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First post, by Nexxen

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Hello Vogons dwellers,
I started my journey with an AT machine and MS-DOS 6.22 but struggled along with fond memories and an exaggerated use of QEMM (thanks winworldpc).

My point is that I had to find everything I needed, programs, drivers and/or documentation, by hand hence losing a lot of time and in the end finding a guide somewhere.

On the software side I really struggle finding what I need (in a reasonable time) and I'd like some input to create a CD with all the common stuff I might use or that's good to have on hand.
I know there are pdf/txt files of old guides on how to do things that might be good to include.
You know a site with guides, not limited to english...

A CD because it's easy to just put a W98 floppy with cd support and run/copy everything.

Advice, ideas, comments are welcome. I know that it's a little fuzzy but maybe having it all in one place could be a good thing.

Reply 1 of 19, by Jorpho

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I think that if it was possible to make such a CD, someone would have done it already. It's a lot more than a little fuzzy.

One thing I do think is interesting is that apparently it is easy to include a whole bunch of disk images on a bootable CD and select between them using "syslinux", as in http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/manual/System … t_floppy_disks/ .

In the end, I think most of the common stuff – good for 98% of cases – is easy enough to find anywhere, and it would be more convenient to download it from elsewhere than it would be to dig it off of a CD. And the other 2% is stuff that is only useful for very particular circumstances, and you'll probably end up needing something or other that isn't there. PDFs and text files would definitely be a lot easier to find with Google. Then there's the whole issue about whether the contents of the CD can be legally distributed.

Reply 2 of 19, by will1384

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I am in the process of making something like that now, but not a CD-ROM because it would be way too small, I am likely going to fill a hard drive, I have been using computers since I was a kid, and now I am in my mid 40s, and I was a heavy downloader over the years, and still am, I am just now sorting over files I downloaded in the late 1990s and putting them into labelled directories, 🤣, I am so lazy, and I am also downloading what I can from the Internet Archive, and other places, I am trying to make a huge compilation of drivers, freeware, and abandonware for DOS, Win3.1, and Win98, I do have a fair amount of stuff for WinXP but that's not the my focus right now, right now I am mostly trying to find drivers and other useful software for DOS and Win3.1.

If you are looking for a boot CD full of utility tools that will work for older computers "Hiren's BootCD 9.5" works for that.
If you are looking for a DOS install boot CD "MS-DOS 7.1 (CDU) China Dos Union" works well, also there is FreeDOS Legacy CD-ROM, however FreeDOS is not "exactly" DOS, but it is most of the time close enough.

A long time ago in the far away time of the mid-1990 I had bought a number of CD-ROMs that had collections of DOS and Windows 3.1 software, they included drivers, freeware, and shareware, many of them can be now be downloaded at the Internet Archive.

Reply 4 of 19, by chinny22

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Better then a CD is create a recovery partition on the hard drive either way the list is the same
Things you'll want are:
OS install files
Drivers
Possibility any other software you like to install although once the OS is up and running ideally you'll have network running as well.

Going by your post count your relatively new to the hobby and yes it'll take a while to build up your software library but do agree in building one, just not on the retro PC itself.
pdf's etc are much better off on something relatively modern or even your daily driver as really this is where you'll be reading them anyway and SATA drives are soo much bigger then trying to squeeze everything on a CD or IDE drive.

Personally I've got 3 folders on my "server" that's shared out for all my retro stuff:
Drivers
Apps
Games

Drivers can either be sorted by manufacture Intel, Nvidia, etc or by which PC the hardware lives in. My DX2 folder has the video, sound, network drivers for the cards in that PC.
Also in here is any documentation relating to said hardware.

Apps (which includes OS's) and a simple txt file listing which software goes with which Windows version, eg IE8 = final WinXP, IE6= Final 98/2k

Games is where I keep both the install files and any patches.

This setup allows me quick reinstall using my recovery partition, or have the files i need if the HDD dies, want to try another OS or whatever.

Reply 5 of 19, by leileilol

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When setting up a new PCem config for testing purposes with quick deployment, I usually have an ISO with:
- A Win98SE batch installer w/ my key, all hands free
- WinME Upgrade batch install (because)
- DirectX 6.1 install for a lazy display driver source (useful for Win95 and post-95/pre-99 video hardware)
- DirectX 8.1
- GLSetup for handling 3dfx Voodoo driver installing in the most laziest possible convenient way
- 2002 AudioPCI drivers
- Winzip 7 if it's not WinME. I don't care if it's not WinRAR or 7zip. There's something about those orange cabinets and blue steel compressors

apsosig.png

Reply 6 of 19, by Nexxen

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I'm back to this.
Thanks everybody for the contributions.

