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3DO Blaster in DOS?

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:03 pm
by Mystery

I just finished building a nice little 3DO Blaster PC, which works just fine so far.

I'm using Windows 3.1 without any problems, but several websites (including wikipedia) mention that the fullscreen mode is also available in pure DOS.

However, I have yet to discover the means of using the 3DO Blaster in DOS.

I think I've got a complete card, it was unused and boxed, but the driver diskette just has Windows utilities and there's nothing mentioned in the manual about DOS either.

Can anyone shed some light on this issue?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:23 am
by sneth
what level of DOS experience do you have?

have you tried loading a few of the drivers and executable's from DOS?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:20 am
by Mystery
The executables supplied with my 3DO Blaster are Windows 3.1/3.11 applications and won't work in pure DOS.

There are two drivers that need to be loaded in DOS to make the 3DO Blaster work. One for the Blaster itself and the other for communicating with the CD-ROM drive.

The CD3DOBLT.SYS is set up with the correct address (260h) as is the SBCD.SYS (set to "/T:2" to allow the 3DO Blaster to access the CD-ROM)

The 3DOBLST variable is also set up properly at the corret address.

But these are all prerequisites for making it work under Win3.1, which it does without a problem.

However, there is no application for DOS supplied with the driver/tool disk and no mention of it in the manual.
Setting the Blaster up isn't the issue. I'm just wondering if there's anything to the DOS-fullscreen mode mentioned at Wikipedia and other sites, as I don't have any DOS executables.

So if anyone has gotten a 3DO Blaster to work in DOS without Win3.1 or knows how to do it, let me know. :)

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:03 pm
by sneth
it's doesnt need to be a DOS executable to run in DOS. You can also load windows drivers from DOS. I had to do this for my peripherals all the time.

you could maybe try a boot loader to get some windows components loaded as well.

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:52 pm
by Mystery
The tools in Windows use the drivers and settings that are already set up and loaded in DOS. But a driver, that's loaded, doesn't do anything on its own, so I do need some kind of DOS executable to access the functions supplied by the driver.

All that's being installed in Windows are three tools. The first checks the hardware address of the 3DO Blaster and makes the proper adjustments in the autoexec.bat/config.sys files (loading the driver etc.). This can be done manually as well, so it's not really required.

The second tool sets up the proper position and scaling of the 3DO overlay and stores it in a configuration file, which is used by the third application. Although it's highly recommended to set the screen up properly, it's not a required program.

Number three is the main 3DO Player, which uses the DOS settings & driver and the display settings from tool no2.
The 3DO Player uses a color key to determine the area where the 3DO Blaster's video output (coming from the VESA Feature Connector) is being shown. This is the function that needs to be used in DOS, however it's not automatically enabled, because simply using the same color key in DOS doesn't work.

Since this function is obviously a part of the DOS drivers feature set, you'll need an executable to access it properly. Unfortunately, and here we are back to where we started, these executables are Windows-only and thus I don't see any option of using the mysterious DOS mode.

Again, the driver is already loaded in DOS, so I don't think there are any Windows drivers that need to be loaded. Even if there were, I'm not really sure that's possible without extensive work, as DOS isn't designed to work with drivers written for Windows 3.1x

I'm also somewhat confused by your suggestion to use a boot loader, since I don't see the connection to my problem.
How would I (and why should I) load Win3.1x components in DOS with the aid of a boot manager?

I need the functionality of the 3.1x 3DO Player application in DOS, but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent DOS executable supplied with the 3DO Blaster. Because the driver is already loaded in DOS and the 3DO Player requires Windows 3.1x to run, I don't see how a bootloader would do any good.

In any case, if the DOS fullscreen mode is an officially supported feature of the 3DO Blaster (as some websites claim) it shouldn't involve such an amount of workarounds when a simple DOS executable would do the trick. So I'm thinking there's either a simple solution (which I might not see, in that case, please tell me) or it just doesn't work at all,or at least not without extensive work.

Re: 3DO Blaster in DOS?

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:17 am
by 3DO Experience
Any further info on this?

Re: 3DO Blaster in DOS?

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:33 pm
by cybdmn
I never found any DOS executable on my system. I think that this was a feature which was never really implemented. I guess those websites are wrong about that.