Thursday, May 03, 2018

PC Ditto


I thought I'd have a quick play with PC-Ditto, an old emulator by Avant-Garde Systems. Now, please do note that I've never owned a PC in my life but I remember tinkering with the one (and only) Amstrad PC our college had in 1987. So, I figured this would be a nostalgic trip down memory lane? Well, who knows...

Okay, a stock Atari ST is more than capable of running this emulator and many DOS programs will run fine. However, you should probably forget it for games? I used my own Mega STe which barely had the horsepower to handle many titles. So, in my video recording: Hatari is running a 16Mhz to simulate my real hardware.

  
I had little luck with Castle Wolfenstein (a bad copy?) but Serpentine ran pretty well.
Surprisingly, I did have some success as you can see in the video which shows me booting DOS 3.3 and then loading a selection of rubbish games. The first is Serpentine, which was definitely the best of the bad bunch and I enjoyed eating the other slo-mo snakes. I then rebooted to try something called David's Kong. Ugh, this is absolutely laughable so please don't waste your time!

Next up was Bird-Brain which didn't seem to work very well because the keys specified on the main menu didn't work for me. Instead, I suffered rapid beeping sound which was rather annoying!! So yet another reboot was called for so I could try Castle Wolfenstein. Ohh, I had such high hopes for this game but alas it didn't appear to run properly and then oddly got itself caught in a loop?


I then loaded Space Commanders which slowed my Mega STe down to the speed of a Casio calculator for some insane reason. In the video recording, I could cheat by hitting CMD X to speed up Hatari but that didn't really help too much. No loss anyhow because this is a ludicrously bad shoot 'em up!!


I was now beginning to lose the will to live and only had one game left: Buck Rogers Planet Of Zoom which is one of my favourite ZX Spectrum games. Sadly, it wasn't (umm) too playable due to slow speeds but I managed a couple of minutes before PC-Ditto disappointly froze for some reason!
  
Oh boy, how did the PC win the computer war? The worst Kong and Invaders I've ever played!!

This was fun and I enjoyed (temporarily) turning my ST into an Intel paperweight. Games require more CPU grunt but I doubt anyone would abandon their ST archive for these horrendous DOS equivalents? Of course, not being a hardware product meant performance was pretty sluggish, even on my Mega STe. But, it did a grand job at running DOS and various programs but I wouldn't bother using it for games - unless you've got a TT. Which I don't...

And now there is only one thing left to do: del *.* 😇

LINKS

 - PC-Ditto can be found on AtariMania or using Old Games Finder.
 - DOS 3.3 is downloadable from Atari-Forum thanks to Jake/Depression.
 - I found many DOS games on various websites and I really liked My Abandonware.

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