11/DEC/13

Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!

dowekeller's Posts
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Boxer a boon for Mac MS-DOS gamers

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dowekeller said...
  • excited
If your like me and you have a lot of old MS-DOS games around that you enjoy playing, and you own a Mac, you might want to check out Boxer It allows you to play DOS games with a click of a mouse.

I downloaded this program last night, before that I'd been using DOSBox. Although Boxer is really just a wrapper around DOSBox, it has instructions for turning a directory holding the exe and support files for an MS-DOS game into an app like file that when double-clicked launches the game in DOSBox, with out the fiddling around with command lines.

I even managed, using some of the Mac development tools to add appropriate icons, so I can now have Sim City 2000 for instance sitting in my dock with a professional looking icon and everything.
Doom

Doom (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date:
SimCity 2000/Streets of SimCity

SimCity 2000/Streets of SimCity (PC)

Genre/Style: Compilation/Simulation
Release Date:
Wolfenstein 3D [DOS]

Wolfenstein 3D [DOS] (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date: 05/MAY/92
Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/Platform Shooter
Release Date: 01/JUL/91
Emblem for Genome

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Genome

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Is it easier to use then Dosbox? Dosbox can be kinda hard to use if you never used DOS, took me quite a while to figure it out.
Yes, they even have some sample programs already set up, DOS demos and such like Ultima Underworld, Epic Pinball and X-Com. And they give you some pretty detailed instructions on how to set up your own games so they launch just like a Mac App.
Well I've never used Mac, does it launch like Windows?
I think Mac and Windows launches applications the same way, but Boxer is a Mac OS-X app. There should be something similar on Windows however.
I really wish that someone would make a version of DOSbox or whatever that is more user friendly.
*laughs at MAC users*
@Ashbelthor Lol
@Fallout2Forever, here's the URL to a page that has a bunch of DOSBox front-ends, none seem to do EXACTLY what boxer does, but one might be what your looking for.

http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/DOSBoxFrontends
@Ashbelthor WTF??
@dowekeller I seriously don't understand the use for a Macintosh.
I've been using Win XP for the last 3 years and haven't encountered a single virus.
Lucky you, I've been administering my parents computer for about the same time and have regularly had to deal with viri, worms and other malware not just on their personal directory's, but spread across the whole system. If Microsoft had Microsoft at least warned customers that their security is a joke, and almost anything can gain root privileges and rape the system, I'd at least known to not use it on an internet connected machine. To pile insult onto injury, configuration is obscure, and documentation exists only for shallow problems that only the most computer illiterate users would encounter. I ended up having to wipe the drives and re-install the OS multiple times, not because this was strictly necessary (I don't know if it was or not), but because there was no intermediate to advanced system documentation on the box, anywhere.

At least with OS X, I have the man pages! I also have a real C compiler, Java compiler, perl, and a bourne compatible shell, not to mention GNU-emacs. I didn't have to buy them, I didn't even have to download them from the net, they come with the system.

BTW, I finally convinced my parents to let me install Ubuntu Linux on their system, they love it and there has been no more malware problems in approx. 6 months.
I however have nothing against other people running Microsoft Windows, I just don't have patience for it.
Yeah, I haven't had a virus is what? Over five years?

Yet the MAC ads still bring that up, god I hate those ads.

Anyone notice that the PC guy is a lovable goof, while the Mac guy is a Smug D-bag?
I'll agree with that whole heartedly, the Mac adds are more off-putting than they should be, but Apple manages to sell boxes, so my complaining isn't going to matter.

I don't have any real Windows experience outside of a work environment, at least not since Windows 95 (A real dog, you couldn't even compile a program and play a game at the same time without it crashing). I know lots of people who have managed to use it for a long time with no failures. I do know that they have no decent documentation for computer literate users. All help files assume you have a PEBKAC error.
I personally don't like the Mac hardware. You have to use what's in it, and in the case that anything breaks, you have to buy a new unit, instead of replacing the broken part. This also kills off upgrades a little bit. Instead of being able to put a new GPU or RAM in, you Mac users have to, I don't know, plug something into your Mac?

The fact that the Mac software ONLY runs on Mac hardware keeps me away from the Mac OS.
There already are lots of good Unices for those boxes that are free to download, I like FreeBSD (which the designers of OS X liked to apparently since that's what it's built on). All in one boxes, like the iMac are a compromise you get a compact package without a mess of wires and such (which is what made me purchase my machine), but you do loose upgradability. I am not a big modder, by the time I'm ready to go to a new faster gpu, generally my cpu and motherboard are obsolete too, so I might as well replace the whole box (replacing memory in iMacs is actually quite easy). But if I was interested in hot-rodding my box, I probably would have bought a separate computer and screen. If your interested in upgrading to Unix though, there are several options that are freely downloadable, my favorites are Debian GNU/Linux, and Free BSD.
How much of the home computer market does MAC have anyway? A few years back, I heard they only had 5-10%.

That's what makes me really hate the ads, if more people had Macs, there would be just as many viruses for it.

What it really comes down to it, I'm a gamer, and Macs are not for gamers.
They have about 5-10%, which makes them like the largest manufacturer of PCs unless you group all the little no-name box makers, then they dwarf everybody. Computers are a commodity, no one company is going to dominate that market.

As for the viruses thing, yes and no. The fact is that when your talking hardware, all viruses will run on all Intel based PCs, that's to be expected. And someone could write a virus that would infect a PC running OS X. However, there is NO excuse for viri to be able to get root access. That's what I was angry about re Windows, and if OS X had a hole like that, I'd promptly wipe my drive and install FreeBSD.

