Frontend for Apps?

Emulation of old Macintoshes, Mac hardware, or Mac peripherals.

Frontend for Apps?

Postby Aaron H » 2013-7-03 @ 00:30

Hopefully, this is the correct forum to ask this question. If not, please re-direct me to the appropriate forum.

Over 30 years ago my dad wrote a family-tree database app (using a DOS program called Q&A). I first got into computers with a Windows Vista PC, so my dad installed DOSBox on my PC and showed me how to run the app that he wrote. Because of a great many Windows issues, I have since bought a MacBook Pro and I need to run that Q&A (DOS) program on the Mac.

My dad passed-on and while I realize DOSBox will run on a Mac, to be perfectly honest I just can't figure out how to do that. I see DOSBos-frontends for the Mac but all they seem to be game-oriented. Are there any frontends for the Mac that would make it easier for me to install and run my Q&A database app?

Thanks in advance,

Aaron
Last edited by Aaron H on 2013-7-04 @ 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby rcblanke » 2013-7-04 @ 03:55

There is no technical distinction (when looking from the front-end's perspective) between a game and an application. Thus, assuming DOSBox can run Q&A properly (please note that DOSBox is NOT designed to run your applications, you are most likely better of using Bochs or another emulator), the existing front-ends for OSX (Boxer, DBGL) ought to be able to get your application working, consequently.
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Sune Salminen » 2013-7-04 @ 06:08

+1 for Boxer: http://boxerapp.com/
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Dominus » 2013-7-04 @ 07:30

Someone please adjust the topic (put an os x in there) and move the topic to Dosbox General.
Boxer is probably the most eye pleasing frontend on the mac.

BUT what you aim to do is easily done by editing the preference file (see readme on where it is onOS X) and adding the needed commands once to its autoexec section. So whenever you start dosbox you immediately run your program.
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Aaron H » 2013-7-04 @ 15:14

rcblanke wrote:....assuming DOSBox can run Q&A properly (please note that DOSBox is NOT designed to run your applications, you are most likely better of using Bochs or another emulator), the existing front-ends for OSX (Boxer, DBGL) ought to be able to get your application working, consequently.

Thanks for the reply. DOSBox ran Q&A very well on my old Windows PC, but my dad set that up for me like 9 years ago, so that all I had to do was click on the desktop icon and Q&A started.
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Aaron H » 2013-7-04 @ 15:21

Dominus wrote:....what you aim to do is easily done by editing the preference file (see readme on where it is onOS X) and adding the needed commands once to its autoexec section. So whenever you start dosbox you immediately run your program.

Hi Dominus,

I am intrigued by your statement (quoted above) as that's what my dad apparently did for me to run Q&A on my Windows Vista PC. All that I had to do was to click on the desktop icon (that my dad set-up) and Q&A ran perfectly!

The problem is that I am not a 'techie' so your directions 'went over my head'. Could you please elaborate on what you are suggesting (cook-book style) so that a DOSBox noob like myself can make my dad's Q&A program work the same way on my MacBook as it did on my PC?

That would really be appreciated...

Aaron

PS. I still have my old PC with the Q&A program, so if there is any file (or whatever) that I can provide so that you can convert it to work on a Mac just let me know.
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Dominus » 2013-7-04 @ 16:31

Let me try...
that you have your old PC helps a lot with this :)

first look up the shortcut you used to launch it (right clikc it and see whether it provides a special argument for launching dosbox and whether it launches dosbox.exe or something else (a *.bat or *.cmd file perhaps). Also hunt down the conf file. If it was an old install, it is most likely in c:\program files\dosbox called dosbox.conf (if it was a default install - when you look up the shortcut it should tell you the path of dosbox.exe).

Also copy the folder with your q&a program to your mac (best via an usb stick). make a folder in your OS X home folder (~) called dos and copy the q&a program folder (folder with the files, not just the files) to this folder (~/dos).

Report back with all of the above and the name of your q&a folder :)
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Aaron H » 2013-7-04 @ 23:28

Dominus, it's very kind of you to offer that help, however it seems that my Dell laptop is again acting-up. The screen goes black upon, or several seconds after, bootup (and remains black)! :(

This problem is the reason I decided it was time to give up on that laptop PC and go to a Macbook. The problem seems to come and go, sometimes persisting for days, so I'll try again tomorrow. As soon as I can get the screen working again I will fetch the info you requested.

Thanks again,
Aaron
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Re: Frontend for Apps?

Postby Sune Salminen » 2013-7-05 @ 18:19

If you have the folder with the database program on your Mac we can still help you.

Download Boxer following the link I posted earlier and try the easy way:

I'm not on my Mac right now but if I recall correctly all you need to do is drag and drop the actual folder that contains the DOS software you want to run onto the Boxer icon. It then turns into a "gamebox" that can be double-clicked and run like any other app. Try this first, maybe it works.

If it doesn't work then you'll need the old config files for reference to figure it out, like Dominus said.
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