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68kMacx86

DOS CARD

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Can only dos be run on these cards.  Can Windows 95? can Linux?  Is it an x86 card or strictly a DOS Card?  What hardware can be shared?  Would one of these be a good investment for someone with limited space to do both retro DOS Games and retro Mac Games?

Edited by 68kMacx86

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The Houdini I card can't do any audio at all, the Houdini II can't do MIDI (limited to SB16 and Adlib sounds, plus since there is no parallel port, you can't upgrade the sound card at all) and upgrading the CPU is damn near impossible given the rarity of 5V DX4s and Cyrixes, so no Duke Nukem 3D... The Orangemicro cards have better performance but they cost upwards of 400USD. The Apple cards can only do DOS and Windows (no Linux or NeXt). The Orangemicro ones might be able to run 2000 and Linux...

The DOS card can share the mouse, keyboard and some folders with the Mac.

 

Unless you find one for cheap, buying a small footprint Pentium PC might be better. But, if you are allergic to non Apple hardware, then the card is the only option.

Edited by BadGoldEagle

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I just wanted to try it out for the novelty.  I remember BEGGING my dad to buy a dos compatible mac but he wouldnt spend the money.  when i was a kid i had visions of never having to care about what platform a game was for, just insert the cd and start playing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most of these only really have drivers and integration for DOS+Windows 3 and Windows 95. Some of the later Orange Micro ones were made a little more generic, but as far as I know, that probably only officially extends to Windows NT. If it works at all, few people run Linux on these things because from a practical perspective, you wouldn't get much out of it relative to linux in Virtual PC on a faster Mac or using macssh or a telnet program to connect to a box on your network.

 

I'm sure you could play some DOS/Windows games on them, but largely because they needed to be even a little bit affordable and because you are putting most of an entire physical computer inside another one, they aren't particularly high performance. Even without being very high performance, in some systems (the 6100 in particular, I don't know how the 630/610 are for this) these cards introduce a lot of heat.

 

The intent when they were new was absolutely to make midrange Macs being used in business and high end home office scenarios compatible with business and office applications - basically, the same use cases as VMware when the Intel Macs first launched, and Virtual PC, once Macs were fast (and stable) enough that you could just leave an entire Windows system running in the background.

 

Be aware that many of Apple's own DOS compatibility cards are specific to certain machines. For example, there's the one for the 630, and there's the one for the 610, and there's the one for the 6100, and after that they get a little bit more generic, but not a lot. (In particular, I believe Apple's PCI compatibility cards require a port that is present on the 4400, 5400, 6400, 5500, 6500, 7200, 8500, 7500, and maybe the 7600 and 7300, but not the 9500 and 9600, and I forget if the 8600 has it.

 

I have a 6100/DOS and I'm interested in getting my card up and running, I believe @LaPorta put the files up on VTools, so my only excuse is really that I haven't had the time or energy to pull the 6100 back out, put it up somewhere, network it to vtools and configure the stuff. I should see if I can do that soon, because I like that system and I have wanted to play Windows 3.

 

One of the PCI  DOS cards in a machine like a 6400 or 7200 might be a better compromise if you wanted to build a "fast" Windows 3 or 95 configuration, because those have newer and faster CPUs and better hard disks and i/o in general than 68k and first-gen PPC Macs. You could do, say, a 7200 build with a PC card and a SCSI/IDE/SATA card and the attendant hard disk, (you could even do two disks - one for Mac data and a separate one for PC card data), and some other nicety such as a USB card.

 

For example: https://modelrail.otenko.com/apple/power-mac-7200-pc-compatibility 

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Wikipedia has a listing of the different DOS card models: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibility_card

 

Also, looking at the manuals on the Otenko page, it appears that the 9500 was compatible with the PC Compatibility Cards. It also appears I was incorrect about the internal video cabling - the manuals suggest that is only compatible with the 7200 on the 12-inch card, and I am going to presume the 7200 as well as the 4400, 5400, 6400, 5500 and 6500 for the 7-inch card. (Unless I'm mis-remembering and these cards don't work in those machines at all, which is a very real possibility.)

 

EDIT: I appear to have mis-remembered that these cards work in the 5000/6000-series machines. There is a specific model of card that is "for" the 4400/7220.

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