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Why DOS died...

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Reply 100 of 192, by Dominus

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-07-14, 11:09:
dr_st wrote on 2021-07-14, 10:02:

@xcomcmdr
Really, which games do you have that require >600K conventional memory? I know they must exist, but just can't remember a single one. And what about >610K?

I remember having to sacrfice goats to the devil to get Serpent Isle to run with my sound setup and required memory.

yes! Black Gate was already a problem, but Serpent Isle made it more challenging. However, when UMBPCI showed up I was able to load mostly everything I wanted, including smartdrv 😀

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Reply 101 of 192, by zapbuzz

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DOS doesn't allow anything fast and easy
thats why marketing left.
Perhaps if young people were introduced to dos and dos programming it would bring interesting things as DOS never reached its limits like many modern scientific technological theories dos computing doesn't have a limit.
Make something continually marketable say a web browser stil need drivers for gpu, sound etc may as well call it a whole version of windows just to play youtube videos or it be dubbed as retro wares minecraft.
FAT16 , 32 limited dos mode filenames.
I bet not many knew the very first release of exfat had backwards compatability with fat32 you could literally boot windows 9x on an exfat formatted partition play 8gb videos in windows 98 in backwards compatibility mode but had to put it back into vista to write beyond 4gb file size.
When that ended many bios would hang on post because they were looking for fat32 where exfat was cpu's would overheat AMD phenoms became motherboard venoms even left burn marks 🤣
My current pc does the same hang stupid AMD.

Last edited by zapbuzz on 2021-07-14, 20:00. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 102 of 192, by xcomcmdr

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Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-04-17, 00:32:

You can play Alleycat, Duke Nuk(u/e)m, millions of demos, tracker music, in the same time you can play DooM and Quake. There is
debate, what is the best platform. It is DOS.

Nah, it's the Amiga.

Reply 103 of 192, by Charleston

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dr_st wrote on 2021-07-14, 07:19:
I disagree with your assessment, because I have been playing DOS games on real hardware back when they originally came out. In f […]
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zyzzle wrote on 2021-07-14, 04:35:

I think your #2 comes closest to the real truth as to why so many consider DOSBOX to be fine. These young kids didn't play the games back then; they weren't even born yet, so the experience and the zeitgeist is completely lost on them. Those DOS games are just "apps" to them, they don't care about DOS itself. It's a little like a fancy toy for those who don't like to tinker. But real DOS was *all* about tinkering and fiddling. I do remember playing all the old games, and running all the old DOS software on real hardware back in the day. (I still do today, in fact!). DOSBOX simply can't replicate the feel or look, or pixel-aspect ratio (ie, non-square pixels) that these old games used. You can't run DOSBOX in native 320x200 or 320x240 resolution, fixed to a 4:3 pixel aspect ratio. You're always compromising and / or scaling the picture -- a huge waste of bandwith, especially to 1920x1080 or 2560x1600 or above! That's insane and absurd. That's why I prefer real hardware and period-accurate for running DOS programs and games on bare metal.

Where DOSBOX does seem to do pretty well is in providing a pretty good sound emulation experience. So, that is its major plus, along with the fact that it is platform agnostic.

I disagree with your assessment, because I have been playing DOS games on real hardware back when they originally came out. In fact I still own a real DOS machine. And I don't feel anything like you.

So it's not just the young kiddies who weren't born that prefer DOSBox to real DOS. I think it's anyone who wants to play more than they want to tinker.

DOSBox is not "fine". It is "awesome". It is an amazing program that kept DOS gaming alive and available to the masses. DOS gaming would be dead without DOSBox, as no one other than a small group of enthusiasts with access to retro hardware and the knowledge of how to set it up would be able to experience it nowadays.

Thanks to the various sound emulation features you can nowadays experience DOS gaming with a variety of sound modes (and also some video modes, different CPU speeds), and easily switch between them on a single machine, in a hassle-free experience. Something that would be a nightmare on real hardware, and frequently not doable within a single physical setup.

The experience is better in other ways as well - like running two DOS games side-by-side, or using the DOSBox debugger which is far easier than actually debugging in DOS (although may not offer the same capabilities). There are even save-state enabled builds, though I personally stay away from that particular feature.

Nostalgia is the only thing real DOS has going for it.

