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View Full Version : Windows-like GUI/front end for DOS on an 8088?



the xt guy
August 11th, 2007, 06:09 AM
Does anyone know if there's software that will give a Windows-like GUI or front end to DOS installed on an 8088 (V20) CPU?

Yes, I'm aware of Direct Access menu software and there are loads of other 'text-based' menuing systems, but these are all text based and not graphical.

But I'm looking for something more Windows like. (I already know about things such as GEM or Geoworks and its variations)

I have some freeware called 'WinDos 286' which is supposed to give a windows-like interface to DOS but it needs a 286 CPU. Calmira of course, needs a 386 (I wish it could run on a 286!).

I do have a piece of shareware called 'WinDos 1.0' which will run on an 8088 with EGA or VGA. Its own documentation claims it is supposed to give a windows like appearance (yeah, right), but it is from early 1990 (pre Win3.0) and looks maybe closer to Win 1x or 2x. (I don't think it looks like any version of Windows at all; simple colored rectangular boxes on a colored background with the name of each program in the box. You have a mouse driver loaded in DOS and simply point and click to start the app.)

Yzzerdd
August 11th, 2007, 08:28 AM
I have something right here, that should do ya! It is the most "Windows like" software in the land... Windows 1.03(the crowd goes WILD!!!).
It's got it all:

-Calculator
-Color
-Assorted windows
-mouse support
-even awesome graphics!

As for any thing close to "todays" windows, like '95, or '98, youre outta luck

--Ryan

Jorg
August 11th, 2007, 10:55 PM
I think GEM might be more of use, if you can find it.

(ed.-> vetusware site seems to have it?)

chuckcmagee
August 12th, 2007, 05:50 AM
"GEM" to your heart's content - I still am installing this puppies on one computer


http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Vista/6148/gem.html


EDIT: hmm, that might be just the 8086 version, not sure. I see it does say 8086 version at the top of the web page, guess you will find out.

Trixter
August 12th, 2007, 02:28 PM
But I'm looking for something more Windows like. (I already know about things such as GEM or Geoworks and its variations)


Geoworks Ensemble is pretty damn hard to beat if you have it. It's an incredible environment for low-resource hardware.

Are you looking for a GUI environment (ie. WYSIWYG, drawing, writing, graphics, etc.) or just a menu program?

Or, maybe you're looking for Desqview, which will let you run multiple DOS programs in windows, simultaneously (ie. round-robin timeslice-based multitasking).

the xt guy
August 12th, 2007, 07:46 PM
I was thinking of some kind of a menuing program that was more graphical in nature, not just a text based menu like Direct Access.

(I do have copies of GEM archived from the 'net and some versions of Desqview as well.)

Trixter
August 13th, 2007, 12:41 PM
If that's the case, I remember using a very simple one with "quick" in the name... try searching garbo or simtel archives.

atari2600a
August 13th, 2007, 02:35 PM
I have something right here, that should do ya! It is the most "Windows like" software in the land... Windows 1.03(the crowd goes WILD!!!).
It's got it all:

-Calculator
-Color
-Assorted windows
-mouse support
-even awesome graphics!

As for any thing close to "todays" windows, like '95, or '98, youre outta luck

--Ryan

You're forgetting one thing...REVERSI!!!!! Oh, & a freaking clock!!! How much do YOU want to pay for this advanced operating environment!?

the xt guy
August 14th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Trixter, I have some old DOS 'menu' programs archived (I copied them off the net about 7 years ago.) I didn't check every one, but they all seemed to be text, not graphic. I checked and yes, two of them have quick in their name, one called QWIKMENU and the other is QMENU (which I unzipped) and the readme file says it is Quickmenu III.

I will try them and see what happens. Thanks!

Terry Yager
August 14th, 2007, 07:12 PM
The most 'Windows-like' GUI is certainly Windose itself. Version 3.0 (and lower) will run on an 8086/8/V20. Copies may be d/l from several sites on daNet.

--T

the xt guy
August 15th, 2007, 02:39 AM
Yes Terry, I've already got W3.0 (all three versions as a matter of fact-3.0, 3.00a and 3.0 Multimedia) and I like it very much on an 8088.

I have a very simple 'homemade' menu made with batch files that runs on bootup (and doesn't use any RAM or other resources), but I just wanted something more graphical (mouse pointer and icons) that would run on bootup and allow me to start programs.

