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DosBox Tools: A few questions for Eric Pearson

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  • Emil Menzel
    replied
    Thank you for your forthright and helpful replies. Perhaps I should be a bit sad, since I just ordered a registered copy of DosBox. But I'm not. As long it can handle XP (appropriate hardware is not yet a problem) the programs on which I am advising a few lab researchers should have at least another 5 years of useful life. And that should make them happy. Currently we have the joystick problem whipped with a third-party program (Total Game Control) and I was hoping that DosBox could take over its job too; but so be it.

    To stray from the topic a bit, to issues that don't really require further comment here: In days of yore there used to be a rumor that Microsoft programmers were instructed that "DOS ain't done until Lotus won't run", and maybe today the slogan is "Windows ain't done until DOS won't run". But especially with PowerBASIC, DosBox, and these forums to help out, my slogan is alternatively, "What, me worry?" or "DOS takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin' ". Some PB forum members have said that even if PBDOS 3.5 were to upgrade to 4.0 they will not buy it, but I certainly would. Even though I am much more inclined to use PBCC than PB 3.5 when writing new programs, I am still an admirer of societies for the preservation of old languages, and there are still plenty of such societies out there.
    Last edited by Emil Menzel; 12 Jul 2009, 12:52 PM.

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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    Something is very wrong here.

    A software vendor is giving straight, succinct answers to questions about his product - answers other than "No Problem!"; answers not contraining qualifiers such as "currently " or "simulated;" and the big one, answers which mean "no."

    Were I you I'd tread very carefully.

    MCM

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  • Eric Pearson
    replied
    Emil --

    When you say "if the workstation isn't configured to support full-screen console windows, DOSBox Tools can't change that" do you imply that the workstation might be so configured under Vista, by the user or an administrator or other device?
    Actually I need to back up a step. Even under Windows XP -- or even 2000! -- there is no guarantee that a full-screen DOS-graphics-compatible console window will be available. We (Perfect Sync) have encountered a large number of non-CRT displays that simply refuse to produce a "true" full-screen console.

    If the hardware doesn't support it, the software can't fix it. Here's the example I usually use... No software in the world can make a black-and-white printer produce color.

    Or is full screen DOS graphics a lost cause, at least without resorting to a DOS emulator or other such device?
    Even with an emulator, it depends on the monitor, video card, video driver, BIOS, and operating system. To be blunt, in my personal opinion, a full-screen 16-bit DOS-graphics program is no longer viable, hardware-wise. (Of course it depends on your user base.)

    DOSBox Tools is intended to squeeze everything possible from the extant hardware, but we can only go so far.

    I have seen PBDOS programs that enable one to run Win api's and DLL's, but I don't use them because they require a SHELL, and running under XP complicates matters even further. It seems to me that DosBox's SHELLx might bring them up to speed. What do you think?
    Sorry, but No. Something like a joystick interface requires a real-time connection. No SHELL (or SHELLx or whatever) is going to provide an acceptable real-time user response to the movement of a joystick.

    Is the current version of DosBox the end of the line?
    Frankly, Yes. Over the years, Microsoft has been reducing the capabilities of DOS programs, to the point where (IMO) they are no longer viable.

    That being said, Perfect Sync intends to enhance DOSBox Tools' support for Windows console programs, but in our opinion, DOS -- and DOS-graphics in particular -- is pretty much done.

    That's just my opinion, but it does reflect the direction that our Software Development Tools are likely to take.

    - Eric Pearson, Perfect Sync, Inc.

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  • Emil Menzel
    replied
    Thank you for your prompt reply!

    A couple more questions, if you don't mind:

    When you say "if the workstation isn't configured to support full-screen console windows, DOSBox Tools can't change that" do you imply that the workstation might be so configured under Vista, by the user or an administrator or other device? Or is full screen DOS graphics a lost cause, at least without resorting to a DOS emulator or other such device?

    I have seen PBDOS programs that enable one to run Win api's and DLL's, but I don't use them because they require a SHELL, and running under XP complicates matters even further. It seems to me that DosBox's SHELLx might bring them up to speed. What do you think?

    Is the current version of DosBox the end of the line? (If not, I'd be particularly interested in a "best possible" way of reading the joystick, if not additional win api's.)

    Thanks again.

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  • Eric Pearson
    replied
    Emil --

    > Will DosBox Tools work under Windows XP

    Yes.

    > Vista,

    Yes... within the restrictions of the OS configuration. For example if the workstation isn't configured to support full-screen console windows, DOSBox Tools can't change that.

    > Windows 7?

    As far as we know, Yes. With the same restrictions as Vista.

    > Can one run DLL's and Win api functions from DOS, via DOSBOX?

    No.

    > one can, for example, play .WAV files
    > and access a Windows MsgBox,

    Those functions (and others) are supported explicitly, i.e. DOSBox Tools calls those specific API functions as necessary. It does not support a generic protocol for calling DLLs.

    -- Eric Pearson, Perfect Sync, Inc.
    Last edited by Eric Pearson; 12 Jul 2009, 09:07 AM.

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  • Emil Menzel
    started a topic DosBox Tools: A few questions for Eric Pearson

    DosBox Tools: A few questions for Eric Pearson

    Will DosBox Tools work under Windows XP, &/or Vista, &/or Windows 7? (For the time being I am most concerned with using DosBox Tools along with PBDOS + PBCC, under Win XP. But other readers might have broader interests.)

    If the answer is No, are upgrades planned?

    Can one run DLL's and Win api functions from DOS, via DOSBOX? (I note in the documentation that one can, for example, play .WAV files and access a Windows MsgBox, but how about, e.g., the api function for reading a joystick, or other functions that aren't referred to specifically?)
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