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All programs and utilities mentioned in this Guide can be found here, along with a brief description and a link to their home pages, if any.

The BIOS Survival Guide is a neat guide that attempts to cover all of the BIOS options in your CMOS setup program and tell you exactly what they do and how changing them will affect your system. The locale file reference in the previous link is version 5.1 of the guide, and contains a PDF export along with the Microsoft Word file. The most recent version of the guide can probably be found here or here.

BIOS Survival Guide

Mo'Slo is the best overall slowdown program we've tested. Follow the previous link to the author's home page for Mo'Slo.

AT-SLOW is an alternate slowdown utility that works well on 286, 386, and 486-class machines, utilizing the Real-Time Clock chip found in 286's and above.

Bremze is a new slowdown utility that uses both Int 08h and the RTC, and has some additional features. The author, Ansis Ataols Berzinsh, has written many utilities that help you with old PC programs; check out his entire list of DOS programs for more information.

ICD and ICE disable and enable a 486 or Pentium's internal cache, which can result in a smooth slowdown.

Turbo is a free Windows slowdown utility that lets you slow down your CPU in resource chunks/percentages. It's free, and works pretty well, but lacks many of the advanced features found in shareware Windows slowdown products, like CPUKiller.

MIPS is the speed benchmark I use when I am trying to get my PC down to a certain speed (and if I use it, you know it's got the oldskool seal of approval ;-). It has "1.0" ratings for a 4.77MHz 8088, 8MHz AT, and 16 MHz 386, so you can gauge how close you are to a certain speed. For example: If you were aiming for an 8MHz 286 and your "number" according to MIPS was 1.7, you'd know that you were too fast and had to slow down your PC a bit more. Conversely, if your "number" after running MIPS was 0.6, you'd know that you slowed down your PC too much and should try again. Just run it and you'll see what I mean. Note: This utility reports absolutely wacko results on anything over a 486/66's speed, so if you get numbers that don't make sense, you'll know that your machine is over a 486/66's speed and you need to slow it down further. was contributed by a reader of this document; as Unseen Dragon writes, "IIRC it disables branch prediction and the v-pipeline, maybe even the internal cache. There is one drawback: To speed up the system again you have to reset the machine." Still, any hardware slowdowns are more preferable to software, so it's listed above for your perusal.

PEGA.ZIP is the driver and utility diskette for Paradise EGA video cards; may work with other Paradise chipsets. The program to look at here is PEGA.EXE, which switches the card into a true CGA card, with full CGA register emulation.

Boot_B: From the documentation: "Do you have tons of games on 5.25" diskettes that can only run by booting them, but you can't run them because your A: drive is a 3.5" drive? Now you can. By using Boot-B: you can start most of those diskettes from the B: drive. Boot-B: is a program that creates a new boot sector for a disk in drive A: which when booted will pass the boot process over to the B: drive. It is not a TSR (obviously), nor does it in any way alter the format of the diskette. It simply replaces the non-functional boot sector of the floppy with one that redirects the boot process. All DOS disk parameters are left unaltered. Since Boot-B: does all of its changes in the boot sector, the BOOT_B program does not need to be present on the floppy disk."

The CGA Technical Reference will help you patch older games to stop screwing with the CGA registers that don't exist any more, as mentioned in the Patching CGA section of this Guide. It may also surprise you: CGA was capable of much more than that crappy black-cyan-magenta-white palette.

CuteMouse is a mouse driver that supports Microsoft, Mouse Systems, and Logitech serial and PS/2 mice -- but unlike Microsoft's mouse driver, it only uses 7k of RAM. This is helpful in getting games that not only require mouse support but also require a lot of free DOS RAM.

EATXMS will do just that--eat up a specified amount of XMS memory, which can be useful for games that won't run on machines with more than 16 MB of RAM. However, for a much more elegant solution, check out the next program:

The best RAMdisk in the world. This freeware EMS/XMS RAMdisk program was written by Franck Uberto, and is easily the best RAMdisk software in the world. It is completely installable from DOS, and you can resize the RAMdisk without unloading it.

Slice/Splice is a cute PC Magazine utility from 1989 that lets you split a large file up into floppy disk-sized bits, and will even put the companion program on the first diskette for convenience. This is great for transferring large files from one machine to another on floppy disks, even if the file is too large to fit on a single disk.

  1. Introduction
  2. Cripple Your PC
  3. Tweaking
  4. Floppy Drive Problems
  5. Sound
  6. Video
  7. Emulation
  8. Oldskool-Friendly Boxes
  9. Conclusion
  10. Resources
  11. Appendix A: Windows 9x Options

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