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.

rsr1.jpg

rsr2.jpg

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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