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Emulation of old (OLD!) chess computers and programs
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrianM wrote:
spacious_mind wrote

Quote:
But sometimes wish there was something as easy as DOSbox to run Win 3.11 and Win 95.


Win 3.11 runs in DOSbox and it is easy to automatically run windows on start up.

The Psion 3a emulator also works in DOSbox so you can run the Psion and Purple Software versions of chess on this platform. I have only the latter for which the engine is credited to Oxford Softworks (Chris Whittington?).

Brian


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the info. I have the Psion PDA with Psion Chess. Did not know that Chris Whittington also has a program for it. I also have a Sharp PDA with a chess program.

Do you have a link with some instructions how to set it up to use Win 3.11? If nothing else I would love to add CM4000 to a later division of my Swiss Tournament.

Regards
Nick
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="BenRedic"]


Quote:
First thought: Holy sh...!!!


Yep, I know I have been collecting for quite a few years. I grew up with Sinclair and Commodore with Amiga and QL being my prized and favorite when they came out. The QL I used a lot for business at that time as it had a had fantastic office suite with its spreadsheet and word processing microdroves that came as part of the package when you bought the computer. Playing Psion Chess was a bonus as well as at the time of its launch Psion Chess was probably the strongest software around. The office suite was better than what IBM etc had available on their 6502 computers therefore QL was lightyears ahead of its time. Probably the most innovative computer in existence.

Other computers I bought over the years as I saw and found them. You know in the stores you bought all those computer magazines back then and read all about the different ones but you could not afford them all as many of them were pretty expensive.

Quote:
Are you running your own private museum or something? Do you have pictures of how your place looks or something?


I have a storage room where I store everything in box, original boxes or bigger boxes etc. So not that proud of showing pics. Especially when I am playing tournaments and stuff as I end up having to open a bunch to find the stuff I want to play in a tournament. Smile

Quote:
Do you even have room for any further expansion of this collection? I'm not seeing a Commodore PET here. Also I'm not seeing some of the pre-Apple II stuff, like SOL-20, KIM-1, Altair 8800. If you were to expand further than that you'd probably have to make room for 70s mainframes or something.


I want them when I know I can play a chess program on them therefore I don't really collect unless I know chess comes with it. A couple might be interesting for that reason ie. KIM-1 and Commodore PET perhaps someday.

I still occasionally find something interesting that I don't have ie this dedicated below that I recently obtained:



Steve I think has a full collection of Peri which are really nice, I just have a couple. The one in the pic is the equivalent of a Fidelity Designer 2000 but as you can see much nicer looking Smile

Quote:
Second thought, having picked my jaw up from the floor: This is a very comprehensive list, and one I'd love to have come over sooner. I have been looking over your website a few times, especially as it is usually one of the first hits I get if I google for some old program and/or chess computer, but nowhere have I come over a list like this.


Yes I plan someday to complete my pages at http://www.spacious-mind.com

Maybe next year I will start adding the rest of the dedicated chess computer that I have to the site as well as update the Home Computer pages, as well as add console pages, as well as add Palm and Pocket PC pages as well as add DOS and old PC's Smile

As you can see from the above list, there is too much work ahead of me so I have been avoiding it for a few years Smile But if I ever did complete it, I think for computer chess it really would be a very comprehensive resource. Might change the name to Project Spachessberg. Smile

Quote:
1) You are listing some games both under Sinclair and Timex. Are these not the same, or were these two distinct platforms? I thought the Timex was basically a (licensed) clone of the Sinclair, and compatible?


Mostly the answer is yes. Not everything is 100% compatible but some Z81 program tapes cassette tapes work with TS1000 and some Spectrum 48K work with TS2068. TS1000 had a couple of chess tape releases which I am showing in my list. With TS2068 those are the chess programs that I have so far got working from a Sprectrum 48K. I have never been able to find a chess program that was sold for TS2068.

Quote:
2) You are listing Microchess 2 for TRS-80. Can you tell me more about this? I have just come over one Microchess version for the TRS, and that was version 1.5. It looks and plays a lot like Microchess 2 (for PET, Apple II), but 1.5 has 3 levels, 2 has 8. Strength and style seems very similar.


You can download the Commodore Microchess from my page directly here just click on the word Microchess in red in this Link that shows in the statistics section:

http://www.spacious-mind.com/html/c64_emu_-_microchess.html

I have never advertised it so most people don't know about it, but in the C64 emu pages I made the working chess programs available for download so they can be used in an emulator. Just like Microchess everyone of the pages has a downloadable chess program that works with WinVice.

