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Reply 60 of 192, by candle_86

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Dos died because as computers got cheaper they needed wider appeal. GUI was the first step, next was the ability to multitask which dos was bad at, being a single task os.

Reply 62 of 192, by creepingnet

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The way I See it, DOS is dead in the Mainstream sense, but alive in a special Enthusiast sense.

To the mainstream, DOS is this old operating system that did exist but nobody really knows enough about it to understand or remember what it actually was, or what one could accomplish using it. They just know it's that creepy/cryptic/weird black screen with the blinking cursor which in today's computing world means "My computer is broken, time to buy a new one!" in their minds. They don't know any of the commands, unless they are in I.T., of which then they only know them from learning from an older colleague most likely. All they know, especially the average user, is that it can't get on WiFi, can't do their e-mail (false), can't surf the web (false),can't do anything except play old boring games that are as realistic and immersive as building a city out of circa 1988 Legos. Basically, itls like how current mainstreamers see music or cars - got to have the latest and greatest to show off and impress my neighbors and friends, and keep up appearances.

We are more like fans of an 80's rock group that plays Casinos and Fairs, or fans of old cars from the 80's/90's are currently. We like our old stuff, and we know how to use it, and use it effectively, whether that's a quick stroll through Test Drive or Monkey Island, or actually coding new software projects or fabricating new hardware to bring these machines to a level they can hold their own in the current technological landscape. We know the ins and outs of something most modern computer shops would turn away as they don't know what Memory Addresses, IRQs, Base Memory, LIMS, EMS, XMS, HMA, or UMB is. They don't know or understand a Master/Slave relationship between two IDE devices, they just know with SATA you can plug in 2 cables and be done with it, and the BIOS and O/S takes care of the rest. We keep it alive like that 70+ year old rock band from 1982 that still plays the local Casino or State Fair because we like it, and so it sticks around, playing the hits, and throwing a new song out every once and awhile.

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Reply 63 of 192, by zyzzle

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Perfectly expressed above comments. I like DOS and still use it because it is *fast*, small, lean, and totally unbloated. You're up and running from a bootable USB stick in a second or two. Another second or two, and your program is up, with NO mouse clicks, ridiculous ads, or interference. In short, for me, DOS will never die because *I'm* in full control, I can decide what to do, which hardware to use, and can actually *type* in commands which will be expeditiously and, without any abstraction layer, hand-holding, or "father knows best" directives, be run as I have told them to be. Wonderful!

Reply 64 of 192, by Namrok

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Not sure I saw this stated before but...

DOSBOX killed DOS. Double checking it's initial release of 2002 definitely overlaps my LAN party days when people were clinging to Win9X just to keep playing their beloved DOS game collections. I definitely recall early days around 2003 and 2004 in college of finally migrating off Win9X completely because DOSBOX looked increasingly promising. As DOSBOX gradually covered most of the functionality people actually used DOS for, most people finally let DOS really go.

Now almost every DOS game you buy online just downloads and installs to run in DOSBOX. DOS is dead. Long live DOS.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 65 of 192, by Jo22

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^Huh, I though that initially, VDMSound on Win 2k/XP PCa was waaay more popular than DOSBox. 😀
From what I remember in my place, DOSBox started to take off in 2004-2006 when PCs started to be powerful enough to emulate DOS4GW DOS Extender games through DOSBox.
Support for Windows 3.1 in Enhanced Mode began to work reliable, too, at the time.
Before this (v0.61?), things like EMS had to be disabled in DOSBox.conf in order to make Enhanced-Mode kernal run.

"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 66 of 192, by zyzzle

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re: DOSBOX: People who "like" it can't be bothered to create a *real* bootable DOS memory stick? It isn't that hard. You then have full speed, no emulation, full-quality graphics (no pixel-aspect ratio problems or incomplete screens). The problem with DOSBOX is and always will be that it's running in a level of obfuscation (abstraction layer), so you've still got terrible display problems and speed problems. I've heard there might be a version of DOSBOX coming -- which will use VESA-passthrough, so then speed / emulation will no longer be a problem. But, I've yet to see this fabled "VESA-passthrough" version of DOSBOX offered for any platform (ARM, x86, x64) or operating system.

Reply 67 of 192, by Caluser2000

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I still use a couple of boot floppies to sort hdds master boot records and other things out. Light, simple and faaaast! These days the cli I use daily does wifi, usb sticks etc etc. Think Dos on steroids.

