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The hatred of DosBox

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First post, by DosFreak

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Was surfing the 'net as usual helping people and noted yet another post hating on DosBox. Is this like hating again the "Man", Microsoft, Government, etc. etc? 🙄 Anyone else notice this?

I would hope these people hating on it would only be put off by a few games that do not work properly under DosBox but it seems to me that they do this:

1. Post on net asking for help with DOS game.
2. Helpful person suggest DosBox.
3. User downloads DosBox.
4. Installs DosBox.
5. Execute DosBox.
6. WTF?? Z: DRIVE? WTF IS THAT!!!???
7. Posts on their forum asking what Z: drive is.
8. User gets help on mounting.
9. User tries to run game.
10. WTF IT'S RUNNING LIKE S****! POS PROGRAM!
11. Posts on forum, Use CTRLF11/F12, change Core, Read DosBox WIKI.
12. User does all this and Blood/1997+ DOS game still won't work in 1024x768 @ 30fps.
13. User declares DosBox as a POS and doesn't use it with any other games.
14. User badmouths DosBox all over 'net whenever it's mentioned.

Does this pretty much sum it all up?
Anyone have any thoughts?
Anything we can do about it?
Mabye deny usage of DosBox to anyone who has a 4th grade reading level?

Reply 1 of 142, by HunterZ

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I pretty much ignore people who rip on DOSBox for being too hard to use, since the root of their problems is usually simply a lack of DOS knowledge.

It really isn't fair - you don't hear people complaining that C64 emulators are too hard to use because they can't figure out how to load a game, yet you have to know how to use a C64 to know how to do that (unless you read up on it, which few people bother to do these days).

Reply 2 of 142, by eL_PuSHeR

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I agree with what HunterZ said. Besides, we should add that most of these people are just lazy bastards. 😁
These kind of people seem to have reach a certain plateau in knowledge. No matter how many years they will be using their PCs, they won't learn anything new. I hate people like that, they go that way all the time and then all they can do is complain, complain, complain.

I have met a few of them. Disgusting.

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Reply 3 of 142, by MiniMax

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* Nods *

Occasionally, I have tried to make that kind of people an offer... I ask them: "What do you do, if you need real legal help? You go to a professional lawyer and pay her for their time. So, what do you do when you need help with a piece of software, e.g. DOSBox? You ask a professional. Ask me, and I will - for a price - help you. Interested??".

That is usually enough to either shut them up, or to steer the discussion into a whole new direction.

DOSBox 60 seconds guide | How to ask questions
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Reply 4 of 142, by `Moe`

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It's been suggested before, but upon starting dosbox, there should be a big, fat, red and (the great shnark may save us!) blinking notice that DOS is a complicated system and it is thus unavoidable to read the file called README.
Or even more notorious actions, like a message that pops up whenever dosbox is run 😉 (would be quite smart: in the readme there would be explained how to suppress the popup)

Reply 5 of 142, by Alkarion

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Yeah, I want more of this arrogant talk about ugly mainstream computer users who try to invade hallowed geek DOS territory. 😁

There have to be some things left to the experts. What is retro gaming all about if anyone does it? 😁

Honestly, everyone using a Linux Live CD like Knoppix claims to be a Linux expert these days. We need reservations for real geeks. Let there be no frontends for Dosbox. Heed the eleventh commandment:

"Thou shalt use the keyboard for every command thou needest. Thou shalt not use a graphical user interface for it is evil and superfluous."

@'Moe' ...has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Reply 6 of 142, by MiniMax

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[dosbox]
# language -- Select another language file.
# memsize -- Amount of memory dosbox has in megabytes.
# machine -- The type of machine tries to emulate:hercules,cga,tandy,vga.
# captures -- Directory where things like wave,midi,screenshot get captured.
# show-readme -- Shove the README file in the users face.

language=
machine=vga
captures=capture
memsize=16
show-readme=true

🤣 🤣 🤣 Now, where is that DOSbox Wish List thread again??

As the pen is mightier than the sword, the keyboard is mightier than the mouse.

DOSBox 60 seconds guide | How to ask questions
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Reply 8 of 142, by fed1943

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Gentlemen,I think you touched one important point and you are righter than,perhaps,you thought.
Everybody,but the experts,know nothing of computers .I´m one of them,I just know I know nothing may be because I was no longer young when computers became a common thing.I am toutching in computers the last twenty years and,yes,I didn´t increase my plateau of knowledge,because I never got the first plateau (i.e. ,what the electricity does inside the computer?why a command is valid?what a program performs,not for us,but inside the machine?).Solution: to study engeniery,math,enformatic,programation.Another solution:it doesn´t exist.
A fake,but very utilitary,solution:to follow the exemple of the mill´s donkey or the computers themselves (i.e.just copy,point by point,the expert).
And what about common sense?Well,please don´t get angry with me dear engeniers,but why did your common sense colapse in the thread We have been slapped?.
Best regards,

just younger than computers

Reply 9 of 142, by DosFreak

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No, No this thread isn't about people who know nothing about computers yet are willing to read the instructions and not to lose their temper.

