DosBox

DosBox provides the platform within which all Score modules are able to run. It is the integration of DosBox and Score that yields the name, “ScorBox”: ScorBox is a work environment, not a stand-alone application.

All modules of the Score system are 16-bit. While it is possible to execute 16-bit command line applications within a 32-bit system, it is not possible to do so in a 64-bit system. Therefore, if you’ve recently upgraded to a new generation computer with a 64-bit processor, you will no longer be able to run Score (and its associated modules) natively from CMD. Excellent! You are now compelled to do things differently, and your Score work will never be the same.

DosBox makes this possible. It is a Windows program that emulates MS-DOS and allows users to run otherwise obsolete DOS programs. Primarily designed for DOS game enthusiasts, DosBox turns out to be the tool that has saved Score from obsolescence. With it as the platform for Score, the continued usability of Score is now assured for many years to come.

Even if you can still run Score natively, however, you may still benefit from running it through DosBox instead. The ScorBox environment now makes things possible for working with Score that hitherto would have been unimaginable. DosBox does nothing by itself, but it provides a platform that now enables virtually limitless expandability of the functionality of Score and its associated modules. Once you begin working in ScorBox, you will quickly begin to realize that you now have a far more powerful and flexible tool than you ever had before, working natively within Score. Best of all, ScorBox allows any user to model the work environment – the interface, command structure, functionality, and integration – exactly to suit his or her needs. Everybody’s ScorBox will be different! And modifying and expanding the environment is quick and easy, and the sharing of modules, scripts, and concepts is as well. You are encouraged to download and use all tools on this site for your own benefit, but you are also encouraged to share your own tools and observations with others;  please do so from the “Submissions” page. ScorBox “the concept” is open and free.

To get started with ScorBox, obtain and install version 0.74 of DosBox, which is free at www.dosbox.com. By default, it will install in C:\Program Files\DosBox-0.74. You can change that to anything you wish; that has no impact on how ScorBox functions, but you do have to ensure that the location of DosBox is included in your path statement (for details, see the “Required Macros” page).

There are some display errors and performance issues when you undertake certain operations within Score, running in DosBox. Those errors are addressed by two patches, which are loaded up during the startup process of ScorBox. These two patches, mode.com and scrolfix.com, are included in the download file on this page. They must be placed into your ScorBox support directory, as indicated in User variable “ScorBoxSupportFiles” (for details, see the “Required Macros” page).

DosBox also requires its own initialization file. The main component of that initialization file is contained in the file entitled, “launchonly.top,” which is included in the download file on the “Required Macros” page. In all likelihood, you will have to experiment with some of the settings in that file to suit the needs of your computer system. The configuration file “launchonly.top” that I am providing here works perfectly on my system, but it may not on yours. I am afraid I am not an expert (yet) on DosBox, but I very much hope that you report your findings (problems and solutions) to this site (just go to the “Submissions” page) so that we can gather a resource page to assist various users in configuring DosBox for their own use. Usually, for every problem, there is a solution.

Finally, for DosBox problems and questions, go to the Wiki page of the DosBox project; there is a very lively community discussing DosBox issues, and with some research time spent, you should be able to find solutions to any DosBox problems you might encounter. The Wiki page of the DosBox project is a good place to start.

Posted by Jürgen Selk

initial posting:  14 March 2011

Download file:

DosBoxPatch.zip

The download file contains the following two patches:

  • MODE.COM
  • SCROLFIX.COM

These two patches must be placed into your ScorBox support directory, as indicated in User variable “ScorBoxSupportFiles.”