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Thread: Best computer for old DOS games

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    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PC-ENGINE HELL View Post
    Burning off just one or two Dos games per disc would be a huge waste. Just not something Id be willing to do.
    But what if you only have one or two DOS games you want to play at a particular time?
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Peach (Level 3) PC-ENGINE HELL's Avatar
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    Transfer them over via USB mem stick in Win 98, or get online with IE6 or Opera, and nab them off the net.

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    I have an old Toshiba Satellite laptop that I got for like $30. Not sure what model, because all the stickers identifying it were torn off (appears to be the 320CDT). It had Windows 3.1 on it, and the CD wasn't detecting. Well, I fixed it with a DOS CD-ROM driver, and just had to install Windows 95 on it. Do you think that was a mistake?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I like that. Full computer in a little space. Find the right one with the needed guts for your needs and you're golden. There was this one Toshiba I saw with a 10" screen around 100mhz that looked ideal. Considered ultra portable the mouse it built into the back and top screen area of it...forget the name.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 03-20-2016 at 10:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I like that. Full computer in a little space. Find the right one with the needed guts for your needs and you're golden. There was this one Toshiba I saw with a 10" screen around 100mhz that looked ideal. Considered ultra portable the mouse it built into the back and top screen area of it...forget the name.
    I think I had a couple of those from a thrift store. Very neat little machines, but mine were from some medical facility and had a proprietary OS or something like that that gave me problems. Never came up with a way to load an OS that worked right and had good drivers. I want to say they were called Libretto. (yep, just googled and that's what I had).

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Zap!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
    I think I had a couple of those from a thrift store. Very neat little machines, but mine were from some medical facility and had a proprietary OS or something like that that gave me problems. Never came up with a way to load an OS that worked right and had good drivers. I want to say they were called Libretto. (yep, just googled and that's what I had).
    The Toshiba Libretto's were very small, some only had a screen of 6.1". I'd love to pick one up one day, they seem really cool.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    That's the one dude Libretto and I was thinking of the 60. It's a solid little computer and if you're used to using a mid-size tablet the 6.1" screen isn't bad, and amazingly has a useful full-ish sized keyboard too. I know they're a little quirky to setup, but the sad thing is I'm not sure how to load it up. I think it takes a PCMCIA card and there are various types, one that should have USB, and maybe another that would have ethernet/networking capabilities.

    Revising my post here... I got ocd on this as I remembered stuff fuzzy like.

    http://www.priorityelectronics.com/toshiba/pa2718u.htm

    That right there, a port replicator for the Libretto 50 and 70CT (70 is ideal here.) This has a full array of jacks along the back for all sorts of goodies including 2 USB ports. This setup here allows for svideo, vga, network rj45, serial, paralelle, key+mouse, digital audio, and more. The part shouldnt' set you back I'd think more than $30 reasonably speaking. Between that and the 70CT's specs it's an old DOS 6.x/98SE dream machine with portability too. With the 2 USB ports if you really want to get crusty and use floppies USB 3.5s are easy and cheap to get just as are USB DVD or CDROM drives too. Between that and the network capability I'd think you'd be good. Now I'm sure it would probably need some kung fu going on, but probably using that PCMCIA slot on the device itself or using one of the USB ports, probably could find yourelf a way to get WIFI going too.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 03-21-2016 at 09:43 AM.

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    I would have thought those old laptops would have major battery problems. Surely after this long they can't really hold a charge anymore... do you just run it off A/C power the whole time?

    A couple of weeks ago, I resurrected an old K6-2 400MHz machine of mine, stuck a Voodoo 3 and an AWE64 into it and installed Windows 98SE. Runs like a dream, and very nicely fills the gap between my P133 MS-DOS machine and my Core 2 Duo Win 7 machine. I also found a Pentium III motherboard and processor at the local thrift just yesterday that presents some intriguing possibilities... but I'm not sure what I'll do with that one yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
    I would have thought those old laptops would have major battery problems. Surely after this long they can't really hold a charge anymore... do you just run it off A/C power the whole time?

    --Zero
    I don't even have a battery for my Toshiba Satellite, as the previous owner took it out. I ordered one in March on AliExpress, but it never got here. Still waiting on the refund, which they promised last week.