Quote:
3) You mention Sargon II (alt version). Do you know any more about this? Is it an official release, or something else? And what is the difference from the normal Sargon II? I do have something called "Sargon Plus" for the TRS, don't know if it's the same thing.


Download it and try it. With Sargon II there are quite a few shareware versions that were sold. For example Chess Master and Championship Chess are shareware disks of Sargon II for C64.

Quote:
4) GNU Chess for the Amiga. Do you know which version this is? I believe I have two different versions laying around for the Amiga, I found both on some old Fred Fish disks. The first seems to be based on GNU Chess 1, but it also credits John Stanback, which I thought didn't get involved with GNU Chess until version 2. It has a curses-based text only interface. The other version seems to be based on the first, but with a graphical chessboard. I also think I had some other version of GNU Chess back in the day when I actually owned an Amiga, but I can't remember it looking anything like either of the two versions I found on Fred Fish.


You also have GNU chess for Atari ST. I need to find them sometime and load them to check on the versions. For Amiga it is version 1.0 from Scott Martin. You also have another shareware for Amiga called UChess which is available with versions 2.01 and 2.88. Both are pretty strong.

Best regards
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Last edited by spacious_mind on Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Steve B
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:


Steve I think has a full collection of Peri which are really nice,


Well Almost Nick
only Peri I am still missing is the portable Alpha
don't know of any collectors that own one
but I will never give up the search

Relentless Regards
Steve
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve B wrote:
spacious_mind wrote:


Steve I think has a full collection of Peri which are really nice,


Well Almost Nick
only Peri I am still missing is the portable Alpha
don't know of any collectors that own one
but I will never give up the search

Relentless Regards
Steve


Well, as you know there is always just one more that is missing right? Smile

Regards
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BenRedic
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:

Quote:
2) You are listing Microchess 2 for TRS-80. Can you tell me more about this? I have just come over one Microchess version for the TRS, and that was version 1.5. It looks and plays a lot like Microchess 2 (for PET, Apple II), but 1.5 has 3 levels, 2 has 8. Strength and style seems very similar.


You can download the Commodore Microchess from my page directly here just click on the word Microchess in red in this Link that shows in the statistics section:

http://www.spacious-mind.com/html/c64_emu_-_microchess.html

I have never advertised it so most people don't know about it, but in the C64 emu pages I made the working chess programs available for download so they can be used in an emulator. Just like Microchess everyone of the pages has a downloadable chess program that works with WinVice.


I was referring to the entry you had for Microchess 2 under TRS-80, not C64. I have played a number of Microchess versions including the original for KIM-1 using Soft6502 emu (from Peter Jennings site), the C64 1.0.1 version you are linking to, Microchess 2 for Apple II and PET (as well as Novag Chess Champion MKII, which is the exactly same program), some version for SOL-20 and Microchess 1.5 for TRS-80. The latter is why I asked you if there is a Microchess 2 for TRS-80.
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BrianM
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To spacious_mind
There is a very good guide on Win 3.1 in DOSBox here
http://www.sierrahelp.com/Utilities/Emulators/DOSBox/3x_install.html

Note the links to pages on video card and soundblaster drivers. Without additional video card drivers you are limited to cga 640x480 screens.

Brian
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
Do you have a link with some instructions how to set it up to use Win 3.11? If nothing else I would love to add CM4000 to a later division of my Swiss Tournament.
Here's one:
https://www.howtogeek.com/230359/how-to-install-windows-3.1-in-dosbox-set-up-drivers-and-play-16-bit-games/

I don't remember exactly, but I may have followed something like this when I set up Win3.11 in my DOSbox. And CM4000 for Windows runs just fine in it Smile

For Win9x, Virtualbox should do. I have Win98 set up in Virtualbox. I am having some issues with sound, but nothing that prevents me from emulating chess. I mostly use it for emulating 16 bit Chessbase engines in Fritz, i.e. the Fritz 1 and Fritz 3 engines.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenRedic wrote:
spacious_mind wrote:

Quote:
2) You are listing Microchess 2 for TRS-80. Can you tell me more about this? I have just come over one Microchess version for the TRS, and that was version 1.5. It looks and plays a lot like Microchess 2 (for PET, Apple II), but 1.5 has 3 levels, 2 has 8. Strength and style seems very similar.


