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Thread: DOS - a pain in the proverbial

  1. #1
    vivitron 15's Avatar Poster
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    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.
    <insert signature here>

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    ya but didn't microsoft copy mac's idea of a graphics interface?


    and ya i wouldn't have even tried dos, more effort than just waiting a couple mins for windows 98 to boot.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    and apple was handed the idea by xerox because at the time home computers with a nice gui where considered ludicrous.

    the command line is still very useful,I could not imagine life without it.

    http://www.cmdtools.com/files/wav.zip
    try using that. it is quite an impressive little tool.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Afronaut's Avatar Xenu
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    Hows about *unix then? You could make the kernel to have only the needed stuff
    and I would think it should boot pretty fast too.


    Thats what I would try, or check out if its possible atleast.

    Spoiler: Show

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    bloody good idea GS but i think rolling your own kernel would probably be a bit too much. I would probably have a look around some of the linux distros and find a small one that includes
    xmms (winamp clone)
    enlightenment / fluxbox (lightweight window managers)

    http://www.linux.org/dist/index.html some of the minimalist distros in there would suit your needs.

    http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ damn small linux is only 50 mb and includes xmms and fluxbox. It would be easy to setup the ftp server on it and just send the files you want from your windows machine through a network cable.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    I love DOS, I grew up with it.

    Took me a while before I installed Windows 95 and joined the modern age.
    We can't stop here... this is bat country

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    vivitron 15's Avatar Poster
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    i thought about linux as an option - i have read a fair bit about making it small - dont even need a GUI as such. The only problem that i have precious little linux experience. i played with it for a fair while, but never really got a useable solution working. Also, the laptop that im using (a Toshiba) could prove difficult to find drivers and the suchlike for - were i using a new mini-itx m/b, then id be much more confident about it all "just working" however, it is an option i will most likely consider.

    Havent spent any more time today, but from reading mp3car.com, the dos software was pretty popular for old carputers. If this gets beyond a joke, ill try 98Lite, though i do really need a <30s boot, else it will be more than annoying getting in the car on a morning. - i will certainly look at damnsmalllinux though, it seems quite nice.

    Will keep y'all posted on progress

    thanks for the input
    <insert signature here>

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    DOS is great, everyone should learn to use it because it comes in handy from time to time.

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