Old Skool Software

Today, I was wading through a lot of old computer stuff that I have lying around, and I came across a LogiTech-branded Microsoft Windows 3.1 box, complete with 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks.

Wow.

I did what any red-blooded, nostalgic computer dork would do: I installed it on a vmware instance. Here it is in all its glory.

In order to install it, I actually needed to install DOS 6.0, first. That required me to dig up a box affectionally known in days gone by as my big keg of software. It’s a dot-matrix printer-paper box full of floppies: 3.5″ and 5.25″.

The Keg has some real gems in there:

  • A 5.25″-floppy version of PC-Tools version 7
    note: this is so old-skool that it wasn’t even called Norton, since Norton/Symantec hadn’t yet bought them
  • A copy of a game called Stunts (which was even better than Gran Turismo 3 if you ask me)
  • WordPerfect 5.1 (oh, yeah!)
  • Many old-skool Sierra games (KQ, QFG, etc.)
  • Visual Basic for DOS (you read that right: DOS!)
  • … and much, much more!
  • Legal licenses for all aforementioned software

Several months (or is it years, now?) ago, I was determined to actually get disk images of everything, burn them to a CDROM or two, and defenestrate the whole thing. I live on the 8th floor, so if I do that I’ll definitely get some video.

Anyhow, I got started making images and then I realized that I might never actually be able to get them to run for a number of reasons. First, lots of old copy-protection schemes relied on having direct access to the floppy devices, so many of them just won’t work. Second, many games, etc. required the disk to actually physically be in the drive in order to run, much less install. These days, it’s tough to bring yourself to pay for a floppy drive on a computer, so all this software may go the way of the dodo if I can’t figure out how to get it running.

All this to say that I haven’t yet imaged all of them and littered the street with multi-colored squares of plastic. However, my recent install of Windows 3.11 on VMware has given me the opportunity to image the DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.11 disks and verify that they still work. (I had to image them because my laptop doesn’t have a floppy drive at all — what a shocker!).

Once I get everything onto a nice, small CD, Heather Vargas, my good friend and personal organizer will give me a big, wet kiss on the lips.

Update 2004-05-26: Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of lode runner. W3rd to stunts.

2 Responses to “Old Skool Software”

  1. David Sitz says:

    I was poking around a file cabinet at work the other day and stumbled across a Canon ‘Diskfile 502M’. This bad boy is about the size of an 8 bit nintendo cart and holds two CD-sized optical disks. It’s got a door like a 3.5″ disk and is double-sided to access the two disks. I wonder if anyone has the drive for one of these?

    Word to Stunts!

    -D

  2. alex says:

    do you have an old copy of “loadrunner”? you know the one where you run around and get the barrels? that game was awesome.