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First post, by Hamby

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I wish there was a channel on Vogons dedicated to discussions about developing new software (specifically games) for vintage systems/OSes.
Maybe I missed it?

Reply 2 of 27, by gerry

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there have been various threads over the years, it would be fun to read and (re)discover resources of the past - there are lots of programming forums out there but very few even touch on older systems

I'm thinking old stuff like turbo pascal and vga libraries for 16bit, djgpp/allegro for 32 bit, easly win 16 (Delphi 1, vb) and win 32 (MS C, Delphi 2-6, VB4-6) and so on! fun!

Reply 3 of 27, by Hamby

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I've got my Borland 5 compiler running on my Win98 box atm... gave me a warm and fuzzy to see its ide with some old code from "Gardens of Imagination" in it.
(trying to re-learn some game programming techniques).

Reply 5 of 27, by pan069

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Well, I guess you just started a thread. 😆

These are some existing threads :

VESA mode programming from real mode
what's the definitive beginner's guide for early DOS x86 assembly language?
CGA Graphics library
DOS programming - Where to start? Books?
Programming the VGA chip in C/C++ for 16 bit DOS - help writing my own routines
CMS Dev Kit

Reply 6 of 27, by gerry

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Hamby wrote on 2021-02-10, 00:11:

I've got my Borland 5 compiler running on my Win98 box atm... gave me a warm and fuzzy to see its ide with some old code from "Gardens of Imagination" in it.
(trying to re-learn some game programming techniques).

is that the full IDE borland c++ 5.02? that was the final product in a long line, after that it went to 'builder' which was also good!

Borland were great back then, affordable too for hobbyists during the pre-www days

there were so many options for DOS too - quick basic, power basic, MS C, borland C, borland Pascal, assemblers (often inline within others compilers) and the early websites for DOS programming with all the VGA code and interrupts, hardware tricks

then around 2000 DOS programming started fading naturally, all those old QBasic forums and the like slowed down. Interesting new windows development tools gained traction among hobby programmers whether it was Delphi, VB or various free C tools (Remember Dev-cpp!). Even blitz basic made a return as a windows version of old amiga tool

i don't look as much now but occasionally notice a few libraries and tools still geared for hobbyists, but that scene is now dominated by unity and a few huge 3d libraries - but i'm guessing there must be great options out there as hobby games are still often good, better perhaps. html5/javascript seems to do it all now too, machine independence

and that's not even touched on the scene around linux or raspberry pi with its python/pygame combo

and then there's the toolkits targeting retro systems specifically, like the original gameboy or 'fantasy' consoles like pico 8

Reply 7 of 27, by Hamby

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Actually I've got Builder 6 running on there too.
But... I've tried 5, 4.5 and Turbo C++ 4, and I'm getting errors finding TASM to compile some assembly modules I need.
I've got TASM 1.4 and 2.01; just got TASM 4, I'm going to install it and see if that works.

Meanwhile, I'm going to fall back on the Turbo C++ I have working under DOSBOX on my Win7 PC, see if I can get that setup working on the Win98 box (minus the dosbox).

gerry wrote on 2021-02-11, 10:38:
is that the full IDE borland c++ 5.02? that was the final product in a long line, after that it went to 'builder' which was al […]
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Hamby wrote on 2021-02-10, 00:11:

I've got my Borland 5 compiler running on my Win98 box atm... gave me a warm and fuzzy to see its ide with some old code from "Gardens of Imagination" in it.
(trying to re-learn some game programming techniques).

is that the full IDE borland c++ 5.02? that was the final product in a long line, after that it went to 'builder' which was also good!

Borland were great back then, affordable too for hobbyists during the pre-www days

there were so many options for DOS too - quick basic, power basic, MS C, borland C, borland Pascal, assemblers (often inline within others compilers) and the early websites for DOS programming with all the VGA code and interrupts, hardware tricks

then around 2000 DOS programming started fading naturally, all those old QBasic forums and the like slowed down. Interesting new windows development tools gained traction among hobby programmers whether it was Delphi, VB or various free C tools (Remember Dev-cpp!). Even blitz basic made a return as a windows version of old amiga tool

i don't look as much now but occasionally notice a few libraries and tools still geared for hobbyists, but that scene is now dominated by unity and a few huge 3d libraries - but i'm guessing there must be great options out there as hobby games are still often good, better perhaps. html5/javascript seems to do it all now too, machine independence

and that's not even touched on the scene around linux or raspberry pi with its python/pygame combo

and then there's the toolkits targeting retro systems specifically, like the original gameboy or 'fantasy' consoles like pico 8

Reply 8 of 27, by gerry

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iirc turbo c++ had tasm for inline assembly and it ;ought' to just work, but having tasm seperately should allow for assembly of objects to be linked as needed, this seems like a long time ago now 😀

to develop for DOS it does seem sensible to develop on dosbox or a vm (or something like PCem) although win98 should be ok too

i have an old P3-500 with win98 dedicated to old applications and old development tools but havent done much for a long time,

that's the thing, without a specific project its all tinkering

Reply 9 of 27, by froller

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Writing my own boot manager to load different OS'es especially different versions of DOS.
Not yet much done. I still haven't managed to make it load DOS from other partition than first found FAT-16.
However it already allows you to switch between DOS and OS/2.
Sources are here. Help is welcome.