This thread is about people who refuse to know anything about anything. The kind of person who can't figure out how to use their VCR to record a tv show yet will piss and moan to anyone within earshot about how hard it is to program their VCR when they could easily open their 20 page VCR manual and read the instructions.

For those kinds of people fortunately DosBox will not be their solution and never will be. Hopefully no one here will consider it a loss.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 10 of 142, by MiniMax

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fed1943 wrote:

I just know I know nothing <snip>

fed, knowing what you know, and knowing what you do NOT know, is the first step to wizdom, so you are on the right path 😀

The kind of people I hate, are the ones that thinks they know every thing, yet asks silly questions. And worst: When I answer their silly questions, they - convinced of their own infallability - refuse to follow my advice.

I remember when I was part-time sys-admin at the university. The Computer Science Department was an Unix & Macintosh shop with big noisy lineprinters and some reeeaaaly nice Apple Laserprinters.

Enter the Know-It-All student from the Biology department, flashing his term paper on a diskette. He asks - no, let me rephrase that - he demands to know where the printer is, so he can get the paper printed. And I casually tell him: "Down the hall, first door on the left.". 10 minutes later he returns with a goofy look on his face, since he really wasn't looking for the big Centronics line printers that will do 40 pages a minute - and there was no PC in any of the computer labs either.

Had he simply asked "Hey - I have this document written in Word Perfect 5 here on a diskette, that I need to print. What should I do?" I would have been happy to plop the diskette in my Mac, and printed his paper on double-sided A4, automatic stapled, and ready to deliver to his professor.

But since he appearently knew everything that is to know (expect where our printer was), I told him where the damn printer was.

DOSBox 60 seconds guide | How to ask questions
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Reply 11 of 142, by JHawx

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This is basicly the problem. Guys want to play those old games, but has learned to use the computer after the win95 came around. So basicly those users dont know how to use dos, so they dont know how to program their dosbox.

i got solution:
IF YOU HAWENT PLAYED GAMES DURING DOS PERIOID, DONT TRY TO PLAY THEM IF YOU DONT WANT TO LEARN TO USE DOS!

if you did not play games on dos, dont start now... the newer games are easyer for beginners anyways. 🤣

Reply 13 of 142, by HunterZ

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I agree with his second statement though, that those without the patience to learn DOS probably shouldn't bother using an emulator of it and definitely have no right to complain about it being too complicated. Also, I don't use the frontends, but I'd assume that they try to make it easier.

Reply 14 of 142, by Dominus

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As I experienced with Exult, it is all about the people refusing to read anything before starting an application. I do think that is actually ok. A lot of stuff can be figured out without reading the manual. I do this all the time. Start an application try a bit, fiddle around with the things you can do (at first glance)... BUT when I don't get any further I try to find the help (in whatever form it exists, including a Readme).
I did manage to make a goof of me and failed to properly read and got justly slapped with a RTFM, but I try to avoid it.
The point of this rant? Sorry, I led myself astray 😀

What I wanted to say is that there will ALWAYS be people that avoid reading ANY document you offer them. You just can't help it. No matter how you try to shove it in their face. So making the "welcome" text of Dosbox brighter and more visible won't help (probably would help some people, though).
The irony is that those people probably want to play an heavily text oriented game...

Reply 15 of 142, by Snover

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I have an idea:
When someone tries to do something that is obviously wrong (like changing to another drive letter without mounting anything), pop up a message that says "Not working? You should try reading the README" or something to that effect.

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 17 of 142, by Dominus

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Serious suggestions:
- On installation on Windows also install a dosbox.conf in the directory Dosbox installs to, with the default settings (you'd get when using the writeconfig tool).

- On windows register *.conf files with "path_to_dosbox\dosbox.exe" -conf "%1" (so doubleclicking on *.conf files opens Dosbox). I have not encountered another program that uses conf files but I might be wrong.

- in the config have a setting called something like "novice_warnings=". This set to true will give you some warnings, like Snover suggested. For example nothing mounted -> warning and hint to read the readme. No config file -> warning and so on. Advanced users will edit their config file anyway so setting another false wouldn't hurt them, right?

So, what do you think? Good ideas, or just bad?

Reply 19 of 142, by DosFreak

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In reference to the novice users config option......

Mabye novices shouldn't be allowed to mount any more than 3-4 drive letters? Limit LastDrive mabye?

They only need A, B (I guess if program wants a B:), C, and D drives.

This would force the user to use C instead of using weird drive letters and confusing people.

EX:"Mount r c:\oldgamesgoeinthisfolder\X-Com Terror From the Deep YAY I LOVE LONG FILE NAMES WOOHOOOO"

On that note mabye the novice option could also complain to the user if it detect a longer than 8.3 character host file name/dir in the mount option.....

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline