First post, by Neville
First of all, PCem is a PC and compatible emulator. It's a Sarah Walker creation and can be downloaded from its homepage. It emulates exact models of personal computers, from the earliest 1981 IBM PC (with a 8088 CPU and CGA graphics) to Pentium class computers with SVGA graphics with or without 3Dfx acceleration.
PCem uses low level emulation and faithfully reproduces the behaviour of these machines. Therefore, it shouldn't be your first option to run older PC games. On the other hand, it is a perfect solution for those interested in old hardware or who owned a PC during the 1980-90s and want to revive old times.
- A modern PC. If we plan to emulate 486 / Pentium class machines a Core Duo or better is recommended.
- Windows 7 or better. Linux and Macintosh are also supported, although you may need to compile the program yourselves in those cases.
- The BIOSes of some emulated machines. If you don't know where to start, try getting some IBM PC models from the complete MAME / MESS romset, together with the "IBM VGA Graphics Card" (pcvga.zip) file.
These roms need to be uncompressed and then copied to the folder PCem\Roms\<Computer model> , and the peripherals (these include videocards) in PCem\Roms\.
- The program WinImage to manage our harddrive images. We'll use it to copy files to our harddrive image.
- OS Disk images. PCem supports FreeDOS, MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP.
For OSes that install from CD-ROM, a startup disk might be useful. AllBootDisks keeps startup images for many OSes.
- Although they are not essential, you may need drivers for some of your peripherals, such as mouse, video or soundcards. The VOGONS community keeps a libray of those, the VOGONS Vintage Driver Library.
- Optionally, you may want to get the file BXIMAGE.EXE from BOCHS emulator. We'll use it to create harddrive images.