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Reply 20 of 53, by radiounix

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Looks like everyone has given reasonable advice. Period correct for that machine would be a copy of DOS 5.0, and with 4MB of RAM it should run Windows 3.1 adequately as long as the software is simple like Word 2.0 or Windows Entertainment pack. Later things need protected mode and/or fast 386 level performance.

It should run most games through 1992, including games with VGA graphics and fluid action. Certain advanced for the time games like Wing Commander, Wolfenstein and Stunts will execute, but probably will prove unacceptable by modern sensibilities.

Reply 21 of 53, by Grzyb

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radiounix wrote on 2020-12-21, 17:09:

Later things need protected mode

Windows 3.1 on a 286 runs in protected mode - it's called "Standard mode".
Later things need "386 Enhanced mode".

Reply 22 of 53, by Jo22

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radiounix wrote on 2020-12-21, 17:09:

Looks like everyone has given reasonable advice. Period correct for that machine would be a copy of DOS 5.0, and with 4MB of RAM it should run Windows 3.1 adequately as long as the software is simple like Word 2.0 or Windows Entertainment pack. Later things need protected mode and/or fast 386 level performance.

I didn't know about period-correctness and so I used MD-DOS 6.20 in the
mid-90s when 286 PCs were still around.
That being said, my father also had got MS-DOS 6.0, 5.0, 3.30 and PC-DOS, PC-MOS/386 etc in the drawer. 😉

Edit : Small edit.

"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

//My video channel//

Reply 23 of 53, by Caluser2000

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-12-21, 17:23:
radiounix wrote on 2020-12-21, 17:09:

Later things need protected mode

Windows 3.1 on a 286 runs in protected mode - it's called "Standard mode".
Later things need "386 Enhanced mode".

Yip and a 286 will run Win3.x in standard mode quicker than a equivalent 386SX setup. My 286/12 setup runs MS Windows 3.1 fine and is my main IRC client system running PIRCH in Windows 3.1 with Dos nic packet driver, winpkt and Tumpet winsck 1.0A. . It's on most days without a single hick up. It even uses the WfW 3.11 FTP and TELNET clients which are 16 bit software. It runs Wolfinstien3D fine as did my original 286/16.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 24 of 53, by OSkar000

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Wow! Lots of response here! Thanks everyone!

I have to find my cd with different windows versions and see I have 3.1 somewhere. I have 3.0 and 3.11 available on 3,5" disks so thats easy to install.

If I want to be somewhat period correct Dos 5 and Windows 3.0 makes most sense. But thats not so important...

Maybe Dos 6.0 and Windows 3.1?

Dos 6.22 and wfw 3.11 is in my opinion a bit to modern for a 286 and I have a few other computers that runs that combinatio at the moment. When I have finished a few more projects it will probably be at least 4 or 5 computers. And some more with earlier versions and some NT-machines too.

Reply 25 of 53, by Caluser2000

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Wfw 3.11 will not run on a 286 and Windows 3.1 is as fast/faster than 3.0 with more software. Wfw 3.11 needs 386SX or higher to because it runs in 386 Enhanced mode as mentioned above. There are half a dozen core files available to update Win 3.1 to Win 3.11(note-NOT Wfw 3.11 which is a different product).

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 26 of 53, by OSkar000

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 18:53:

Wfw 3.11 will not run on a 286 and Windows 3.1 is as fast/faster than 3.0 with more software. Wfw 3.11 needs 386SX or higher to because it runs in 386 Enhanced mode as mentioned above. There are half a dozen core files available to update Win 3.1 to Win 3.11(note-NOT Wfw 3.11 which is a different product).

Ah, then the only choise I have to make is between 3.0 and 3.1 (if I find the cd...)

Any suggestions for games from late 80is and early 90is?

Older games will be played on my XT-clone 😀

Reply 27 of 53, by Grzyb

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OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 18:49:

Dos 6.0

MS-DOS 6.0 is buggy, avoid.
6.20, 6.21, 6.22 are OK, and they are pretty much equal - the only difference is in disk compression software.

Reply 28 of 53, by Caluser2000

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-12-21, 19:35:
OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 18:49:

Dos 6.0

MS-DOS 6.0 is buggy, avoid.
6.20, 6.21, 6.22 are OK, and they are pretty much equal - the only difference is in disk compression software.

Yeah and a lot of Dos software complained about having the wrong Dos version unless setver was in place on MS Dos 6.x. GeoWorks Pro 1.2 is one example. DRDos 6,.0 identified as 3.3 to Dos programs so didn't have that issue.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 29 of 53, by OSkar000

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 20:30:
Grzyb wrote on 2020-12-21, 19:35:
OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 18:49:

Dos 6.0

MS-DOS 6.0 is buggy, avoid.
6.20, 6.21, 6.22 are OK, and they are pretty much equal - the only difference is in disk compression software.

