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First post, by cybrasty

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I got a PocketCHIP on the cheap recently and I wanted to turn it into a portable dos machine. Because the PocketCHIP's screen is an odd 480x272 resolution the machine is only really suited for 320x200/240 gaming, which is ok with me, but I am running into an issue.

While the games work/look OK, the main textmode/DOS console does not. It renders in native VGA resolution (640x480?), which gets downscaled to fit my screen, but it makes the text illegible. So my thinking to fix it is to change the default text mode from 80x25 characters to 40x25, use the 8x8 font. Then render it in 320x200. How can I achieve that?

I know that both CGA, and EGA have 40 column modes, but I want to stick to VGA because of the games I want to run.
I know I can just run DOSBox straight into the game with autoexec and separate .cfgs per game, but I would prefer not to do that because of desktop size of PocketCHIP and not wanting multiple icons.

Did some more digging, apparently some DOS distros had a mode command that made it possible to change textmode columns/rows, but the *mode* command is not recognized in DOSBox.

Thanks in advance,

P.S PocketCHIP is a Linux computer running a Debian Jessie flavor. My DOSBox is the current stable from Jessie repositories (EDIT: it is the vanilla DOSBox 0.74). Because of CHIPS idiosyncrasies I am only able to run it in fullscreen in overlay output (well I can technically run it in OpenGL, but it is slower than molasses because of lack of opengles -> opengl drivers 😒).

Reply 1 of 3, by cybrasty

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Quick update.

I managed to grab FreeDOS mode.com file here (and vmode.exe from this post, which works like a more robust mode.com) and change the console to 40x25 with 8x8 font. (Either mode 40,25 or vmode 13)

Then setting the full screen to 320x200 in the cfg makes the text nice and crisp.

I think this is the best I can achieve with this display.

I would still love to hear if there is a way of setting up the console mode for VGA somewhere in cfg outside of [autoexec].

Also, how can I include those files in DOSBox "dos" so they are accessible as commands anywhere on the drive (like dir, type, etc.)? Can't seem to simply copy it to the Z drive where other .com files are kept (access denied).

Reply 2 of 3, by Anapan

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I made some DOS fonts In order to make text legible at 240P on a CRT Television - 640x240, and before I got that right I had it running at 320x240.
Included are the 2 .fnt files, as well as com files to set each font, and TSR com files to make the fonts resident through screen mode changes.
Kingdom of Kroz on a 36" CRT @ 240p 15khz


  • Filename
    File size
    12.05 KiB
    File license
    Public domain


Reply 3 of 3, by Asaki

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I found this assembly code the other day for switching DOS video modes: Re: New MS-DOS Games Launcher / Menu System App
So I compiled one version for each video mode: Re: DOS Shell/OS in 320x200?
...yes, having one executable with a command line to select the mode would be a much better idea, but I'd have to learn how to make that happen first =)

MODE0D is 16 colors, MODE13 is 256 colors, they are both 320x200.
MODE03 (unless you have MACHINE=CGA or something) or just running CLS should set it back to default, if you ever need.

I'm pretty sure there were other programs that did this (and probably ANSI does), but I'd have to dig out my other computer to find out *shrug*
This program is tiny and easy to call from a BAT.