Creating a Killer MP3 Player
The goal is to put a computer that is too old and slow to run all the latest Windoze software to good use. The ideal machine would be a Pentium 133 with 64MB of memory, a CDROM drive and a floppy drive. Most any old Pentium-class machine will do, although early 60 MHz and 75 MHz boxes may be marginal for playing high-bit-rate MP3 files.
Aside from the computer, you will need:
Unbolt the old hard drive and bolt in the new, big one. Be sure to set the jumpers as "Master".
Plug the sound card into a spare ISA slot. There is no need to connect the CD audio to the card, but you can if you want to.
Plug the LAN card into a spare ISA or PCI slot, as required.
Boot from the disk extender floppy and follow the instruction for installing a new hard drive.
The preferred method of Windoze install is a personal choice. Do it whichever way makes you happy. Just be sure to boot from a DOS floppy or begin install from a CD after the disk extender is loaded and running. The best way it to proceed directly from extender install to Windoze install.
A few items will make this step go much easier:
Pop up a DOS box, change to the root directory and type ATTRIB -r -s -h MSDOS.SYS. With Notepad or some other editor, add the following two lines right under [Options]:
Logo=0 BootGUI=0The first line will supress the Windoze cloud picture during boot. The second line will prevent subsequent boots from loading the GUI portion of Windoze. The computer will boot into DOS 7.
Pop up a DOS box again, change to the root directory and type ATTRIB +r +s +h MSDOS.SYS.
Using Notepad or any other editor, create CONFIG.SYS in the root directory. Below is an example:
[Menu] Menuitem=Normal,Normal Menuitem=Windoze,Windoze MenuDefault=Normal,3 [Normal] device=c:\windows\himem.sys /testmem:off /v devicehigh=c:\windowsmm386.exe noems D=64 devicehigh=c:\drv\btccdrom.sys /D:ARP001 [Windoze] dos=high,umb files = 31The only line you should change is the path to and name of the CDROM driver.
Using Notepad or any other editor, create AUTOEXEC.BAT in the root directory. Below is an example:
@echo off c: path c:\windows;c:\windows\command;c:\;c:\util;c:\bat prompt $p$ - set blaster=A220 I5 D1 H5 T6 set mp3path=c:\mp3\VBR lh c:\windows\command\doskey if %config%==Windoze goto bootwin lh c:\windows\smartdrv /x a- b- /u /q 1024 1024 lh c:\windows\command\mscdex.exe /L:M /S /D:ARP001 mpr -d-vc goto done :bootwin echo Booting Windoze... @echo off win :doneYou will have to change the DOS and the MPR paths and the name of the CDROM (if it was changed in CONFIG.SYS). Now, the machine will boot into DOS by default and run the MP3 player. A menu will be displayed for 3 seconds, giving the option to boot into Windoze.
Create a directory called UTIL (or whatever you want--just make sure it is in the path) and copy MPR.EXE into it. Copy any other DOS utilities you might need on this computer into that same directory.
Boot into Windoze and create any directories you will need to store your MP3 files. From Explorer, enable network sharing by right clicking on each directory and selecting <Sharing...>. Then click <Shared As>, <Full>, <Apply> and <OK>.
You should be able to boot into Windoze and copy any files you wish from any other computer on the network. Using Explorer, you can copy, move, delete or open any files on the player the same way you do on your main Windoze computer.
You have created the best stand-alone, MP3-playing computer possible. You have combined the long filename and network capabilities of Windoze with the simplicity and reliability of DOS. When you want music, simply turn on the computer. It will boot and play. When you are done, hit the <Esc> key, wait for the program to exit and turn off the computer.
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