Hi Jack,

Just a few boring comments,

On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM, Jack <gykazequ...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> The "UIDE" drivers have all been updated to 14-Nov-2013, and they are
> now available from Johnson Lam's "dropbox" at --
> <http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15785527/drivers.zip>
> In this update, UHDD and UDVD2 no-longer support "private" caches for
> user drivers.   Reasons for this are a bit "involved" --
> Finally, nobody showed ANY "interest" in caching old "video game" CDs
> for higher game performance.   Either such CDs have "disappeared", or
> game players must now be using RAM-disk drivers, or whatever.    Sad,
> as I felt such a feature would be valuable -- seems to be "Not so"!
> Any users who ever DO need a "private cache" can get the same results
> by loading the RDISK driver to set a RAM-disk for their data.   RDISK
> handles up to 2 GIGABYTES of data (uses XMS memory), and it may run a
> bit faster due to no "overhead" from cache look-ups nor from a CD/DVD
> Redirector program (SHSUCDX, SHCDX33F, etc.).

You mean install such games to RAM disk? I've not really used SHSUCDHD
(or whatever, ask Bernd, heh, he's the expert), but IIRC that still
requires the redirector. So I'm not sure what usage scenario you're
referring to here.

The main problem with old games is bugs, either actual bugs in the
software or incompatibilities with newer systems. Of course, the other
problem is still finding them and even installing them. They have not
disappeared, per se, but they aren't directly sold anymore, at least
not compared to newer stuff (well, except used copies from Amazon or
eBay or digital copies like from Gog.com). It's not really super old
stuff, I wouldn't call 20 years ridiculously old, but it's not new
either. I doubt modern stores like GameStop still sell stuff like
that, but who knows, I don't browse around a lot.

AFAIK, most people (e.g. YouTube reviewers [1]) just use old
(physical) systems or, more likely, an emulator like DOSBox, which is
meant for games anyways. Not perfect but better than nothing, esp. if
the game requires sound or graphics to work a certain way that isn't
well-supported on modern (e.g. SB-incompatible) hardware. I mean, I've
got a few older DOS games (e.g. Gabriel Knight 1, Quest for Glory IV),
but I have no idea how playable they are without decent sound driver
support in DOS on modern (Intel HDA) machines. If you're getting
killed because you can't hear the enemy behind you (e.g. Hexen2),
that's no fun. Though for that I did just use DOSEMU. Granted, not all
games are like that, but some are. (Actually, QFG4 has a timing bug,
IIRC, that means it wouldn't play correctly for one scene, preventing
advancement, and I'm not sure there are patches for that. For that,
something "slow" like DOSBox is probably the only "popular"
recommended solution, and whatever slowdown alternatives, I don't know
how well they'd work here. IIRC, I had to use FDAPM to throttle [via
ACPI?] for Chasm: The Rift demo to work at all. Yes, IIRC, Bret has
SLOWDOWN, but I don't recall using that in recent memory.)

(BTW, some games require the disc to be in the drive the entire time,
for copy protection reasons. No idea if that is easily circumvented
with DOSBox, probably not. Though they do often say, "Make an .iso
image for faster speed" [IMGMOUNT?] since real drives aren't that
fast. Never tried, it wasn't that big a priority for me. I did rip the
audio [via prebundled Linux script] from Hexen2 CD to disk files
[.ogg?], but that's not the same as making a byte-for-byte copy of the
full game disc, which I don't think I've ever done. Though I think
it's legal to make a backup of anything, for purely copyright

Some few companies do still sell DOS games, e.g. Gog.com has a quite a
few. E.g. Wasteland [2] was just released a few days ago, probably in
anticipation of the upcoming sequel. I blindly assume this just uses
DOSBox, like many of their older DOS games. People want to play, but
they only want to use modern OSes, so in that respect, even if not
perfect, DOSBox is a godsend. (N.B. This is not a CD-based game, just
meant to be a random example.)

So, I'm not much of a gamer, honestly. I've not dabbled that much. I'm
just saying, it's not exactly easy. Though DOS does have a quite high
reputation among old-school gamers since so much stuff was produced
back in the day, but it's just not something that works very well by
default (anymore).

1). Pixelmusement (Ancient DOS Games), Lazy Game Reviews
(phreakindee), PushingUpRoses
2). http://www.gog.com/game/wasteland_the_classic_original

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