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Sunday August 31st 2014

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Emulators

Many of my old games require emulators or tools like VDMSound or DOSBOX. This is where I try to explain how they work and provide a link so you can download them.

DOSBOX

This is really a venerable DOS emulator and runs so many games so well.

DOSBOX is downloadable from SourceForge for all operating systems.

Whenever you launch DOSBOX, the first thing you’ll see is that you’re in a Z: directory. What you need to do is assign the C: drive to the place your game is located. In Windows it’s easiest if you just put your game somewhere easy to get to, like C:\GAMENAME.  Then you would type

MOUNT C C:\GAMENAME

If you’re comfortable finding directories then go ahead and move the game wherever you like and use the correct pathname.

On a Mac in OS X you can put your game directory in your user account directory and type

MOUNT C ~/GAMENAME

I have a Games directory with other game directories under it. For me to run old school DOOM, I type MOUNT C ~/Games/DOOM.

After you’re done mounting the drive, type C:<enter> and you’ll be in the directory. Type DIR<enter> to see what’s in the directory. If you see an EXE file then you’re probably looking at the game executable. Type that name and press Enter and it should run. (Example: DOOM.EXE).

Sometimes there are SETUP.EXE programs in the directory that let you configure your controls and sound. As soon as DOSBOX starts up you’ll see a line that says “Z:\SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 H5 T6″. This means your sound port address is set to 220, your interrupt is set to 7 and the DMA is set to 1. If you don’t hear sound in the game, run the SETUP.EXE and set the game’s values to these.

VDMSound

This is a Windows-only sound emulator that runs under NT/2000. The reason most old DOS games don’t run is because of sound problems, not really many other reasons.

VDMSound is downloadable from SourceForge for Windows NT/2000 only.

VDMSound installs as a context menu addon for Windows Explorer. When you want to run an old DOS game, find the game’s EXE file, right-click it and choose from the context menu “Run with VDMS”. It’s that simple.

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