An Old/New New/Old Concept: Bootables!
Sadly, this page is obsolete and despite claims to the contrary, no longer updated. Floppies are ... gone. Or pretty much so these days (2016).
What are bootables? It's a new look at a very old idea, which harkens back to the days when you didn't even have a hard disk; you put your floppy in the drive, booted up, and voila --- you were running a single application or a single game.
We've brought this concept along and are developing a series of "bootables" --- disk images which are self-booting and which contain a set of applications, games, etc.
Why? We've always had a strong interest in retrocomputing (We still have our Epson Equity 286), but it's not just that. It's the idea of being able to walk up to any PC, anywhere, put in the floppy, reboot, and run. "Run" is of course in a limited sense; you'll run some old but venerable DOS apps and games. But you'll be surprised just how much you can do with this concept.
We've cheated a little. A 386 or better with a four or five megs of memory is required for most of these bootables. But you're not likely to run into much of a problem with this limitation.
So, here they are, a growing list of bootables. Quality varies but they're all quite interesting. (Our newer entries are better than the older ones, obviously.)
We've revised, rerevised, and revised once more the installation process. The latest method is much more reliable, the downloads are smaller, and it's a bit easier. Just download the XPACK archive (updated 23 Feb 2006), unzip in a convenient directory, download the bootables of your choice, below, and follow the instructions in the README.
|Office On A Disk||ANSI Games|
|Business Sims||Baseball Sim (updated 29 May 2006)|
|Entertainment Disk||The Fool|
|Keen 1||Keen 2|
|Kroz and Thor||Nethack for DOS|
|Kingdoms||Text Games Vol. 1|
|Text Games Vol. 2||Text Games Vol. 3 (added 26 Feb 2006)|
|INFORM Text Game Shell||TADS Text Game Shell|
|AGT Text Game Shell||ZZT Collection|
|Naval Games||Railroad Games|
|Chess I (updated 15 Mar 2006)||Pacific War|
|Feudal Japan||British Sports|
|Relational Database (added 26 Feb 2006)||Starfleet (added 12 Mar 2006)|
|Chess 2 (added 15 Mar 2006)|
... and more coming all the time.
In addition, we've put together the ultimate minimalist office suite: a rudimentary word processor, spreadsheet, and database (of sorts) which total 26k! It works amazingly well for this tiny size.
Try it and let us know what you think!
Suggestions for other bootables? Comments? Write email@example.com.
Check back often; we update our disks frequently, adding documentation and incorporating improvements as we refine our techniques.
If you're a retrocomputing fan or someone who appreciates efficient, minimalist computing, one of the premiere resources on the web is found at RESET00. Be sure to check it out!
Don't have a floppy drive? You can get one cheaply and install it yourself. And, if you're ordering a new computer, be sure to specify a floppy drive. It adds almost nothing to the cost and comes in handy in more ways than you might think.