DOSbox. DOS emulator for XP and Vista


DOSbox is an open source emulator that will run ancient DOS programs in XP and Vista, including Vista 64.

Among my arcane specialties, I sometimes convert and migrate Clipper database programs to modern platforms. Needed to run Clipper on my Vista 64 laptop, but Vista returned an error message saying it was incompatible with 64-bit.

Found DOSbox, installed it, and it runs Clipper fine. And yes, there are probably millions of Clipper apps out there still running. Seriously. Every now and then, someone asks me to drag another such application, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. (Generally I just export the data, manipulate it, then import into whatever the new platform is.)

Trust me, no one writing Clipper apps in 1988 ever thought their apps would still be running in 2009. No one. But a surprising number of large corporations (not to mention countless small businesses) still run mission-critical applications in DOS using a Clipper app someone wrote long ago.


  1. I still use DOS as an analytical engine and often repair, ahhhh… portal in supporting my 9x, NT, 2000 and to a very limited extent XP clientel (I do not support Vista, period) so this is very interesting. ‘Course before I could test some of the DOS apps I’ve written I’d have to buy external (3.5 and 5.5) floppy drives, but this could be a valuable new tool in my kit.

    Thanks Bob

    • I’m currently have two good-sized corporations who may want me for 6 week full contracts dealing with their Clipper apps. That’s why I was happy to find DOSbox. Apparently it was written primarily so people could play old DOS games.

      It somehow opens a Drive Z: using an ancient DOS, etc., then you mount a drive to wherever you want to work on your PC.

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