I think you're right, I do like to tinker a lot. I think I spend about 80% of my time fixing "problems" that don't actually exist and 20% of my time actually playing games. On the other side of that coin though I don't think DOS is only covered by nostalgia. I think a good chunk of people just generally prefer playing games on the real hardware. If I were to play my playstation 1 I would much rather play it on the console itself rather than emulate games on a PC.

The emulators are great, definitely amazing feats but I personally don't think it'll ever beat the real thing. Something about the way the developer intended a game to look appeals to me as well. Playing through the armored core games at upscaled 2k with all the amazing sharp features of a modern system might be great and all but it doesn't beat the look and feel of the game at a lower resolution or with smudgier graphics (smudgier?) that had inconsistencies that are way more noticeable at i.e. 2k .

I'm getting off topic because of course most DOS games look fine at any resolution, but there is still an intent for most of these games to be played on a CRT where the pixels aren't blocks you can count on your fingers but rather smoother transitions.

Reply 104 of 192, by BetaC

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-14, 07:52:

Never had any issues with getting 600 KB of conventional memory free on my DOS rigs. I do pick my hardware very carefully though.

That said, I can see how this could have been a problem for people who used sound cards that included TSR programs in their drivers back in the day.

Lucky you. I am still having issues actually getting past the 594KB barrier in my system.

Charleston wrote on 2021-07-14, 16:01:

I'm getting off topic because of course most DOS games look fine at any resolution, but there is still an intent for most of these games to be played on a CRT where the pixels aren't blocks you can count on your fingers but rather smoother transitions.

That also depends on the size and quality of your CRT. I have a 21 incher that looks just as blocky at 320x200 as an LCD with proper scaling.

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Reply 107 of 192, by dr_st

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For one, DOS is unaware of C-states, so the CPU is always running at full power. I think there are TSRs that can fix that, though.

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Reply 109 of 192, by zapbuzz

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Anders- wrote on 2021-07-14, 19:27:
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-07-14, 14:06:
DOS doesn't allow anything fast and easy thats why marketing left. Perhaps if young people were introduced to dos and dos progra […]
Show full quote

DOS doesn't allow anything fast and easy
thats why marketing left.
Perhaps if young people were introduced to dos and dos programming it would bring interesting things as DOS never reached its limits like many modern scientific technological theires dos computing doesn't have a limit.
Make something continually marketable say a web browser stil need drivers for gpu, sound etc may as well call it a whole version of windows just to play youtube videos or it be dubbed as retro wares minecraft.
FAT16 , 32 limited dos mode filenames.
I bet not many knew the very first release of exfat had backwards compatability with fat32 you could literally boot windows 9x on an exfat formatted partition play 8gb videos in windows 98 in compatibility mode but had to put it back into vista to write beyond 4gb file size.
When that ended many bios would hang on post because they were looking for fat32 where exfat was cpu's would overheat AMD phenoms became motherboard venoms even left burn marks 🤣
My current pc does the same hang stupid AMD.

DOS is all about fast and easy! It just makes you feel a bit dirty afterwards 😁
Processors overheat due to lack of sufficient cooling... sure they can run cooler or warmer, but actual overheating caused by looking for a filesystem? Come on 😁

Assembly language is best behind applications in DOS for conventional memory conservation and efficiency.
Is closest to pure binary and hardest to crack or hack you need to be really good.
Thus a good app takes time to compile.

not all cpu's are supplied with lavish heatsinks and fans and not everyone knows better.

you only need to google it will tell tales

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/f … d8-e5060f52e0e0

Last edited by zapbuzz on 2021-07-14, 21:51. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 110 of 192, by creepingnet

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Anders- wrote on 2021-07-14, 19:57:
dr_st wrote on 2021-07-14, 19:36:

For one, DOS is unaware of C-states, so the CPU is always running at full power. I think there are TSRs that can fix that, though.

Not much support for power saving in the older cpus anyway...

Actually there is, it came about in the 386/486 era on high end laptops, like IBM/Compaq/NEC. Basically, anything with a 386 SL or 486 SL CPU could have a BIOS setting that throttles CPU Speed based on if the laptop was using battery power or not. All of my NEC Versa models have this feature and it does work, and you can really tell when it down-clocks. The big difference was back then, this was all controlled by the on-board power management via BIOS rather than by the Operating System, which is how modern laptops do it (Drivers-to-OS vs. BIOS).