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    whats the input voltage/amperage on that thing?

    could probably make your own out of a few of those cheepo pocket phone chargers in series. honestly been thinking of converting one into powering a portable nes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
    I've always had trouble with that myself. I can't bring myself to waste a CD when it's only 5MB worth of data. I know they're cheap, but it still bothers me at some level. CD-RW's would seem like a great idea, but I have a bad history with RW's somehow becoming unrecoverable coasters, and I no longer trust them enough to buy them.
    You and Jorpho DO realize CD-Rs (even if they're not RWs) can be used more than once, right?

    You're not "wasting" a CDR with 5mb, because you can go in and add more files later. I'm not sure what you're doing that would render that 5mb transfer a one-time deal.

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    With older versions of Windows you can't access all of the data on multisession CDs without the use of a third party application, and accessing all of the data on multisession CDs in DOS is dependent on having a driver that can deal with such things.
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    Really? I've never had a problem with it. It always just reads as a CD with a lot of crap on it.

    That said, maybe its because I'm using the most recent official DOS (MS-DOS 7, which is the one that Windows 98 comes with) and also because I'm using alternative drivers--which is something I would recommend people do anyway even if they plan to use older versions of DOS, since alternative drivers use less memory meaning more is free for your games.

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    Lots of old CDRom drives can't handle multisession burns either.


    Glad to see some Libretto love. I had a 50 back in the day and loved it - but it was NOT good for gaming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    whats the input voltage/amperage on that thing?

    could probably make your own out of a few of those cheepo pocket phone chargers in series. honestly been thinking of converting one into powering a portable nes
    Making my own batteries is far beyond my capabilities, especially since I'd have to make my own shell as well (the old battery was removed by the previous owner). But the good news is that I finally got my money back from AliExpress, and found a brand new battery on eBay for $12.35 shipped (model number PA2487U)!

    I charged it and it works perfectly. No more having to constantly plug it in. After this post, I'm taking it in the backyard with a glass of wine and playing me some Dangerous Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Really? I've never had a problem with it. It always just reads as a CD with a lot of crap on it.

    That said, maybe its because I'm using the most recent official DOS (MS-DOS 7, which is the one that Windows 98 comes with) and also because I'm using alternative drivers--which is something I would recommend people do anyway even if they plan to use older versions of DOS, since alternative drivers use less memory meaning more is free for your games.
    The most recent official DOS was actually MS-DOS 8, bundled with Windows ME.

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    If I burn a CD on my current Windows 10 computer, it will not read on my old Windows 98 Toshiba laptop. Now, CD's that I burned about 12 years ago read fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap! View Post
    If I burn a CD on my current Windows 10 computer, it will not read on my old Windows 98 Toshiba laptop. Now, CD's that I burned about 12 years ago read fine.
    My guess is that they're not being "finalized", which is what would lock out further changes to the CD-R's content, and (essentially) turn it into the equivalent of a commercial read-only CD. There might be an option to do so somewhere in the options menu for Windows 10's CD burning software. Try enabling it, and see if newly-burned discs now work in the Win98 machine.
    -Adam

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    I know with Windows 7, when you insert a new disc it gives you an option of how to handle the burning--one style treats a CD-R essentially as a flash-drive, and the program explicitly tells you that this'll only work on Windows 7 and above. The other is "mastered" (IIRC) and should be readable by anything--in my experience such discs always worked in Windows 98, unless they were corrupted. This is primarily how I transfer patches I download from the internet.

    Another option that might work is to burn a Linux CD, and boot your older computer with that--then use a thumb drive to transfer data. This is something I sometimes do. Make sure its a small, not memory-intensive linux (I think I use xGamer but I can't remember)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    My guess is that they're not being "finalized", which is what would lock out further changes to the CD-R's content, and (essentially) turn it into the equivalent of a commercial read-only CD. There might be an option to do so somewhere in the options menu for Windows 10's CD burning software. Try enabling it, and see if newly-burned discs now work in the Win98 machine.
    -Adam
    Burn speed has a lot to do with it too (not sure why, but it's true)

    If you're burning a lot of CDs for older machines then older CDR drives/media will produce more reliable results. A lot of newly manufactured CDRs don't seem to want to burn less than 24x though..
    <Sothy> its the internet <Sothy> who cares

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
    This is a classic gaming site and the most active thread is a load of people wanking off to my little pony.

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