VOGONS


First post, by interlocked

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Hello,

So around about 26 years ago, my parents purchased a Packard Bell PC with an Intel 486 DX2/50, 4MB RAM and some god awful graphics and sound hardware.
To be fair, the hardware itself was decent for the time period, but driver support as always was particularly bad (I remember upgrading to Windows 95 and then downgrading back to 3.11 a few weeks later due to the number of Blue Screens we were facing).

I've had fits of nostalgia ever since, but as far as I can tell, PB only took off in the UK after around 1995, when it had re-branded slightly to the "face" logo.
The Packard Bell that was slathered all over our box had two red dashes for a logo and a heavy American accent.

Anyway, I mysteriously found myself watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOyAAGXSKOc last night and have been humming the tune ever since.
I've located pretty much every original video from the CDs that came with the PC, but this was not a video as I recall. Certainly as it's 640x480 in an age where systems would struggle to decode video and update the entire screen, this was more likely some kind of presentation, like a Macromedia file.

Can anyone identify the EXE file that this would have come from?

Reply 1 of 3, by Stretch

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I believe it is from marun.exe

PC1: Win98SE - Via Apollo Pro Mobo - Pentium II 233 - 256 MB - Voodoo 3 1000 - Acoustic Edge PSC706
PC2: Win98SE - ASRock 775i65G R3.0 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 2048 MB - Geforce FX5700 - Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 2 of 3, by interlocked

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That is an amazingly good guess, Stretch.

MARUN.EXE appears to be a program that is part of "VirtualVideo Producer", made by a company called V_Graph Inc.. It is reliant on a script file (.seq) and on Packard Bell CDs is packaged with some PCX images (the stills) and FLI animations. The audio is from one or more Wave files.

The Internet Archive has a small collection of Master CDs which I've since searched through. This program is on one of them (#170131), but it doesn't play the content shown in the YouTube video. So I'm guessing that they changed the contents of the Master CD monthly?

Are there any other sources of Master CDs on the Internet? I appreciate that I'm late to the party...

Reply 3 of 3, by Stretch

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I still have my Packard Bell CDs, but unfortunately I disposed of the computer around the year 2000 or so.

I think the executable has MIDI embedded because the demo.bat file has this content:

@ECHO OFF
HTVESA.COM 1
LH C:\SGNXPRO\DRIVERS\TAPISG
LH C:\SGNXPRO\DRIVERS\VMP
marun PART1 -c
C:\SGNXPRO\DRIVERS\VMP /REM
C:\SGNXPRO\DRIVERS\TAPISG /REM

TAPISG is the Aztech Sound Galaxy Voyetra driver and VMP is the MIDI player. I do not see any MIDI files in the DEMO folder, but it is possible the MIDI file is elsewhere on the CD.

I tried running demo.bat in Dosbox, by replacing the TAPISG driver with a SB16 variant, but the driver complains it can't find an SB16.

PC1: Win98SE - Via Apollo Pro Mobo - Pentium II 233 - 256 MB - Voodoo 3 1000 - Acoustic Edge PSC706
PC2: Win98SE - ASRock 775i65G R3.0 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 2048 MB - Geforce FX5700 - Audigy 2 ZS