ao486

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Sbeehive
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Re: ao486

Post by Sbeehive »

ijor wrote:
nightshadowpt wrote:I believe you're having too high expectations from this core... A486, despite his name, is more suitable as a 286 or 386SX computer, not a 486.
Games until 1991 should be more or less ok, but after that it may be challenging for this core.
Would love this core to one day run like a proper 486, but until then, enjoy the older titles...
Are most of this titles 16-bit DOS games than run on real mode? Or they actually require a 386, or Win95? Because otherwise I assume it should be a faster 8086 core perhaps.
Hey ijor, I think the games requires a 386 but I'm unsure. At the very least, the original manuals/boxes all demand 386 hardware and onward.
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Re: ao486

Post by BBond007 »

Sbeehive wrote:
Newsdee wrote:Would be a good idea to keep one or two config.sys in the repository as reference. Its easy to forget some of the obscure settings :)
It'd be great to have a couple of those with a working list of what games work well with what config.sys settings. Right now it is a bit unclear (at least to people that aren't advanced DOS users) as to how well you can get certain games to run under ideal conditions.
I'll contribute my CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT.

It won't disappoint as it is loaded full obscure and esoteric setting.

Anyway, it has a boot menu:

1. HIMEM
2. HIMEM_EMM386
3. QEMM
4. QEMM_SOFTMPU
5. QEMM_IRQ_SOFTMPU

Options #5 and #6 are only if you want to use a USB MIDI device (or emulation)

Maybe we could agree on common CONFIG/AUTOEXEC file and then maintain a list that which # works best for whatever game?

CONFIG.SYS:

Code: Select all

[MENU]
MENUITEM=HIMEM
MENUITEM=HIMEM_EMM386
MENUITEM=QEMM
MENUITEM=QEMM_SOFTMPU
MENUITEM=QEMM_IRQ_SOFTMPU

[HIMEM]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF

[HIMEM_EMM386]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=A000-C7FF I=C800-EFFF

[QEMM]
device=c:\qemm\dosdata.sys
device=c:\qemm\qemm386.sys ram aram=c800-dfff r:1
device=c:\qemm\dos-up.sys @c:\qemm\dos-up.dat

[QEMM_SOFTMPU]
device=c:\qemm\dosdata.sys
device=c:\qemm\qemm386.sys ram aram=c800-dfff r:1
device=c:\qemm\dos-up.sys @c:\qemm\dos-up.dat

[QEMM_IRQ_SOFTMPU]
device=c:\qemm\dosdata.sys
device=c:\qemm\qemm386.sys ram aram=c800-dfff r:1
device=c:\qemm\dos-up.sys @c:\qemm\dos-up.dat

[COMMON]
DOS=HIGH
FILES=50
BUFFERS=50
LASTDRIVE=Z
DEVICE=C:\DOS\MOUSE.SYS
rem SHELL=C:\COMMAND.COM C:\ /P
AUTOEXEC.BAT:

Code: Select all

@ECHO OFF
set BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T2
PATH=C:\;C:\DOS;C:\QEMM
GOTO %CONFIG%

:QEMM
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:2 /RES=4272 /SQT=FC00-FCFF DOSKEY
GOTO END

:QEMM_SOFTMPU
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:1 C:\SOFTMPU\SOFTMPU /MPU:330 /OUTPUT:COM1
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:2 /RES=4272 /SQT=FC00-FCFF DOSKEY
GOTO END

:QEMM_IRQ_SOFTMPU
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:1 C:\SOFTMPU\SOFTMPU /SB:220 /IRQ:5 /MPU:330 /OUTPUT:COM1
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:2 /RES=4272 /SQT=FC00-FCFF DOSKEY
GOTO END

:HIMEM
:HIMEM_EMM386
DOSKEY

:END

Sbeehive
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Re: ao486

Post by Sbeehive »

BBond007 that's amazing! Thanks for posting that!

I'll have some time off over the next week- I can experiment and get some lists going.
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Newsdee
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Re: ao486

Post by Newsdee »

Fantastic! I found some similar example but they are not necessarily current for MiSTer usage.

It's a shame that DOS 6 isn't freely available, otherwise we could package a VHD ready for use with that and maybe a couple of demo/shareware/PD games. I'ver never tried FreeDOS so not sure that is a viable alternative. Has anybody got any experience with it? Is it worth doing?

At the same time, setting up a DOS VHD is not hard. New users could just follow step by step instructions on the wiki for setup.
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Re: ao486

Post by glaucon1984 »

Newsdee wrote:Fantastic! I found some similar example but they are not necessarily current for MiSTer usage.

It's a shame that DOS 6 isn't freely available, otherwise we could package a VHD ready for use with that and maybe a couple of demo/shareware/PD games. I'ver never tried FreeDOS so not sure that is a viable alternative. Has anybody got any experience with it? Is it worth doing?

At the same time, setting up a DOS VHD is not hard. New users could just follow step by step instructions on the wiki for setup.
Main compatibility issues with games under FreeDos is MSCDEX.EXE and CD-detection/anti-piracy methods of the time, which shouldn't be an issue as ao486 cannot mount ISOs. And... actually, FreeDos has a tool to mount ISOs, only problem is that it doesn't support audio tracks (on top of the compatibility issues).

Here's my ao486 boot config, might help somebody:

autoexec.bat

Code: Select all

@ECHO OFF
PROMPT $p$g
SET TEMP=C:\DOS
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4 P330
REM ***** Check the paths below, you might want to remove/adjust some of them
PATH C:\WINDOWS;C:\QEMM;C:\DOS;C:\UTIL\NC;C:\UTIL\PCTOOLS;C:\UTIL\PKWARE
GOTO %config%

:QEMM386WIN
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:1 /LO C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X

:QEMM386
REM C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:2 /RES=1760 /SQT=FC00-FCFF C:\UTIL\4DOS\KSTACK.COM
C:\QEMM\LOADHI /R:2 /LO C:\UTIL\START\CTMOUSE.EXE

GOTO END

:EMM386
REM ***** 4DOS 8.00 is installed in C:\UTIL\4DOS
LH C:\UTIL\4DOS\KSTACK.COM
LH C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X

:EMS
:HIMEM
REM ***** CTMouse is copied to C:\UTIL\MOUSE
LH C:\UTIL\MOUSE\CTMOUSE.EXE

:END
config.sys

Code: Select all

[common]
BUFFERS=10,0
FILES=30
DOS=UMB
LASTDRIVE=E
FCBS=4,0
DOS=HIGH
REM ***** 4DOS 8.00 is installed in C:\UTIL\4DOS
SHELL=C:\UTIL\4DOS\4DOS.COM C:\UTIL\4DOS\ /P
STACKS=9,256
 
[menu]
menuitem=QEMM386, QEMM XMS+EMS - 630K Dos Optimized
menuitem=QEMM386WIN, QEMM XMS+EMS - 616K Windows 3.1 Optimized
menuitem=EMS, EMM386 XMS+EMS - 607K Dos Optimized
menuitem=EMM386, EMM386 XMS - 613K Windows 3.1 Optimized
menuitem=HIMEM, No memory manager - 615K
menudefault=QEMM386,5
 
[QEMM386]
device=c:\qemm\dosdata.sys
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ROM ST:F ARAM=C800-DFFF R:2
device=c:\qemm\dos-up.sys @c:\qemm\dos-up.dat
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\LOADHI.SYS /R:1 /SIZE=9872 C:\QEMM\QDPMI.SYS SWAPFILE=DPMI.SWP SWAPSIZE=1024
 
[QEMM386WIN]
device=c:\qemm\dosdata.sys
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ROM ST:F ARAM=C800-DFFF R:2
device=c:\qemm\dos-up.sys @c:\qemm\dos-up.dat
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\LOADHI.SYS /R:1 /SIZE=9872 C:\QEMM\QDPMI.SYS SWAPFILE=DPMI.SWP SWAPSIZE=1024
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\LOADHI.SYS /R:1 /SIZE=14032 C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /DOUBLE_BUFFER
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\LOADHI.SYS /R:1 /SIZE=4848 C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
 
[EMS]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE i=E000-EFFF x=B000-B7FF /NOTR
 
[EMM386]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE /DOUBLE_BUFFER
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
REM DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE i=E000-EFFF i=B000-B7FF NOEMS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE i=E000-EFFF x=B000-B7FF NOEMS /NOTR
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
 
[HIMEM]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
- Mouse driver CTMouse can be obtained here: http://cutemouse.sourceforge.net/
- I'm using QEMM386 7.5
- I'm using 4DOS v8.00, "Free 4DOS" from here: https://www.4dos.info/v4dos.htm (linux-style autocomplete and much more)

If somebody wants a basic config for 4DOS:
4dos.ini

Code: Select all

[4DOS]
InstallPath = C:\UTIL\4DOS\
COLORDIR=DIRS:cya;SYSTEM:bri whi on red;HIDDEN:whi on red;RDONLY:whi on blu;EXE COM:gre;BAT BTM CMD :bri gre;QWK REP ZIP ARC LZH ARJ PQI:bri yel;HLP CFG CNF CTL A O SO OBJ DLL INI DAT HLP SES ION LOG RC OS2 OPT PIF:red;SYS DRV OVL:bri red;DOC C CC CPP CXX H TXT ME 1ST NOT ASC LET:bri whi;JPG BMP GIF PNG ICO TIF TGA:mag;AVI MOV MPG MP3 WAV MID:bri mag;IPF INF MAN PDF HTM HTML:bri cya;RAR TGZ:yel;*~ BAK:bri bla;DIZ:bla on yel
EditMode = Insert
CursorIns = 15
CursorOver = 100
BrightBG=Yes
AppendToDir=Yes
Mouse=Yes
Win95SFNSearch=No
The file goes in the installation folder of 4DOS. Check the "InstallPath" variable, yours might be different.
This should replicate the insert behaviour of modern shells, the same cursor size for insert mode, some nice colours for different kinds of files/folders and some other tweaks.
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Eero Tamminen
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Re: ao486

Post by Eero Tamminen »

Newsdee wrote: It's a shame that DOS 6 isn't freely available, otherwise we could package a VHD ready for use with that and maybe a couple of demo/shareware/PD games. I'ver never tried FreeDOS so not sure that is a viable alternative. Has anybody got any experience with it? Is it worth doing?
DOS doesn't do much. I thing FreeDOS should work fine with almost everything. It's supposed to be better than original DOS in some respects:
http://wiki.freedos.org/wiki/index.php/ ... _better.3F

(I've used it quite a bit for playing DOS games on Linux, but that was nearly 20 years ago.)

Most of the issue you would encounter would probably be be installing the things, but one could do that on another setup and just copy things to FreeDOS setup.

FreeDOS site itself also seems to offer few free games:
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stu ... games.html
bitfan2011
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Re: ao486

Post by bitfan2011 »

OK, I got DOS 6.22 installed and created a 2GB VHD for the DOS partition. I copied over a bunch of old DOS game directories and things load great right off. BUT, everything runs too fast! Is this like DOSBox where you have to slow the core down somehow for the older titles?
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Re: ao486

Post by Sorgelig »

there is no such feature. I think there should be some DOS TSR utilities for slowing down.
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Re: ao486

Post by NegSol »

bitfan2011 wrote:OK, I got DOS 6.22 installed and created a 2GB VHD for the DOS partition. I copied over a bunch of old DOS game directories and things load great right off. BUT, everything runs too fast! Is this like DOSBox where you have to slow the core down somehow for the older titles?
Never noticed the too fast aspect of the core. Most programs I use are on the slow side of things. However, in former times most of these machine had a "turbo" button on the front. Deactivating the "turbo" meant down-clocking the cpu by half or more. That was used to slow thing down. This was really only necessary for original PC software running on the original IBM PC. I personally never used it - but I starter using MS-DOS with 5.0. So most software was adjusted for faster machines.

Still hope the ao486 gets a co-processor and SVGA output someday. In its current state it still is only have the machine that I was used too back then... :roll:

Still a great core and one of the most used ones by me. :mrgreen:
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Re: ao486

Post by bitfan2011 »

NegSol wrote:
bitfan2011 wrote:OK, I got DOS 6.22 installed and created a 2GB VHD for the DOS partition. I copied over a bunch of old DOS game directories and things load great right off. BUT, everything runs too fast! Is this like DOSBox where you have to slow the core down somehow for the older titles?
Never noticed the too fast aspect of the core. Most programs I use are on the slow side of things. However, in former times most of these machine had a "turbo" button on the front. Deactivating the "turbo" meant down-clocking the cpu by half or more. That was used to slow thing down. This was really only necessary for original PC software running on the original IBM PC. I personally never used it - but I starter using MS-DOS with 5.0. So most software was adjusted for faster machines.

Still hope the ao486 gets a co-processor and SVGA output someday. In its current state it still is only have the machine that I was used too back then... :roll:

Still a great core and one of the most used ones by me. :mrgreen:
Yeah, even "newer" titles seem to almost be in fast-forward, like an intro will skip screens too fast to read anything. I don't mean 3D titles like DOOM, I haven't tested those out because I heard those were slow. Older stuff goes at warp speed. ALF is an example - The game runs so fast that the enemies in the maze move like hummingbirds.
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Re: ao486

Post by NegSol »

Maybe down-clocking could be arranged for those early title. But again - I am not the target audience for this :)
Take a look at the following link - those tsr programs could serve your need for slowness.
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=44
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Re: ao486

Post by bitfan2011 »

NegSol wrote:Maybe down-clocking could be arranged for those early title. But again - I am not the target audience for this :)
Take a look at the following link - those tsr programs could serve your need for slowness.
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=44
It seems like I just had bad luck with choosing older titles, I have now tried others which run at normal speed. So cool to get back into DOS games from my distant youth.
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Re: ao486

Post by Sorgelig »

There is another X86 core which can be ported to MiSTer and be used for even older apps/games.
It just in lowest priority to me. Any one else is welcome to port.
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Re: ao486

Post by Newsdee »

bitfan2011 wrote: It seems like I just had bad luck with choosing older titles, I have now tried others which run at normal speed. So cool to get back into DOS games from my distant youth.
This was a common issue with DOS. You can try the slowdown utilities listed here:
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=44
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Re: a0486

Post by ex68k »

Sorgelig wrote:The ao486 core has been written specially with worst CPU implementation. 3D graphics hasn't been included for the same purpose - make users to suffer and cry.
So, did anybody look into the other "open" cores? zet86, v586 or net180?
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Re: ao486

Post by skywalky »

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Re: ao486

Post by Bartdesign »

Did somebody managed to figure out how to get the joystick to work in ao486?
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Re: ao486

Post by Sorgelig »

There is no joystick support for ao486.
Almost all PC games of that time were written for keyboard.
You can map joystick to keyboard.
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Re: ao486: what do you use to transfer files?

Post by bitfan2011 »

I'm just using Disk Management for Win 7. Top menu lets you create a VHD and mount it within Windows. Then you can format before dumping files on. Unmount the VHD using the same menu. I keep the 2GB FAT VHD mounted as the primary drive in ao486 core, with the DOS 6.22 install disk #1 IMG also mounted. If I change the boot priority to FDD first, I can reinstall DOS 6.22 easily. I also created a secondary 2GB VHD for more games that would not fit on the primary VHD. I keep that mounted as secondary VHD in ao486.
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Re: ao486

Post by Sbeehive »

Does anyone else's ao486 crash constantly on either startup or DOS?

