Hi Michael!

> > My personal opinion here is that MPXPLAY is very nice for DOS
> > users because it supports many soundcards :-). The ability to

Note: The drivers are inside MPXPLAY, but as it is open source,
you can use the MPXPLAY sources to make VSB (virtual sound blaster)
able to output sound using, for example, your AC97 soundcard :-).

The standard (1995) version of VSB can only use the internal PC
speaker / beeper or covox (D/A converter connected to the printer
port) so more hardware drivers are certainly a good idea for it.

> > use network and video would not be a main issue for me. Maybe
> > Attila can continue updating the sound drivers for DOS while
> > focusing on Windows for the video support?

> Depending on the licensing scheme for mpxplay, someone else can
> continue developing the dos version.  The sad thing about developing

Of course. Depends... I assume Attila has lots of experience here.
Are his sources well documented? We could ask him to write a driver
writing howto :-). But who knows, maybe he will even continue to
make new DOS drivers for MPXPLAY in the future if enough people
keep using MPXPLAY in DOS and showing their appreciation :-).

> a Windows version is that ReactOS, the only free Windows clone I know
> about, is years away from being something that is usable.  There just
> aren't enough developers.  Windows 9x is something better than a dos

That is pessimistic about ReactOS. It did not look that bad, but
their project has large plans while having few developers. If it
supports running Win98 apps, you could ask them to improve the
Win98 support - I guess that would be easier than completing the
Win2000 support...

> extender, but noone wants to develop a free replacement for that.

You could try Japheth's HXRT, which is pretty limited for GUI
apps but it still shows that you can run some Win98 apps even
in DOS if you have a VERY good DOS extender :-).

> This is too bad, there is a lot of dos/9x software that doesn't
> work well in NT.  Even dosbox falls short in a lot of cases.

Did you try in ReactOS? Dosbox was never meant to run Win98
software as far as I can tell. For DOS software, I do of
course recommend FreeDOS, for example in DOSEMU or a virtual
computer (bochs, vmware, qemu, virtualpc, virtualbox, ...).

> but a lot of people fail to understand this and they give up
> on an OSS project when it's author quits.

Or even before that, for example in ReactOS ;-). Open source
software always needs user input. For example you could use
ReactOS even though you know it is very incomplete and help
them by making suggestions which functions to repair/add first.

> Is the sound card support built into mpxplay?  If it is, that's
> too bad. Generic support for post dos sound cards is sorely needed.

This is where VSB and the fact that MPXPLAY is open source can
help. VSB uses protected mode to trap all attempts of your DOS
apps to a SoundBlaster. It then calculates which sound would
have been generated and outputs that sound via your physical
speaker. The simulation is minimalistic and only works without
EMM386 and without DOS extenders but it is a start :-). And it
is open source, too... You could probably modify it to work
together with JEMM386 as a JLM (all EMM386 use protected mode
but JEMM386 has a plugin interface for 'JLM' files) - then it
can work with DOS extenders, too :-).

As the original homepage (zap.eltrast.ru) seems to be down at
the moment, I made a mirror of VSB. Happy testing :-).

> www.coli.uni-saarland.de/~eric/stuff/soft/by-others/
(the two dos-virtual-sound... files from 1995 and 1996)


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