The Dog Show gets a new fan


Sorry it's so dark but it's a pic of a black dog in a dark room and you can only lighten so much in GIMP.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a comment regarding how dogs think…last night, I had a quick Channel surf after Nightline to see if there was anything worth keeping the TV on for…I didn’t think so but there was a rerun of The Dog Show on TV6. All of a sudden, Kirk and Lulu had not only woken up but were paying close attention to the show. The Dog Show was a local TV hit in the 80s here: it’s certainly not Cruft’s but is a competition about a man, his dogs and some of the dumbest stubbornest sheep on the planet – each episode pits working dogs and their bosses against a  series of challenges to herd a group of sheep through various obstacles and/or into a pen…sounds rivetting, I know, but it actually is quite addictive and gained a mega following down here…

Normally the dogs show zero interest in TV, the one exception being It’s Me or the Dog, a UK show about sorting difficult dogs and owners, along the lines of The Dog Whisperer – but even that never caused the reaction that The Dog Show got last night. Both dogs sat up and watched it the whole way through (so much for short canine attention spans!) and I had to shift Kirk behind the coffee table so that he didn’t try to stick his head through the screen again…

Virtual PC 2007

And speaking of dogs, I tried out a Microsoft product last night and had pretty low expectations, having been in the Microsoft productspace before…but…I have to say that this time the experience was anything but a dog. The problem is that as each generation of operating system come sit, there are always some casualties in the compatibility stakes and these are usually games – a lot of the time, they are not great loss but there are a number of DOS games that remain classics but which just will not fly in a Windows environment. These include Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Megafortress, Wing Commander, the Dynamix sim series (Red Baron, A-10, Aces of the Pacific), Tornado and Falcon 3.0. Fortunately, DOS gamers have been well supported by a DOS emulator called DosBox; the interface is very DOS and command liney but there are a number of Windows GUI interfaces, my preferred one being DFend. Most DOS games work well under DosBox and the programme provides access to modern peripherals like joysticks etc….

…but…

…the losers so far in this game have been those games that will only run under Win95/98 and which spurn later versions of Windows (maybe they know something we don’t?). I was gutted when I ‘upgraded’ to XP that favourites like Interstate ’76, USAF and the Close Combat series (and they are even made by Microsoft!!) no longer worked. On a whim the other night, I Googled again for Win95 Emulator and after sifting through a kazillion blogs and threads bemoaning the lack of compatibility with older games, stumbled across Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007 – yep, it’s been available for over two years!! Ignore any messages that it doesn’t work on XP Home – it does – the download is just over 30Mb, 90 minutes or so on the trusty dial-up (cheers, Telecom – NOT!), installation is painless and the setup for a virtual drive is intuitive and painless. You do need to have the installation disk for the OS you want to virtualise AND the verification code that goes with it – I had a moment of panic re the code but located it in the puter drawer (big thumbs-up to Carmen’s file system). When installing Win98, I felt the cold hand of total informational terror clutch my heart when the window said “Formatting Drive C: 2% complete” but everything in the Virtual PC window IS airgapped from your real C: drive…in 1995, OS2 Warp reformatted by drive and that’s how I lost every file I had from my early computing days and study at Waikato. Game installation and play has been simple and very painless. The only problem has been trying to find a MPEG-2 driver for Win98 so that the video segments of Wing Commander III will play. Retro gamers out there, check it out…!


One thought on “The Dog Show gets a new fan

  1. Pingback: Every time a coconut « The World According to Me…

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