Does anyone use real DOS computers to play Keen?

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Do you ever use vintage computers to play Keen?

Yes
7
47%
No
8
53%
 
Total votes: 15

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keenmaster486
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Does anyone use real DOS computers to play Keen?

Post by keenmaster486 » Fri May 13, 2016 20:09

I certainly do!
Picked up this Pentium MMX laptop (166MHz! blazing fast!) on eBay for twenty bucks. A pretty good deal if I do say so.

It plays Keen very well (all the mods too), at the correct aspect ratio too. It does have a "screen expander" feature, but then the aspect ratio is incorrect and the pixels are all random sizes :rolleyes

It also has a killer sound card and speakers - Yamaha OPL3-SA3, real OPL3 chip - it has that "righteous" sound you just can't get with DOSBox, even with optimal emulation settings.

I've been using it a little to program my game engine. I also loaded up Borland C, and compiled the Source Mod (which takes forever, btw).

It also does Netkeen without any hitches, and with a real IPX network to DOSBox SVN! You don't even have to mess with IP addresses, you just plug in the cable and it works. :)

I also have that Gravis Analog Pro joystick, which works great as you can use the Gravis Gamepad option, and avoid the two-button firing.

So does anyone else play Keen on old machines? I've even seen that some people can play CGA Keen on an XT, or even earlier iirc.

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Roobar
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Post by Roobar » Fri May 13, 2016 20:24

Unfortunately, all of my DOS era hardware is long time gone now. I'm playing it on a very modern hardware.

It's nice to see some old hardware still up and running. Though the border of the game looks too big on this laptop. Maybe the videocard can't handle it? Do you install it with a floppy disk? LOL

I bet there are some other guys here who got some old stuff.

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Post by Nospike » Sat May 14, 2016 9:52

My, my, that's beautiful! Congratulations on your find, that's seriously sick.

I used to play Keen 6 on a borrowed 486 w/ Windows 3.1 when I was a kid. Don't remember any further details about the machine of course, but it was a whole lot of fun. I also had an old laptop for a short time after that with what I think was a Pentium II, I had Keen Dreams on that one.

Don't have either of them anymore sadly. But they did a very good job in sparking my neverending computer addiction. :p
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Post by Benvolio » Sat May 14, 2016 11:49

My first exposure to Keen1 was on an Amstrad PC1640 from 1986, installed from a 5 1/4" diskette onto a 200mb drive (It took a few attempts to copy over, if I recall correctly, indicating a disk in the early stages of deterioration. Imagine how close I came to never having been part of this community). Anyway I got it installed and happily played, the game running flawlessly on the 7mHz 8086 processor, until the computer got recycled circa 2005. Its screen gave vicious static shocks and also had deteriorated to the point where the vast majority of the time there was a pink tinge to the screen. Of course, those amstrads had proprietary monitors that could not be replaced with other makes; otherwise I would doubtlessly still have the PC. Who knows if a replacement graphics card could have been used to output to a standard monitor.

Your picture is fantastic, keenmaster486. I've never played Keen with a joystick nor any other game for that matter. Does it add to the experience at all? Have you played many mods with it? I would imagine that Herry Jerry's Banana mod would be good fun with a joystick.

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Post by Keening_Product » Thu May 19, 2016 15:27

You had better change your username to keenmasterMMX ;)

Your setup is super-neat!

I'll see if I can get my grandfather's very-early-90s laptop to work and give old-school gaming a shot myself. I'll post photos of any progress.
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Post by keenmaster486 » Thu May 19, 2016 15:48

Whoo! Cool. I'll have to think long and hard before I change my username :p but you're right, it does fit better considering what hardware I own. I did have a 486 laptop but it's either going to be comandeered by my sister or sold on eBay. It didn't have a sound card, one of the reasons I got another one, but I did rebuild the battery. Now it lasts for a whole half hour! :p but now I'm entering an irrelevant tangent.
Edit: if you want any help with that laptop, I have a lot of experience getting those old things working and files copied to them, there are some tricks to it 8)
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Post by Keening_Product » Thu May 19, 2016 16:42

You rebuilt the battery?! Nice work!

