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Emulation on MS Windows 3.1x ?

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Reply 220 of 247, by Jo22

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Thanks! ^^

Edit: Some of those 32-Bit emulators were from the early Win95 days, also.
They work (partially) on Win32s, because they require no threading and DirectX wasn't around yet (thus use 3.1 era libraries).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 221 of 247, by Jo22

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We've made ! Hurray ! 🎉🎈🥳
Thank you guys for staying with me for the past five years !
Let's hope this thread will last another five years and gets interesting updates ! 🙂

Update. Here's a photo of the two processors Windows 3.1 does support.
(The first one is a memento from my first PC.)

The 80286 (Standard-Mode kernal) and the 80386 (386 Enhanced-Mode kernal in addition).

Isn't it amazing that such little CPUs did so much ?! 😃

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 222 of 247, by Kahenraz

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Without a heatsink as well.

To help remind me of how powerful early PCs were at their inception, all I have to do is compare then to a Sinclair ZX81 or Spectrum. That and using cassette tapes for data storage compared to floppy disks.

Reply 223 of 247, by Jo22

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+ 1

Here's a video by someone else that shows Comix Zone running on a 486 PC on Windows 3.1x/WinG.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI0-WPXQjwE

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In the 90s, it must have been fascinating to see your favorite Sega Genesis game running on your office PC.

I know, this looks like nothing today, but back in the day, the Super NES and Genesis
had the same status as a Playstation XY/Xbox YX of today.

Edit: Thumbnail added, text fixed.

Edit: Okay, for the sake for fairness - by the end of the 90s, PS1 emulation was a thing, too. As was N64 emulation.
But that was by 1998/1999 roughly.. In 1995 or 1996, people were still amazed by the 16-Bit era offerings.
Let's remember, the classic Yoshi's Island was from late '95..

Last edited by Jo22 on 2022-11-08, 19:29. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 224 of 247, by Jo22

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Speaking of the Super NES.. I've got a good news! I've found another emulator for Windows 3.1! ^^

Edit: Here it is. I'm not completely done with testing yet, but it seems to be the most stable Super NES emulator so far.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I spent several sleepless night tracking this version down.. Found it one a forgotten BBS site, afaik.
According to a readme file that comes with it, it's simply described as SNES-EMU. So let's leave it at that. ;)

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 225 of 247, by Tom..

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On this page you have different versions of the "vice" emulator. - https://csdb.dk/group/?id=2171 The oldest ones are from 1996, maybe some of them will work?

I tested several versions on an old AMD Duron processor ( Windows Xp) and the load on the processor was very low..

bez-tytu-u3.png

Running several emulators at the same time put more strain on the processor.

bez-tytu-u6.png

Reply 227 of 247, by Jo22

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-11-10, 06:11:

Given the age of the emulators, many if the authors were probably well versed in assembly programming.

Tom.. wrote on 2022-11-09, 22:11:

On this page you have different versions of the "vice" emulator. - https://csdb.dk/group/?id=2171 The oldest ones are from 1996, maybe some of them will work?

Thanks guys for your support!

I checked the older VICE versions and they do work on DOS and maybe NT 3.x! 😃

If you like, I'll assemble a little archive for Win95/NT emulators (non-DirectX versions only). ^^

Edit: @Tom Thank you very much for the pictures also! One of them is Boulder Dash, isn't it ? ;)
I remember it from my DOS days.. There was a clone called "Digger" that I loved to play (required VGA, mode 12h).

Last edited by Jo22 on 2022-11-13, 15:37. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 229 of 247, by Jo22

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Quick update! Just noticed! Zophar.net has just had an anniversay, too!

Let's gratulate him and the crew for over 25 years of Zophar's Domain! 🥳 🎈 🍰

The whole emulation scene wouldn't be the same without this place! ❤️

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 230 of 247, by dr_st

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-11-14, 19:17:

Quick update! Just noticed! Zophar.net has just had an anniversay, too!

Let's gratulate him and the crew for over 25 years of Zophar's Domain! 🥳 🎈 🍰

The whole emulation scene wouldn't be the same without this place! ❤️

Well, that's a blast from the past. I totally agree.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 231 of 247, by Jo22

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Thanks. ^^

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 232 of 247, by Jo22

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Here's an older video of mine, that I just did remember.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwkAVlUBu30

It shows Windows 3.1 running its older sibling, Windows 2.03, in a window.

That works, because Windows 3.1 in Enhanced-Mode can emulate CGA graphics.

The application in the screenshot, Easel, runs simultaneously in both Windows 2.03 and Windows 3.1x.

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 234 of 247, by Jo22

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Quick update. There's a little game database utility called "OfflineList" for Win32 (last news update: 2007).
Databases with pictures etc. can be added optionally in the form of packages. Looks promising. Various platforms.
Found it while browsing http://retropc98.narod.ru

http://offlinelist.free.fr/

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-11-18, 08:54:

That's amazing. I'm quite allergic to any Windows prior to 3.1 (3.0 only makes me sneeze). So it's fun to learn of these kinds of things from a safe distance.

Understandable. Windows 3.0 was a great hit, but quickly surpassed by an improved version, nameley Windows 3.1.
While both look similar, Windows 3.1 is multiple times more complex. Even more than Windows 3.0a with Multimedia Extensions 1.0.

