
UP* and verify the operation of your programs. It is impossible for me
to test all configurations and programs. If you have problems, let me
know and I will try to straighten them out.


KNOWN INCOMPATIBILITIES


     Word Perfect version 5.1 crashes if you use its default EMS 4.0
support. This can be avoided by either using the execute command:
          WP /32
when running it, or the command:
          SET WPC=/32
in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file at bootup. Either of these actions tells Word
Perfect to use LIM 3.2 calls only. I am in contact with Word Perfect
Corporation and am working on the problem.


REVISION HISTORY


     5.22 [02/20/92] - Initial release version.

                   ***** END OF DOCUMENTATION *****

 

 

 


UMB_DRVR.TXT       Version 5.22             02/20/92

                      UMB_DRVR.SYS Device Driver
           UMB provider for DOS 5.0 on 286 / 386 / 486 systems
              Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 All Rights Reserved

     Christopher Blum          CompuServe: 76625,1041
     1022 East Wayne Avenue      INTERNET: [email protected]
     Wooster, Ohio 44691              BIX: cblum
     (216)262-3786

KNOWN PROBLEMS

     Chip set selections 17 and 18 ( Silicon Integrated Systems 386 and
486 sets ) do not function correctly in this version. I am working on
the problem and will post a new version when they are fixed.

CHANGES IN THIS RELEASE

     5.22 [02/20/92] - 'Unbroke' cache systems broken in 5.17;
                       ( Hopefully ) improved handling of false parity
                         errors during processing;
                       Added code to handle boot page for MR BIOS;
                       Fixed handling of certain embedded video roms;
                       Released UMB_EMS4 EMS simulator.

CHIP SETS CURRENTLY SUPPORTED

  00 - User-Specified Available Memory mode
       Chip ID(s): None

  01 - Chips & Technologies CS8221 NEAT, CS8281 NEATsx,
            CS8223 LeAPset, CS8283 LeAPset-sx
       Texas Instruments TACT82S411 Single Chip AT
       United Microelectronics (UMC) UM82C210 286/386SX AT
       Chip ID(s): ( C & T ) 82C212, 82C241 ( 286 )
                             82C812, 82C841 ( 386SX );
                   ( TI ) TACT82S411 ( 286, 386SX );
                   ( UMC ) UM82C212 ( 286, 386SX )

  02 - VLSI Technology VL82C200
       Chip ID(s): VL82C201,VL82C202,VL82C203,VL82C204 ( 286, 386SX )
                   ( all 4 chips required )

  03 - FOREX FRX36C300
       Chip ID(s): FRX36C300 ( 386DX )

  04 - Chips & Technologies CS8230 386/AT, CS8231 Turbo Cache 386/AT,
                       CS8233 PEAKset/386, CS82310 PEAKset DM/386
       Chip ID(s): 82C302, 82C307, 82C311, 82C351 ( 386DX )

  05 - Chips & Technologies 82C235 SCAT, 82C836 SCATsx, CB8291 ELEAT,
                            CB8295 ELEATsx, CS8285 PEAKset-sx,
                            CS8227 CHIPSlite, CS8288 CHIPSlite-sx
       Chip ID(s): 82C235 ( 286 ), 82C836 ( 386SX )

  06 - ETEQ Micro COUGAR II
       Chip ID(s): 82C491 ( 386DX, 486 )

  07 - OPTi Sx/AT, Sx/AT Cache
       Chip ID(s): 82C281, 82C282, 82C283 ( 386SX )

  08 - OPTi DX/BB PC/AT
       Chip ID(s): 82C496 ( 386DX, 486 )

  09 - OPTi 386WB PC/AT, 486SXWB PC/AT
       Chip ID(s): 82C391 ( 386DX ), 82C493 ( 486 )

  10 - OPTi 386/486WB EISA
       Chip ID(s): 82C682 ( 386DX, 486 )

  11 - Elite Microelectronics Eagle, Falcon
       Chip ID(s): e88C311 ( 386DX ), e88C411 ( 486 )

