Tag Archives: windows

Further progress on Arca Noae’s UEFI support for ArcaOS

The UEFI ForumIn our last post on this topic,we reported that much UEFI development work remained to be completed, primarily regarding DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions. Today, that work has advanced considerably, with more DOS and Win-OS/2 apps and games now running under ArcaOS on a wider range of systems than ever before. In fact, on systems which are incapable of providing usable DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions when booted in BIOS mode, DOS and Win-OS/2 run splendidly when booted in UEFI mode, thanks to the environment we create. This should provide a truly amazing experience for all retro-gamers seeking the ability to run classic DOS and Windows games in a native environment without the overhead of a virtualization layer.

Some of the classic DOS and Windows games which work well under current ArcaOS betas in UEFI mode include (note video modes and environments listed, as well):

  • 1869 (VGA 320×200)
  • Caesar 2 (VESA)
  • Many CGA games
  • C&C: Red Alert (VGA 320×200)
  • Civilization 1 (EGA/VGA 320×200)
  • Civilization 2 (Win-OS/2)
  • Colonization (VGA 320×200)
  • Commander Keen
  • Conquest of the New World (VESA)
  • Fallout (VESA)
  • Heretic (VGA 320×200)
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (VESA)
  • High Seas Trader (VGA 320×200)
  • HomeAlone (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • King’s Bounty (VGA 320×200)
  • King`s Quest II, IV (EGA 320×200)
  • Legions (Win-OS/2)
  • Lemmings (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Master of Magic (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • Master of Orion (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • Master of Orion 2 (VESA)
  • Merchant Prince (VGA 320×200)
  • Outpost 1 (Win-OS/2)
  • Outrun (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Planet X3 – (VGA 320×200, CGA 320×200, CGA 640×200)
  • Pool (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Quake (VGA 320×200)
  • Settlers 2 (VESA)
  • SimCity (EGA)
  • SimCity 2000 (VESA)
  • Space Quest I, III (EGA/VGA 320×200)
  • TES: Daggerfall (VGA 320×200)
  • Tie Fighter (VGA 320×200)
  • WarCraft (VGA 320×200)
  • Wolfenstein3d (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • X-COM: UFO (VGA 320×200)

In addition, same very popular development and office titles are running quite well, such as:

  • Borland C 3.1
  • Boralnd Pascal 7.0
  • Image Alchemy
  • MS Word 5.5
  • Multimate 4.0
  • Lotus 1-2-3 3.4 and 4.0
  • Lotus Symphony
  • Q&A Write
  • QPV 1.7 (image viewer)
  • Quattro Pro 5.6
  • WordPerfect 6.0
  • WordStar 7.0

Both full screen and windowed DOS, Win-OS/2, and OS/2 sessions are operable, and OS/2 applications continue to run fine under UEFI in our testing, as well.

Installation in UEFI mode has also advanced considerably. Current betas install under traditional BIOS or UEFI from the same media, whether DVD or bootable USB stick. The current mode of the system is auto-detected without the need for user intervention. When released with ArcaOS 5.1 (anticipated sometime in 2021), this should provide for a truly effortless installation.

ArcaOS 5.1 will be an upgrade from ArcaOS 5.0. For a more complete list of planned enhancements for 5.1, please visit our ArcaOS Roadmap page. ArcaOS 5.1 will also continue to fully support traditional BIOS-based systems; UEFI is meant to expand device support for the latest generations of hardware.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace those aging Warp 4 or eComStation installations and get to know what’s new and improved. If you’ve never run OS/2 before, you’ll be amazed. If you last used OS/2 in the 1990’s, you’ll be even more amazed. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Still running mature software? Arca Noae can help

There was some news made recently when Orly Airport in Paris, France suffered some apparent downtime of its Windows 3.1-based DECOR system which provides Runway Visual Range (RVR) information to pilots. Tech news media was abuzz with ridicule for any enterprise still running what it termed as such “antiquated” systems (referring to both DECOR and Windows 3.1, and in several instances, referring to Windows XP and “UNIX” as similarly antiquated (see here, here, and here for examples).

Unfortunately, what many of these news outlets don’t understand is that after all of the years in service, it simply may not make economic sense to replace a working system simply because there’s a new OS or application version available (likely with new and unknown flaws and potential pitfalls). Perhaps a newer version of a critical application did away with what is to that customer a must-have feature, or perhaps the application has been orphaned altogether, and nothing else currently available seems to be able to do as efficient a job as what is already in place.

Arca Noae understands the value of these systems. OS/2 still provides “a better DOS than DOS and a better [16-bit] Windows than Windows” due to its preemptive multitasking capabilities and crash protection, so multiple Windows 3.1 and/or DOS sessions may be started and run independently of one another, where a critical application is less likely to be brought down simply because some other application crashed in a different session.

If you have a need to run mature applications on OS/2, Windows 3.1, or DOS, Arca Noae can help extend the life of your investment in those platforms and those applications. Our OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software package subscription – available now – can assist in running OS/2 or eComStation on newer hardware. Our upcoming OS/2 release, codenamed Blue Lion, is being designed to provide an installable solution to deploy new systems with an updated OS/2, fully capable of handling those mature DOS and Windows 3.1 applications, as well as native OS/2 applications and ported Linux applications on modern hardware or in a virtualized environment.

Perhaps you need expertise in handling such a transition or in maintaining your mature infrastructure. Arca Noae’s experienced engineers and consultants can provide those services, as well, practically anywhere in the world. Need us? Contact us.