Macs aren't for gamers simply because, historically speaking gamer's haven't bought Macs. If the demographic shifted, then more games would be ported to the Mac. I am also a gamer, but if you looked at the amount of time I spent gaming compared to the amount of time I spend doing other computer related tasks, gaming ends up being at best a large minority of my computing time. I'm not going to put up with sub-optimal crap for the majority of my day, for a slightly larger collection of games.
As it stands now, I probably spend too much of my time gaming.
Aren't MAC much more expensive? What do you mean by Sub-optimal?
Mac's are a bit more expensive compared to equivalent machines from other name brand manufacturers, but I'm not talking price or even hardware, but software. I find Windows to be inferior to every other PC OS. I don't want to have to build my own box, and a lot of PCs have (or at least at the time when I bought my Mac, had) peripherals that have no guts in them, the driver does all the work. The manufacturers only write drivers for Windows. So if I wanted a non-Mac machine, I would have had to carefully pick and choose only those peripherals that had drivers for BSD or Linux. The resulting box would cost the same or slightly more than the iMac, and it came with Unix and had a convenient form-factor for my small home as well. So for me it was a win-win situation.
Have you used Windows 7? It kicks ass.
No, It may be great, that's super if it is. Microsoft could have won me over when I had a Windows 95 machine, I found that OS to be so unstable as to be useless. I started playing with a small Minix in a box app at about that time, found I really liked Unix's structure, and the fact that it did for programmers what Mac OS and Windows supposably did for users, made everything easier. A little while later, I stumbled onto Linux and rather quickly chose to wipe my drive and install Debian over the internet (using a 28.8 mbps modem no less). I loved Linux and used it for a couple years when I got a new box and shopped around and found the FreeBSD was more of a fit for me. Sometime after that, I experimented with a friends computer running XP and my initial opinion was that MS had pulled their collective head out of their ass and built a decent OS. I didn't switch, because I was comfortable with what I had.

The only real experience I've had with windows outside of that was at work (where if the stupid box crashed it was somebody else's problem), and with my parent's box of horrors.

I would never have bought and Apple iMac if it weren't for some bad experiences trying to find FreeBSD/Linux drivers for a laptop I owned previously. I was tired of working around other peoples stupidity.

I think the computer market is big enough for everyone to have a piece of the pie, in fact I look forward to more OSes and architectures, as the market becomes less of a monoculture, viruses will die out (because there won't be one big fat stupid target), and software developers will be pushed to write portable code that will recompile and run on a range of machines.
I think I may have used Windows 95 some when I was in grade school, and yeah, it was a piece of shit, haha.
Windows started as a graphical shell that ran on top of MS-DOS (in fact you can run Windows up to 3.11 inside DOSbox (I've done it)). When they made Windows 95, they added multi-tasking, but rather than rewrite an OS with full protected memory and preemptive multitasking, they stayed with the old Windows over MS-DOS code, and wrote a botch of a task switcher into it. They managed to sell this same box of $#!% all the way up to Windows ME. Everything after that is based off of Windows NT, and although they both are called Windows, NT has no connection to Win95/98/ME. It is in-fact a near clone of DEC's old VMS operating system. As for Win 7, I don't know, but If I had to guess I'd say it's a new version of the NT code-base, like its predecessors.
No clue, you seem to know much more about how computers work then I do, I know how to put them together, but not really what makes them tick.
That is the Windows Vista/7 Kernel.

Here is the architecture of Windows NT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_kernel
Most gamers are hardware literate because of their need for higher frame-rates. I've been into programming since the early 1980's, and have gotten into IBM PCs relatively late, being mostly a Commodore Geek. I know a lot of computer history, partly because I'm old enough to have witnessed it, but also because I am both a computer geek and a history buff.
Can we get back to talking about DOS games?!?

I tried to rally support on DOSGamers.com for people actually buying old DOS-based laptops/desktops for incredibly low prices rather than using emulation software, but oddly, the whole "free and incredibly easy in comparison" aspect of DOSBox and Boxer seems to be more appealing. Go figure.
@Zedo-P-Mann, sounds like this Minwin is supposed to be a micro-kernel running NT on top of it. Micro-kernels are supposed to be better than monolithic, kernels, but I've not seen a difference from the user or programmer prospective, I've run systems with monolithic kernels, such as Linux and traditional FreeBSD, and I've run micro-kernels like OS X (which is based on Mach IIRC). Computer scientists like micro-kernels, but one of the big reasons the FSF had trouble completing the GNU system was that their fancy micro-kernel HURD was so hard to debug.
@Quarex, emulation wins IMNSHO, unless the original hardware was just so unique. Nothing will replace the feel of an old Atari VCS console, and the tiny 9-inch screen, long travel keyboard and boxy mouse of the original Macintosh cannot be replicated in software (yet), but most old MS-DOS machines were indistinguishable from modern systems except for their innards, so emulation is a definite win. Except the keyboards, IBM won my heart with the original PC keyboard!
@Quarex Anyone here ever play the original Lands Of Lore: The Throne of Chaos? I think it still has one of the most unique battle systems I've ever seen in a game. Plus, the first party member to permanently join you was beyond awesomesauce, with 4 arms, letting him carry 2 weapons and 2 shields!

Too bad the sequels were massively dumbed down, and turned into action rpgs.
DoweKeller: I see your point about emulation in this regard; there really was basically no difference between the DOS computers of yesteryear and the Windows computers of today, at least none that nostalgia has much to work with ... other than those keyboards. And, of course, true to form, I still only use those PS/2 keyboards, even going so far as to continue installing keyboard serial port cards in my new systems just to make sure I have no trouble with getting them to work.

Fallout2Forever: I picked up one of the two aforementioned dumbed-down sequels this summer at an auction for $3, but I still have never played the original. I did hear that it was the best of the series.
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