One example I Can think of in practice is my Versa M/75 getting almost 2 hours of battery life in FreeDOS 2.1 with the power-usage set to the "drip drip drip" setting (it uses a faucet on the little LCD status display to indicate power mode). Games ran a little slower than normal, due to the SL-tech in the DX4 CPU clocking it down, also the backlight dropped to the "normal" setting, Hi-Light was shut off (inverts text mode signals to make on-screen text crisp, bright, white), HDD was set to go to sleep when inactive for 5 minutes, and PCMCIA power was cut off as I was not using the WiFi adapter.

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Reply 112 of 192, by Caluser2000

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OEMs supplied power saving Dos utilities with their components/systems if those components/systems had power saving functions.

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 113 of 192, by Charleston

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-07-14, 21:37:

OEMs supplied power saving Dos utilities with their components/systems if those components/systems had power saving functions.

Some normal 486 boards have green options too. Didn't have to be laptops and specific branded stuff.

Reply 114 of 192, by zapbuzz

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creepingnet wrote on 2021-07-14, 20:46:
Anders- wrote on 2021-07-14, 19:57:
dr_st wrote on 2021-07-14, 19:36:

For one, DOS is unaware of C-states, so the CPU is always running at full power. I think there are TSRs that can fix that, though.

Not much support for power saving in the older cpus anyway...

Actually there is, it came about in the 386/486 era on high end laptops, like IBM/Compaq/NEC. Basically, anything with a 386 SL or 486 SL CPU could have a BIOS setting that throttles CPU Speed based on if the laptop was using battery power or not. All of my NEC Versa models have this feature and it does work, and you can really tell when it down-clocks. The big difference was back then, this was all controlled by the on-board power management via BIOS rather than by the Operating System, which is how modern laptops do it (Drivers-to-OS vs. BIOS).

One example I Can think of in practice is my Versa M/75 getting almost 2 hours of battery life in FreeDOS 2.1 with the power-usage set to the "drip drip drip" setting (it uses a faucet on the little LCD status display to indicate power mode). Games ran a little slower than normal, due to the SL-tech in the DX4 CPU clocking it down, also the backlight dropped to the "normal" setting, Hi-Light was shut off (inverts text mode signals to make on-screen text crisp, bright, white), HDD was set to go to sleep when inactive for 5 minutes, and PCMCIA power was cut off as I was not using the WiFi adapter.

The switch feature on laptops is found commonly disabled as hidden in desktop bios by OEM's looking for best performance in the modern white box market
but revealing it means activating unsupported features so cosumer feedback needs to be heard
Hypervisors for system emulators are pretty crap at speedstep at times perhaps as a guest.

Reply 115 of 192, by Caluser2000

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Charleston wrote on 2021-07-14, 21:52:
Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-07-14, 21:37:

OEMs supplied power saving Dos utilities with their components/systems if those components/systems had power saving functions.

Some normal 486 boards have green options too. Didn't have to be laptops and specific branded stuff.

Yes you are right. I Have a couple of 486 era systems that do exactly that.

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 116 of 192, by zyzzle

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-07-14, 09:30:
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-14, 07:52:

Never had any issues with getting 600 KB of conventional memory free on my DOS rigs. I do pick my hardware very carefully though.

That said, I can see how this could have been a problem for people who used sound cards that included TSR programs in their drivers back in the day.

This was easy post MS-DOS 6.0 but as someone who got into DOS gaming seriously with 5.0 (I had an XT with 3.x earlier for a while though) I can say that memory management was a nightmare for me before I found (a pirate copy of) QEMM.

Yes, I do acknowledge that pre-QEMM and pre-DOS 6.0, memory management could be an issue with some games. But, even then, you tinkered and got it right and all was good. DOS wasn't "in the way" so much that the 640K barrier was. Once QEMM / XMS came out, those memory problems could be easily solved, even by those who just "wanted to play the games."

Now, with modern systems and DOSBOX, I consider the multi-gigabyte bloated, behemoth of Windows, MacOS, or other "modern" operating system to "be in the way." It's so much easier to wait 5 seconds by booting a DOS USB memory stick and be in DOS gaming bliss than is it is to wait 60 - 90 seconds or longer, for 10 Gigabytes of bloat to load first, *then* run my DOS game in an emulation mode, using a bloated program, with imperfect screen resolutions.

But, I get the notion that DOSBOX has indeed "kept DOS alive", and at least I'm grateful for that. 1% of current computer operators are tinkerers, the other 99% are users, of course. But, I've alway been and always shall be a tinkerer. Thanks for places like VOGONS which keep us in communication, the dwindling few. The playing and using is a bit of a bonus that makes the tinkering so incredibly satisfying!