In fact I'm not looking to create a bootable cdrom, just put together a cd with all the most common programs used with dos (mem mangers, burn cds, zip...). Licences aside, I needed to find the latest version available for dos for each.
It has been a long run but I have what I need. Create directories structures and readme files with directions (yes, I don't remember everything: I'm old...).

OSs nowadays have it too easy for users... 😀

Reply 7 of 19, by AvalonH

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Nexxen wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:37:
I'm back to this. Thanks everybody for the contributions. […]
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I'm back to this.
Thanks everybody for the contributions.

In fact I'm not looking to create a bootable cdrom, just put together a cd with all the most common programs used with dos (mem mangers, burn cds, zip...). Licences aside, I needed to find the latest version available for dos for each.
It has been a long run but I have what I need. Create directories structures and readme files with directions (yes, I don't remember everything: I'm old...).

OSs nowadays have it too easy for users... 😀

ultimatebootcd.com has got a lot of Dos freeware utilities that are useful.

Reply 9 of 19, by Shishkebarbarian

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will1384 wrote on 2020-05-26, 20:17:

A long time ago in the far away time of the mid-1990 I had bought a number of CD-ROMs that had collections of DOS and Windows 3.1 software, they included drivers, freeware, and shareware, many of them can be now be downloaded at the Internet Archive.

Not OP but I recall those days and have fond memories of that far away place. If you have any links, or tips to finding such treasures on the Internet Archive, it would make me sing with joy.

Reply 10 of 19, by Jorpho

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Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2020-07-04, 23:30:

Not OP but I recall those days and have fond memories of that far away place. If you have any links, or tips to finding such treasures on the Internet Archive, it would make me sing with joy.

Don't you think that's a huge topic better left for its own thread? I'm sure there have been many articles written on the subject already.

You can start with https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Night%20Owl%22 .

Reply 11 of 19, by will1384

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-07-05, 02:59:
Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2020-07-04, 23:30:

Not OP but I recall those days and have fond memories of that far away place. If you have any links, or tips to finding such treasures on the Internet Archive, it would make me sing with joy.

Don't you think that's a huge topic better left for its own thread? I'm sure there have been many articles written on the subject already.

You can start with https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Night%20Owl%22 .

🤣 there were a huge amount of CDs like that, some of the better known CDs were:

Simtel, I had a fair amount of them.
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22SIMTEL%22

Walnut Creek, I bought a lot of CDs from them also.
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Walnut%20Creek%22

And I had some of the more obscure CDs like the MEGA series from Profit Press
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Profit%20Press%22

And I loved when the local BBS systems got new CDs and put them on line so that you could download from them.

I had also found a number of "driver collections" on CD has well, but most of them lacked any names or labels that would tell you who made them, and they were often included with cheap off brand hardware in the late 1990s to early 2000s, I did see some of them on archive.org mixed into the thousands of search results, but it might be useful to look threw them for what you may need.

https://archive.org/search.php?query=driver%20collection

So far I got about 60GB of drivers and old DOS and Windows OS related stuff in named directories, and most software is pre-2000-2005, and I am nowhere near finished, and that's not including general use apps, games, demos, or shareware/freeware, I want to also get an OS/2 Warp collection started.

Reply 12 of 19, by Jorpho

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will1384 wrote on 2020-07-07, 00:29:

So far I got about 60GB of drivers and old DOS and Windows OS related stuff in named directories, and most software is pre-2000-2005, and I am nowhere near finished, and that's not including general use apps, games, demos, or shareware/freeware, I want to also get an OS/2 Warp collection started.

But what's the point to having that much stuff if you're never going to look at more than a tiny fraction of it, much less find any of it particularly useful?

Reply 13 of 19, by kalohimal

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Ultimate boot CD is the way to go, it's indispensable and has lots of diagnostic tools on it. I've made 2 versions of it, one on CDROM and the other on USB stick, and modded it to include DOS6.22, DOS7.1 and Windows 98/XP installations. For old PCs without USB boot I would use the CDROM, for newer PCs I would go with the USB stick. I also have CF and SD to IDE converter, with 512MB CF/SD and the basic DOS utils files on them, for quick jobs of partitioning/formatting HDDs.

