Vintage systems

What systems do I have at the time of this update (October 2018)?

  • Commodore VIC-20
  • Atari 600XL
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Sega Genesis
  • Nintendo Game Boy (Original B&W edition)
  • Nintendo 64
  • Various PCs, Windows 9x and XP eras

I intend to include more things relevant to some of these on the site at... some point...

My games collection is primarily focused on PC: late DOS and Windows 9x era CD-ROM games primarily, some XP era CD/DVD games, and a few more recent indie titles/digital (re)releases primarily via GOG. For other systems on the list I generally only have a few titles for each.

DOS Game Compatibility Notes

These are just some quick notes I have made over time based on running DOS games natively on older (not necessarily DOS-era) systems.

The following games use EGA overscan border coloring, which is not emulated in DOSBox:

  • Crystal Caves (color used to indicate whether or not all crystals on a level were collected)
  • Catacomb 3D Adventures trilogy (border flashes to indicate damage, Apocalypse uses a white flash as a secret hint)
  • Commander Keen (purely cosmetic? Episode 1 flashes the border when a Vorticon is killed)

The following games could be made to run natively on an Intel chip (Pentium III) but have issues on an AMD-based system (K6-2):

  • Demon Stalkers (locks up at title screen)
  • Iron Blood (game silently terminates when attempting to run)
  • Bio Menace (very strange behavior; works under true DOS 6.22 kernel but when run under Windows 9x, even using DOS prompt only, will lock up during play - on Pentium both were fine)

Vintage PC Software

This section has some recommendations for working with old DOS/Windows versions. All of this software can be freely downloaded unless otherwise noted, and contained no adware/bundleware in the versions I checked (page may be outdated so have a care with what you download from external sites - some links may need to be fixed once I can re-locate downloads for these files).

Software for vintage PCs: Windows 9x (tested primarily with 98SE)

  • This USB Mass Storage Device driver will help get you past the need to transfer things by floppy once you've got it installed. It might not work with every drive; a Cruzer Blade seems to work well with my machine. Another option is to burn a CD-ROM of drivers and utilities, but it's nice to be able to test programs before committing them to a CD burn.

For software version, I note the latest version I have tested to work, while for Windows version I note the earliest version I have tested to work. As of the current writing, I have not tested any Windows version other than 98SE.

Most DOS programs, listed further down the page, will also work on a Windows 9x system unless otherwise noted.

SoftwareSoftware VersionWindows VersionDescriptionLink
7-Zip9.2098SEExcellent compression/decompression software for .7Z, .ZIP and other archive formatsHomepage
HashCalc2.0298SECalculate file checksums, offers a wide variety of methodsSlavaSoft Homepage
HJ-Split3.098SESplit/join files (e.g. for floppy disk storage/transfer), also calculates MD5 checksumsHomepage
ICY Hexplorer2.698SEHex editor, many useful featuresSourceforge page
NoteTab Light7.298SENotepad replacement that allows loading multiple files in tabs and other useful features.Homepage
Metapad3.698SENotepad replacement, light & no-nonsense, can load big filesHomepage
GrafX22.4.203598SEPaint program with lots of nice features, DeluxePaint-ishHomepage
Wally1.55b98SEPaint program specialized for Quake texturesQuake Terminus
PakExplorer1.298SEBrowse, extract, and compile Quake .PAK filesQuake Terminus
AdQuedit1.398SEWorks with various Quake formats, insert/extract graphics etc.Quake Terminus
IrfanView4.4498SEImage viewer that supports many formatsHomepage
EasyCleaner2.0.6.38098SEA handy multi-purpose utility for cleaning out junk files, registry cruft, and duplicates. Can also chart disk space usage.Homepage
Lunar IPS1.0298SECreate and apply IPS patches for filesFuSoYa's Niche
ZipInstaller1.2198SEProvides install/uninstall functionality for ZIP-based software distributions.Homepage

Software for vintage PCs: DOS

SoftwareSoftware VersionDescriptionLink
NE3.00bText editor made to resemble Borland IDEDownload mirrors
HexIt1.57Powerful hex editor.Homepage
uHex1.0.3Hex Editor, not many features but lightweight. Unless you need a very low-spec program HexIt's probably better.Sourceforge Page
Funky Chicken Utilities FileCRC1.00Calculate CRC32 of files.Download mirrors
VGAPaint 3861.4Deluxe Paint style graphics programHomepage
PaintPro (Cryogen)1997Design ANSI text-screen graphicsDownload mirrors