  12 - VLSI Technology SCAMP
       Chip ID(s): VL82C310, VL82C311 ( 286, 386SX ), VL82C311L ( 286 )

  13 - VLSI Technology VL82C286, VL82C386 TOPCAT
       Intel 82340SX, 82340DX
       Chip ID(s): ( VLSI ) VL82C320 ( 286, 386SX ), VL82C330 ( 386DX )
                            VL82C320A ( 286, 386SX, 486 )
                   ( Intel ) 82343, 82346 ( 286, 386SX )
                             82343A ( 286, 386SX, 486 )

  14 - OPTi HiD/386 AT, HiB/486 AT
       Chip ID(s): 82C382 ( 386DX ), 82C482 ( 486 )

  15 - Sun Electronics SUNTAC ST62CS24, ST62CS25
       Chip ID(s): ST62C241 ( 286 ), ST62C251 ( 286, 386SX )

  16 - Texas Instruments TACT83000
       Chip ID(s): TACT83442 ( 386SX, 386DX, 486 )

  17 - Silicon Integrated Systems High Performance 80386
       Chip ID(s): 85C310 ( 386DX )

  18 - Silicon Integrated Systems High Performance ISA486
       Chip ID(s): 85C401 ( 486 )

BAD NEWS ( CHIPS THAT WILL NOT BE SUPPORTED )

     Chips & Technologies: CS8220(82C201/82C202) [1]
     Intel: 82335/82335SX [2]
     Sun Electronics ( SUNTAC 😞 ST62CS02(ST62BC002) [1]
     United Microelectronics ( UMC 😞 UM82C230(UM82C231) [1]
     VLSI Technology: VL82C100 [1]
     Western Digital: ( Faraday ) FE3021/FE3021A [2]

     Notes:
          [1] - No shadow ram support
          [2] - Lock feature prohibits access

MAYBE? ( NEED TECHNICAL DATA TO SUPPORT )

     ACER
     American Megatrends (AMI) - Megatrends custom chips, *NOT* BIOS
     COMPAQ
     IBM PS/2
     Micronics - custom chips
     PC-Chips brand chip set(s)
     Toshiba

     I have been unable to get any documentation for these systems. If
     you can have your system vendor or the chip set manufacturer
     contact me, I will try to include support for them.

COMING ATTRACTIONS ( SUPPORT PLANNED OR UNDER DEVELOPMENT )

     ACC Microelectronics: 2036 [2], 2046
     Headland Technology: HT12/HT15 [1], HT18/HT21/HT22 [2], HT322
     Intel: 82350 EISA(82359), 80386SL(Intel386SL)
     OPTi: L1/L2 Notebook
     Symphony Laboratories: SL82C360(SL82C361), SL82C460(SL82C461)
     Texas Instruments: TACT84500 EISA(TACT84542)
     United Microelectronics ( UMC 😞 UM82C380(UM82C384) [1]
     VLSI Technology: VL82C486
     Western Digital: WD6000/WD75C10/WD76C10/WD7710/WD7910 [1]
     ZyMos Corporation: POACH(82C230/82C231)

     Notes:
          [1] - Support minimal ( maximum 64K UMB area ).
          [2] - Support limited ( maximum 128K UMB area ).

     If your chip set is not listed, have your system vendor or the chip
     set manufacturer contact me and I will try to support it.

     A newer, more flexible ( read as less Neanderthal, approaching the
Bronze Age ) user interface is coming as soon as I get the time.

     Also in the works are features to save even more precious memory
below 640K by:
     - loading the primary shell ( COMMAND.COM ) into upper memory
     - relocating all DOS areas possible to upper memory, including
         FCBS=, FILES=, BUFFERS=, STACKS=, and LASTDRIVE=
     - allowing the lower portion of the video ram area to be switched
         in and out to expand DOS base ram beyond 640K but not inhibit
         graphics modes ( only for chip sets with video area support )

     I have ( I think ) found a way to *reliably* test for and list the
chip set in a machine. I will be including a separate program to do this
in the package soon. Of course, it will only recognize the chip sets it
supports, so a negative result will not necessarily mean you have a chip
set that will not be supported later.