Can't say I've ever used DosBox much at all until my resent K6-2 400 Linux installation....😉

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 68 of 192, by dr_st

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-07-13, 02:15:

re: DOSBOX: People who "like" it can't be bothered to create a *real* bootable DOS memory stick? It isn't that hard. You then have full speed, no emulation, full-quality graphics (no pixel-aspect ratio problems or incomplete screens). The problem with DOSBOX is and always will be that it's running in a level of obfuscation (abstraction layer), so you've still got terrible display problems and speed problems. I've heard there might be a version of DOSBOX coming -- which will use VESA-passthrough, so then speed / emulation will no longer be a problem. But, I've yet to see this fabled "VESA-passthrough" version of DOSBOX offered for any platform (ARM, x86, x64) or operating system.

It's not that they "cannot be bothered". It's just that the experience, on modern hardware, will be inferior. Real DOS is preferred on retro hardware. DOSBOX is better than real DOS on modern hardware, where emulation is plenty fast enough, and you get various video/audio modes that you will not be able to get working on this system without emulation anyways.

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Reply 69 of 192, by BetaC

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dr_st wrote on 2021-07-13, 06:38:

It's not that they "cannot be bothered". It's just that the experience, on modern hardware, will be inferior. Real DOS is preferred on retro hardware. DOSBOX is better than real DOS on modern hardware, where emulation is plenty fast enough, and you get various video/audio modes that you will not be able to get working on this system without emulation anyways.

I would say that for those who don't like esoteric tinkering, DOSBOX is better than DOS on DOS hardware. After all, you can get things like proper usage of an SB16 while also having both good OPL and bug-free midi. It's also infinitely easier to get something running right via cycle increase/decrease than it is doing the math to try and get setmul setup properly for games like X-wing and TES: Arena.

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Reply 70 of 192, by dr_st

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BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 06:58:

I would say that for those who don't like esoteric tinkering, DOSBOX is better than DOS on DOS hardware. After all, you can get things like proper usage of an SB16 while also having both good OPL and bug-free midi.

Depends how you define "DOS hardware". Most systems that can have a DOS-compatible audio card will be too slow to get adequate performance in DOSBOX.

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Reply 71 of 192, by Caluser2000

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I don't think my ZenithLP Plus 286/12 system will run DosBox will it? It is an original 1990 Dos Box after all I believe. Could be wrong though and happy to be corrected. I'm just a humble hobbyist after all...😉

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 73 of 192, by Jo22

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dr_st wrote on 2021-07-13, 07:08:
BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 06:58:

I would say that for those who don't like esoteric tinkering, DOSBOX is better than DOS on DOS hardware. After all, you can get things like proper usage of an SB16 while also having both good OPL and bug-free midi.

Depends how you define "DOS hardware". Most systems that can have a DOS-compatible audio card will be too slow to get adequate performance in DOSBOX.

I think the same.

Traditionally, by 90s standards, a good/higher end DOS PC consisted of a Tseng ET4000 VGA card, a good joystick/flight stick,
double-speed/quad-speed CD-ROM drive, a modem, a quick 486 processor, VLB bus and a 16-Bit soundcard with some SB Pro compatibility and optionally, wavetable capability.
Optionally, 3D glasses were also recommended for VR (shutter technique).

Those requirements were hardly met with cheap 2000's hardware. Newer ≠ better.

My father's 386DX40 with a Trident 8900D was able to run some DOS games smooth as silk,
wereas a Pentium II at ~450MHz ran it totally jerky. I blame the AGP graphics card. The VGA core was an afterthought, it seems.

It likely was intended to run Windows in safe mode or something.
The VBE 3.0 modes were considered more important, I assume. DOS-based picture viewers like PV worked fine, in very high resolution modes.

So yeah, it all depends on the individual criteria.

Some people, when it comes to excellent DOS compatibility, think of:

- PC/XT with CGA @4,77MHz
- a Tandy 1000

- an AT (286, 12MHz up) with EGA, maybe standard VGA (vanilla, no SVGA)
- an professional AT, 386 CPU with Hercules or VGA graphics (for adventure games, flight simulators etc)

- a 486DX2-66 based multimedia PC (most popular/legendary; the Amiga killer)

- a Pentium-class PC with 16-Bit soundcards, wavetable, 56k modem, PCI SVGA cards, early 3D accelerator cards
- a Pentium II/III with Voodoo 2, Geforce 256/ATI Rage etc, CD writer, optical mouse,..

^That's just an oversimplification, of course.
But it shows how different a good "DOS PC" can be.