Yeah and a lot of Dos software complained about having the wrong Dos version unless setver was in place on MS Dos 6.x. GeoWorks Pro 1.2 is one example. DRDos 6,.0 identified as 3.3 to Dos programs so didn't have that issue.

Ok, that means that Dos 6.0 is not on the list anymore.

The project will continue later in the Christmas when I get some time over.

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It's a cute litte 286 I got here. Facit branded and made by Mitac.

Reply 30 of 53, by Caluser2000

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The initial MS Dos 5.0 had a few issues as well but MS Dos 5.0a and IBM Dos 5.02 tidied that up.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 31 of 53, by Jorpho

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OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-20, 12:36:

I just got my first 286/12 to my collection and since my experience from that time period is quite limited I need some help with finding out what fits it best.

Not sure why you wanted it in your collection when you didn't know what you were going to do with it..? 12 MHz is unfortunately already just a little bit too fast for software written for 4.77 MHz that wasn't properly speed-limited. Other games like Commander Keen and Duke Nukem will run acceptably, but they'll also run more smoothly on a faster machine without any problems.

I guess it's useful if you want to experience the frustration people had with running Win 3.x very slowly?

Reply 32 of 53, by OSkar000

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-12-22, 18:11:
OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-20, 12:36:

I just got my first 286/12 to my collection and since my experience from that time period is quite limited I need some help with finding out what fits it best.

Not sure why you wanted it in your collection when you didn't know what you were going to do with it..? 12 MHz is unfortunately already just a little bit too fast for software written for 4.77 MHz that wasn't properly speed-limited. Other games like Commander Keen and Duke Nukem will run acceptably, but they'll also run more smoothly on a faster machine without any problems.

I guess it's useful if you want to experience the frustration people had with running Win 3.x very slowly?

Tiny and cute with good looks is reason enough for me 😀
And its a line of computers that I grew up with so its much nostalgia involved.

Reply 33 of 53, by Caluser2000

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OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-22, 18:26:
Jorpho wrote on 2020-12-22, 18:11:
OSkar000 wrote on 2020-12-20, 12:36:

I just got my first 286/12 to my collection and since my experience from that time period is quite limited I need some help with finding out what fits it best.

Not sure why you wanted it in your collection when you didn't know what you were going to do with it..? 12 MHz is unfortunately already just a little bit too fast for software written for 4.77 MHz that wasn't properly speed-limited. Other games like Commander Keen and Duke Nukem will run acceptably, but they'll also run more smoothly on a faster machine without any problems.

I guess it's useful if you want to experience the frustration people had with running Win 3.x very slowly?

Tiny and cute with good looks is reason enough for me 😀
And its a line of computers that I grew up with so its much nostalgia involved.

Good for you. The kids will never understand 😉. Try GeoWorks Pro 1.2 while you are mucking around with the old beasty. A nice bit of tight coding.

Side scollers like Dangerous Dave, Duke Nukem etc and a ton of other games will run fine on your system anyway...

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 34 of 53, by radiounix

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286s get little love, but these late 286s are very important in my opinion because they represent a massive evolution where popular home PCs sold at discount stores went from 8088 CPUs and CGA graphics early 80s technology to VGA and fully 16-bit CPUs with the power needed to move around sprites and scroll a screen. PCs went from having action games that flickered and jerked in 4 colors to having titles that approached a Super Nintendo release. Pretty much in the span of a year or two, the contrast between a turbo XT and a fast 286 with VGA and IDE is amazing.

Reply 35 of 53, by appiah4

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-12-21, 11:29:
Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-12-21, 08:13:

It's a bloated load of shit. I've got a boxed copy of IBM OS/1.3EE. Wouldn't touch it a barge poll. IBM were stupid in insisting on keeping it 286 compatible. Total waste of resources.

Well, yes, OS/2 is too heavy for typical 286 machines.
On the other hand, it's the most advanced system one can have on a 286, with preemptive multitasking, multithreading, memory protection, advanced file system, networking, and GUI.

Yeah Grzyb, you understand me 😀

radiounix wrote on 2020-12-23, 15:19:

286s get little love, but these late 286s are very important in my opinion because they represent a massive evolution where popular home PCs sold at discount stores went from 8088 CPUs and CGA graphics early 80s technology to VGA and fully 16-bit CPUs with the power needed to move around sprites and scroll a screen. PCs went from having action games that flickered and jerked in 4 colors to having titles that approached a Super Nintendo release. Pretty much in the span of a year or two, the contrast between a turbo XT and a fast 286 with VGA and IDE is amazing.

That never happened, at least where I live. 286s, even later and faster Siemens/Harris powered ones, were largely monochrome or Hercules affairs. EGA/CGA was completely neglected because for the price of a CGA/EGA 286 you could easily get an Amiga 500 which would outclass it at everything. Even EGA 286s were super rare, because monitors were EXPENSIVE. VGA only took off around 386SX, and that CPU is in my opinion where the market made that massive jump regardless of whether the late 286 was capable of it or not..