You can download the Commodore Microchess from my page directly here just click on the word Microchess in red in this Link that shows in the statistics section:

http://www.spacious-mind.com/html/c64_emu_-_microchess.html

I have never advertised it so most people don't know about it, but in the C64 emu pages I made the working chess programs available for download so they can be used in an emulator. Just like Microchess everyone of the pages has a downloadable chess program that works with WinVice.


I was referring to the entry you had for Microchess 2 under TRS-80, not C64. I have played a number of Microchess versions including the original for KIM-1 using Soft6502 emu (from Peter Jennings site), the C64 1.0.1 version you are linking to, Microchess 2 for Apple II and PET (as well as Novag Chess Champion MKII, which is the exactly same program), some version for SOL-20 and Microchess 1.5 for TRS-80. The latter is why I asked you if there is a Microchess 2 for TRS-80.


Try this one. You also have the RadioShack catalog number so you can download the manual:

http://spacious-mind.com/forum_reports/computer_pics/Micro_Chess_1980_26-3050.rom

Works on an emulator.

regards
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenRedic wrote:
Here's one:
https://www.howtogeek.com/230359/how-to-install-windows-3.1-in-dosbox-set-up-drivers-and-play-16-bit-games/

I don't remember exactly, but I may have followed something like this when I set up Win3.11 in my DOSbox. And CM4000 for Windows runs just fine in it Smile

For Win9x, Virtualbox should do. I have Win98 set up in Virtualbox. I am having some issues with sound, but nothing that prevents me from emulating chess. I mostly use it for emulating 16 bit Chessbase engines in Fritz, i.e. the Fritz 1 and Fritz 3 engines.


BrianM wrote:


Win 3.11 runs in DOSbox and it is easy to automatically run windows on start up.

The Psion 3a emulator also works in DOSbox so you can run the Psion and Purple Software versions of chess on this platform. I have only the latter for which the engine is credited to Oxford Softworks (Chris Whittington?).

Brian


Thanks Brian and BenRedic

I have Win3.11 working on dosbox and it works just fine with CM4000 as well. Also have it set up for 69,300 = Pentium 90 that I am using for my tournament so CM4000 can play with no advantage or handicap over other DOS programs.

Next I will try Windows 95 but I don't think I will be as successful as I would also need to regulate the speed to match.

Best regards
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BenRedic
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
I have Win3.11 working on dosbox and it works just fine with CM4000 as well. Also have it set up for 69,300 = Pentium 90 that I am using for my tournament so CM4000 can play with no advantage or handicap over other DOS programs.


I have managed to get Windows 3.11 working in PCem now. I have a hard drive image that seems to work fine across different hardware profiles too. Seems the trick was to find a disk geometry that was supported by all the different BIOSes. So now I have a single hard drive image with MS-DOS 6.22 and a number of DOS and Win3 oldies, with different config.sys profiles so I can boot the same drive on everything from 8088 to Pentium. Using the ET4000 graphics card I can also get resolutions up to 1280x1024 in Windows.


Yeah, that's a Nirvana wallpaper. We're gonna party like it's 1992 Very Happy

As Volodomyr said, emulation seems to be a bit slow. Anything up to 486SX2/50 seems to be fine, but the minute you start doing DX stuff (including 386DX/16) speed drops noticably. I suspect it has to do with emulation of the coprocessors, math functions and such. So you would probably need a beast of a PC to emulate P90 accurately.

I also found a CD I created back in the day, that enabled me to boot directly into DOS and/or Windows 3.11. I used to run some old demos and games and such on it. The Windows part worked by creating a RAM-disk, and then unpacking Windows into it and running it from there. Some years later I brought this CD to work, where a colleague was showcasing some new laptops. I believe they came shipped with Vista at the time. But "suddenly" one of the computers was running Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, and the other one was running Doom.
He noticed when he walked by, stared at it for a moment, then he shook his head, laughed and walked away Very Happy
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenRedic wrote:



Ok so you are a gamer too I see. I never really liked shoot em ups, too much death Smile I did like playing rpg's, fantasy games, sport games and early simple platform game like Chuckie Egg or Miner 2049er etc.

Anyway got a few Win 3.1 programs set up and working and ready for future Division 2..



Regards
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spacious_mind
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenRedic wrote:
But I'd seriously love to see some of these stuff.


Hi Ben,

In the coming weeks (maybe after Christmas) I start posting some pics of the different computers as well some of my old PC's.

On occasion over the years I have posted a couple here and there. Here for example are couple of pics that I had previous (wow almost 10 years ago) at Schachcomputer.info.



This for example is a custom 486-133 MHz.

