BetaArchive Logo
Navigation Home Database Screenshots Gallery Image Uploader Server Info FTP Servers Wiki Forum RSS Feed Rules Please Donate
UP: 59d, 15h, 46m | CPU: 8% | MEM: 5019MB of 12235MB used
{The community for beta collectors}

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 PostPost subject: The Art of Unpacking Applications        Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:55 pm 
Reply with quote
Donator
User avatar
Offline

Joined
Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:12 am

Posts
1210

Location
Brisbane, Queensland

Favourite OS
OS/2 Wrp 3.0
Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, one did not have much hard disk space, and tended to resent vendors and applications putting junk you don't plan to use. The idea was to get more out of the fixed disk, by deleting things. One might note in Microsoft's Resource Kit that there is a chapter on 'what to delete'.

Windows 3.1 installs to 10-15 megabytes, which is a lot on an 80 MB disk. When you put DOS in there as well, it comes to 5 MB or more extra. Little wonder that disk compression got a fair bit of use, even from me. Disks started to bloom out at the time of Windows 95.

The idea was that when you bought proggies, you looked on it as a 'box of toys' and figured out what to keep and what to toss. Some of the things don't change from version to version, and others do.

Most DOS versions sit unexpanded on individual 1440 floppies. The other junk (like dosshell, gwbasic, basica, rexx, deltree, move, choice, undelete, etc) go in a different distro, which is separately managed. Likewise, the only thing installed in Windows is progman.exe, the rest is unzipped, and a DDEScript is run to create the groups. The utilities live in the path, but not in the windows directory. Ditto fonts and bitmaps.

Civilisation 1 (1992) was a wonderful game. It comes on 4*360, but i added a 1440 floppy which adds the german, french, and later versions of the game. Because these don't read each other's saved files, i did string-hacks on the later ones. It reduces the install from 10 floppies to three.

Norton desktop 3 was a huge thing, but i 'thinned it out' from six or eight floppies to a floppy it shares with the remains of becker tools.

Even though we have larger disks now, one is still prone to hack these things, even of modern programs. During the run of 4NT (before vers 9), i merged 4nt and tcmd32, 4os2 and tcmdos2 into single directories. Rexx Conn was aghast at it, but i told him i have done this from the earliest versions of take command.

The latest hacks are Norton's utilities etc. NU8 has been divided into a DOS and a Windows set, each about 4 MB. Norton Desktop has a lot of its rubbish (Norton utilities), removed. The idea is to update these in situ.

The recent MS-DOS 5.00.224 beta has got me playing around with DOS menus. DOSSHELL is actually quite serviceable if one runs it in full program mode. (as in the 224 beta), rather than the default. You get a fairly decent feel for the DOS menu systems, if you run it like that.

Norton Desktop has a similar menu system in it (nm.exe, nmenu.bat, nmenu.hlp), and the desktop editor can be extracted as NDEDIT.OVL + EDIT.HLP -> EDIT.EXE + EDIT.HLP. Works just dandy, opening a given file, but can cause a bit of a cough if you try it without params. The savers are identical to those in NC 5.51, the saver.nss is actually saver.exe

Since what comes in the box is a 'series of packages', one can keep bits one likes and update other bits. So for example, one can update the Norton utilities in ND with those out of NU8.

The norton install proggie looks eminently hackable, since it relies on a text script.


Top  Profile  WWW
 PostPost subject: Re: The Art of Unpacking Applications        Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:22 pm 
Reply with quote
Offline

Joined
Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:52 pm

Posts
241

Location
State of Georgia USA

Favourite OS
Windows 1.0 DR5
DOSSHELL in MS-DOS 5.00.224 split up Program Manager, File Manager, and Color Manager and you press esc button to switch between Program Manager and File Manager it just like Windows 3.0.


Top  Profile  WWW
 PostPost subject: Re: The Art of Unpacking Applications        Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:03 pm 
Reply with quote
Donator
User avatar
Offline

Joined
Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:13 am

Posts
2016

Location
Slovenia, Central Europe.

Favourite OS
Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222B
- johnlemon647: Please stop posting posts that have nothing to do with the topic.

_________________
Join #softhistory @ RoL IRC, a nice community for true enthusiasts!
Anime channel: #doki-doki @ RoL IRC, Mibbit, KiwiIRC.
The 86Box help channel is #softhistory now!

Check out our SoftHistory Forum for quality discussion about older software.


Top  Profile  WWW  ICQ  YIM
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All views expressed in these forums are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the BetaArchive site owner.

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

Copyright © 2006-2020

 

Sitemap | XML | RSS