Retro Computing - Usage Tips / Guide


Please note, vintage computers are very different in how they behave, unlike modern machines. Therefore, sometimes you just have to try and experiment with it.
PLEASE DO NOT EXPERIMENT IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

>> How to set-up/plugin a typical computer <<

(Click or Tap to expand)

      Please note, these are very broad instructions and may vary, you should at least have some basic knowledge on how to connect the computer/monitor/peripherals, as we are not responsible if you get your computer equipment destroyed...

Step 1

Unpack the monitor and computer case from the box. Remove any plastic covering or protective tape. Place the monitor and computer case on a desk or work area.

unpacking a computer

Be sure to place your computer case in an area that is well ventilated and has good air flow. This will help to prevent the computer from overheating.

Step 2

Locate the monitor cable. There are several types of monitor cables, so the one for your computer may not look like the one in the image below.

a VGA cable

Step 3

Connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the other end to the monitor. If you're using a VGA cable like the one in the picture below, you'll want to tighten the screws on the monitor cable to secure it.

plugging in a VGA cable

Many computer cables will only fit a specific way. If the cable doesn't fit, don't force it or you might damage the connectors. Make sure the plug aligns with the port, then connect it.

Step 4

Unpack the keyboard and determine whether it uses a USB (rectangular) connector or a PS/2 (round) connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the purple keyboard port on the back of the computer.

plugging in a usb cable

Step 5

Unpack the mouse and determine whether it uses a USB or PS/2 connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the green mouse port on the back of the computer.

plugging in a USB cable

If your keyboard has a USB port, you can connect your mouse to the keyboard instead of connecting it directly to your computer.

If you have a wireless mouse or keyboard, you may need to connect a Bluetooth dongle (USB adapter) to your computer. However, many computers have built-in Bluetooth, so an adapter may not be necessary.

Step 6

If you have external speakers or headphones, you can connect them to your computer's audio port (either on the front or back of the computer case). Many computers have color-coded ports. Speakers or headphones connect to the green port, and microphones connect to the pink port. The blue port is the line in, which can be used with other types of devices.

plugging in the speakers

Some speakers, headphones, and microphones have USB connectors instead of the usual audio plug. These can be connected to any USB port. In addition, many computers have speakers or microphones built into the monitor.

Step 7

Locate the two power supply cables that came with your computer. Plug the first power supply cable into the back of the computer case and then into a surge protector. Then, using the other cable, connect the monitor to the surge protector.

plugging the computer into the surge protector

You can also use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), which acts as a surge protector and provides temporary power if there is a power outage.

Step 8

Finally, plug the surge protector into a wall outlet. You may also need to turn on the surge protector if it has a power switch.

plugging the surge protector into the wall

If you don't have a surge protector, you can plug the computer directly into the wall. However, this is not recommended because electrical surges can damage your computer.

Step 9

If you have a printer, scanner, webcam, or other peripherals, you can connect them at this point. Many peripherals are plug and play, which means they will be recognized by your computer as soon as they are plugged in.

a printer

Other peripherals may include software that needs to be installed before you can begin using them. Use the instructions included with the device to install it if necessary.

Generally, peripherals are optional, and you can add new ones at any time; you don't have to add all peripherals during the initial setup of your computer.

Setup complete!

That's it—you've finished setting up your computer, so it's time to start using it!

The guide was honestly stolen from: GCFLearnFree.org


Index (click/tap on the setup you have):
> General - Most of the Computers/Operating Systems tips
> MS-DOS
> WINDOWS (Windows95 / Windows98 / Windows2000)
> WINDOWS (WindowsXP) + DOSBOX
> Apple MAC

>> General - Most of the Computers/Operating Systems tips <<

  • Don't expect every game to load/start immediately, this is a vintage style PC and at many times you just have to be patient!

  • Conventional memory was optimized to run all games

  • If there is no sound in the game - check sound settings / run sound setup (can be named: sndsetup.exe, sound.exe or the actual setup.exe) executable and adjust the sound:
    *** For Sound Blaster: select: "Sound Blaster" or "Sound Blaster Pro", then configure settings for it as >> I/O Address: 220, IRQ number: 5 (if 5 don't work - try 7), DMA channel: 1, DMA(16-bit) channel: 5
    *** For PC Speaker: (Make sure that sound is set to PC Speaker)

  • Please note: Norton Commander shortens the names of the games, therefore the names of the folders will be shortened, but recognizable and obvious (like: "METALMUT" would be "Metal Mutant" game)

  • Most of the games were tested to run and play on several computers, however a few may not work since all computers are different

  • MS-DOS ONLY: If the game(s) runs too fast, before launching the game launch: C:\PROGRAMS\SLOWDOWN\slow.exe

  • All games have different launch files, some may have the exact name of the game file, some will have runme.exe, go.bat, start.exe, start.bat, play.exe, main.exe, etc. Make sure you check on all executable files to launch the game!

