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Old 21st Aug 2017, 4:55 pm   #1
Grubhead
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Default Old Software on a new computer

I am just wondering if it is possible to make software designed for old OS systems work on something like Windows 7 etc?
I am particularly interested in software like Video Editing or Desk Top Publishing packages, since either the modern equivalents leave a lot to be desired, or in the case of DTP vanished from the market place. Since some of them were designed to work just about to the limits of an old computer capabilities. I am thinking that a new computer would handle them easily, with it's greater memory and speed. What would it require for them to work?
I don't suppose for one minute it could be done. As I haven't really a clue how software is designed. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking those on here that might know. And I am asking everyone to ignore the copywrite questions and issues for the sake of the question.
Even so would it possible to change the software of such a programme, to iron out the issues and then install on a modern OS system?
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 4:58 pm   #2
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

A lot of old Windows software runs reasonably well on Linux systems using Wine.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 5:01 pm   #3
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

You can run old software on new versions of windows fine in most cases. You right click the program/installer, and go to properties, then the compatibility tab and select the relevant operating system.

This is on windows 10 to give you an idea:

Click image for larger version

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ID:	148190

Basically the compatibility option breaks all the API functions in the same way that they fixed in later version of the OS. MS are actually pretty good at that!
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 5:18 pm   #4
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Without knowing what you mean by "Old" it's tricky to say.

I use lots of 1980s DOS software on Windows Vista with the aid of VDOS Plus or DOSBox. I use the same things on Linux via DOSEmu.

I notice that the screenshot on Mr Bungle's post only goes back to Windows 95 so Windows 3.1 may be more involved — I can't see anybody wanting to use Windows 1 or 2.

We are assuming that it's old PC software that you are interested in. If it's stuff meant for an Amiga, Atari ST or whatever emulators are available. I can't say how good they are as I've no relevant experience.

There a lot of computer fans interested in this sort of thing so if it can be done you can bet somebody has. Google is your friend.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 5:22 pm   #5
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubhead View Post
I am just wondering if it is possible to make software designed for old OS systems work on something like Windows 7 etc?
Windows 7 IS an old operating OS system As mentioned above Windows has a compatibility mode and a lot of things run in WINE under Linux. If you have DOS software you can install Dosbox.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:51 pm   #6
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

DOSBox works well apart from a couple of things... Key F10 is used for cursor control by DOSBox. So if the program originally needed it, when run in DOSBox the program never sees F10 when you press it because it's trapped and used by DOSBox instead. I've looked on the user forums but haven't found a cure for this.

The other thing... If the program prints directly to a parallel port, when run under DOSBox the data doesn't seem to reach the port. My work-around is to set the program to print to a file, then within Windows copy that file to the port. But it's clumsy!
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 11:32 pm   #7
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

DOSBox is really meant for playing old DOS games. There are spin-off versions that will print fine though.

VDOS Plus is great but as it's meant for 'serious' (text-based) applications it's graphics support is poor.

When I need both graphics and printing I use DOSBox-MB6, though it no longer seems available for download. I've never noticed the F10 problem in this. It's a while since I set it up and may have changed something at that time.

This is still somewhat academic as we still don't know exactly what software the OP is interested in using.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 1:26 am   #8
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

The software I am talking about is on CD ROMS, not floppy discs. Personally I would like to get either Movie Editor 2004 or 2005 to work properly, both of which do install on Windows 7, plus Pressworks 2.5. Which will not install.
In my windows 7 machine most of the old software won't even start to run and the compatibility options don't effect it at all.
Windows gives me the message (on Pressworks 2.5) that it won't run on this system and to contact the manufacture (who have ceased trading) for an update of the software.

When any old software does install it tends to crash or doesn't look right. So I was thinking if it needed to be altered (reprogrammed) to get the flaws out. Does anybody do that kind of thing?
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 2:02 am   #9
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Grubhead, which OSes did the software ORIGINALLY run OK under? From the dates you stated, presumably XP?

Modification / updating of software is occasionally done but it's usually on an ad-hoc basis - typically some individual clever enough wants a particular bit of software to run under an OS it wasn't designed to run under and hacks it so it will, but I've never heard of anyone doing it on request / for a fee.

One example I can state is the control software for my EPROM programmer - originally written for DOS, it worked in the Windows version of DOS up until Win 98 SE, but was broken by XP. I've discovered that someone has hacked it to work with XP.

Sometimes old software like your movie editor software turns up as updated versions - (updated just enough to get it working on the next version of Windows, that is) - in supermarket bargain bins, so it might be worth searching around to see if Win 7 compatible versions of your software were ever released in that way. Unfortunately 'Movie Editor' is about the worst product name they could have chosen for this purpose as a search on that turn turns up hundreds of hits for all sorts of movie editor software, not just your actual software.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 8:29 am   #10
bluepilot
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

A slightly more complicated solution is to use Virtualbox.
https://www.virtualbox.org/
You can install the old OS in a virtual machine.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 11:20 am   #11
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Windows XP onward are easy to install on virtualbox, as is DOS. Windows 3.1 / 98 / 98SE & ME are more difficult if you want the graphics to be larger than a postage stamp I've never tried NT or anything earlier than 3.1.

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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 12:53 pm   #12
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Grubhead, which OSes did the software ORIGINALLY run OK under? From the dates you stated, presumably XP?
I used to use Designworks, the graphics companion to Pressworks and I'm fairly sure that it was a Windows 3.1 program and probably 16 bit rather than 32 bit.

