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90

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 ...


57

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 ...


46

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 ...


30

What Boot Code? With 16 KiB it was pitched against the Apple II or the Commodore/Tandy/Atari 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. ...


26

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

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 ...


22

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 ...


21

I might have found a stable way to limit Windows 98 to use only 1 GiB of RAM with HimemX: Install Windows 98 with 1 GiB 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:\...


20

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 ...


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 ...


20

On the C64, no. On power up, the drive is resetting and the motor may spin briefly, but the drive is not actually reading the disk. And even if it were, it is an IEC slave device and cannot initiate communication with the C64/C128 bus master itself. For an auto boot concept to be implemented, it would have to be the computer's kernal directing the flow of ...


19

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 ...


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

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 ...


12

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 ...


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....


10

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 ...


10

Thanks to RichF's answer I looked for information specifically on booting OS-9 and found that you definitely did have to manually launch even an alternative operating system. From OS-9 Level Two Operating System page 2-2, "Booting OS-9": However, this DOS is not a filename and this is not how you load or run any other program. These are the normal ways: ...


10

Well, a few users are creating compilation of games for the CD32 and the CDTV. The most prolific is AmigaJay. For instance here he released several compilations for CDTV including a lot of titles: Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5 Volume 6 Basically, the compilations boot with a menu (AGS or other) then run scripts to assign volumes and boot ...


8

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 ...


8

There were two primary reasons: Space - PC games were at an awkward juncture in time where both the OS and the games had grown but floppy disks had not, so there was often too little space on the disk to include the OS, even for single-disk games, let alone multi-disk games. License - They couldn’t just throw a copy of DOS on the disk; that would be piracy. ...


7

I have never tried it, but there is apparently a third-party patch for the Windows 98 virtual memory manager kernel driver that enables it to support larger configurations, up to 4GB. See this newsgroup post for details.


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

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 ;) ...


7

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-...


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