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ 100%
Virus check complete. All viruses are working properly.

Reply 10 of 27, by Gered

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Would love to see some forum for people interested in this to talk about it (whether that's here on Vogons, or elsewhere). There have been topics about it here in the past, like what pan069 linked, but they get drowned out by other discussions. Understandably, as there are definitely more people interested in the hardware aspect of retro systems on this forum.

For myself, I do coding directly on my 486 DX2 in DOS with any of Watcom C/C++, Turbo Pascal, QuickBASIC, and/or TASM. I guess I'm an oddball in that I refuse to do retro development on a modern machine, using VMs and such to test. Probably would be faster, but it kinda ruins the whole thing for me. I prefer using era-appropriate tools the whole way through. I kinda cycle between any mix of those tools mentioned as inspiration for something to work on comes. But I'll admit sometimes it is hard to stay focused without any others to really talk to about it. A forum or group or whatever otherwise dedicated to retro development would be nice. 😀 Even though I suspect it would be pretty low-traffic.

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Reply 11 of 27, by gerry

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Gered wrote on 2021-02-12, 12:03:

Would love to see some forum for people interested in this to talk about it (whether that's here on Vogons, or elsewhere). There have been topics about it here in the past, like what pan069 linked, but they get drowned out by other discussions. Understandably, as there are definitely more people interested in the hardware aspect of retro systems on this forum.

For myself, I do coding directly on my 486 DX2 in DOS with any of Watcom C/C++, Turbo Pascal, QuickBASIC, and/or TASM. I guess I'm an oddball in that I refuse to do retro development on a modern machine, using VMs and such to test. Probably would be faster, but it kinda ruins the whole thing for me. I prefer using era-appropriate tools the whole way through. I kinda cycle between any mix of those tools mentioned as inspiration for something to work on comes. But I'll admit sometimes it is hard to stay focused without any others to really talk to about it. A forum or group or whatever otherwise dedicated to retro development would be nice. 😀 Even though I suspect it would be pretty low-traffic.

if the environment makes you productive & creative then its good 😀

there are some forums, one at dosgames forum and various small attempts at creating boards or inheriting old forums that I've seen over the years, often dedicated to older and fast fading toolsets, which then fade away themselves quickly

occasionally there are events like the dos games jam that get some development attention

the retro pc scene is quite small and quite fragmented, the retro pc developers 'scene' if there is one is even smaller and possibly just as fragmented

in some ways developing for things like gameboy original seem to spark more interest or perhaps just have more focus because of the well defined and specific hardware

when developing for 'PC' what do we mean? DOS 3.3 on a 286, DOS 6.22 on a 486, windows 31., windows 9x, later - there are so many variations

Reply 12 of 27, by BloodyCactus

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Hamby wrote on 2021-02-08, 01:42:

I wish there was a channel on Vogons dedicated to discussions about developing new software (specifically games) for vintage systems/OSes.
Maybe I missed it?

vcfed has a vintage programming forum thats specifically for what you ask 😀

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 13 of 27, by doshea

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froller wrote on 2021-02-12, 11:46:
Writing my own boot manager to load different OS'es especially different versions of DOS. Not yet much done. I still haven't man […]
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Writing my own boot manager to load different OS'es especially different versions of DOS.
Not yet much done. I still haven't managed to make it load DOS from other partition than first found FAT-16.
However it already allows you to switch between DOS and OS/2.
Sources are here. Help is welcome.

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that DOS won't boot from a partition other than the first FAT 16 one, and that's why boot loaders have options to hide partitions and/or reorder BIOS devices?

Have fun!

Reply 14 of 27, by froller

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doshea wrote on 2021-03-01, 10:19:

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that DOS won't boot from a partition other than the first FAT 16 one, and that's why boot loaders have options to hide partitions and/or reorder BIOS devices?

Have fun!

It can boot from "drive C:" only. It wouldn't be a problem if it weren't use weird and unclear ways to decide which partition should be called "C:".