Yes, that would be really helpful! Thank you! :) I'll hit you up when I'm next having a go at getting it to work. The system beeps a boot error, but I can't remember which one. It doesn't even get to turning the screen on, but the issue could be any number of things.
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Post by keenmaster486 » Mon May 30, 2016 15:27

OK, sorry for forgetting about this thread and the questions people asked...
wiivn wrote:It's nice to see some old hardware still up and running. Though the border of the game looks too big on this laptop. Maybe the videocard can't handle it? Do you install it with a floppy disk? LOL
The border is the right size, it's just that the screen is 800x600 so the video outputs as 320x200 scaled to 640x400, placed in the center of the screen with the border as you see it there. No, unfortunately I don't have a floppy drive for it - yet. I'm keeping an eye on eBay for one. I happen to have the original disk for that joystick, which has a shareware copy of Keen 4 on it! (the same one my dad used to introduce me to Keen... kind of cool)
Nospike wrote:My, my, that's beautiful! Congratulations on your find, that's seriously sick.
Thanks!
Benvolio wrote:Who knows if a replacement graphics card could have been used to output to a standard monitor.
That computer had 8-bit ISA slots, so yes, you could have even upgraded it with a VGA card.
Benvolio wrote:Your picture is fantastic, keenmaster486. I've never played Keen with a joystick nor any other game for that matter. Does it add to the experience at all? Have you played many mods with it?
Thanks! Oh yes, it certainly adds to the experience. It means you can lean back in your chair and relax while you play, for one thing! Makes it more challenging too, but it's a lot better when you can turn two-button firing off so you're not constantly firing random shots when you try to use the impossible pogo trick :lol Mods I've played with it: uTUIT and Atroxian Realm, but I plan to put more mods on it. I was working my way through levellass's Valentine mod so I'll probably pick that back up sometime.
Benvolio wrote: I would imagine that Herry Jerry's Banana mod would be good fun with a joystick.
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Sorry, couldn't resist. Yes, I bet it would! I'll try it out.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
Very silly indeed: https://audaxeundum.wordpress.com/

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Post by Keening_Product » Sat Jul 09, 2016 19:06

LGR recently built a 486 to celebrate the channel's seventh anniversary. It's neat, relevant, and even features Keen. Click here: https://youtu.be/fbjYkPKRm-8 I can't believe I watched the whole thing.

Warning: this video encourages woodgrain. I'm now seriously considering wrapping my PC case in woodgrain contact.
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Post by Roobar » Sat Jul 09, 2016 20:02

Yeah I've watched it. It even makes me want to buy a 486 so I can experience DOS games with authentic sound and music again.

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Post by keenmaster486 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 21:29

Just make sure you get a sound card with a real OPL3 chip; CQM clones are kind of crappy.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
Very silly indeed: https://audaxeundum.wordpress.com/

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Post by Rorie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:18

DOS is a distance memory for me, besides I don't really play games anymore in fact haven't played Commander Keen in years, guess I kinda grew up from old school gaming!, anyways my desktop is using Windows 7 and my tablet Windows 8, so in this case if I wanted to use pre-windows software I would have to depend on DOS related emulators such as DosBox
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Post by MoffD » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:30

Rorie wrote:DOS is a distance memory for me, besides I don't really play games anymore in fact haven't played Commander Keen in years, guess I kinda grew up from old school gaming!, anyways my desktop is using Windows 7 and my tablet Windows 8, so in this case if I wanted to use pre-windows software I would have to depend on DOS related emulators such as DosBox
It's ok, I have 3.11 installed in virtualbox over DOS 6.22. I'm looking into getting a USB floppy drive though. I finally have a nice laptop with an NVIDIA gtx 960m so I can play all my old games without it slowing down :dopekeen
Now how do I use my dos memory extender to address the GPU's ram? :C
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Post by keenmaster486 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:38

MoffD wrote: Now how do I use my dos memory extender to address the GPU's ram? :C
Surely you're joking, my friend 8)
That's an interesting question, but why would you want to do that?
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
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Post by kvee » Mon Jul 11, 2016 13:36

Rorie wrote:I would have to depend on DOS related emulators such as DosBox
I actually have several oldschool 386 / 486 systems, but I gotta say DOSBox is great!
Apart from the lack of hardware crapping out and some minor graphical differences (stuff's generally prettier in DOSBox), I'm actually very happy with my virtual DOS machine.

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