It’s an interesting twist on the typical point & click adventure game. How so? Well simply put it’s all based on web technology! With a big emphasis on that late 90’s vibe! Complete with ‘desktop pets’ animated GIFs, blinking text, and embedded MIDI (and even more sophisticated music).
While it’s obviously not real, the entire ‘web’ is stored locally (even in it’s own lore), it’s still fun to dig around in.
You play as an “Enforcer” basically it’s like back to the AOL days of walled gardens being patrolled by unpaid volunteers. Look for banned content and flag it appropriately. As the game progresses things go off the rails, near riots, helicopter crashes, amputations, culminating in a Y2K crash that kills people.
I totally missed out on this being a crowdfunded thing, and found out from Steam recommendations of all things.
Even for the aesthetic alone, I think it’s worth it. Some of the game play is too much wrapped up into it’s own lore, so paying attention is kind of important.
I got a tip in another post about this fantastical project, boxedwine! It’s Wine + a 386 processor emulator, and it’s been targeted to SDL. What does this mean? Wine on Windows!
I went ahead with one of the oldest Windows games I have around, SimEarth, for Windows 3.0. I don’t have Balance of Power, although I guess I may procure a copy one day. Anyways it’s Windows in it’s 1990 glory 16bit, 286 protected mode, and sure as heck won’t run on Win64. Oh sure you can run this on MS-DOS + Windows, but where is the fun in that?
Now that’s all good fun, sure Wine can run stuff, sure, but it’s still wine. Well remember all that noise about android running Wine? Yeah, well here we go.
Here we go. Games, and the BoxedWine project page. And yes, it can run stuff like Quake 2, and other far more intense applications. Just like Wine. It’s really great stuff, check it out, if only in a browser.
If you want to run ancient Win16 stuff in a pinch, it may actually run. I had issues with win87em.dll stuff, but just like Wine it’s a moving window of compatibility.
As you may or not be aware of, Microsoft hit it big as a computer languages company, before they added operating systems into it’s portfolio. And for some weird reason after the whole OS/2 divorce thing, someone decided that everything that had been painfully learned in the earlier eras should just be expunged from history. Which is a real shame to anyone interested in Basic, Fortran, Pascal, C and MASM. Years ago I had gone through the steps of extracting the text the only way I could figure out easily, by writing a simple TSR that would dump the contents of the text video buffer, and write it to a file, then press the page down key, and keep repeating the process. The end result being that I had then dumped the MSPL aka the Microsoft Programmer’s Library. I had put the text into an archive, aptly named Microsoft_Programmers_Library.7z, and pretty much used grep whenever I wanted any information, and left it at that..
One thing that is annoying is that information on CD from the late 1980’s seems to be darned near impossible to find. I know that each generation of machines until about 2005 was exponentially larger than the previous one (post 2007 we hit the iThing world, along with most machines being ‘good enough’ for day to day usage). I know this ad may seem insane, but Microsoft really was trying to push people to CD distributions. As we all know that internet thing didn’t quite tickle their fancy. Did they ever put resources like this online? Like on BIX or Compuserve? It seems like an ideal resource. But I was a kid, and didn’t have that kind of money.
So in the interest of a bad idea, here is MSPL, aka qemu/curses in action.
Well as an addendum I thought it’d be cool to put MSPL online, via shellinabox. First off I needed a 5MB MS-DOS disk, basically enough MS-DOS too boot up, run smartdrive, idle and the CD-ROM driver, along with the minimal MSPL install. And to button it up, I added a reboot.com from the autoexec, so when you exit it’ll reboot the VM. Great.
The reboot command was input via debug, as it’ll let you assemble code directly. Although it isn’t a MACRO assembler, so you have to know exactly what you are doing.
XOR AX, AX
(return on a line by itself)
And with that saved, now I have to setup Qemu. Since I’m taking the shellinabox approach that means I need something text mode, and I was thinking this was light weight. Qemu has a curses output so that’ll work. I set it up to use qcow2 and a backing store image so that way every forked user doesn’t eat 5MB of disk space, it’s more like 100kb.
So it’ll find numerical directories that are at least 30 minutes old, kill them and remove their directory. Probably very dangerous to run, but it’s isolated so Im not too worried. Then just have root add that script to it’s crontab, and run it every minute, and it’ll kill the old stuff hanging around.
I’ll add a video later on how to use MSPL via this setup. And maybe I’ll rig something to have RDP access as well, depending on how I’m feeling.
I though this same tech would be a great way to take my GCC 1.27 build of DooM, and shove it in DOSBox and get it out into the world. Although its far too slow for me, but it could be this crap laptop. (my new one should be here in 7 days, but I have to travel again in 5…..). I had also updated my DJGPP cross project to include 1.27, and rename the v1 as gcc_v139 to at least reflect what it is.
I saw this many years ago, but for some reason never finished writing about this. Moxie was a virtual CPU designed to be as simple as possible for the GNU toolchain to target.
So yes, it’s a virtual CPU, OS & Game, running in java-script and on the page.
I found this fun page over on retroweb.maclab.org What is interesting is that it encorporates PeerJS and WebRTC to allow for a virtual network, letting you play multiplayer AppleTalk. Just enable the network, and scan for other users.
It’s pretty cool, in a zero config kind of way!
And for coolness it’ll embed in a snazzy picture of a Mac Plus. Although you can magnify the screen, so you don’t have to squint so much.
Behind it all is the Scripted Amiga Emulator. What is more interesting is that there has just been a MASSIVE update/rewrite to the project and it is now boasting far more features!
Looking at the features page, there has been quite a number of updates since the last version. The big ones (to me) is that the CPU core has been rewritten, and now supports not only the 68000, but the 68010, 68020, and 68030 (only with fake MMU). OCS, ECS and now AGA as well! Preset models include the 1000,500,2000,500+,600,3000 and 1200. IDE disk files can even be mounted for the 600 & 1200!