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86

Bootable game disks do exist for the IBM PC. Conflict in Vietnam is an example of such a game. As can be seen on page 8 of the manual, the game boots directly without loading DOS first. The main reason it wasn't common was for compatibility. A self booting game has to have its own drivers for all the hardware it wants to support. As PCs quickly diversified ...


56

Since you are using MS-DOS 6.22 you can abuse the CHOICE command to introduce a set timed delay by piping the output of a REM statement to the choice command, leaving it with no way to complete other than via the /T timeout option. Example from Rob van der Woulde's Scripting Pages: REM | CHOICE /C:AB /T:A,10 >NUL The CHOICE command never actually gets ...


45

The notion of a bootable-vs-non-bootable floppy is a little odd. It's worth noting that almost all floppies you're likely to have are actually bootable: it's just that they boot a program that isn't especially useful (it either displays a message saying to insert a system disk, or they execute INT 18h - which runs BASIC if it's installed in ROM, or displays ...


25

Early Linux distributions, including MCC and TAMU, used Miquel van Smoorenburg’s sysvinit package (which was originally written for Minix in February 1992 and ported to Linux in July 1992; it is now maintained on Savannah). This came with built-in examples for two styles of init setup, both based on /etc/inittab and runlevels: “simple” RC, with a few ...


24

What Boot Code? With 16 KiB it was pitched against the Apple II or the C64 with BASIC, nothing else. Remember that the PC (!) had a the cassette port? That's the intended mass storage for a 16 KiB system :)) The minimum requirement for floppy use was, as you already guessed, 32 KiB. And oh wonder, DOS can be booted on a 32 KiB machine. Still, not much space ...


23

Why are they doing that? The most important reason is that IBM introduced that check as part of the BIOS startup code, so everyone copied it to be compatible. The PC did differ from many other machines of the same era in that it did a thorough test of all components installed at power up to make sure the configuration was operable. Something carried over ...


23

Well there were some PC booter titles (MobyGames lists 249), but most of these were quite early games, even before hard drives, XMS or EMS even existed. These were almost always self contained single floppy games, that could run on the very specific hardware that existed. All they used was BIOS for disk access. Also DOS was not the only operating system, so ...


20

The IBM PC was NOT a Game Machine Plenty of people played plenty of games on IBM & compatible computers. But the IBM PC was designed as a business machine, not a game machine. This is most obvious with audio capabilities. Where Atari 400/800, VIC-20, Commodore 64, Amiga and many other machines of the era included some (for the time) serious sound ...


18

De Re Atari describes the cassette boot protocol, which helps understand why bootloaders were (nearly) always used. In cassette boot mode, the operating system reads a record from the tape recorder and loads the following information: byte 2 gives the number of records to load (up to 256 records, each containing 128 bytes, so 32 KB in theory) bytes 3 and 4 ...


17

The Windows 98 memory manager only supports a maximum of 1GB. This amount of memory was considered beyond huge for the time, and by the time people commonly had that much or more memory, Microsoft expected people to be using either newer versions of Windows 9x, or Windows NT. From Raymond Chen's blog The Old New Thing: Windows 98 bumped the limit to 1GB ...


17

I might have found a stable way to limit Windows 98 to use only 1Gb of RAM with HimemX: Install Windows 98 with 1Gb of RAM or less; Download himemxfrom https://sourceforge.net/projects/himemx/; Extract himemx.zip and copy himemx.exe to C:\Windows\ under Windows 98; Open the Run dialog box (Windows + R), type sysedit and press Enter; Open the file C:\CONFIG....


14

Presuming a totally fresh installation of everything and access to all the needed installation media. Also, presuming that the Shuttle X PC can read the SD card through the SD to IDE adapter. Planning Partition Sizes The size of the SD is likely to cause the most problems. Windows XP system requirements is for at least 1.5GB of available hard disk space. ...


13

If you do any programming, it would probably be trivial to create a small C executable that calls Sleep() to pause the thread for a specified timeout. However, it stands to reason you are not the first person to need such a tool. Some very quick googling turned up this page: https://www.computerhope.com/dutil.htm which, if you scroll down, offers a Sleep....


12

Games that were designed to be run from floppy were usually self-booting, and often could only be run by booting from floppy. In many cases, the game code could be stored in ways that would not be understood by MS-DOS (using things like non-standard sector sizes), and booting into a game would be faster than booting MS-DOS and then booting the game. The ...


