Is there anyone out there who has DOS running on real hardware? If you do, please download the latest 661.org/if/frotz244.zip and check to make sure that it works okay.
Wow!! Thank you so much!! I’m downloading it now
I thought you maybe had forgotten about it.
I will spread the news on some of my favorite DOS forums
Hi, I have tried it out now.
I get a memory allocation error after exiting Frotz. (Also in Frotz243) If i start the games from my Volkov Commander then i have command.com found again, and no problems. I should say that have some fairly exotic things going on in my autoexec.bat and config.sys so it could be something in my settings.
I have done a few changes but the error still remains. I will continue to look into it.
But the big question as i see it is, (and that is why i have not yet informed all the other Retro sceners out there…), why it is not compiled with djgpp? (delorie.com/djgpp/) just like Frotz 2.40?
This makes all the difference in the world in terms of speed! 32bit man! (lol) And my guess would be that it would solve memory allocation troubles right away. (But i do not know. I quickly peaked into your Frotz binary, still in DOS, and it seems like you use Borland Turbo C).
Djgpp based Frotz would maybe be good news for people that use modern DOS and FREEDOS based stuff like
(DosCore) Aura doscore.net/doscore_2008-201 … santa.html
and NTK-OS sourceforge.net/projects/n2kos/?source=directory
and NX-DOS sourceforge.net/projects/nxdos/?source=directory
Im surprised of how many people that are into all stuff like this (and retro-hardware Chip-music composing in particular) that knows close to nothing about IF in the post-Infocom era! But I see some interest happening now.
Ok, thank you for still keeping Frotz for DOS going!
My reason for using Borland Turbo C is that I want Frotz to be usable on PCs using processors earlier than the i386.
Ok, its for the greater good then, thank you for letting me know.
I will this evening look more into 2.44.
Of all the amazing things with the later development with Frotz, support for mod,xm,s3m is for me THE most amazing.
There are so many ppl still doing stuff on Fasttracker/Milkytracker/ImpulseTracker (The entire IT source was released recently) and so on, and i would not be surprised if many of them would be very happy to write soundtracks for IF, if they would just know about it.
With songs having a file size of 1.95 Kb (Youtube Link) or 38 Kb (Youtube Link) a game (or whatever) can host quite a bit of FX or music inside. Fantastic.
This is what I am going to try to test in Frotz 2.44 today:
So there is SoundBlaster support… The problem I am facing is that I like so many people that use old hardware (Laptops in particular), use LPT DAC sound. (COVOX as it is most often called). This is the absolutely most universal solution for support of tracker music on oldschool hardware. Its ranging from just a simple cable from the Printer Port (Priced 6 Euros) to builds with vastly improved sound with good stereo DAC chips. They are used on 8, 16, 32 bit computers of all imaginable kinds and platforms. From the most exotic hardware to old laptops with no SB (or broken cards). I am currently soldering a few ones to give away. (Anyone interested can PM me). To add support for them in Frotz would code-wise be ridiculously simple. On a MSX it takes exactly 3 lines of assembly code. In Borland Turbo C it is likewise said to be very simple (there are lots of code showing how on the internet, let me know if you want me to send you a snipplet), since it just squeezes the data through the LPT printer port. (This is how it actually sounds like from a simple cable and a DAC Box). The option for software without Covox support is to try to use a Virtual Sound Blaster TSR which is no fun. (Noise, slowness, and a lot of crashes, if it works at all, which is most of the time is not the case).
Therefore, if you would be interested in adding Covox support in Frotz for DOS (and Linux? Its more tricky, but according to wikipedia its supported, from windows 3.x and onwards there are covox drivers), I would in case you are interested, and would need it, help in any way possible. DOSbox supports Covox out-of-the-box by the way.
From one thing to another; is it something in particular you want me and other ppl with DOS hardware to test in 2.44?
Any DavidG still out there?
I still get a memory allocation error after exiting Frotz. In some works of IF its not happening, like in For Whom the telling Changed, Aisle, and Pythos Mask.
If its z8 or z5, big or small file-size, does not seem to affect anything. If I play mods in the background through the Covox, using Inertia Player or MODPLAY, Frotz works without any problems. Nothing is negatively affected, speed, save/restore and so on. (But Frotz do not start if i try to use the Virtual Sound Blaster TSR. Therefore i can not try IFs that has got audio).
Let me know if there is anything I or DOSheads that I know, can do to further test Frotz for DOS.
Not yet having heard your take on how you feel about Covox support under DOS I anyway add a few links to source code that you can use if you are interested. I linked the thread here on various DOS forums, Like this one here and this one here and they shared the following with me:
Modplay sources.ru/pascal/sound/modobj.htm and much much more, here
Covox Library dcee.net/Files/Programm/Sound/cvxsdk.zip
Jon Campbells author of Dosbox-x has a extensive library for writing programs in DOS and it contains mp3/ogg/speex support for Covox (and Soundblaster and so on) github.com/joncampbell123/dosli … ia/playmp3
and he writes about and links the OBJ/TPU/Source to Goldplay-library that is fantastic for Mods with Covox (But that can be bad for SB on emulator). : github.com/joncampbell123/dosbo … s:Goldplay
If any of this is useful for you in anyway I’m happy, if its completely useless for you I’m sorry to bug you with it. And as I said, let me know if it is anything I/we can do to help out.
I haven’t thought of Covox support. I suppose I could look into it as a compile-time option. To keep the executable’s size down, it would support soundblaster or covox, not both at the same time. I really don’t think I could shoehorn in support for MOD or OGG into a 16-bit DOS program. All this time I’ve been working with assumption that it would support AIFF samples and that’s it. At this point I just want to know what’s causing the crashes with 2.43 and 2.44 and how to fix it.
Sound support in DOS Frotz presents some additional hurdles, such as how to deal with sound hardware that can’t handle 16-bit samples or sample rates as high as 44100 Hz. You can pretty much assume you have that with modern hardware.
You cut out every other sample in the file. This will halve the sample rate. It’s not as good as interpolation, but will allow playback even on a 286 or lower.
16-bit can be converted to 8-bit with trivial bit-shifts.