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

Reply 36 of 53, by Jo22

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radiounix wrote on 2020-12-23, 15:19:

286s get little love, but these late 286s are very important in my opinion because they represent a massive evolution where popular home PCs sold at discount stores went from 8088 CPUs and CGA graphics early 80s technology to VGA and fully 16-bit CPUs with the power needed to move around sprites and scroll a screen. PCs went from having action games that flickered and jerked in 4 colors to having titles that approached a Super Nintendo release. Pretty much in the span of a year or two, the contrast between a turbo XT and a fast 286 with VGA and IDE is amazing.

+1 Very well said!

While I have a strange fascination for early 8-Bit PCs (Sharp MZ-80K etc) and XT/CGA,
I really have a soft spot for the 286.
It's the first mainstream PC platform with Protected-Mode, ISA (ex AT-Bus), on-board VGA, more than 1024KB of direct addressable memory and so on, making it the first x86 Multimedia PC platform.

In fact, the original MPC specs mentioned a 286 before it got revised to a 386SX.
Throughout the 1990s, most TWAIN drivers for scanners were Windows 3.1 compatible.

On a 286 running Windows 3.1, you could run most common Win16 programs up until the year 2000 and get easily online with WinCIM, AOL, T-Online etc.

While I still have 286 PCs here, I never owned a 25 MHz version.
Which still kinda bothers me a bit,
because I'd love to finally experience what I missed out.

"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

//My video channel//

Reply 37 of 53, by Caluser2000

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My to 286s (the current Zenith 286/12 LP Plus from 1990 and my old 286/16 (designed to run MS Windows 3.x and take 8megs of ram in 30 pin simms on board, wihich it is packing now. I got it with 4megs of ram installed.) from around the same time certainly have/had vga and IDE hdds. I bought the 286/16 NEW with VGA in fact. Over the years it got upgraded to a Pentium 133. I upgraded that 286/16 to 4megs of ram and a supplemented the original 40meg IDE hdd with a 240meg IDE hdd about 8months after I bought it.. My current Redstone XT Turbo 10Mhz system has EGA.

The early 386SXs were a con job by the computer industry. Consumers hadn't latched on to 386DXs( preferring to keep there stable older set ups) and Intel had already released the 486DX25. I completely missed the 386 class altogether and whent from 286/16 to 486DX33 with a second hand mobo when a mate upgraded his system to a Pentium mobo. Was given a 386DX33 system (the MITEK to the right of the Zenith.)with co-pro and dead Apple branded 100meg scsi drive from '89, that was used by a surveyor, for nothing with a few other AT systems and parts. a few years ago.

Here's my Zenith comfortably running the PIRCH16 irc under MS Windows 3.1 on it's built in VGA on top of MS Dos 5.0a. Also note the external LS120 drive and BackPack CDrom reader piggybacked to the 286/12s parallel port.

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Last edited by Caluser2000 on 2020-12-23, 18:25. Edited 7 times in total.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 38 of 53, by creepingnet

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Well....

I have a GEM 286 AT Clone with SVGA and 4MB of RAM, and a SoundBlaster 16, ITT 802c87, that's 12 MHz. This is what I run on it....

GAMES
- Elfland
- Sim City
- Monkey ISland 1 & 2
- Ultima I-VI
- Street Rod
- Tank Wars
- Test Drive 1-3
- Ford Simulator 1-3
- Prince of Persia
- Commander Keen 1-6

PRODUCTIVITY STUFF
- Windows 3.1
- Windows 3.0 (yes I have both on the same PC)
- Fontmaster Font Maker
- Voyetra Sequencer Pro (I have a SoundBlaster 16 in there)
- Lynx (web browser)
- mTCP
- Microsoft Works

On 12MHz, if you have a turbo button, XT games become playable with the Turbo off. DepthCharge, Maxit, and some other BASIC games I have come to mind in that case.

I run DOS 6.22 on it with multi-boot configuration just fine. Of course, I'm less about period correctness and more about having a machine that can do a lot.

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My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 39 of 53, by Caluser2000

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I played Eye of the Beholder for hours during the wet winter months on my original 286/16. I'm not a what you would call a hard core gamer but that system certainly wasn't a sloth compared to equivalent 386SX set ups mates had. In fact they were quite shocked how well it ran. PFS: WindowWorks was my productivity suite on Windows 3.1 after I updated the ram along with the IDE hdd and switched from GeoWorks Pro.

Yeah "Period correctness my arse" x86 systems were "designed" to be upgraded/enhanced.

Almost forgot-My first scanner (second hand of course) was a Dos based hand scanner with it's own isa interface card using DR Halo software to manage the images on my 286/16.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