  • WINDOWS + DOSBOX ONLY: DOSGames DOSBOX will always start in "Window" mode, to enter full screen - Press Alt + F4 (some windows games start in "Window" mode as well, go full screen the same way - Press Alt + F4)

  • To quit the game it's usually Alt + Q, Ctrl + Q or F10 or if the game has mouse capability, move it to the top or the bottom for menu

  • Some games can only be quit by "crashing" the game:
    - If using MSDOS machine - reboot or turn off/on the computer
    - If using WINDOWS + DOSBOX machine - if you get stuck in finding how to quit the game - you can exit out of the DOSBOX and then just re-launch it (“DOSGames” shortcut on the desktop).
          *** To exit out of the DOSBOX - press: F10, then "Y", then type "Exit" and press Enter, or simply switch it back to "Window" mode by pressing Alt + F4 and just close it with your mouse
    - If using Windows95 / Windows98 / Windows2000 machine - you can always launch task manager via Ctrl + Alt + Del and kill the game process from there

  • Some games (like Barbarian), have inverted count for the speed of the game, Speed 4 is slow, while Speed 1 is fast

  • If the game does not launch or shows an error upon launch - try running SETUP / SETSOUND first as those may need to be adjusted for the game to run (see a few steps above on how to setup the sound)

  • Some games, once launched, will require key setup - set the control keys before starting the game

  • For some games you need to launch install/setup first as otherwise the game won't start

  • Some games will ask to put in letters/numbers to continue launch - just enter random letters and numbers to continue

>> MS-DOS <<

Computer will boot directly to Norton Commander where you can browse the games and programs, similar to Windows Explorer. You can use your mouse or keyboard (arrow keys to move around the cursor and Enter to launch/enter folders/programs/games)

    Using the computer:
  • To change the drive letter: press Alt + F1 (left pane) | Alt + F2 (right pane)

  • A - Floppy Drive, R - CDROM, C - C drive with all the data, apps/programs and games


>> WINDOWS (Windows95 / Windows98 / Windows2000) <<

Vintage Windows operating systems are MSDOS based and most of the MSDOS games should work when launched right from the Windows!

    Using the computer:
  • Once booted, to get going - double-click the "Total Commander" shortcut on the Desktop where you can now browse, launch games and programs, you can of course use the good old Windows Explorer, but Total Commander is more old school and is more clean and convenient, up to you of course!

  • All the games are in the root of the C:\ drive, in “GAMES” folder, separated into “DOSGAMES” and “WINGAMES” folders and into genres.

>> WINDOWS (WindowsXP) + DOSBOX <<

    Using the computer:
  • Once booted, to start playing MSDOS-based (more vintage) games, double-click the "DOSGames" shortcut on the desktop (hit Alt + F4 to go Full Screen!), to play Windows-based (classic, but more modern) games, double-click the “WINGames” shortcut on the desktop

  • All the games are in the root of the C:\ drive, in “GAMES” folder, separated into “DOSGAMES” and “WINGAMES” folders and into genres. Both explorer-type applications (the blue-colored Norton Commander and more modern looking Total Commander) can be operated by your Mouse or Keyboard (use Arrows and Enter key to browse around and to launch games).

>> Apple MAC <<

166 pre-loaded classic retro games! (From years: 1980-1990s)
This is a typical Apple MAC, which you can use as a regular macintosh computer, there are no limitations, just the vintage retro styling! :)

    Using the computer:
  • Simply boot the computer and login with these credentials:
    - Username: NostalGaming
    - Password: 12345

  • Launch the Boxer app in the Dock (looks like 2 red boxing gloves)

  • To import a game, click on "Import a new game", open up the "GamesDOS" folder, choose your genre, then drag-n-drop the game folder (THE WHOLE FOLDER) to where the Boxer app will point

  • After importing the game - It will usually automatically launch INSTALL.EXE or SETUP.EXE by default which is suggested to run, so you can configure the sound or re-install the game:
    - The Boxer app will be providing suggestions to you on the bottom on the type of Sound Blaster settings and where to install the game if needed - Sound Blast settings are usually: "Sound Blaster" or "Sound Blaster Pro", then configure settings for it as >> I/O Address: 220, IRQ number: 5 (if 5 don't work - try 7), DMA channel: 1, DMA(16-bit) channel: 5

  • Otherwise, click on the drop-down menu, select "Other...", then launch the game directly (it is suggested to run install/setup first)
    - All games have different launch files, some may have the exact name of the game file (the file name could be shortened, as SIMCITY2000 >> SC2000.EXE), some will have runme.exe, go.bat, start.exe, start.bat, play.exe, main.exe, etc. Make sure you check on all executable files to launch the game!

  • Some games may run too slow/too fast (this can be calibrated within the Boxer app)

  • All the games you import will be under "Browse your games" in the initial screen of the Boxer app >> ready to play!

  • The Boxer app is very intuitive and will provide options and suggestions for easer of use!
    - Make sure to check upper menu if the game runs too slow or too fast ("Emulation" >> "Show CPU Settings") - Check other settings on the top menu of the Boxer app as needed, play around with it! - There is great Help you can get from the App as well

  • For some games you need to launch install/setup first as otherwise the game won't start

  • Some games will ask to put in letters/numbers to continue launch - just enter random letters and numbers to continue

  • Often when you launch the game, your mouse will become inactive outside of it, to release the mouse: Hold Command and click with the Mouse

  • Most of the games should work, however a few may not, that's a pretty big game collection!

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