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PCem community first timer.

Posted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 5:59 pm
by MajorleagueIBM
Hello my name is MajorleagueIBM, and I am so proud too be here today for the first time.

As you can tell that I am a fan of the late 20th century, and I like being a late 20th century kid. When I was young my favorite computers are Microsoft Windows computers. And my family (much like others) had a multimedia DOS computer in the mid 90s,. It first started out as a DOS 6.1 computer and it becaame a Windows 3.1, and next became Windows 95. And I had some much fun playing games on it, especially those point and click games and Direct 3D games as well.

But sadly my old multimedia DOS computer is dead, and the is no way for my old PC games too work on today's technology.

I have a question, how many of you are 90s kids?

But when I first heard of an emulator. (Through like people that like too play console gaming.) It really occured too me. Is there emulation for PC gaming? Last night I looked it up and there were some, through forums like VOGONS. And there were emulators of my choice. And what I was confused on what can be more accurate. Virtual PC, Vmware, Virtualbox, DOSbox or PCem? What I picked was PCem, because it was more accurate too replicating my old Mulimedia DOS computer. By looking at the screen shots. At first when I firsted use PCem, it asked me for ROMS. So I was going around online and I found some ROMS of hardware the it emulates. I think that if you put it in the ROMS directory, and go into the menus too set up your motherboard, hard disk image video card and sound card. It was too emphasize that you are installing your hardware on a real PC. And when I installed IBM PC DOS/Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, it gave me the sense of how PC games were originally played. And that took me back too my old Multimedia 486 DOS computer.

And by using a PC emulator it can be like a perfect way for using backward compatibility on today's Windows operating systems too play all those old Windows 3.1 to 95 games we remeber playing.

Myself would be happy too support PCem and the commuinty.

And for you Sarah, this is some slick college project you are working on.

Re: PCem community first timer.

Posted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 6:23 pm
by gen_angry
Virtual PC, Vmware, VirtualBox aren't emulators - they're virtual machines. The way I understand it is like this: They allow modern alternate guest operating systems to work on modern systems by passing on the instructions directly to the hardware (via VT-d and the like). So the guest operating system knows that I have an i7 and can make use of the power it brings. Older systems will not work very well, if at all, since they haven't a clue wtf an 'i7-6700K' is, and the extra speed brings even more issues.

PCem emulates it's machine completely - right down to the individual devices. This allows older operating systems to work much better with a higher degree of authenticity. On PCem, DOS 6.22 doesn't know that I'm using an i7, it fully believes that I'm using a 486DX2-66 with an SIS 496 chipset, etc.. and that the CPU speed is very similar.

DOSBox is it's own thing - it just does the bare minimum to make DOS games work well and some sites like GOG uses it as a 'wrapper' to allow older titles to work.

That's all the way I understand it at least - someone that's more knowledgeable in virtual machines/emulators can correct me though.

I grew up in the DOS era, going on local BBSes and playing DOS games as a kid. Messed about on Qbasic creating some basic 'hello world' type programs. So for me, PCem is like a straight up blast from the past. It's a very good way to 'go back' and use a 486/DOS type system without the extra work and expense of building/maintaining an old machine.

Re: PCem community first timer.

Posted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 9:10 pm
by JosepMa
Yup, gen_angry gave the basic differences between the software you mentioned:

Virtual machines: Intended to run today's or yesterday's software (although DOS-era applications aren't too well supported) on current machines, simulating some parts, and just wrapping others to the physical ones. They don't fully emulate a concrete PC, just
what's needed for specific operating systems and applications, although setting it up takes a comparable work to PCem (without the need for ROMS). They are the base of many of today's cloud services.
(Just as a personal note: I extracted the hard disk content of two of my systems, a Windows XP and a Windows 7 machine and have them under VirtualBox. It wasn't plug&play, but i've been able to keep using them)

DOSBox: an application that simulates a DOS environment (without the need for installing MS-DOS) and some hardware, like some common audio and video cards of that time, in order to run older games (mostly) and applications. It is the first one to check if playing a DOS game is the goal.

PCem: An actual PC emulator. Simulates the actual hardware, and then uses ROMS from those systems to recreate the actual feeling of such a machine. There are a few other PC emulators, mostly the MAME emulator (originally it was a splitted project named MESS)

Runtimes: For some games, there have been also alternative runtimes that have made possible to run them as if they were native. I am talking about runtimes like scuumvm (for games like monkey island, day of the tentacle...) or transport tycoon (openttd), or new runtimes based on the old game sources for games like doom or duke nukem 3D (chocolate-doom , eduke32).
In these cases, one needs the data files from the original games, and they run using the new runtimes. In some cases, like for Duke Numem 3D or transports tycoon, they have even created new engines and graphics that make the game look and feel more like a current game instead of a 20+ year old game.

Of all those, indeed, PCem is the only one that gives the feeling of going back in time. And VirtualBox helps on keeping not-so current systems running, although not in the PC emulation sense.

Re: PCem community first timer.

Posted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 9:14 pm
by SarahWalker
You can try and register as many accounts as you like, you're still banned.