I've been working on a pc-mp3 player which will sit in my car, and I recently got the laptop which is prime for hacking open.
First, i thought id look into getting the software working. I basically want an mp3 player which i can control with a numeric keypad. the main thing i need is a quick boot, not so easy on a P233. Anyhow, it came preinstalled with XP, so i thought id see what i could do with that. After stripping down to the bare mins with XPLite, i booted - only got as far as 1.5 minutes...not nearly good enough.
Next step was to go back to 98, Lite it, then see. So i managed to format the HDD, and booted in with a 98 boot disk - all was good. Then i got inspiration: why not try a DOS mp3 player? it doesnt need any graphics, cos im just using a little character lcd, so it should be enough. I found what i was looking for, software called mpxp for which i got a frontend mpxt. Just ready to go, this can do exactly what i want (boot quickly, input=numeric keypad, output=sound/lcd)
Great, I thought. Before installing this, though, i decided it would be nice to get my little usb pen drive to work, cos i dont have a floppy in my pc, and i could quickly add stuff im bound to forget without wasting CDrs.
HaHa..god, after a few minutes getting used to all the DOS commands and config.sys etc. again, i was away and ready to install - looked on the net, and found some drivers and programs to test...
After best part of 2 hours, id only just managed to get these things onto the HDD, edit config.sys, boot, fail, reboot, F5, edit config.sys, reboot....
my fingers managed to go completely numb, i cant remember the last time i tried to type so bloody much, and DOS is a pain for having to cd.. and md all the time...and whats with dir/w/o set dircmd=/w/o dir
Anyhow, I gave up on the usb for now, and have started to put the software across, again, simple (in theory) but god is it hard work.
Gonna keep playing a bit more, then will probably give up and format and reinstall 98, but its been a good fun eperience, getting back down and dirty with dos - brings back memoried of prince of persia!
At the end of the day, M$ might be money grabbing bar stewards, but theres a lot to thank them for - life is so much easier now, i think a lot of people forget (or never knew) the hardship of command-line doing everything, and editing ini files.