Author Topic: Would MS-DOS (ex. MS-DOS itself, DOSBox, Windows CMD Prompt) work on the nspire?  (Read 7772 times)

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Offline njaddison

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I feel kinda stupid asking this question. I know that I'll probably get some vicious replies. If not then, I stand corrected.

Would MS-DOS work on the nspire? I mean like the MS-DOS Prompt, or DOSBox.

Would the actual MS-DOS work on the nspire with a few tweaks and changes? If not, then would DOSBox, or the actual Windows Command Prompt, work?

I saw that tangrs is trying to port Linux to the nspire: http://ourl.ca/17131/318457

So I thought, "Why not MS-DOS?"

I think that DOS would be nice on the nspire. It would allow you to run DOS games. This means that you could play MS-DOS games without them having to be ported to the nspire. Like the actual Duke Nukem 3D, for instance, which I really want on the nspire.

Also, if DOSBox could be ported to the nspire, you could run older versions of Windows!!!!!!

Please tell me whether or not this is possible. If it is, I think that both DOSBox and MS-DOS would be nice.
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Offline TIfanx1999

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MS DOS itself, no. It's built for an entirely different platform. A port of dosbox should be possible though.
*Edit* Keep in mind that the Nspire is limited hardware wise though and has lower res. than most PC's. The software it would be able to run in dosbox would most likely be limited to older Dos games that:
A: Were not huge.
B: Didn't have a high resolution.
C: Were not hardware intensive.

*Edit 2:* It also depends how Dosbox is written. If it depends on using windows and making use of a lot of backwards compatability, a lot will have to be re-written or done from scratch. If it's more of a stand-alone emulator it *should* be easier. Also, Windows OSes are generally pretty big, and even though the older versions are intertwined with DOS, Windows != DOS.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 06:17:13 pm by Art_of_camelot »

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As AOC said, MS-DOS itself, nope. But DOSBox is actually multi-plateform, it works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Wii, name it, so why not on the Nspire?

And I think Windows 3.1 fits on 2 floppies, so it will fit in the Nspire memory.

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Windows != DOS.

Actually, 3.1 and earlier were just interfaces ontop of dos and 95,98 and ME used the DOS kernel.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Would a Nspire be enough to run a game like Wolfeinstein 3D through DOSbox?
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Offline Netham45

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Would a Nspire be enough to run a game like Wolfeinstein 3D through DOSbox?

I'd doubt it. It may launch, but I don't think you'd get any level of performance off of it.

As far as DosBOX goes, it uses SDL for it's input/output handling, so all we'd need is a version of SDL for the Nspire. It just so happens we have that.

After that, it'd be the non-trivial task of getting it to run directly on the Nspire hardware.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Is DosBOX really demanding on resources, though? Like, is it so demanding that it would never get close to emulate a DOS port of Wacky Fun Random Numbar Generator v1.00000069 on a TI-Nspire? Or are just 3D games out of the question?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:26:05 am by DJ_O »
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Offline Netham45

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It's the emulation aspect more than the emulator itself. x86 is a tricky platform to emulate at a reasonable speed on full computers in pure software, doing it on a such an underpowered ARM processor with memory and storage constraints would be next to impossible, at least with any sort of playable speed.

DosBOX was ported to the PSP, which has similar (though still superior: faster CPU, dedicated GPU) hardware; it was unable to play virtually any games at any sort of speed. Even rather simple sidescrollers like the original Duke Nukum were unplayable.

Edit: Just to clarify, it should be possible to get it to run, and you may even be able to do something useful with it, but even if it gets running it would hit hardware constraints before it played any games well.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:39:22 am by Netham45 »
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Offline Lionel Debroux

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The rule of thumb, for emulation, is that good emulation of a given platform requires ~10x faster clock rate. Depending on the capabilities of the emulated CPU, and the capabilities of the host CPU, it can be like 5x or 30x (rough estimates)
IOW, anything that ran correctly only on newer hardware than 386 at 20 MHz (30 MHz if we're lucky) and/or used special hardware capabilities is unlikely to run smoothly on the Nspire, even if we can take advantage of at least two facts:
* emulating sound is not necessary, which frees some CPU budget;
* most DOS games do not use a resolution higher than 320x240 - i.e. no CPU-intensive software scaling required.



OT: the floppy version of the legendary Dune I game (1990-1992), which I've had since 1993-1994 and finished in 1996 or 1997, is IMO a good test for DOSBox, on any platform.
AFAIK, it's the first non-turn-based strategy / role playing game ever (at least on PCs, if not on all platforms). The graphics were fantastic, and the SoundBlaster-based sound is pretty good. If you don't know about that game yet, you should all try it on DOSBox, it can be addictive ;)
I finished the game without a walkthrough, but it took me quite a number of attempts, because it's fairly easy to unknowingly miss the single action that needs to be done to trigger a key storyline sequence point, and as a result, be unable to finish the game. All I can say is that it's necessary to talk to every person character in the game, and to pay thorough attention to what they have to say :)
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Thanks for the info. That also includes some other factors though, right? Eg I remember people saying that emulating an Atari 2600 would be very hard to emulate on a TI-Nspire due to how weird its architecture (I think of the CPU) is and that it was why there were so few games for that platform.
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Offline calc84maniac

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Thanks for the info. That also includes some other factors though, right? Eg I remember people saying that emulating an Atari 2600 would be very hard to emulate on a TI-Nspire due to how weird its architecture (I think of the CPU) is and that it was why there were so few games for that platform.
I think Atari 2600 had more of the issue that it would be hard to create an emulator properly, but not particularly hard for the Nspire to run it, since it's still very underpowered hardware in comparison.
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Thanks for the info. That also includes some other factors though, right? Eg I remember people saying that emulating an Atari 2600 would be very hard to emulate on a TI-Nspire due to how weird its architecture (I think of the CPU) is and that it was why there were so few games for that platform.
I think Atari 2600 had more of the issue that it would be hard to create an emulator properly
(Well, unless you're Calc84maniac :trollface:)
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Offline njaddison

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would games in DosBox run faster on the CX than on a regular nspire, if it could be ported? if so, what could be done to make the speed relatively the same? just curious :).
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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The CX is a bit faster, so yes. However it's possible to make the old models run at the same speed as the regular CX speed.
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Offline Nosferatu Arucard 1983

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Running a DOS emulator on the weak ARM SoC of NSpire would be too slow, like a 1 to 4 MHz 80286 CPU.
Even a Tegra 3 ARM chip run DOSBox like a moderate 80486 CPU!
In fact the Tegra 3 can emulate Pentium II code at decent speeds if we use a JIT emulator, like the Winulator software for Android that can play Starcraft at full speed on a Android Tablet.