What's great about Windows 3.0 is its Real-Mode kernal, I think. It can make use of new features, such as EMS (for Windows applications) or new printer drivers,
while simultanously retaining compatibility with Windows 2.x drivers and real-mode applications. It's really neat for that, in contrast to being 808x PC compatible.

Windows 2.x on the other hand.. It was praised for it's Windows /386 version, which did multitask DOS program nicely, but that was long ago..
Nowadays, it seems to be the least interesting version. For several reasons.

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One is the fact, that it isn't as iconic as version 1.0 - just like the IBM PC/AT Model 5170 has less fans than the IBM PC Model 5150 or PC/XT Model 5160.
Or the 80286 has less fans than the old 8088/8086. It's just not having that emotional value to many people.

Speaking of emulators, I think its kind of ironic that the Tandy 2000 with its 80186 CPU wasn't emulated by popular emulators such as 86Box/PCem so far, also.
Because that was the #1 PC used for Windows 1.0 development, albeit being merely a DOS compatible PC. Even Mr. Gates himself valued the Tandy 2000, AFAIK. (see ad).

As for Windows 2.x.. It was the first "real" Windows kind of. Real, since professional programs like PC Paintbrush, Page Maker, Ami Pro, Excel and Word were ported to it first time.
It also was the first Windows that was around in the late 80s, when hobbyists did start writing their first programs for Windows (Easel, Klotz etc).
Or when screensavers appeard, like Magic Screen Saver (a proto After Dark).

These programs were compiled against the "MS Windows API", not necessarily version 2 of it. Because, information wasn't always up to date (books, magazines etc).
Windows itself wasn't significant enough yet to be fully taken advantage of, also. Many early programs used a subset of features merely.

Unfortunately, many of these early shareware/freeware programs for Windows are gone by now.
Their files were replaced by updated versions when Windows 3.0 came out.

Places like hobbes, etc. don't have the old versions anymore; they were being replaced in 1990/1991 already,
when shareware CD-ROMs were sold and the first FTPs went online. Only hope left are late 80s personal backups or 5,25" companion diskettes sold with Windows books, I guess.

Here's more information about Windows /386:

https://virtuallyfun.com/category/windows386/
https://gonnagan.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/win … ith-256-colors/

Ads
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLuC4yZk7us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgcTlZFUAqA

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 235 of 247, by Jo22

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Quick update. Found another old emulator, Virtual TI.
Comes with a homebrew game. Program may or may not run on Windows 3.1.
It was mentioned on an ancient Sailor Moon fanpage from the late 90s/early 2000s.

When executed on plain Windows 3.1, it complains about comctl32.dll not being installed.
With Win32s installed (and a compatible comctl32 available), it executes without any complaint, then exits gracefully without any error message.

Now, the reasons why I mention this, is the following: The emulator uses the old window decoration of XP's NTVDM!
As you can see in the second screen shot below, it looks the same as any DOS window or Win16 application would look.

The binary itself has a Win32 header, so it's not an NE application, but a PE one (that's why no WoW instance is running).
However, it perhaps makes use of Win16 API calls at some point. That's not too far fetched, I think.
In an office environment, I once saw a sophisticated fax program, which did the very same. It was a 16/32-Bit hybrid.

Windows 95, which it runs on, added a few new functions to the Windows 3.1 API.
That's why, oddly, a few pure 16-Bit/Win16 programs do exist that can not be run on Windows 3.1 anymore.

I'll add the archive found for further analysis.
Maybe someone can find out why Win32s is unable to run it ?

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 237 of 247, by Jo22

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-11-20, 08:56:

I'm not following the window decoration part. Can you explain that a little more?

Hi, sure! Normally, Win32 programs use the skin that Windows uses.
In case of Windows XP, it's Luna (or in this case, Royal Blue).

Unless it's deactivated in compatibility tab or if someone is using Classic Theme, which looks similar to Windows 9x/NT4/2k.

But even here's a minor difference between Classic and this design..

This is how Win16 programs do look on XP:

https://www.reddit.com/r/windowsxp/comments/p … pps_with_wines/

Edit: Here's a screenshot that shows two versions of the same game (EmPipe).
On the left is the 16-Bit version with the old decoration, on the right is the native 32-Bit version with the XP style.

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 238 of 247, by Jo22

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-11-12, 23:05:

That would be great. This thread is very long, so a summary would help a lot for those that don't want to read every post.

Well, the important archives can already be found here in a single spot, don't worry. 😀
Those are being updated from time to time and should contain only programs that can run on Windows 3.1/Win32s.

What I was thinking of is a separate archive, small, containing a few emulators that need Win95/NT, but use Win 3.1 technology still (GDI, WinG).
It's of lower priority, since the thread's topic is Windows 3.1 & Emulators. Which is fine, because it's really a niche and kind of unique.
There are many places on the web that cover the other platforms, except maybe the earliest Win95/NT days. Or OS/2, hah. 😁

Edit: Another thing that worries me is file size. I do try my very best to keep things small, for the obvious reasons.
That means that I'm constantly in conflict with myself, however. Which is why certain things don't look as nice or hi-res as they could.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 239 of 247, by Jo22

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Quick update. Found another MSX emulator, fMSX for Win95!
It supports both WinG and DirectX - and Win32s, too! Yay! ^^

Emulates MSX/MSX2/MSX2+ and PSG/SCC sound.

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//