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January 2, 2015 AT 9:24 pm

In-Browser MS-DOS Emulation on Archive.org

Jason Scott, Each New Boot a Miracle:

This week, we got the emulation of MS-DOS programs (mostly) working on the Internet Archive.

Now, em-dosbox is not perfect – far from it. It can freeze a browser, and it runs into problems of all sorts when running some of the oddball machinery that the DOS world produced between 1980 and (roughly) 2003.

But when it works, man, it just works. Clear as a bell, right as rain, a DOS window boots into a browser. If you go fullscreen, the mouse even works. (It works in not-fullscreen, but then you see both the desktop and the emulator cursors and your brain is sad.)

It’ll be a little while before the collection is really public, as there’s now the process of throwing thousands of DOS programs into the system, verifying they boot, making screenshots, and all the rest of that delightful curation the world hopes is waiting for them.

But it’s happening. It’s really happening.

As cool as the Internet Arcade has been to play with, this is going to be the real treasure-trove for a lot of people who got into computing in the 80s and 90s.

They’re not advertising it too heavily yet, but if you start clicking around the Software Library: MS-DOS, you’ll find you can fire things up in the emulator. I may have to beat Major Stryker again.


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