JohnElliott
August 15th, 2007, 04:27 AM
I have a very simple 'homemade' menu made with batch files that runs on bootup (and doesn't use any RAM or other resources), but I just wanted something more graphical (mouse pointer and icons) that would run on bootup and allow me to start programs.

'Counterpoint' was an icon-based program launcher that came with some Amstrad XTs:

http://www.seasip.info/Misc/counterpoint.png

Joe Gentile
July 12th, 2008, 06:50 AM
Hi Guys,
Just came across (better late than never?)your thread about a Windows-like GUI that will work on an 8088.
Try my website http://web.ukonline.co.uk/joe.gentile/ to download and instructions on how to use it.
Joe

Chuck(G)
July 12th, 2008, 09:44 AM
How about VisiOn? Or DESQview? I've got a few other early ones, including source code to a couple.

One of the problems with graphics on an 8088-based system is that not all systems were capable of graphics. (the IBM MDA didn't host them and neither did a fair number of clones). And there were two very different types initially--the original IBM CGA and Hercules (much finer resolution, but monochrome) graphics.

It really wasn't until the EGA came out that GUI windows-type systems began to look attractive.

Micom 2000
July 14th, 2008, 09:04 PM
What was GEM ? Burnt toast ? Somewhere I also have a DOS program called Windows which had a quadrature structure. And this was before MS$ Windows. DesqView and Framework were good but there were also many others which never received notice.

BTW an interesting site. Now if only I could come across an Amstrad keyboard for my PC1640HD. There must be someone out there with a stray one. 10 years of searching and still no reward. Arrrrgh!!

C'mon, one of you Blokes from Blghty must have one. There's simply none available here in La-La land. And I'm willng to pay the undoubtably outrageous expense of overseas shipping.

Lawrence

Tinkerer
July 14th, 2008, 09:26 PM
The most 'Windows-like' GUI is certainly Windose itself. Version 3.0 (and lower) will run on an 8086/8/V20. Copies may be d/l from several sites on daNet.

--T

While checking software one day I discovered my disk #3 of Win 3.0 lost some data a while back. I went to the MS archive and found a file list for both the 5.25" and 3.5" versions. Amazing! I have the 5.25" 5-disk set that came with one of the Northgates. I then found an archive on the web somewhere. Ain't this internet thing just grand? :p

Mike Chambers
August 5th, 2008, 08:37 AM
if you bump your RAM in the 8088 up to 1 MB, windows 3.0 will be just fine on it. :)

if you like spending money on 25 year old computers, http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-PC-XT-8088-EMS-Expanded-Memory-Card-2MB-8-bit-ISA_W0QQitemZ140049286157QQcmdZViewItem

Jorg
August 5th, 2008, 08:44 AM
BTW an interesting site. Now if only I could come across an Amstrad keyboard for my PC1640HD. There must be someone out there with a stray one. 10 years of searching and still no reward. Arrrrgh!!


While searching, remember that in (continental) Europe, Amstrad was sold as Schneider (Schneider PC1640/1540).

For a GUI on an XT, I'd go for GEM too (if you have an Amstrad, that came with GEM installed?!). Or maybe Geoworks Ensemble.

Jorg
August 7th, 2008, 03:07 AM
Look at this: http://gem.shaneland.co.uk/

OpenGEM :)

dongfeng
August 7th, 2008, 05:05 AM
The Amstrad keyboards do come up on eBay UK occasionally.

I have a PC1640 with GEM installed. It's still slow, but Windows 1.04 on my XT is even more so. At least GEM looks nice :)

TandyMan100
January 13th, 2009, 11:28 AM
What was GEM ? Burnt toast ? Somewhere I also have a DOS program called Windows which had a quadrature structure. And this was before MS$ Windows. DesqView and Framework were good but there were also many others which never received notice.

BTW an interesting site. Now if only I could come across an Amstrad keyboard for my PC1640HD. There must be someone out there with a stray one. 10 years of searching and still no reward. Arrrrgh!!

C'mon, one of you Blokes from Blghty must have one. There's simply none available here in La-La land. And I'm willng to pay the undoubtably outrageous expense of overseas shipping.

Lawrence

I thought GEM was what rich people adorn themselves with :rolleyes: