Here are a few files which I found and thought would be handy for others... There's not a whole lot here right now but these are a few files which impressed me in particular with their originality or usefulness.
Cookie Stopper 1.01 for MSIE 3.0x This is a small utility which sits on the system tray and auto-denies cookies. MSIE4 and above let you deny them automatically but version 3.x didn't. Probably not many of you are still using versions that old, but if you are (like me), and if you don't like cookies, this is for you.
Shutz 5.0 is another system tray utility which shuts down or reboots Windows 9x with one click. Pretty handy.
DC Circuit Analysis 1.4 Really cool program for the electronics engineers among you. It lets you put together circuits and test them out. It features functional switches and potentiometers. It's not really well-suited for professional-level circuit planning but if you're just learning them or if you're just a hobbyist it's neat. It's shareware.
LIST 9.0e is the best darned file viewer I've yet found for DOS. This program's been around for quite a while (since the days when DOS was used more than Windows), and it just keeps getting better with each version. I use it allllllllll the time. In fact, it's the most-used program on my computer.
Click here to download version 9.01 of Microsoft's DOS mouse driver. Or click here to download version 8.20a. You might also want to check out CuteMouse 1.8, a free third-party mouse driver which is fully compatible with the Microsoft mouse standard. CuteMouse is distinguished from Microsoft's own mouse TSR, however, in that it's only 3.5K when loaded in memory, which is important when you're working in DOS and its 640K limitation.
Not only is 1 Ton a cute little toy (I'll stop short of calling it a "game") in its own right, it's also a very small DOS program that actually makes use of both the mouse and digitized Sound Blaster audio, which makes it a good, quick tool to test with if you're on a DOS machine and unsure about whether mouse or Sound Blaster support is functioning.
HotDIR Plus 7.5 is a big improvement over the DOS DIR command. It presents the output in color, and columns, so you get more info in less space.
Hacker 1.2 is a batch file improvement utility for DOS, similar to the "Batch Enhancer" program which comes with the Norton Utilities. It has nothing to do with computer security, and even not much to do with "hacking" in the old-school sense, other than that it involves some level of programming. It does have several cool features which batch file programmers may wish to implement, however, including a variety of nifty sound effects (which I played around with too much in my days as a heavy DOS batch programmer).
Buckaroo Banzai's two-part text file "Cracking On the IBMpc" is a classic among folks who read text files back in the days when BBSes were still common. This file is still often seen floating around the Internet today; however, what's much more difficult to come by are the small analysis utilities mentioned in the file. So, I decided to include them here: PCWATCH, TRAP13, and Locksmith.
X00 1.50 is Raymond L. Gwinn's famous FOSSIL driver which ran many a BBS in the old days. It's probably the most popular FOSSIL driver for DOS... Nowadays you don't need them for much, but if you do, here it is.
MS-DOS 6.2 Reference Let's face it, as much as you might dislike it, DOS is still an important part of your OS. It has some commands and features that you can't access any other way. This is a complete command reference for DOS 6.2. DOS itself used to come with its own such references, until Microsoft decided (beginning with DOS 6.0) that users didn't really want a command reference in their manuals.
10 DOS fonts is exactly what it sounds like: A collection of 10 fonts for your MS-DOS prompt. Just run the .COM file and your font changes. It's kind of cool, although I personally find most of them harder to read than the plain DOS default. (And no, these programs aren't TSRs; They work without loading anything memory-resident.)
CHANGE is a utility for use in batch programs. It changes text in text files. I haven't seen any other programs which do this, and it's a pretty handy function for when you want to automate something like changing startup files with a batch program. It uses this syntax: change filename.txt "oldstring" "newstring"
If you need a simulator for the Altair 8800b or the IMSAI 8080 (and who does not?), you should download a simulator for the Altair 8800b or a simulator for the IMSAI 8080. And if you have no idea how to work these things but downloaded them anyway, read Switches On The Altair 8800b, which will help you get started figuring out what all those darned switches do. (The IMSAI 8080 is very similar to the Altair 8800b, so once you've got the Altair figured out the IMSAI shouldn't be too hard.) Oh, and if you need a reference for the 8080 chip, get it here.
KillCMOS is a small utility to reset your CMOS settings, intended for use when you forget your BIOS password but still need to access the setup program. Although there are several utilities which purport to do this, this particular one is one of the best because it uses a more effective technique than many of the older programs, which tend to fail with newer BIOSes.
For old-school phreaks, ToneLoc and BlueBEEP should need no introduction.
As befits their backgrounds, both programs were later made open-source.
Without further ado, then:
ToneLoc 1.10 source code
BlueBEEP 1.00 source code
Smash Auto is a *very* fast-paced (but fun) arcade game written, believe it or not, entirely in QuickBASIC 4.5 by QBlueSoft, a company which seems to specialize in making games in QB.
The 2002 third-person shooter Mafia is a very difficult game. Although it received praise from critics and gamers alike, I personally found it little more than a seemingly endless string of cliche-laden cutscenes and boring, repetitive gunfights. Nonetheless, there's no question that it was a popular game, and oddly enough, there are no known cheats for the game that work. (Cheats are widely posted for the game on the Web, but none of them seem to work.) For this reason, many people have turned to trainers for the game. There are several trainers for Mafia, but the best I've found is the FairLight DOX Mafia Trainer. It includes a full set of in-game function keys to toggle the cheats on and off, and it doesn't require you to patch your game; All you have to do is have the trainer running in the background when you run Mafia. Very well-done.
Here's a hyper-rare glimpse into the history of virtual reality: Back in the days before Superscape VR was the company that made Superscape Do 3D, the industry standard virtual-reality creation program, Superscape was a humble little tool produced by a company called Dimension International. This demo of it dates back to 1991, a time when virtual reality on the PC was in its infancy. The program lets you move a person, two different cars, and a helicopter around, but other than that you can't do much, although the person can walk into a room with a computer desk and pick up a red object sitting on the table (which makes the "radiation" readout go way down). Not much to it, but it's a genuine piece of computing history.
Engine Animation Program is an illustrative program for a cylinder in an internal combustion engine. You've probably seen those pictures for the 4 stages of an engine's cycle a few hundred times, but this program is neat because it lets you set the bore (width) and stroke (length) of the cylinder, and once the thing starts running, you can adjust the throttle intake to control the speed. The program is rather simple, but mechanics should get a kick out of it.
EYES is a cursor-tracking program which puts a little pair of eyes on your desktop which follow the mouse cursor around wherever it goes. You may have seen programs like this before. However, I'm actually including this one here because it's the only Windows program I have which doesn't run on Windows 9x because it requires an older version of Windows. It ran on Windows 3.0 and 3.1 (although Windows gave an error message beforehand, warning that the program I was about to run was designed for a previous version of Windows), but Win9x just refuses outright to run it. (I must admit, EYES is relatively unique in that aspect; Win9x is pretty good about running old Windows programs.)
WinKill is one of those utilities which you probably won't use much, but which you keep around just for when it you need it in a hurry. It lets you quickly close any task running under Windows. It works better than Windows' own "Close Program" dialog box (the one which comes up when you press CTRL-ALT-DEL), because WinKill can close just about any process running in the background, whereas the CTRL-ALT-DEL trick seems to only let you close a few select ones.
Windows Disassembler 1.07b is Eric Grass' disassembler for Windows programs. It's the best I've seen (and I've seen 2 others).
One of the most enduringly problematic bugs in a computer program has been the "Runtime Error 200" message which is associated with running programs compiled using Turbo Pascal (which was an extremely popular compiler back in the days of DOS) on CPUs which are too fast (basically, any CPU that's faster than about 200 MHz or so will exhibit this problem). It should come as no surprise, then, that for a long time, one of the most popular utilities among oldgamers has been a utility to fix precisely this problem: Andreas Bauer's TPPATCH. This utility will actually change the binary code of an .EXE file which has been compiled with Turbo Pascal, and change the code to eliminate the divide-by-zero error caused by using the Delay() instruction in a Turbo Pascal program on a fast CPU. Of course, there is some risk involved in this, and you should make a backup of the executable before you begin; TPPATCH is free software released with no guarantees, so use it at your own risk. In my own experience, however (and that of several other people), TPPATCH has shown itself to be a safe, effective solution to the problem. (The ZIP file contains the documentation; Read the file TPPATCH.ENG, which is the English documentation, unless you'd rather read TPPATCH.DOC, which is in German.)
I'm not a huge video person (computers are for text only, remember?), so
when I heard that the FLV video format, for whatever reason, is becoming
popular, I didn't much care. But then I found this
Flash file which plays FLV videos. From the user's point of view, the
cool thing about this file is that it lets you implement videos easily in a
browser. From the geek's point of view, the *very* cool thing about this file
is that it's a Flash file which plays a major video format (with a seek bar
even!) and is less than 3 kilobytes. Now that's impressive, and a
coding feat worth honoring. Actually, the reason this file can be so small is
because FLV is the Flash video format, so this little program is actually
doing nothing more than calling on the video-playing function that's already
built into the Flash player. Even so, it's a very cool tool. Note that to use
this Flash file, you'll need to load it using an HTML file with a single line
like the following (the ZIP file contains both flvplay.swf and a sample HTML
file like this):
<embed src="flvplay.swf" FlashVars="file=vidname.flv" quality="high" width="640" height="480" name="flvplayer" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"/>
André Baresel and Craig Jackson's Sound Blaster Programming Information 0.90 is simply the most awesome collection of Sound Blaster programming information you're likely to find anywhere. Besides a huge (about 200K) text file on technical programming information for the card that will always be the definitive PC sound standard, this ZIP file also contains several examples of programs that will actually play digital audio files using several different play techniques, and these programs are all written in assembler, the only real programming language! Great stuff for any programmer who wants to know how Sound Blaster programming really works.
Metricus is a utility for converting from US to Metric, and vice-versa. It's got a nice interface and it can come in pretty handy.
PKXARC 3.5 is a really old de-archiver which is supposed to open ARC files. You're not likely to need it for much, but if you ever come upon an ARC archive and you don't have a program which'll open them, you can try this.
Max Maischein's File Format List, Release 2.00 is a large text file detailing the formats for several popular file types, including many image and sound formats. This is the only file of its kind that I've seen, and it's quite thorough in its treatment and scope.
Dr. Spewfy 1.96 is a little program for Windows which purports to create a user on IRC with a spoofed hostname. It uses a little-known trick in IRC's USER command, which allows the IRC client to actually specify its own hostname. Unfortunately for the would-be spoofer, using this trick prevents the IRC client from joining channels, sending messages, or basically doing anything other than being online (and the client will not be online for long, because it will ping out). However, it *does* create a user on the IRC server in the sense that all the user's information, including the spoofed host, will show up on a /whois. This could be used to create a very short-lived connection which might impress your friends and fool your enemies with a fancy "spoofed" host. I'm sure this program has been used to impress some gullible newbies, but it's useless for actual IRCing.
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