     If there is enough interest, I will also write device-specific EMS
drivers for the hardware facilities in the EMS-capable chip sets. Please
Email or surface mail your thoughts ( no phone calls on this, please -
save those for support questions ).

 

 

Edited by wierd_w

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Reading the documentation, it looks like I would try this first:

 

DEVICE=A:\UMB_DRVR.SYS /C=04 /M=--------........--------

DOS=HIGH,UMB

DEVICEHIGH=A:\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF /NUMHANDLES=64

DEVICEHIGH=A:\UMB_EMS4.SYS

 

That excludes all the adapter RAM in the VGA card so the driver does not try that silly low memory backfill crap, and ensures the system bios is fully excluded. It should give you a nice chunk of UMB and an EMS pageframe, and stay in real mode.

 

Without seeing the memory map via something like MSD, I cannot suggest if the far end of the memory area can be used or not.

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1 hour ago, wierd_w said:

Reading the documentation, it looks like I would try this first:

 

DEVICE=A:\UMB_DRVR.SYS /C=04 /M=--------........--------

DOS=HIGH,UMB

DEVICEHIGH=A:\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF /NUMHANDLES=64

DEVICEHIGH=A:\UMB_EMS4.SYS

 

That excludes all the adapter RAM in the VGA card so the driver does not try that silly low memory backfill crap, and ensures the system bios is fully excluded. It should give you a nice chunk of UMB and an EMS pageframe, and stay in real mode.

 

Without seeing the memory map via something like MSD, I cannot suggest if the far end of the memory area can be used or not.

Oh boy I remember messing with getting as much non-extended RAM as I could. I managed to get a bit under 600kb which is fine for most old DOS games. I remember Duke Nukem II (a legit full version that's on the Duke 3D CDrom) throwing a fit cause I didn't have enough RAM. LOL

Edited by DragonGrafx-16

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2 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Did that UMB/EMS driver work?

 

Here's the link again so you don't have to go fishing.

Unfortunately I had to get ready for work, so the last time I used the 386 was for 10 minutes of Pharaor’s Tomb. 😎

 

I am off tomorrow though, can't wait to check!

Edited by Zap!

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Yes, half the fun of DOS was to decide which components to load and where they could go in the memory map to leave as much conventional memory as possible free.

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Yup.  Squeezing back as much low DOS memory as possible, loading the leanest, meanest drivers into umbs, etc.  You got to know what lived in what sections of memory quite well, if you were really picky.

 

I have never used this hardware UMB driver before, so I am very interested in seeing how well it works.  It it's a flop, he can always resort back to himem.sys and emm386.exe, but again-- that results in running in v86 mode.

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What's nice about DOS gaming today is the benefit of all the knowledge gained from the trial-and-error memory management bitd. Just look up what works and go.

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5 hours ago, carlsson said:

Yes, half the fun of DOS was to decide which components to load and where they could go in the memory map to leave as much conventional memory as possible free.

For better or worse, I used the memmaker utility that came with DOS,   it made those decisions and usually left me with enough memory to run what I needed to

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The whole EMS/XMS/UMB/HIGH thing was a game in and of itself. When MemMaker came out it was great fun to see if it could outperform what I had done. And more fun to be had with bonus points for making one config fit ALL your stuff. Thinking about it makes me all teary-eyed and nostalgic. Suddenly I want to read my old MS-DOS 5.0 and 6.22 manuals.

 

And it's a great time to do that. The air is chilly out there and it's nice and quiet. The bacteria farts that give us the spring smell haven't broken through the frozen ground. Not for another 2-3 months.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Keatah said:

The whole EMS/XMS/UMB/HIGH thing was a game in and of itself. When MemMaker came out it was great fun to see if it could outperform what I had done. And more fun to be had with bonus points for making one config fit ALL your stuff. Thinking about it makes me all teary-eyed and nostalgic. Suddenly I want to read my old MS-DOS 5.0 and 6.22 manuals.