AMD 486 OverDrive CPU @ 133MHz CPU
32MB RAM
613MB hard drive
3.5" Floppy Drive (1.44MB)
5.25" Floppy Drive (1.2MB)
CD-ROM
Trident 1MB ISA graphics card
ISA Multi-I/O Controller Card
Slots: 2 VESA, 1 8-Bit ISA, 5 16-bit ISA (EISA) slots (2 open)
Ports: 1 AT, 2 Serial/COM (DB-9 & DB-25), 1 Parallel, 2 Joystick/Game/Midi port
MS-DOS and Windows 3.11


Below is a Magnavox 386SX.



Intel 386SX-16MHz CPU
4MB RAM
80MB hard drive
3.5" floppy drive (1.44MB)
5.25" floppy drive (1.2MB)
VGA Graphics Cards
Slots: 3 16-Bit ISA (3 open), 1 8-Bit ISA
Ports: 1 AT, 2 Serial (DB-9 & DB-25), 1 Parallel
◦MS-DOS 6.0 & Windows 3.1

Both of the above computers are also stuffed with Tasc Chessmachine cards of which I have double of every card made except for the 32 MHz version of which I only have one. This allows me to also play all the different Chessmachine programs against each other. With Chessmaschine cards you have quite a few King and Schroeder programs so its good to have more than one of the same if you want to play them against each other.

Here is a test that test I did with Wchess 1.0 at one time in the past. Where I compares the Wchess nodes per move on both of the above computers.



Just shows you the kind of nutty things I do on occasion. But maybe not so nutty if someone were ever to do the same nodes test with DOSbox and have a cpu_frame setting that exactly matches the 386-16SX 16MHz nodes or the 486-133MHz nodes.

Below is a Tandy 2800 HD 12MHz Laptop.



Year: 1990
Prozessor: i80C286
Speed: 12 MHz
RAM: 1024K
Harddisk: 20MB
Display: Backlit Supertwist LCD Panel Display (640 x 400)
DOS: 3.3 with Norton Commander
Original Price: $3500,00

I have two of the Tandy 2800 HD, again this also allows me to play different chess software that works on a 286 against each other and compare their strengths exactly.

As I get around to it I will post a few others.

Here is something interesting too that I had previously posted a long time ago.



Description: Psion Series 3a
CPU Clock: 7.68 MHz
CPU: NEC V30H 16 Bit
RAM: 2 M/B
ROM: 1 M/B
DISPLAY TYPE: Monochrome STN, 4 scales
DISPLAY DIAGONAL: 5,3 Zoll (13,46 CM)
DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 480 X 160

Psion pretty much came out with the First PDA's. What was nice was that you have a few game modules that you could buy for it too. Above you can see me playing Psion Chess.

Here is a back view picture:



And here you can see the size of the chess game module:



Best regards
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BenRedic
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spacious_mind wrote:
lotsa stuff

Some interesting things here.

My first thought seeing all those floppies is: Are those things even reliably readable anymore? Especially the 5.25" stuff.

I never knew about the Psion organizer. My first PDA was a Palm V back in 2000 or something. It had plenty of nice chess games though. I had ChessGenius on mine, a program that's been following me on almost every phone I owned since, regardless of OS (Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, Android, iOS). My first phone with chess on it was a Siemens SL45i from around the same time. I found a java program called ChessBuddy for it. It did play somewhat reasonable moves, but took five minutes per move on the hardest level, and I could still beat it easily. I didn't play it many times :-p

Also, 486 10 MHz? Never knew those existed? Or did you underclock it?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenRedic wrote:
spacious_mind wrote:
lotsa stuff

Some interesting things here.

My first thought seeing all those floppies is: Are those things even reliably readable anymore? Especially the 5.25" stuff.

I never knew about the Psion organizer. My first PDA was a Palm V back in 2000 or something. It had plenty of nice chess games though. I had ChessGenius on mine, a program that's been following me on almost every phone I owned since, regardless of OS (Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, Android, iOS). My first phone with chess on it was a Siemens SL45i from around the same time. I found a java program called ChessBuddy for it. It did play somewhat reasonable moves, but took five minutes per move on the hardest level, and I could still beat it easily. I didn't play it many times :-p

Also, 486 10 MHz? Never knew those existed? Or did you underclock it?


Yes all the 3.1/2: and 5.1/2" floppies still work today. You just have to keep them in Steve B's dust free airtight computer vault! Smile

The 486-133 MHz Overdrive computer plays underdrive at 10 MHz when you play it with the Turbo button turned off Smile'

Best regards
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