Since reading about this great little program somewhere, I have had a chance to play with it on the PC and Mac. On the PC I setup version .65 with the D-Fend front-end interface. DOSBox by itself, like DOS in the old days, takes a bit of manual configuring (this is made easier in the latest version, .70, discussed later) so I chose the D-Fend front-end for it. I was very pleased with D-Fend because of its ease of use, separate profile for each game, and base interface which allows you to immediately launch any configured game once you’ve started D-Fend.

On my PC, I setup Buzz Aldrin’s Race into Space, Warcraft, and Pirate’s Gold. Buzz Aldrin takes a long time to load and I’ve spent the least time with it of the 3 games. One of the things I’ve found about DOSBox is with some games you have to tweak the computer cycle setting to enable the game to run right. This is easily done within DOSBox by using ctrl – F8 and ctrl – F12. Warcraft ran fine, although the RTS interface, being from the dawn of the RTS genre, left much to be desired; I only made it through a couple of levels in the Orc campaign. Lastly, I played Pirate’s Gold quite a bit. I always loved this game and the original Pirates way back in the early 90’s, so once I figured out the controls again, the game was a joy to play. Besides the slow load time for Buzz Aldrin, I don’t recall any other problems using DOSBox on my PC.

On a recent trip out of town, I had a chance to finally mess with DOSBox on my Macbook. Since D-Fend was not available for the Mac, I tried dosboxer. Either I was not seeing everything, or this is not a good program. The program setup was nothing like D-Fend; in fact I didn’t see any kind of profile for my games. After messing with it for a while, I decided it would be easier just to run DOSBox on its own. I was able to get an old startegy game called MAX to work on it just fine. I eventually sought and found the .70 version of DOSBox which includes a sample configuration file which you can edit for different settings such as how fast to run, the different memory settings, and which directory to map the C drive to on your computer.

Anyone who has or wants to play some old DOS games (or use DOS programs) should definitely try DOSBox.

You can get more information on DOSBox and download it here. The downloads section also has links to the many front-ends for DOSBox.

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