27

I'm going to post a frame challenge answer and say that if your goal is to run MS-DOS and Windows software from the early 90s and before then you don't want to do what you propose. Instead you're better off just installing Windows 98 SE and booting (or rebooting) into MS-DOS mode for the few applications that need it. In particular trying to force Windows (...


23

It was a DOS-Windows 3.x and DOS-Windows 9x/ME thing. It was a driver named speaker.drv, written by Microsoft. It turned off interrupts for significant periods of time, which caused I/O problems with other devices but which was inherent in the nature of the hardware. It came in a self-extracting archive named speak.exe, and could be found on the companion ...


18

The first part isn’t too difficult: install Windows 98 as usual, then edit MSDOS.SYS to change its BootGUI setting to 0. This will disable the automatic GUI startup, and the computer will boot to a COMMAND.COM prompt. You can install Windows 3.11 in a different directory than Windows 98. Before you can, you’ll need to patch IO.SYS using Ralf Buschmann’s ...


11

For works "made for hire" in the USA after 1978, copyright extends for 95 years after the date of first publication. So for practical purposes, it depends entirely on when (or if) Microsoft decides to put them in the public domain.


4

https://web.archive.org/web/20070227091822/http://download.microsoft.com/download/win98/utility/1/w9x/en-us/speak.exe Designed for Windows 3.1, though also known to work for Windows 95 and 98. When sound was played, sound could get tremendous priority, causing an inability to move the mouse cursor while sound was played. Or, alternatively, moving the ...


3

Windows 3.1 uses what is called co-operative multitasking (vs. pre-emptive multitasking used today). What this means that that each app is supposed to co-operate by using the CPU time it needs and then releasing the CPU for other apps. Time slices revolve around the main message loop. A typical Win 3.1 program will have a loop that peeks for messages, and ...


2

This question made me think of RealSound: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RealSound RealSound is a patented (US US5054086 A) technology for the PC created by Steve Witzel of Access Software during the late 1980s. RealSound enables 6-bit digitized PCM-audio playback on the PC speaker by means of PWM drive, allowing software control of the loud speaker's ...


2

There actually were two common PC speaker drivers for windows. One of them is the PC speaker driver by Microsoft, already mentioned in the other answers, while the other one, written by John Ridges has not yet been mentioned. The Microsoft driver is typically installed as SPEAKER.DRV, while the driver by John Ridges is installed as SPEAKR.DRV. Currently, ...


2

The beep chip could be programmed to different frequencies. Someone with too much caffeine at MS made it into a sound card. I used it for years as my sound card at the time only did MIDI. More background on beeping and hardware https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/larryosterman/2010/01/04/whats-up-with-the-beep-driver-in-windows-7/ Windows used to beep on ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible