Old DOS graphics programs

Do you have some old programs (written 12+ years ago) that need real DOS to run with long-obsolete graphics support? Like old favourite DOS games? Forget the games. I wanted to run some old programs written in Turbo C or good old Borland C++.

Well, DOSBox.com is the place to go.

This is not the Microsoft unofficial name for a “DOS Window” running under Windows 98, 2000, XP  or 7 but a site that offers true DOS emulation for our old programs.

The particular one I needed to run was a program originally written in 1999, but with mods up to 2007. It displays drill points from a Printed Circuit Board and sends plotter commands via a serial COM port to move a robot arm to drill the board. Much better than trying to juggle a high-speed piece of machinery by hand.

This is what happens under Windows 7:

Drill fullscreen under Windows 7

But after installing DOSBox, it will run either in a window or fullscreen (just hit Alt-Enter to toggle):

Drill works without sorting

The caption says “Drill by Column” but as you can see, the white line goes all over the place. This is because when the program called Windows “sort”, it failed because it was not a DOS sort. Have a look in c:\windows\system32\sort.exe and you’ll see “This program cannot be run in DOS mode.”. Luckily I had a DOS sort program from way back. I renamed it sort.com and put it in my drill folder. NOW the sorting works.

Drill with sorting

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One thought on “Old DOS graphics programs

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