Retro OSes for retro computers

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-9-02 @ 17:52

yeah +1 on appz I've been hearing that since the 90s

believing it is a product of the smartphone world is ridiculous
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-04 @ 09:28

For those that have not seen it this is the Aust mag which had the CDs of BeOS 5 PE, OS/2 v4 Warp and Red Hat Linux 6.2
20190902_105226.jpg
And for sh*ts and giggles here is my Acorn A3000 with RiscOS 3.11 running MSDos 3.3 and an Electronics Arts title from 1986 in a window on a multi-tasking PC emulator.
20190904_204936.jpg
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby appiah4 » 2019-9-04 @ 09:48

And to think Win95 was pitched as an innovative multitasking OS.. Even the stuff you post is not a first, Amiga had PC and Apple emulators running in a multitasking OS even before that.
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i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M|SD-35
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-04 @ 10:10

Yeah that's also the possible subject for a new thread "Non x86 systems that could run x86 OSs and software" via emulation or hardware. Say pre 1995. The Acorn A3000 is from 1989 and a really cool piece of kit and was one of the first ARM base computer for consumer use. So it has heritage no other computer has. No silly odd proprietory FDDs or formated discs if you did'nt want them as it handles fat12 and Atari disks just fine.There are even still a few upgrade option I can give it if I wanted. PC emulation is a breeze either multi-tasking in a window on top of RiscOS or full screen single tasking without any extra hardware needed. Because the OS is in rom it boots up in snap.
20190904_151937.jpg
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby spiroyster » 2019-9-04 @ 10:38

appiah4 wrote:And to think Win95 was pitched as an innovative multitasking OS.. Even the stuff you post is not a first, Amiga had PC and Apple emulators running in a multitasking OS even before that.

I don't think there was a PC emulator on Amiga before PC-Task came out (early 90's), could be wrong but I am not aware of one... and originally it wasn't multitasking iirc... you didn't have workbench in the background, rather you had to boot it, and then booted a MS-DOS system disk leaving you with literally a DOS screen (like a PC). I didn't have a HD with my Amiga so that might have been different and possible to run it from there, but I was running it on an A500plus, and while it did run DOS and a few programs, the experience was a bit sluggish and certainly wasn't as good as a PC...

...also note RiscOS 3 came out in early 90's too, so unless that emulator worked in RiscOS 2, while the computer was from 1989... the software wasn't.

@Caluser2000
What emulator is it?

Caluser2000 wrote:"Non x86 systems that could run x86 OSs and software" via emulation

I still have two versions of SoftWindows95 for Irix which was used to at my first place of employment to port the then Irix CAD system to Windows. Unfortunately I no longer have any Irix machines (sold long ago), but for some reason I kept the software o.0
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-04 @ 13:13

RiscOS 2.0 got shipped with the A3000 in 1989 when it was released. My system was upgraded to RisOS 3.11 in 1992 along with the ram to two megs. The emulators are from Acorn by the looks or contracted for Acorn. An emulator being on 800k is pretty cool programming.
20190905_004851[1].jpg
Looks like there may have been a Dos emulator for RiscOS 2.0. The only requirements on these disks is that the system has 1meg of ram. A3000 shipped with 1meg when released which was a lot at the time for a personal computing system. MSDos 3.3 came out in 1997. I'll look in to it a bit further. A neat thing you can do with these is change the ram disk on the fly.

Edit-The emulator software is from 1991.
20190905_154614.jpg
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-10 @ 21:03

I'd love to put OS/2 Warp on my 486 or P1 but I can't seem to get it to give me a valid partition. It only sees ~95 MB total on both machines, not enough for a bootable partition even. I have installed it in virtualbox once.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-10 @ 22:47

Overlord_Manny wrote:I'd love to put OS/2 Warp on my 486 or P1 but I can't seem to get it to give me a valid partition. It only sees ~95 MB total on both machines, not enough for a bootable partition even. I have installed it in virtualbox once.
Might be worth starting a thead about it. I've had no such issues. OS/2 Warp does have a few odd quirks if you are familiar with Win9x. Make sure the HDD is Fat16 or HPFS not Fat32. If the drive is 500megs or smaller use Fat16. Oh and don't run it on anything lass than 16 megs of ram for v3 and 32megs for v4. The P1 would be the better candidate btw.