DOSBox itself is very good compromise in terms of specs.
It emulates a pure ISA-only AT class PC that has a 486 processor with some extra 586 instructions, an S3 Trio32/64 chip with a decent VGA core,
a "fixed" Sound Blaster 16 with SB Pro compatibility,
a real MPU-401 and DOS environment with lots of free RAM.

These things make DOSBox an almost perfect imitation of a 486DX2/66 PC.
In terms of specs, PCs from the 2000s can't compete. They may be faster, but not better.

The only downside of DOSBox and other emulators is the absence of
an emulation of a MediaVision Pro Audio Spectrum 16 or a Mediatrix Audiotrix Pro, IMHO.
Both were very fine soundcards, which were easy configure.

Anyway, there are some notable exceptions, I think.
For example, the emulation scene on PC started off on DOS and many emulators required both a DOS environment and a fast CPU with MHz in the hundreds.
If memory serves, there was a nifty N64 emulator, I think, that was made in the early 2000s. It required a Voodoo card, too, I think.

"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 74 of 192, by creepingnet

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-07-13, 15:03:
I think the same. […]
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dr_st wrote on 2021-07-13, 07:08:
BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 06:58:

I would say that for those who don't like esoteric tinkering, DOSBOX is better than DOS on DOS hardware. After all, you can get things like proper usage of an SB16 while also having both good OPL and bug-free midi.

Depends how you define "DOS hardware". Most systems that can have a DOS-compatible audio card will be too slow to get adequate performance in DOSBOX.

I think the same.

Traditionally, by 90s standards, a good/higher end DOS PC consisted of a Tseng ET4000 VGA card, a good joystick/flight stick,
double-speed/quad-speed CD-ROM drive, a modem, a quick 486 processor, VLB bus and a 16-Bit soundcard with some SB Pro compatibility and optionally, wavetable capability.
Optionally, 3D glasses were also recommended for VR (shutter technique).

Those requirements were hardly met with cheap 2000's hardware. Newer ≠ better.

My father's 386DX40 with a Trident 8900D was able to run some DOS games smooth as silk,
wereas a Pentium II at ~450MHz ran it totally jerky. I blame the AGP graphics card. The VGA core was an afterthought, it seems.

It likely was intended to run Windows in safe mode or something.
The VBE 3.0 modes were considered more important, I assume. DOS-based picture viewers like PV worked fine, in very high resolution modes.

So yeah, it all depends on the individual criteria.

Some people, when it comes to excellent DOS compatibility, think of:

- PC/XT with CGA @4,77MHz
- a Tandy 1000

- an AT (286, 12MHz up) with EGA, maybe standard VGA (vanilla, no SVGA)
- an professional AT, 386 CPU with Hercules or VGA graphics (for adventure games, flight simulators etc)

- a 486DX2-66 based multimedia PC (most popular/legendary; the Amiga killer)

- a Pentium-class PC with 16-Bit soundcards, wavetable, 56k modem, PCI SVGA cards, early 3D accelerator cards
- a Pentium II/III with Voodoo 2, Geforce 256/ATI Rage etc, CD writer, optical mouse,..

^That's just an oversimplification, of course.
But it shows how different a good "DOS PC" can be.

DOSBox itself is very good compromise in terms of specs.
It emulates a pure ISA-only AT class PC that has a 486 processor with some extra 586 instructions, an S3 Trio32/64 chip with a decent VGA core,
a "fixed" Sound Blaster 16 with SB Pro compatibility,
a real MPU-401 and DOS environment with lots of free RAM.

These things make DOSBox an almost perfect imitation of a 486DX2/66 PC.
In terms of specs, PCs from the 2000s can't compete. They may be faster, but not better.

The only downside of DOSBox and other emulators is the absence of
an emulation of a MediaVision Pro Audio Spectrum 16 or a Mediatrix Audiotrix Pro, IMHO.
Both were very fine soundcards, which were easy configure.

Anyway, there are some notable exceptions, I think.
For example, the emulation scene on PC started off on DOS and many emulators required both a DOS environment and a fast CPU with MHz in the hundreds.
If memory serves, there was a nifty N64 emulator, I think, that was made in the early 2000s. It required a Voodoo card, too, I think.

When DOSBox first came out I was running a 1GHz Pentium III, so I used it for emulating older CGA Titles before putting them on 5.25" for my Tandy 1000's (I had 2 at the time) and an XT clone I built. It ran like crap for anything beyond the early 386 era on that machine, and took excessive amounts of tweaking to get it run like I wanted it. That said, I did have fun using ASCII art to simulate where those machines would drop you at the DOS prompt at the time - ie the old Megatrend's spec screen or the Tandy Phoenix BIOS.