11

You need a Kickstart ROM adapter to eliminate the need for the Kickstart disk. There are a number of such adapters out there such as this one that's currently in production. And to boot to a hard drive, you will need a Kickstart 1.3 (or greater) ROM (I think the linked one will work). Then you can boot to a SCSI hard drive. I should also mention the ...


11

Your question is backwards, the Amiga and Atari ST were really the only computers that had mainly bootable games on floppy, pretty much every other disk-based PC required you to boot into the OS first, then boot your game. There are a very small number of exceptions on the PC, but they are rare. The simple answer is that the Amiga and ST had part of their ...


10

You should start by adding your chosen commands to S/User-Startup on your boot volume. You can also refer to it as S:User-Startup; S: will redirect to the S directory on the boot volume. This will definitely work on Workbench 2.04 and later, and may also work on earlier versions too (some application software "backports" the necessary support to Workbench 1....


9

The bootprocess itself don't know any 'not bootable' exit. If a disk can be read, the first sector is loaded at 800 and then jumped to 801 (800 holds a counter for the number of sectors to read by the bootloader - usually 1). If there is no sector to be found, it spins indefinit. Non bootable disks may have some kind of error message, but don't have to. You ...


9

What does "POST" mean? On the RiscPC, "POST" stands for Power On Self Test. The POST sequence is performed on computers running RiscOS 3, and ensures that the computer is working properly before it starts up. If the computer fails this test, an error message will be displayed on the screen, informing you that there was a POST error. How do I know what the ...


7

Macs of the Quadra 800 era store the default boot drive in a section of battery-backed RAM called "PRAM" (you'll occasionally see "clear the PRAM" as a troubleshooting tip). By default (eg. if the battery has run down), this boot drive is the internal hard drive. Holding down the C key will explicitly tell the computer to boot from the CD-ROM drive instead;...


7

what about the image makes it bootable? The program(s loader) starts at Track 0 Sector 0 of a device I'm interested in making my own bootable floppy images for an IBM PC Write the program to be executed (like this minimal one) to Sector 0 Track 0 and press reset. [I] want to understand the details. It's that simple. The BIOS looks for a floppy in ...


7

tl;dr you can create a tiny text file, and use a tiny comes-with-DOS utility to do this. There's a lovely utility called DEBUG.COM which I believe is included in every version of DOS, that lets you turn assembly language instructions into machine code, shove them into memory, and execute them. It's very lightweight—early versions of DEBUG were about 7kb ;) ...


6

It is possible, but not simple. The ordinary boot process which brings a working machine up from cold to the prompt for a Workbench disk doesn't offer an opportunity to drop into the debugger. A dodgy and potentially hardware-damaging approach is to cause an unexpected CPU exception by e.g. wiggling the trapdoor memory in an A500 -- execbase disappearing is ...


6

The FreeDOS kernel doesn’t support USB drives on its own. When you boot from a USB drive, the CSM makes it available through the BIOS 13h services, so it appears to DOS as a “standard” drive and everything works fine. When you boot from your SATA drive, the CSM doesn’t set anything up for your USB drive (although in some cases it can be induced to do so) ...


5

The minimal version of IBM PC, also known as cassette version, was shipped with 40KB ROM and 16KB RAM as outlined in IBM 5150 Technical Reference (SECTION I. HARDWARE OVERVIEW in the reference): The System Board is a large board which fits horizontally in the base of the System Unit and includes the microprocessor, 40KB ROM and 16KB memory. The memory ...


5

These used to be available at ftp.download.info.apple.com but that site's been down for ages. Most (possibly all) of the files previously hosted there are available from archive.org either as a 7.4GB zip file or as individual files. You'll probably need to start with System 7.5.3 then update to 7.5.51. Note that these assume you already have System 7 on ...


5

There is no specific 'format' required. On a real PDP-11, what happens at bootup depends on what kind of boot PROM you have installed. In general, for disk-type devices the convention is to load the first block then jump to the code in that block. If you don't have a boot PROM for the device you want to boot from, you may have to toggle in a bootloader ...


5

Because the Amiga is so flexible in its use of system software, what you hope to accomplish here becomes really pertinent. Obviously, doing anything useful is going to require the creation of a Task (or Process) to provide some form of user & hardware interaction. A Task can be managed using exec.library, and a Process brings in the possibility of high-...


5

I'd like to question the premise, here. I understand that games in such a scenario would have to include a minimalistic operating system, but I guess a carefully tuned Linux kernel along with drivers for all the popular graphics cards would be enough? Space is an issue, so it would be beneficial if it were possible to have the kernels separately, or else ...


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