OS/2 is very picky wrt to hardware and not as tolerant as linux is. It also has that "must reboot with every hardware or configuration change" like Windows 9x. A nice feature from v3 Warp up is the configuration save feature introduces in 1994. You can back up a max of five configurations. You access this by pressing ctl-alt-f1 when you see the white boot blob top right of the screen before the boot screen shows up. There are utilities that can save more configurations. At this screen you also get the option to load in text mode to the command prompt or change graphics to vga and boot in vga mode. Remember this is a year before Windows 95 was released.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-11 @ 00:01

MSDOS 4.0 is on the weird/worth a try list.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-11 @ 04:31

kolderman wrote:MSDOS 4.0 is on the weird/worth a try list.
It wasn't really that bad and was sorted with 4.01 fairly promptly. As long as you had SHARE loaded for more than 32meg drive/partition support and any caching turned off. But because of the bad press it was too late the damage had been done. Thats one reason Digital Research jumped numbers from 3.5x to 5. One thing about v4 was it took up more conventional memory than any other version of Dos.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Cyberdyne » 2019-9-11 @ 10:11

Somebody could make a stable minimalistic Linux distro, that defaults to FAT filesystem and is single user, wiht no login promt :lol:
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-12 @ 06:38

Cyberdyne wrote:Somebody could make a stable minimalistic Linux distro, that defaults to FAT filesystem and is single user, wiht no login promt :lol:
I believe that was done a few decades ago.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-13 @ 19:44

I think I'm going to try to build LFS on my 486 DX2 this weekend. Haha and it may take all weekend to compile... if it even will.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-9-20 @ 00:59

Overlord_Manny wrote:I think I'm going to try to build LFS on my 486 DX2 this weekend. Haha and it may take all weekend to compile... if it even will.
I bet you didn't even try ;P
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby appiah4 » 2019-9-20 @ 05:44

Caluser2000 wrote:
Overlord_Manny wrote:I think I'm going to try to build LFS on my 486 DX2 this weekend. Haha and it may take all weekend to compile... if it even will.
I bet you didn't even try ;P

I bet it's still compiling.
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M|SD-35
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Cyberdyne » 2019-9-20 @ 05:56

Caluser2000 wrote:
Cyberdyne wrote:Somebody could make a stable minimalistic Linux distro, that defaults to FAT filesystem and is single user, wiht no login promt :lol:
I believe that was done a few decades ago.


Names please!
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby krcroft » 2019-9-20 @ 06:00

appiah4 wrote:
Caluser2000 wrote:
Overlord_Manny wrote:I think I'm going to try to build LFS on my 486 DX2 this weekend. Haha and it may take all weekend to compile... if it even will.
I bet you didn't even try ;P
I bet it's still compiling.

That's the truth! Ran Gentoo on a dual Applebred setup in 2003, and periodically had to rebuild 'world' (a spartan X setup at that) with less aggressive cflags. It was a week-long ordeal.. I remember SSH'ing in from work, and was always pleased to see the dually working hard and stable!

But yeah.. a 486 single cpu that's two orders of magnitude slower? Assuming you had enough memory to avoid swapping, building a modern Linux stack with X, IceWM or XFCE, browser, some applications, and their dependencies would be many months, and likely pushing a year.

Heck; I still cross compile my Rpi3 kernel because even four ARM7a cores running at 1.4GHz still takes too much time!
Last edited by krcroft on 2019-9-20 @ 06:15, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby xjas » 2019-9-20 @ 06:04

Cyberdyne wrote:
Caluser2000 wrote:
Cyberdyne wrote:Somebody could make a stable minimalistic Linux distro, that defaults to FAT filesystem and is single user, wiht no login promt :lol:
I believe that was done a few decades ago.


Names please!

^^ Puppy Linux is pretty close to that, minus the FAT filesystem. I don't even understand why you'd want that to be honest... AFAIK you'll never get Linux running "properly" on FAT as it lacks some of the features the OS needs like case sensitivity, permissions, symbolic links, and file handles for I/O devices. Somebody somewhere's probably done it, but it'd be so compromised I can't imagine it'd be useful for much beyond an experiment.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Zup » 2019-9-20 @ 06:19

Also, you can make a Puppy Linux install on FAT and then mount that FAT filesystem. The OS still will use all the features it needs (via its own compressed filesystem), you can have your precious FAT filesystem and your data can live happily on FAT without compromising Linux security/features.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-9-20 @ 09:02

That's called a loopback install. You can even boot from DOS using LOADLIN.

There was a filesystem called UMSDOS that supported most of the critical UNIX filesystem requirements overlaid on FAT, but I believe you'll only find it in legacy distros as I believe it's gone from the kernel now.
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