Running Games

Software related questions

Running Games

Postby Shabba » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 am

I recently bought a slew of older games locally and at least 3 of them, Ultima 1 through 3, will run on my PCJr. I do not, however, have a DOS boot disk to do this. Is there a way around booting from DOS or am I stuck? I cannot, for the life of me, find anyone with DOS 2.0 or 3.3, much less anyone with it on 5.25 disks for this machine.

Any advice?
-Colin
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Re: Running Games

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:07 am

Any IBM PC DOS 2.1 to DOS 3.3 will boot and run fine on the PCjr. PC DOS 5 can be patched to run, but it requires at least 256K.

In the short term have somebody mail you some diskettes. Not just to boot with but also with some basic utilities on them, like a serial communications program, diskette utilities, memory testers, etc.

In the long term you probably should have a "gateway" machine that has both 3.5" and 5.25" floppies on it. I use an old 386-40 that has a 5.25 double density floppy drive, hard drive, and network connections - that serves almost all of my needs. On occasion I have to use another machine that has a 5.25 high density floppy on it.


Mike
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Re: Running Games

Postby Shabba » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:03 am

Brutman wrote:Any IBM PC DOS 2.1 to DOS 3.3 will boot and run fine on the PCjr. PC DOS 5 can be patched to run, but it requires at least 256K.

In the short term have somebody mail you some diskettes. Not just to boot with but also with some basic utilities on them, like a serial communications program, diskette utilities, memory testers, etc.

In the long term you probably should have a "gateway" machine that has both 3.5" and 5.25" floppies on it. I use an old 386-40 that has a 5.25 double density floppy drive, hard drive, and network connections - that serves almost all of my needs. On occasion I have to use another machine that has a 5.25 high density floppy on it.


Mike


That's the problem I'm having...I cannot find anyone who has these disks. I've looked on e-bay and there wasn't a thing. As far as getting an old 286 or 386...well, I don't know where to find that either. I feel pretty stupid about this stuff :lol:
-Colin
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Re: Running Games

Postby Shabba » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:17 pm

Now that I've looked for 3.3, I've found a few, but they are all fairly expensive. $25 for used floppies? And if they don't work, I'm stuck with them? Yuck!
-Colin
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Re: Running Games

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:59 pm

eBay is a good place to start, but you miss the point of having a PCjr specific forum - I'm sure that somebody here will volunteer to send you what you need.

I've done it in the past before. If nobody steps forward then I'll do it, but I'm awfully busy lately so it's not going to be instantaneous.



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Re: Running Games

Postby jmetal88 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:47 pm

I have a two-disk version MS-DOS 3.3 that I could possibly copy for you. I don't have very many blank disks, though, and I'm not sure what would be a good way to ship them, so I hope you'll understand my reluctance to actually offer to send anything. I'll think about it though.

I don't think DOS 3.3 includes any serial communication programs, though, so I'm not sure what I would include there. Hmm.
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Re: Running Games

Postby Brutman » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:33 am

A 6x9 or 9x12 mailing envelope with cardboard on both sides generally works well. Shipping floppy disks inside of a manual works well too. At worst case use one of the US Postal Service flat rate boxes - those are generally indestructible so you don't have to worry about bending damage.

My short list for useful DOS versions and utilities would be:

  • DOS 2.1, DOS 3.3, and DOS 5.02 (patched)
  • Procomm 2.4.3 for DOS - one of the best terminal programs out there
  • JrConfig for recognizing extra memory
  • Some other classic DOS programs - Norton Utilities 3.0, List, DirMagic, CopyIIjr, etc.

Whoever receives diskettes in the mail needs to copy them right away - having only one copy of something is a recipe for disaster. (Or needing to wait for the mail again.)

Having a gateway box makes it much easier. Almost anything you need can be sent electronically either as a Zip file or a full diskette image. But a lot of people don't want a second machine around. I consider it a necessity.

Another good option for the PCjr is the parallel-port attached "BackPack" drives from MicroSolutions. Those work well. You can't boot from one but it is useful for data transfer. There are some new in the box on eBay now but the pricing is horrible - I'd wait.

There is a lot out there, public domain and copyrighted. I wouldn't want to turn this into an abandonware forum, but if there is something that should be available for download on the web site let me know.


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Re: Running Games

Postby jmetal88 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:32 am

Alright, I think I might be willing to write and send one boot disk with a few of the MS-DOS 3.3 essentials and a couple of the utilities Mike suggested. It won't be a full copy of DOS, but it'll save me a couple of disks, and you might actually find it more useful than just a standard copy of the MS-DOS disks. Just give me a bit to decide what would be good to put on it, and then actually get the disk written, then we'll talk about shipping.
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Re: Running Games

Postby Vorticon » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:42 pm

Happy to help out as well if you need anything other than what jmetal88 is already sending you. Just let me know.
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Re: Running Games

Postby Shabba » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:55 pm

Thank you guys so much for the help. I have been in touch with makeit2day and that member is actually sending me some floppies with what I (think) I need.

On a separate note, I purchased a boatload of 5.25 floppies off of ebay last year for my C64. I'm not sure if they are compatible with the PCjr, but if they are, I'm more than willing to shell out a few if anyone wants them. I probably have 40 I could spare, preferably not all to one member :lol: .
-Colin
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