There's an article from 1996 which mentions Pressworks at

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...p-1335292.html
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 1:34 pm   #13
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Going back your original question re DTP packages, I still use a DOS DTP (JetSetter) professionally (I've written 10 books) and frankly long ago gave up trying to finder a better Windows DTP that was affordable and didn't have major back-ward compatibility problem so endemic in modern over-bloated software!

Why do you need to run it on a modern PC? If it runs perfectly on an off-line/stand-alone 98 or XP, keep it on the old PC and use the modern internet PC only as as a print-server or whatever. If the new software can't read the old file, then save the old file as a .PRN (print-to-file) against a standard HP printer and hey presto, you have a file which can be converted to a .pdf. No need for a modern PC! There's plenty of life left in old DOS packages and ancient PCs!
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 1:53 pm   #14
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

I still run ( with limited capacity) XTREE (ZTREE would be more effective, but I like old stuff )and Norton 4.5 on W7. I obtained both on an old 286 I acquired in the early 90's.
For anyone with a PC running 3.1, or below- the BE program in Norton ,may be useful. It lets you set up a menu system at boot up using a .BAT routine from within the Autoexe file. Language is almost a mix of Basic and Pascal.
I've even got a copy of Harvard Graphics, but it prefers XP.
I usually find old stuff works ( to some degree) under XP.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 3:55 pm   #15
brenellic2000
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

... yes JetSetter works 'to some degree' under XP but infuriatingly the 'pipe' command (next to Z) doesn't work when editing (ye olde Post-script text formatting codes); however there are ways around it....! W.7 'DOS tricks' don't want to know.

W.98 of course works perfectly, except for the lack of USB ports, so I'm sticking to my 486 for serious work and transfer files to my W.7 using good old Zip100 discs. Perfect!
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 6:04 pm   #16
Grubhead
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Grubhead, which OSes did the software ORIGINALLY run OK under? From the dates you stated, presumably XP?

Modification / updating of software is occasionally done but it's usually on an ad-hoc basis - typically some individual clever enough wants a particular bit of software to run under an OS it wasn't designed to run under and hacks it so it will, but I've never heard of anyone doing it on request / for a fee.

One example I can state is the control software for my EPROM programmer - originally written for DOS, it worked in the Windows version of DOS up until Win 98 SE, but was broken by XP. I've discovered that someone has hacked it to work with XP.

Sometimes old software like your movie editor software turns up as updated versions - (updated just enough to get it working on the next version of Windows, that is) - in supermarket bargain bins, so it might be worth searching around to see if Win 7 compatible versions of your software were ever released in that way. Unfortunately 'Movie Editor' is about the worst product name they could have chosen for this purpose as a search on that turn turns up hundreds of hits for all sorts of movie editor software, not just your actual software.
They are all XP software. The trick with the Movie Editor ones are the dates. They were all made by Magix which is still going and producing the latest version. Which are not a bit like those two 2004 and 2005 versions.
You can see the main changes in the screen shots I have used on my video editing blog.
video editing
I also describe the reasons why the modern stuff is not up to scratch.
Neither of the softwares was update to take in windows 7, because Magix had brought a later version out, which of course got rid of some old bugs in the system and of course created some new ones. But being designers they changed the layout and made it harder to work the system.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 11:36 pm   #17
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubhead View Post
The software I am talking about is on CD ROMS, not floppy discs. Personally I would like to get either Movie Editor 2004 or 2005 to work properly, both of which do install on Windows 7, plus Pressworks 2.5. Which will not install.
In my windows 7 machine most of the old software won't even start to run and the compatibility options don't effect it at all.
Windows gives me the message (on Pressworks 2.5) that it won't run on this system and to contact the manufacture (who have ceased trading) for an update of the software.

When any old software does install it tends to crash or doesn't look right. So I was thinking if it needed to be altered (reprogrammed) to get the flaws out. Does anybody do that kind of thing?
If the installers work for these programs find their location on your system drive in programs. Find the 'exe file and right click to get the context menu. In Windows 10 there is an option trouble shoot compatibility. Click on this and follow the instructions in the window that pops up.

If it works with the setting recommended, remember to click the appropriate option in the Compatibility Troubleshooter window. Save the settings when prompted and every time you run the program thereon in it will load and run. Some DOS only programs still work, it depends on how complex they are and if they use specific hardware configurations.

I've had a supposedly DOS only text adventure load and run. Not that the game was any good really, just to see if it was possible. I have found a couple of issues with Win 10's Compatibility Troubleshooter though. Some Win 3 and Win 98 programs that required early sound blaster hardware to run. A more complex way to run the old stuff is to create a virtual machine running that version of the OS.
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Old 27th Aug 2017, 10:33 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

brenillic- you might find W2000 better as it supports USB and runs on a lot of the older motherboards. only problem is that there's no auto eject on W2000 - you have to manually shut down the USB device or risk corrupting the device. There's also an update ( SP1) which alows W2000 to run with large HDD.
Driverguide.com might have links to software updates.
If you still work on older hardware , file transfer etc is a lot erasier with XTREE - it's DOS version of how Windows explorer works with files , including multiple files.
http://www.xtreefanpage.org/x63clone.htm
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 7:10 am   #19
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
you might find W2000 better as it supports USB and runs on a lot of the older motherboards.
Windows 98 supports USB mass storage, you just need to load a driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
you have to manually shut down the USB device or risk corrupting the device.
You should do this with all versions of Windows!
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 5:18 pm   #20
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Default Re: Old Software on a new computer

From Windows 8 onwards Microsoft did away with some types of software needed to run certain programs. I can't recall what it was, but I know several people were asking why various programs were not working in Windows 10, while I was on FIXYA. Of course they had gone from Windows 7 direct to 10, never buying 8, but it had been removed on 8 and 10 followed the pattern.
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