Old Tech: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by priscus, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. priscus


    Jun 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Recently, whilst moving stuff, got down to strata which had not seen the light of day for about three decades.

    Found some interesting software which I no longer remembered I ever had: all vintage, circa 1980’s stuff.

    Now, and here’s the rub: all of it on 5.25 inch floppy disks. Do you remember them? The generation prior to the plastic encased variety.

    I did not expect the material to still be retrievable. Nevertheless, knew that I had the required device lurking amongst unused junk. Unearthed the required 5.25 inch drive. This had a very heavy degree of corrosion on the massive flywheel at base of drive spindle. Carefully cleaned with fibreglass brush, taking care not to get residue entering the mechanism. Crossed my fingers in hope that this had not had too great a deleterious effect on the balance of the flywheel.

    Well, the drive groaned and grated, and squeaked all through its use, but nevertheless, read all the data without error. So, I now have it safely archived on my hard drive.

    And, now for the ugly. They are all DOS programs.

    Just can’t get DOS to install on the (home-brew) machine that I am using. (Not even when give its own low capacity IDE PATA drive.)

    Have got MS DOS 5.0, & 6.22, DR DOS/Caldera and FreeDos 1.2.

    It is perhaps no surprise that I can’t get DOS to install on a 64 bit, two core processor machine with SATA, USB PCIE, HDMI etc, but, I have had DOS installed on this machine in the past, and I do not recall having to do anything special to attain this. I only removed DOS from this machine in 2006.

    The Caldera, and FreeDos are on CD, and although they will not install, both run fine if run as live disk, so none of the more advanced tech seems to be an impediment to DOS running per se.

    I’ll have to unearth some Pentium 4 machines, and see if they fare any better.
    priscus, Mar 27, 2017
  2. priscus


    Aug 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    My first PC (it was a hand-me-down IBM just like in this pic below):


    But the monitor didn't look like that. It had something resembling touch buttons that you tap your finger on to change screen mode/turn it off.

    Also, my first computer game (not my first video game that was Super Mario Bros 1):

    I got it by sneaking into the school's computer lab and copying from their 286PC HDD onto my 5.25" floppy. Though it only supported 4 colors it was a lot better than the one called Arkanoid from Nintendo.

    Anyways, if anyone knows how to get it working in DOSBox like in the video, let me know. When I ran it, the title screen took forever to load, but the game was too fast to be playable.

    (P.S.: A lot of old progs on 5.25" floppies, if it was a commercial prog, you can still find on abandonware websites)
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
    eatup, Mar 29, 2017
  3. priscus


    Jun 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Well, I finally managed to get the DOS (M/S 6.22) to install.

    It was just being really picky about which HDDs it would work with, and as the notification when failed varied so much, I was not getting cued in to this.

    Tried a handful of drives each having around 100MB capacity. All are remnants from DOS days, and have had DOS installed upon them in the past. Two, have had very little use, ever. One, I have since discovered has a lot of bad sectors, but I guess in general, lying around for a couple of decades has permitted deterioration beyond use.

    However, HDD from an old W95 machine, which has been out of use for just as long, worked fine, It is one of those 5.25 inch, Quantum 'Big Foot': built like the proverbial battleship, type of drives! (2GB)

    Fortunately, only wanted to satisfy my curiosity concerning the old software which I had unearthed, so no need to actually physically fit the drive within the PC's casing.
    priscus, Apr 9, 2017
  4. priscus

    Bill Power

    Apr 24, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I still have an Amiga 1200 which my grandaughter loves playing games on when she visits. It sports a 4 gig hard drive. Massive by Amiga standards!
    Bill Power, Apr 24, 2017
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.