For some reason my core crashes almost all the time. Especially when trying to use CTMOUSE. Sometimes it will just start and report a fatal error with the mouse.

I'm also wondering if it is because of my QEMM shenanigans. Or perhaps the micro-sd card I use is causing this (Sandisk)?

About 2 of 5 times I can get the core to work perfectly just by retrying.
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Re: ao486

Post by glaucon1984 »

Sbeehive wrote:Does anyone else's ao486 crash constantly on either startup or DOS?

For some reason my core crashes almost all the time. Especially when trying to use CTMOUSE. Sometimes it will just start and report a fatal error with the mouse.

I'm also wondering if it is because of my QEMM shenanigans. Or perhaps the micro-sd card I use is causing this (Sandisk)?

About 2 of 5 times I can get the core to work perfectly just by retrying.
I don't remember now what version I'm using, but try ctmouse versions 1.9 or 2.0 to see if it helps. Depending on the machine I have had to choose between versions, and this includes real 90s hardware.

Also, QEMM and any other memory manager (EMM386, JEMMEX) can cause issues due to the way in which the RAM between 640 and 1MB is mapped by this BIOS. For example, in my case all floppy access will be corrupted in certain scenarios, so I would avoid using a memory manager unless you are short in base memory and need to "loadhigh" TSRs, or a game really needs EMS. For this same reason is impossible to play Ultima VII with ao486 (which includes its own memory manager).
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Re: ao486

Post by Sbeehive »

glaucon1984 wrote:
Sbeehive wrote:Does anyone else's ao486 crash constantly on either startup or DOS?

For some reason my core crashes almost all the time. Especially when trying to use CTMOUSE. Sometimes it will just start and report a fatal error with the mouse.

I'm also wondering if it is because of my QEMM shenanigans. Or perhaps the micro-sd card I use is causing this (Sandisk)?

About 2 of 5 times I can get the core to work perfectly just by retrying.
I don't remember now what version I'm using, but try ctmouse versions 1.9 or 2.0 to see if it helps. Depending on the machine I have had to choose between versions, and this includes real 90s hardware.

Also, QEMM and any other memory manager (EMM386, JEMMEX) can cause issues due to the way in which the RAM between 640 and 1MB is mapped by this BIOS. For example, in my case all floppy access will be corrupted in certain scenarios, so I would avoid using a memory manager unless you are short in base memory and need to "loadhigh" TSRs, or a game really needs EMS. For this same reason is impossible to play Ultima VII with ao486 (which includes its own memory manager).
Thanks for the reply. I'll definitely try a different version of CTMOUSE.

Yeah I got Ultima Underworld 1 + 2 working using QEMM shockingly enough. It runs like a slide-show on high-detail, but I was impressed it runs at all. The mouse isn't effected so it is quite playable.
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Re: ao486

Post by PhantombrainM »

Sbeehive wrote:Does anyone else's ao486 crash constantly on either startup or DOS?

For some reason my core crashes almost all the time. Especially when trying to use CTMOUSE. Sometimes it will just start and report a fatal error with the mouse.

I'm also wondering if it is because of my QEMM shenanigans. Or perhaps the micro-sd card I use is causing this (Sandisk)?

About 2 of 5 times I can get the core to work perfectly just by retrying.
Yes, exact same scenario here. But haven't investigated further.
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Re: ao486

Post by Sorgelig »

I've mentioned earlier that crash usually happens when i press any key while PC booting. Probably some interrupts happened while it should be disabled.
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Re: ao486

Post by Retr80s »

Hi people! Is this the only forum where we can keep track of the developments on this core?
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