Some of the well proven software applications such as MicroMarvl, or StandPak developed by NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd (now referred to as Scion Research), are still being used today by the odd user which often has the principles “if it aren’t broke don’t fix it”. That’s said I have to note the push for YTGEN as a great replacement for MicroMarvl users !
Many of these users have been challenged by the change that occurred when moving from WindowsXP to later versions of the Windows operating systems. Simply put DOS is no longer available in modern operating systems such as Windows7 or Windows8, so these older programs no longer are able to just be run, without a couple of tweaks. I myself have used these tweaks for a number of years, but recently was asked how this could be done, as Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft for updates. Well here it is a copy of MicroMarvl V2.5 from 1994 running in Windows8. So how is this possible.
Figure 1 – MicroMarvl 2.5 Running in Windows 8 Operating System.
Well actually, there are several solutions to this problem; some of which involve using software to create a virtual machine (VM) inside Windows, but this far too complex for most users and a simple solution I have used successfully has been just to run a small DOS emulator called DOSBox. It is a free program that launches a DOS emulator. I can’t promise it will work with every program you throw at it, but it worked for every one I tried.
Once you download and install DOSBox, here’s how to set it up so that it can find and work with your DOS programs and files. I will use MicroMARVL as an example:
- Download and install DOSBox from here
- Create a folder on your C:Drive and call it “C:\DOSFiles” and place in it every program and file you want DOSBox to access. You can use subfolders within that folder such I have shown below “MicroMVL”.
- Now as a one off task we just need to tell DOSBox about this folder we created.
- Click Start, type notepad and press ENTER to bring up Notepad.
Click Start, and select All Programs, DOSBox-0.74 (the version number may change), Extras, Screenshots & Recordings. (as shown in Windows 8)
- This will open Windows Explorer to a probably empty folder inside the DOSBox configuration folder. In the path bar at the top of the window, click DOSBox to go to that folder
- Drag the file dosbox-0.74.conf into Notepad. (The .conf part will probably not be visible.)
- In Notepad, go to the bottom of the file, where you’ll find the [autoexec] section.
- On a blank line at the end of the file, type mount a c:\dosfiles This will make the C:\DOSFiles folder appear as DOSBox’s drive A: Drive
- Save the file and launch DOSBox.
Using MicroMarvl inside DOSBox
- Start DosBox from the Start Menu (if you use it a lot add this as a taskbar icon)
- This will open a DOS command box. Users familiar with using MicroMarvl in DOS can now just follow the normal commands to load the software.
- Type A:
- Type cd micromvl
- Type mm
Hope those still keen to use these old trusted programs find this useful.
If you have any queries about using MicroMarvl or upgrading to YTGEN feel free to contact the Interpine team.
PS.. you can also use DOSBox on a MacOS.