 

And it's a great time to do that. The air is chilly out there and it's nice and quiet. The bacteria farts that give us the spring smell haven't broken through the frozen ground. Not for another 2-3 months.

 

 

Funny, This stuff and TSRs in general are what keep me from being nostalgic about MS-DOS 😄

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Oh man....setting CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT was actually fun for me back then. It was like you did magic to get a friend's computer to run a game like Tie Fighter.

 

At a company I worked for, I constructed a bootable disk that would load CD-ROM drivers, network drivers and such from a menu. I did a like of imaging with Norton Ghost and had images burned on CD or on the network, so I could choose what I wanted to run. The network driver setup was the bee's knees. And I believe I still have that disk....somewhere in the basement....

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When I got into retro computing, I realized I no longer needed resources such as IRQs for parallel ports and peripherals such as modems--things that were a hassle to remove or disable. These days, everything is pretty streamlined for me since I don't need or want to network these old PCs. Just a video card and a sound card (or two or three). Plenty of resources to go around when all you need is a gaming computer rather than a daily driver. The challenge now can be to have three different sound cards in the same build.

 

I have a CF HDD on my 486 with about 20 different autoexec.bat/config.sys setups for each sound card--I just rename the extension after I pop in the card.

 

For my P3 with 98SE, I image the OS with different video card/sound card combos on DVD-Rs. Takes about 10 minutes to reimage after I've selected the combo that I want.

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Update: For the most part, everything is working properly. Shout outs to all who of those have helped me in this thread, especially wierd_w. He not only generously sent me a free package of goodies, but also spent hours of his time in PM's and on the phone helping me. Much appreciated!

 

So right now I have the 386 running DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1. Added hardware is a Sound Blaster 16 and a CD-ROM. Accessories are my old Gravis GamePad, which I just took apart and cleaned. The HD is a 2gb CompactFlash to IDE adapter. Since DOS can't format such large sizes normally, it was formatted in EZ-Drive.

 

Stuff to get done: 1) A serial mouse. My PS/2 to Serial adapter did not work with my PS/2 mouse, so one is in the mail. Not having a mouse is severely holding me back in Windows. 2) Remove that battery and replace it with a modern solution. I dread this, but I know that I have to do it. Miraculously, it's still holding a charge. 3) Get the Sound Blaster 64AWE that's coming in the mail. 4) Possibly get it connected online with WiFi232 or something similar.

 

Stuff I can't figure out: When formatted with EZ-Drive, it can not detect both the A and C drives together. When I boot to the HD and I insert a disk in A, it lights up for several seconds, but doesn't make any noise and I get that abort, retry, fail message. The A drive works fine however. On a boot disk, it boots right up in A. However, then I can not see the C drive. What's odd is that the B drive always works when either the A or C drives boot up. It's the same story when formatted in Disk Manager. But when I format it in MSDOS, all drives work together just fine. But I can't do that, because it only formats in 120mb or so. Very weird. Any suggestions?

 

Anyway, here's a pic from last night!

computer.jpg

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Yup. The floppy issue is very confusing.

 

The system is able to read diskettes in drive A just fine as long as the DDO is not loaded. It stops working with BOTH ezbios and diskmanager one either one loads.

 

Ezbios setup makes the HDD partition it creates bootable which is how we got this running.

 

I identified Zap!'s multi io card--

https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/hard-disk-floppy-controllers/U-Z/UNIDENTIFIED-Two-IDE-AT-Interface-drives-SAI2S4-MU.html

 

(We verified that the FDC is jumpered properly.)6

 

And i helped him get his Sb16 pnp going.

 

He needs a proper serial mouse. I told him on the phone that the ps/2 to serial mouse adapters were always a crapshoot. Hes tried it on both his ports with no love. He has one on order.

 

Has anyone encountered strange diskette behavior with DDO software like this before?

 

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