Jump to content
Keatah

Decisive moment you had to get a PC.

Recommended Posts

On 6/11/2020 at 7:45 AM, newtmonkey said:

I have a "modern" moment I decided I needed a PC (in addition to the moment "back in the day" I posted earlier in the thread).

 

As much as I had enjoyed DOSBOX over the last many years, I began to get annoyed with two issues:

1) Figuring out CPU cycles settings for each game (a significant number of games that I want to play were developed to run within a very narrow range of CPU speeds)

2) Scaling 320x200 with correct aspect ratio and without uneven scaling.

 

I switched to PCem, and this resolved the first issue, as I was able to configure virtual systems running at specific CPU speeds.

 

This did not resolve issue (2) of course.  You can apply a shader with some slight bilinear filtering to cover up the uneven pixel scaling, but it's not ideal.  It bothered me enough that I slowly started gathering parts to build a P133, and now have a dedicated DOS gaming machine tucked away into the corner of my office.

Number 2 bothered me too.   There are alternate versions of Dosbox that handle scaling better.  I use Dosbox-X, (I think that's what it's called)

Part of the problem could be in your video card or monitor too, so you may have to play with different settings to get output that looks right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 6:45 AM, newtmonkey said:

I have a "modern" moment I decided I needed a PC (in addition to the moment "back in the day" I posted earlier in the thread).

 

As much as I had enjoyed DOSBOX over the last many years, I began to get annoyed with two issues:

1) Figuring out CPU cycles settings for each game (a significant number of games that I want to play were developed to run within a very narrow range of CPU speeds)

2) Scaling 320x200 with correct aspect ratio and without uneven scaling.

 

I switched to PCem, and this resolved the first issue, as I was able to configure virtual systems running at specific CPU speeds.

 

This did not resolve issue (2) of course.  You can apply a shader with some slight bilinear filtering to cover up the uneven pixel scaling, but it's not ideal.  It bothered me enough that I slowly started gathering parts to build a P133, and now have a dedicated DOS gaming machine tucked away into the corner of my office.

 

In considering this problem.. The PC is a rather large platform with thousands upon thousands of possible configurations. It's all rather large in scope and any one single emulator isn't going to cover it all. I currently use 4 main virtualization platforms:

 

1- DosBox

2- MS Virtual PC 2004/2007

3- PCEM

4- Virtual Box

 

..combined together I'm mostly satisfied with their respective capabilities and roadmaps. Though DosBox has stagnated with new releases and Virtual PC 2004/2007 are no longer supported they remain relevant.

 

The above emulators have certain strengths and specialty features that make having each worthwhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

DOOM

 

There were never a reason to move on from the Amiga until Doom. It was the first game that was such a staggering leap in what could be done that you knew that this was where the next gen of computing would be.

 

Not long after PCs had their golden era (around 97-01) of 3Dfx and SoundBlaster. It felt like the natural progression of what came before it and many of the games from that time are still absolute classics.

 

It didn't last however. The point where interest stopped was Half-life 2 and Steam and what an utter nightmare it made trying to play that game. It's a really noticable cutoff point for me where physical games started to need connections to the internet. Company of Heroes 2 will no longer install for example because it wants to do some online stuff. So I had to download a hacked version despite having a legitimate copy of the game.

 

The thing that's brought PC gaming back for me is GOG and it's return to DRM free stand-alone games. I still have no urge for anything online. That boat sailed after Battlefield 1942 on PC, CoD 2 on 360 and Killzone 3 on PS3. I cannot stand what online games have become since.

Edited by juansolo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, juansolo said:

It didn't last however. The point where interest stopped was Half-life 2 and Steam and what an utter nightmare it made trying to play that game. It's a really noticable cutoff point for me where physical games started to need connections to the internet. Company of Heroes 2 will no longer install for example because it wants to do some online stuff. So I had to download a hacked version despite having a legitimate copy of the game.

For me it was "The Sims" in 2000 when PC started going downhill.   That game was so buggy and crashy and required so many patches, plus all the add-on packs that were the precursors to DLCs.    There were many games in the early 2000s that could not run properly without a lot of tweaking or hardware upgrades that I lost interest in PC gaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a pc back in the 8086 dos 3.3 days but was only for work stuff.  I was a big Apple2 fan (with a side of c64) then completely fell in love with the Amiga from '87 to 94.  I started flirting with the idea of gaming on the PC with the advent of VGA and Soundblaster cards and the huge upgrade the PC versions of the Sierra games were compared to the Amiga version...  For flight sims especially, you could see the Amiga just wasn't going in the direction of raw power that those games yearned for.  Then Doom hit and that was that.  

 

the PC still couldn't handle anything else but 3D games (action like doom or flight sims) and adventure games.  Multitasking was a joke compared to the amiga, I remember the moment you copied a file to a floppy, you basically killed the OS... and that was years later too (I think until XP came out, any I/O access was borked).  So I missed the amiga but it's the way it is.  As far as arcade and sports style of games, I let the consoles take care of those, honestly they were better at these types of games anyway

 

But Doom?  Truly a system seller if there ever was one, kind of like how Myst was a CD system seller too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Loafer said:

But Doom?  Truly a system seller if there ever was one, kind of like how Myst was a CD system seller too.

Yeah, I'm starting to see a theme here 😄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wing Commander is probably what put me over the top.

 

Had a Amiga 500 (and was using it for games as well as running a Citadel BBS) but traded it in for an genuine IBM 8080 with a 20 pound keyboard.

 

Dumb move ('replaced' my A500 by buying another one years later, the IBM, not so much - don't miss it at all)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally moved to PC when my Macintosh SE was no longer cutting it, and I realized that a new Mac was too expensive.  The PC had Windows 98, which drove me crazy. So I switched to using Linux on the PC and am still there, many PCs later.

 

Now that first PC runs DOS and has a bunch of old games on it. It's still going strong, although rarely gets used over the newer ones running various Linux distros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it was the Atari Peripheral Emulator, it needed a slave PC for my A8.  Got a used IBM 386.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When all the competition died and I didn't have a choice, especially if I wanted to use the WWW (which is not the internet and people need to stop mixing these up Internet was as old as the late 70's arguably)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with that. When "www" precedes almost every internet address out there, people are going to associate them as one and the same.

Edited by Keatah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Good luck with that. When "www" precedes almost every internet address out there, people are going to associate them as one and the same.

Well the web is also a name that works since web is the last W in WWW. Though it doesn't help many websites have removed www from the address bar and for most websites it's no longer required.

 

I know it's a small issue but people were connecting with each other and posting on BBS's before the web, and I think it's important to know about the computer environments of the past to get well rounded knowledge. I mean it's funny people remember the web being called a super highway but don't understand it was because it would change how computing worked up until that point.

Edited by Leeroy ST

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The less people are familiar with a certain topic the more creative and distant the names (for something) become. It's amusing when folks say "my internet is down can't get on amazon right now.." But that's ok - we all know what it means.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The internet is the global TCP/IP v4 network.  What applications are using it are not important; they are just IPs, sockets, and datagrams all the way down so far as the internet and its infrastructure are concerned.

 

HTTP was just a "Killer app". (sorry Tim Berner's Lee, Al Gore, and pals-- you did not invent the internet. DARPA did.)  Usenet, IRC, and Co are all in the same category as applications using that network. They weren't the first, and wont be the last.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...