Reply 117 of 192, by Jo22

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Charleston wrote on 2021-07-14, 21:52:
Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-07-14, 21:37:

OEMs supplied power saving Dos utilities with their components/systems if those components/systems had power saving functions.

Some normal 486 boards have green options too. Didn't have to be laptops and specific branded stuff.

There's POWER.EXE in MS-DOS 6.x.. Alternatively, DOSIDLE, a third-party utility can be used.

DOS and its applications did use socalled "idle loops", though.
So things may work fine or may not. It's difficult for these TSRs to properly handle/detect such loops:
Some user programs may freeze or nolonger work as smooth, if power savings utilities are running.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 118 of 192, by Caluser2000

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-07-15, 03:56:
Yes, I do acknowledge that pre-QEMM and pre-DOS 6.0, memory management could be an issue with some games. But, even then, you ti […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2021-07-14, 09:30:
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-07-14, 07:52:

Never had any issues with getting 600 KB of conventional memory free on my DOS rigs. I do pick my hardware very carefully though.

That said, I can see how this could have been a problem for people who used sound cards that included TSR programs in their drivers back in the day.

This was easy post MS-DOS 6.0 but as someone who got into DOS gaming seriously with 5.0 (I had an XT with 3.x earlier for a while though) I can say that memory management was a nightmare for me before I found (a pirate copy of) QEMM.

Yes, I do acknowledge that pre-QEMM and pre-DOS 6.0, memory management could be an issue with some games. But, even then, you tinkered and got it right and all was good. DOS wasn't "in the way" so much that the 640K barrier was. Once QEMM / XMS came out, those memory problems could be easily solved, even by those who just "wanted to play the games."

Now, with modern systems and DOSBOX, I consider the multi-gigabyte bloated, behemoth of Windows, MacOS, or other "modern" operating system to "be in the way." It's so much easier to wait 5 seconds by booting a DOS USB memory stick and be in DOS gaming bliss than is it is to wait 60 - 90 seconds or longer, for 10 Gigabytes of bloat to load first, *then* run my DOS game in an emulation mode, using a bloated program, with imperfect screen resolutions.

But, I get the notion that DOSBOX has indeed "kept DOS alive", and at least I'm grateful for that. 1% of current computer operators are tinkerers, the other 99% are users, of course. But, I've alway been and always shall be a tinkerer. Thanks for places like VOGONS which keep us in communication, the dwindling few. The playing and using is a bit of a bonus that makes the tinkering so incredibly satisfying!

DRIs DRDos 5 &6 as well as PC/MS Dos 5.x had memory management....😀

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 119 of 192, by Jo22

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-07-15, 05:34:
zyzzle wrote on 2021-07-15, 03:56:
Yes, I do acknowledge that pre-QEMM and pre-DOS 6.0, memory management could be an issue with some games. But, even then, you ti […]
Show full quote
appiah4 wrote on 2021-07-14, 09:30:

This was easy post MS-DOS 6.0 but as someone who got into DOS gaming seriously with 5.0 (I had an XT with 3.x earlier for a while though) I can say that memory management was a nightmare for me before I found (a pirate copy of) QEMM.

Yes, I do acknowledge that pre-QEMM and pre-DOS 6.0, memory management could be an issue with some games. But, even then, you tinkered and got it right and all was good. DOS wasn't "in the way" so much that the 640K barrier was. Once QEMM / XMS came out, those memory problems could be easily solved, even by those who just "wanted to play the games."

Now, with modern systems and DOSBOX, I consider the multi-gigabyte bloated, behemoth of Windows, MacOS, or other "modern" operating system to "be in the way." It's so much easier to wait 5 seconds by booting a DOS USB memory stick and be in DOS gaming bliss than is it is to wait 60 - 90 seconds or longer, for 10 Gigabytes of bloat to load first, *then* run my DOS game in an emulation mode, using a bloated program, with imperfect screen resolutions.

But, I get the notion that DOSBOX has indeed "kept DOS alive", and at least I'm grateful for that. 1% of current computer operators are tinkerers, the other 99% are users, of course. But, I've alway been and always shall be a tinkerer. Thanks for places like VOGONS which keep us in communication, the dwindling few. The playing and using is a bit of a bonus that makes the tinkering so incredibly satisfying!

DRIs DRDos 5 &6 as well as PC/MS Dos 5.x had memory management....😀

And Novell DOS 7, the best DOS ever. 😉

"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//