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ 100%
Virus check complete. All viruses are working properly.

Reply 15 of 27, by pan069

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BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-02-12, 15:07:
Hamby wrote on 2021-02-08, 01:42:

I wish there was a channel on Vogons dedicated to discussions about developing new software (specifically games) for vintage systems/OSes.
Maybe I missed it?

vcfed has a vintage programming forum thats specifically for what you ask 😀

There are some interesting threads over there but there are only 13 threads in total. 😃

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?1 … ter-Programming

It's kinda interesting. Programming retro computers is such a vast topic and a lot of people were involved in it back in the day, but somehow, hardware seems to be the more popular topic when it comes to retro. Take e.g. YouTube videos on retro, the vast majority is on putting together or bench-marking some old system (not to mention cleaning and Retr0brighting...). Maybe it's just really difficult to produce engaging content for a programming topic. 🤔

Reply 16 of 27, by Jo22

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^Personally, I really like vcfed.org, too, but I also always feel unconfortable posting there on a casual basis, so I only do if I carefully prepared myself.
Always makes me feel disturbing the super users and gurus over there.. The x86 asm magic they practice is just way over my head.
Couldn't imagine to bring myself to post stuff over there about my beloved QuickBasic and VB DOS (not to mention VB6!), because BASIC might be akin to an affront.
You know, BASIC has a long tradition of being hated by these gray beards all over the world.. 🙁

"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

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Reply 17 of 27, by gerry

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pan069 wrote on 2021-03-02, 02:07:
There are some interesting threads over there but there are only 13 threads in total. :smiley: […]
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BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-02-12, 15:07:
Hamby wrote on 2021-02-08, 01:42:

I wish there was a channel on Vogons dedicated to discussions about developing new software (specifically games) for vintage systems/OSes.
Maybe I missed it?

vcfed has a vintage programming forum thats specifically for what you ask 😀

There are some interesting threads over there but there are only 13 threads in total. 😃

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?1 … ter-Programming

It's kinda interesting. Programming retro computers is such a vast topic and a lot of people were involved in it back in the day, but somehow, hardware seems to be the more popular topic when it comes to retro. Take e.g. YouTube videos on retro, the vast majority is on putting together or bench-marking some old system (not to mention cleaning and Retr0brighting...). Maybe it's just really difficult to produce engaging content for a programming topic. 🤔

it is indeed a small forum, almost at the pivot point of becoming too small to sustain itself, maybe, I'm not sure - I've seen forums dissipate and the early signs are a low number of new posts, relative domination by a small number of users, a large time gap between 'top of page' and 'bottom of page' in terms of latest post timestamp, a relative increase in posts containing "sorry I've been away for awhile", "is this forum still alive?" and so on. So that forum isn't quite there, but teetering imo

as i said elsethread retro programming of the PC is quite scattered online - it may be because there isn't one clearly bounded hardware definition as there is for something like the gameboy (or indeed the 'pretend' pico8). PC architecture and capabilities changed year on year so retro programming for a 8086 with early DOS is very different from retro programming for a pentium 2 on windows with opengl for instance

in that sense the PC programming scene has remained true to form - always moving on with the times, leaving some very small bubbles of retro here and there

Reply 18 of 27, by BloodyCactus

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pan069 wrote on 2021-03-02, 02:07:

There are some interesting threads over there but there are only 13 threads in total. 😃

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?1 … ter-Programming

It's kinda interesting. Programming retro computers is such a vast topic and a lot of people were involved in it back in the day, but somehow, hardware seems to be the more popular topic when it comes to retro. Take e.g. YouTube videos on retro, the vast majority is on putting together or bench-marking some old system (not to mention cleaning and Retr0brighting...). Maybe it's just really difficult to produce engaging content for a programming topic. 🤔

scroll to the bottom of the page, change the "Show threads from" box to the beginning, your are only seeing the latest threads, there is loads more.

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 19 of 27, by pan069

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BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-03-02, 12:50:
pan069 wrote on 2021-03-02, 02:07:

There are some interesting threads over there but there are only 13 threads in total. 😃

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?1 … ter-Programming

It's kinda interesting. Programming retro computers is such a vast topic and a lot of people were involved in it back in the day, but somehow, hardware seems to be the more popular topic when it comes to retro. Take e.g. YouTube videos on retro, the vast majority is on putting together or bench-marking some old system (not to mention cleaning and Retr0brighting...). Maybe it's just really difficult to produce engaging content for a programming topic. 🤔

scroll to the bottom of the page, change the "Show threads from" box to the beginning, your are only seeing the latest threads, there is loads more.

Holy shit. What horrible unintuitive forum software that is... Thanks for the tip...! 👍