Memories of DOS Games

by Christopher Paul on June 26, 2014

This quick reflection on DOS games hits home for me. And while I’m going to date myself, I remember going through similar experiences to get the games on my computer to work well.

I remember my father buying an extra 128K of RAM (which we already had 640K) just to get the DAC to work for Wing Commander II — all for about 30 seconds of audio at in one of the title sequences. I also remember playing around with physical IRQ jumpers and switches and setting COM port baud rates just to get feedback from the screen.

I was fortunate to have a 20MB hard drive on our first computer and didn’t have to worry about boot disks and the like. But I do remember having to copy dozens of floppy disks on to it just to run some of the Sierra Adventure games my brothers and I played.

Messing with config.sys and autoexec.bat files developed critical thinking, problem solving, and creative skills that I use everyday even though I’m not in the tech world.

Having lived through that era of computing, I wasn’t amazed at what it could do (and I’m not really amazed at what tech can do today either). I’m amazed it worked at all. Then, everything was a hassle — a puzzle — but it was normal. Now, it feels like the dark ages.


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