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First post, by emuola

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Been testing Volkov commander and Dos navigator, but it seems that many games don't like being "launched" form another program (and the problems don't relate to insufficient base memory). This could be also due to some configuration error I've made. I now have long filenames support with ldir etc, but I was wondering if there is a "launcher" that you know to be good for game launching purposes. It would be so handy to be able to select a folder/file and launch the executables with just pressing enter 😀 I know that's not exactly the essence of dos, but anyway 😉

Any tips highly appreciated 😀

Reply 1 of 46, by DonutKing

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I use Quikmenu 3 which gives you a full windowed GUI with mouse and icons.
I've never come across a game that didn't work when launched out of Quikmenu. I was using it on our family computer back in the 90's.

If you just want a simple keyboard controlled menu, Xtree Gold comes with one as well but I don't know if it will be any better than what you've already tried.

If you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble.

Reply 2 of 46, by emuola

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DonutKing wrote:

I use Quikmenu 3 which gives you a full windowed GUI with mouse and icons.
I've never come across a game that didn't work when launched out of Quikmenu. I was using it on our family computer back in the 90's.

If you just want a simple keyboard controlled menu, Xtree Gold comes with one as well but I don't know if it will be any better than what you've already tried.

Will try those, thanks 😀

Reply 3 of 46, by Norton Commander

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If you're running MS-DOS 6.22 just type DOSSHELL.

dosshell.png

Not as fancy Quickmenu (text based) but is included with DOS and can launch games or other apps. Has a basic menu system and can perform standard file operations.

Reply 4 of 46, by mr_bigmouth_502

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AFAIK Dosshell is an optional component in version 6.22. You may or may not have it installed if that's what you're running. Curiously, I think it's installed in version 5 by default.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 5 of 46, by Jorpho

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DOSShell was indeed introduced in MS-DOS 5; for MS-DOS 6, you need to get the MS Supplemental disk; it's also included in OLDDOS.EXE, a supplemental archive of utilities intended for Windows 95.

In any case, it is not really the optimal choice, as it takes up a good chunk of conventional memory and is probably not as well-behaved as the OP would like.

Reply 6 of 46, by mr_bigmouth_502

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Jorpho wrote:

DOSShell was indeed introduced in MS-DOS 5; for MS-DOS 6, you need to get the MS Supplemental disk; it's also included in OLDDOS.EXE, a supplemental archive of utilities intended for Windows 95.

In any case, it is not really the optimal choice, as it takes up a good chunk of conventional memory and is probably not as well-behaved as the OP would like.

I was just going to say, a lot of dos games recommend against using it in their readme files.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 9 of 46, by Norton Commander

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Jorpho wrote:

DOSShell was indeed introduced in MS-DOS 5; for MS-DOS 6, you need to get the MS Supplemental disk; it's also included in OLDDOS.EXE, a supplemental archive of utilities intended for Windows 95.

In any case, it is not really the optimal choice, as it takes up a good chunk of conventional memory and is probably not as well-behaved as the OP would like.

I don't know about previous versions of DOSSHELL but V6.22, like most launchers/shells/menu programs of that era only left a small stub of itself in memory when launching external programs.

Before launching DOSSHELL in MS-DOS 6.22:

DOSA.png

After launching DOSSHELL in MS-DOS 6.22:

DOSB.png

I haven't tested it extensively, only with a few apps & games and had no problems.

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:

I was just going to say, a lot of dos games recommend against using it in their readme files.

Many games at that time recommended against using ANY shell/launcher, not just DOSSHELL as every kilobyte of base memory was precious.

In any case there are definitely better choices for DOS shells/launchers than DOSSHELL. I merely pointed it out because I was under the impression that it was installed by default. Come to think of it, I have never installed DOS 6 and higher from diskettes. I had a boot diskette where I:

FDISK
FORMAT C: /s
copy DOS directory from ZIP drive to hard disk
create CONFIG.SYS / AUTOEXEC.BAT
Done.

The DOS directory was copied from someone else's PC that had installed it from the setup program.

Reply 10 of 46, by fantasma

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There is this fancy launcher that imitates the ScummVM GUI, by the maker of GR-LIDA: GRlDOS. Looks good, I haven't tried it myself though.

Reply 13 of 46, by keropi

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I had no idea about GRlDOS and totally forgot about Access , glad these kind of threads pop out once in a while 😁

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Reply 14 of 46, by emuola

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rcblanke wrote:

Hey, I know that one 😀

Here's a working link: http://members.quicknet.nl/blankendaalr/.

Access (XX) is totally awesome 😀 Thank you so much 😎 😎

Reply 15 of 46, by Samir

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I actually made a batch file menu back in the day for launching. I used the idea from the stock menu that was on the computer, an IBM ps/2 30-286 that was part of our Western Union merchant program. I quickly learned how to change the menu as it was just a series of batch files and echos.

But since each game or program has specific requirements, I'd actually take advantage of the menu system based in dos 6.22 itself. It's simple, and you can actually tweak the autoexec and config for each thing you want to run.

Reply 16 of 46, by valnar

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DonutKing wrote:

I use Quikmenu 3 which gives you a full windowed GUI with mouse and icons.
I've never come across a game that didn't work when launched out of Quikmenu. I was using it on our family computer back in the 90's.

I bought Quikmenu back in the day too. It was awesome. I had almost forgot about it!

Reply 17 of 46, by Joey_sw

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i usuallly made a menu like interface in a txt file (80x24 lines), which can be used with TYPE command,
and also made various batchfiles launcher, that corespond to whatever list I made in that .txt file above.

-fffuuu

Reply 18 of 46, by badmojo

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I rediscovered the menu I used back in the day and I'm loving it. It's called Power Menu, and it is quite powerful. Lots of config options and only takes up about 3K of memory. It's great to have easy access to all of the stuff on my HDD - here I was using the command line like neanderthal man.

powermenu.png

It can be found here under the link "Power Menu 4.11": http://toastytech.com/guis/indexlinks.html

/

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