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Thread: New laptop with Virtual Machine, or keep the dino?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Thief fan since ca. 1999

    New laptop with Virtual Machine, or keep the dino?

    First, a few things to get out of the way.

    • I did a search first, can't find anything more recent, or what I'm looking for on this forum. My apologies if this has been discussed. If you can just direct me there, that would be appreciated.
    • Not sure if this is better served here,or in GenGaming
    • Considering a new laptop..see below.
    • Yes, I'm aware of compatibility mode, and I'm aware of GOG, steam, etc.


    With that out of the way, what I'm looking for is opinions on whether to go ahead and get a new laptop and just run a virtual machine on it for Windows XP to play old games that don't run on newer operating systems, or keep my dino of a laptop from 2008. I'm running WinXP on this old laptop and have kept the laptop for 3 reasons:

    1.) I want a portable laptop system in case I need it (such as travel)
    2.) It's a backup system
    3.) I keep the OLD laptop because it runs games that don't run in newer operating systems.

    For #3, the main issue here is games like Comet Busters, which is an old Win3.1 game and it does not run on newer operating systems. Also among other games that I'm not confident will run, even with fiddling with compat mode.To be honest though, I'm not sure I've tried all of the games but.. i'd rather think this out and ask for a second opinion than risk upgrading and not being able to do what I want to do. I seem to recall at least trying to get Comet Busters to run on a newer machine and it just refused.

    I guess what I'm asking is if you think it's worth it to keep this dinosaur of a machine, or if I ought to get the latest and greatest laptop. There are a lot of negatives to keeping this old thing. I'm really only keeping it and not upgrading because of the old games.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    You're kinda phrasing it as an either/or situation. Why can't you do both?

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Go for a new laptop. These days dosbox support is great for old games and it's rare that there's a game that I care about that can't be run through it one way or another. Form a quick search, I was able to play comet busters in a browser that used dosbox to launch windows 3.1 and then the game. It was a bit slow but if you have the ability to run it through dosbox directly then I'm sure it would be fine to scratch that itch. As Renz says, you could always keep the original laptop as backup until you have confidence that it can be put to rest.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Thief fan since ca. 1999
    Fair point, Renz. I could definitely do both.. but I was wondering if it was worth the cost to get a new laptop when I can just keep what I have.. but then like I said, it can go back the other direction of, this thing is a dinosaur at this point, security issues, it's slow as fuck, etc. when I could just do a virtual machine if I really needed to run old software with a brand spank-en new laptop.

    Good point on running windows 3.1 through dosbox. I've forgotten about that, that is an option for that game ...

    I'm mainly worried about those games that aren't dos based, though. That happens to work for that specific game but wouldn't work for later games, and GOG doesn't have everything. (And I love GOG, I have lots of games through them, don't get me wrong!)

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I strongly suspect if you got a new laptop you'd forget about your old one very quickly. Give an example of a game that was released later that you're worried won't work and I'd be surprised if it wasn't possible to run on modern machines by hook or crook

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'd say, get a new one. At this point, the quality of life improvements you get from upgrading to a faster machine with a better operating system (SSD alone is a gamechanger) are staggering.

  7. #7
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I'm agreeing with Al_B here. Keep the old one around just in case you find your old games don't work well through DOSBox. If they don't, well, you have your old machine handy to scratch your retrogaming itch. If they do, then hey, you've got a swanky new laptop that does everything you want it to do, and you can use the old one for whatever.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Thief fan since ca. 1999
    Okay. Thanks for the input guys.

    Hope everyone is doing ok! I see you are a moderator now, Renz. (Or were you always? Kinda fallen off TTLG a bit.)

  9. #9
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I've been a mod about, I dunno, 4 years now or so? It's been a minute.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Thief fan since ca. 1999
    Now the problem is picking one. I was really looking hard at the Acer Nitro 5, however I discovered it doesn't have an SD card reader. Even my old clunker has one! Trying to find what I want specifically is proving to be a challenge.

    I was doing some research, there's an HP that has it but has Intel Graphics. Yuck.

    This is sort of my criteria for an ideal laptop:
    - Nvidia graphics chip. I guess AMD would be fine too.
    - SD card reader slot
    - 17.3" monitor

    There seems to be a lot more 15.6 size laptops than 17.3... and it seems like most laptops, at least the gaming ones, dont have an SD card slot.

    So anyway, was wondering if you guys have and suggestions.
    Last edited by sNeaksieGarrett; 28th Apr 2020 at 17:50. Reason: Typos... using phone

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I think you can pick up a USB SD card reader for something like 5 bucks or so. There are some that double as a hub or a passthrough as well.
    Last edited by Starker; 28th Apr 2020 at 18:05.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Thief fan since ca. 1999
    Thanks, Starker! I was just coming back to post that I completely forgot that I have a USB SD card reader. I picked it up awhile back for something so I could use it on a computer that didn't have an SD card slot, also because the laptop is ancient. I can't believe I forgot about it. I found it in a drawer this afternoon.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    The SD card thing is now a non-issue. I will probably pick up the Acer Nitro.

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