In today's landscape, DOSBox is a nice thing to use when you are first starting out, or don't want to deal with hardware at all. Most modern PC's and Macs are fast enough to handle it at full speed for most any DOS program, and though I had to go through three different ports to find ONE that would run Ultima VI at full speed on my Rasperry Pi 4B 2GB via RetroPie. What you pay for in tweaking you save in money on hardware, and space. So it has it's place. To me, DOSBox is kind of like what Executor was for DOS regarding Macintosh, except better quality.

Actual hardware's role has changed too. When I started doing all this in 2001, 486's were a dime a dozen. I used to pack up so many into my old Explorer I'd have the rear wheels almost rubbing the rear wheel wells. It was insane. I must have cleaned out several east Alabama thrift shops for the cost of a large PaPa John's Pizza. There were nights my childhood bedroom looked like Computer Reset confined to a bedroom sized workshop. Those days are long gone now...

Today, those same computers go for at least 10x what I paid, sometimes 100x or even 1000x when it comes to certain IBM Hardware I had. So it's not like any of us can just roam into the local Salvation Army or Goodwill and snap up old Pentium and older hardware so easily. It can also be a helpful tool to select as few systems as you would need/want for the task of running old software. Unless you're just insane like I am and like having lots of PC's around to tweak on. I'm like a computer version of Jay Smart or Vice Grip Garage.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 75 of 192, by BetaC

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IIRC, I meant to say that using DOSBox on modern hardware is better than using DOS on DOS hardware. Of course we all enjoy having machines that would have been prohibitively expensive back in the day that can technically do everything we want, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.

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Reply 76 of 192, by dr_st

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BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 19:49:

IIRC, I meant to say that using DOSBox on modern hardware is better than using DOS on DOS hardware.

Oh, I see. It was a bit ambiguous, but now that you clarified it, I see your intended meaning. And yes, I generally agree.

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Reply 77 of 192, by Caluser2000

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dr_st wrote on 2021-07-13, 19:51:
BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 19:49:

IIRC, I meant to say that using DOSBox on modern hardware is better than using DOS on DOS hardware.

Oh, I see. It was a bit ambiguous, but now that you clarified it, I see your intended meaning. And yes, I generally agree.

Being specific is always a good thing in discussions like this.

Some folk, like me, prefer a more holistic approach to old hardware. When for others everything virtual suits their needs if they can find a version/port of DosBox that runs their preferred Dos software with out needing to configure it. DosBox sometimes does need to be configured to work with some Dos software correct? That really is not unlike the real thing correct?

Last edited by Caluser2000 on 2021-07-13, 20:19. Edited 1 time in total.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 78 of 192, by Joseph_Joestar

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BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 19:49:

IIRC, I meant to say that using DOSBox on modern hardware is better than using DOS on DOS hardware.

I would say it depends on the use case. What if someone had an AWE32 sound card and a Rendition Verite graphics card as a kid, and wanted to replay their favorite childhood game (e.g. Descent 2) using the proprietary sound/graphics options provided by this hardware? You can't currently do that with emulation.

Of course, this an edge case scenario, and 95% of the people will be happy with using DOSBox as is. But there are some instances where real hardware still has no substitute.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 79 of 192, by Charleston

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-13, 20:14:
BetaC wrote on 2021-07-13, 19:49:

IIRC, I meant to say that using DOSBox on modern hardware is better than using DOS on DOS hardware.

I would say it depends on the use case. What if someone had an AWE32 sound card and a Rendition Verite graphics card as a kid, and wanted to replay their favorite childhood game (e.g. Descent 2) using the proprietary sound/graphics options provided by this hardware? You can't currently do that with emulation.

Of course, this an edge case scenario, and 95% of the people will be happy with using DOSBox as is. But there are some instances where real hardware still has no substitute.

I feel that the vast majority of people using DOSBox are using it for the exact perfect reasons.

1) Hardware is wayyyy too prohibitively expensive now.
2) Said person never actually played these games in their time, so playing it on DOSBox doesn't affect their enjoyment / there is no nostalgia to be had.
3) Only own the full version through current means, some shareware and demo versions have too much content locked away and for some games there is no way to obtain that now. Obviously one could just copy the actual core files onto a floppy but in some cases that isn't possible, especially when specific files are too large to fit into one floppy by themselves. This is where you have to turn to cd-roms and the like but for most that's just too much work to play one game.