DOS on the iPad? There’s an app for that.

5374144373_36b6e593f5_m.jpg[UPDATE – looks like Apple has pulled it from the app store again]

I’ve got a rather strange, yet family friendly habit — I tend to collect computer emulators; software written for hardware, that acts like older hardware in order to run older software.

With me so far?

Over the last few years, Apple has been slowly relaxing the emulation standards in the iTunes App store for emulator apps, witness the Commodore 64 and rumored
Amiga emulators — though sadly, I doubt we’ll ever see one for the Apple ][

In the last 6 months, a DOS emulator has appeared, disappeared, and now reappeared in the store. And it’s a pretty solid app.

iDos, is simply a DOS emulator, with a caveat — it won’t load DOS files through iTunes. You have to use another program to get your .exe and .com files into your iDevice.

Initially the app was pulled from the app store due to issues around the app directly importing and running software using iTunes or an internal ftp-like command. Now (and for who knows how long) with the workaround, the app meets the letter of the rules, letting other apps manage importing and maintenance of DOS files.

But once you jump that hurdle, here’s what iDos can do for you:

  • PC compatible soft keyboard
  • Mouse/Virtual Gamepad&Joystick
  • Screen mode: Portrait/Landscape(Fullscreen)
  • You can force 4:3 screen aspect ratio
  • Customizable floating gamepad for fullscreen mode
  • 6 shareware games from 3D Realms, including famous titles like wolf3d, duke1, duke2, major striker. Thanks to the virtue of good old DOS games, the app is still very small.
  • A super simple game launcher. You can play games without any knowledge about dos commands. All games are properly configured, so you don’t have to tweak dospad.cfg anymore. For expert users, you can still use command line to launch games and edit dospad.cfg right in app.
  • Virtual gamepad/joystick. With iDOS 1.0, you may not be able to get to floor 3 in wolf3d, but now you can!
  • Better landscape mode. And now iPhone has portrait mode interface.
  • Bluetooth keyboard support. It is for text based games only.

OH, and this blast from the past is currently FREE. So if you’ve ever had a hankering to have a C:\> prompt back on your device de jour, now’s the time to get it.

Yes, it does work, here’s a couple of screens of me having my sub sunk in Red Storm Rising.



So if you do check it out, let me know and tell me what you think of it![ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]

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