Reply 14 of 19, by will1384

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-07-07, 02:30:
will1384 wrote on 2020-07-07, 00:29:

So far I got about 60GB of drivers and old DOS and Windows OS related stuff in named directories, and most software is pre-2000-2005, and I am nowhere near finished, and that's not including general use apps, games, demos, or shareware/freeware, I want to also get an OS/2 Warp collection started.

But what's the point to having that much stuff if you're never going to look at more than a tiny fraction of it, much less find any of it particularly useful?

I do computer repair has a hobby, and I used to work at a small computer repair shop, and I find stuff all the time that is missing drivers and documentation, so I thought I better find and download has much has I can now before it's gone, old stuff like that fades away on the internet leaving very little trace until it's gone completely, ether download it now, or go without it later.

Reply 16 of 19, by Jorpho

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will1384 wrote on 2020-07-07, 03:03:

I thought I better find and download has much has I can now before it's gone, old stuff like that fades away on the internet leaving very little trace until it's gone completely, ether download it now, or go without it later.

Well, sure, but it's on archive.org at the moment. And even if archive.org goes away, what will you have? Hundreds of gigabytes of miscellaneous stuff of uncertain value, and no easy way to redistribute it – and probably hundreds (if not thousands) of other people will have the same.

I think what would be of real value would be to sort through it and actually identify what is useful and how it would be useful, and what could probably be justifiably forgotten. But who has the time?

Reply 17 of 19, by appiah4

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Quite impossible, really. Take file management, for example . There are a dozen popular file managers and everyone have their own preference. I swear by Volkov commander and will have that over even Norton Commander any day. I love Megamid and RAD2, others love DOSMID and RAD. 700MB sounds like you can fit everything on it until you realize you can't 😀

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 18 of 19, by will1384

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-07-07, 05:31:
will1384 wrote on 2020-07-07, 03:03:

I thought I better find and download has much has I can now before it's gone, old stuff like that fades away on the internet leaving very little trace until it's gone completely, ether download it now, or go without it later.

Well, sure, but it's on archive.org at the moment. And even if archive.org goes away, what will you have? Hundreds of gigabytes of miscellaneous stuff of uncertain value, and no easy way to redistribute it – and probably hundreds (if not thousands) of other people will have the same.

I think what would be of real value would be to sort through it and actually identify what is useful and how it would be useful, and what could probably be justifiably forgotten. But who has the time?

Well unfortunately I do, I have to look after my dad, I am his care giver, and has such I am stuck at home.

Reply 19 of 19, by Shishkebarbarian

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will1384 wrote on 2020-07-07, 00:29:
LOL there were a huge amount of CDs like that, some of the better known CDs were: […]
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Jorpho wrote on 2020-07-05, 02:59:
Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2020-07-04, 23:30:

Not OP but I recall those days and have fond memories of that far away place. If you have any links, or tips to finding such treasures on the Internet Archive, it would make me sing with joy.

Don't you think that's a huge topic better left for its own thread? I'm sure there have been many articles written on the subject already.

You can start with https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Night%20Owl%22 .

🤣 there were a huge amount of CDs like that, some of the better known CDs were:

Simtel, I had a fair amount of them.
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22SIMTEL%22

Walnut Creek, I bought a lot of CDs from them also.
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Walnut%20Creek%22

And I had some of the more obscure CDs like the MEGA series from Profit Press
https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22Profit%20Press%22

And I loved when the local BBS systems got new CDs and put them on line so that you could download from them.

I had also found a number of "driver collections" on CD has well, but most of them lacked any names or labels that would tell you who made them, and they were often included with cheap off brand hardware in the late 1990s to early 2000s, I did see some of them on archive.org mixed into the thousands of search results, but it might be useful to look threw them for what you may need.

https://archive.org/search.php?query=driver%20collection

So far I got about 60GB of drivers and old DOS and Windows OS related stuff in named directories, and most software is pre-2000-2005, and I am nowhere near finished, and that's not including general use apps, games, demos, or shareware/freeware, I want to also get an OS/2 Warp collection started.

Thank you very much for starting me off. Don't listen to the naysayers, having a record of history offline in your personal collection is the way to go. and 60GB is a pittance in the grand scheme of storage space availability.