Horror of Horrors, Neko98 nearly lost!

Building Neko

It came to my attention that the site in.sert.co.in no longer exists! And worse, that the files on the page are long gone.  Thankfully the internet archive did snag A page from there, but the downloads are all gone!

Thankfully I have a 1TB disk (lol so small now!) and I downloaded the source code, so all is not lost.  I don’t know why I didn’t mirror it before but there you go.  For all the diehard neko fans download the source, and keep hold of it….!

So that being said, I fired up Visual Studio 97 (I knew buying that was a good idea!) and built an i386 Win32 version…  I also rescued the cat sounds, but no luck on the rest of the files.

So once more again, neko has been saved!

Neko screen saver via QEMU

A while back I found this post on IBM of all places on making a Windows screen saver out of Qemu.

I’ve always wanted to play with this but never really got around to it.  So I figured I’d give it a shot today, and whoa what a LOT of work.  First of all back then they were using Qemu 0.72 which… sucks compared to 0.14.1!

Next things have changed a *LOT* so it did take a bit of work to get this thing to go.  I’m not terribly happy with this but the upshot is that I did manage to create a CD-ROM ISO image that can:

Boot up, load the windows 3.0 demo which then kicks off Neko!

After exiting the demo, it’ll do an APM shutdown of the VM killing Qemu and returning you back to Windows.

So yes, in effect it is a neko screensaver using Windows 3.0 & Neko from 1991.  The installation is manual, the ISO has to live in C:\ .  There is no install program, and I don’t think it works on x86_64 machines.  Also the neat Windows preview thing doesn’t work (in the small window OR full screen preview..  And full screen textmode in Qemu is broken so while it’s doing the MS-DOS shuffle you’ll get garbage until it comes up in it’s VGA glory.

I’m kind of hesitant to release this but it it’s been driving me mad.  Also the changes to vl.c are in the ISO for the 2 or 3 people that care about how to remove the madding CLI options from Qemu and perhaps either read a config file, or hardcode it what to do.

So for those of you who think you can handle it, it’s right here.

 

Oh and the patch is like this in vl.c

    /* second pass of option parsing */
    optind = 1;
for(;;) {
        if (optind >= argc)
            break;
        if (argv[optind][0] != '-') {
                if(1==1){
              /* Going to run as a Windows screen saver */
              full_screen = 1 ;
                data_dir = ".";
              ram_size=16*1024*1024 ;
                no_reboot = 1;
                drive_add(IF_DEFAULT, 2, "c:\\neko.iso", CDROM_OPTS);

    argc--;
    optind--;       //turn off the 2nd uneeded flag...?
              rtc_utc = 0;
              optind += 1 ;
            }
                else {
            hda_opts = drive_add(IF_DEFAULT, 0, argv[optind++], HD_OPTS);

A quick Neko x64 update!

Oh no!

Oh no!

For anyone who’s been using neko x64 on Windows Vista or Windows 7 and seeing something like the above, it turns out the fix was really easy and really simple. As mentioned by mikesword221, all you have to do is make it ‘always on top’.

Just right click on the cat in the task bar (he may be hiding, check under the up arrow…)

And make your settings something like this:

Configure Neko

Configure Neko

Then hit ok and Neko will now look normal, with no more ghosting.

Later on I’ll have to make an installer, and fix it so that neko is always on top.

Glorious Neko returned!

Glorious Neko returned!

 

Neko x64!

 

For no real reason today I remmeber that there used to be this cool program back in the Windows 3.0 days called Neko. I was trying to explain it to my girlfriend about this cat that would chase your mouse!  Click the picture above to play with neko in jdosbox.

I recal that Neko even made it to OS/2 as it was more interesting then the mouse trails alternative from Microsoft.

 

At any rate, I was wondering if there ever was a 32bit version of Neko… And much to my amazement I found there was a Neko95, and a Neko98! And they even ran on my x64 version of Windows… So after googling around, I found the source code to Neko 98!

So I did the next best thing, which is download the source, fix a single casting ‘error’ in some square root function and I got it building under Visual C++ 2008. Then I figured, what the hell, added a target for the x64, and built… a 64 bit version of neko!

 

You can download the x64 binaries, and the source directory that I used here.

You may need some VC runtimes if your system is an old x64… At this moment it can be found here:

Or by searching for Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64)

Oh well at any rate, it’s cool to see Neko still kicking!

PS When I get back I’ll have to see about an i386MIPS, Dec Alpha and Itanium build… wink wink!

—edit

Neko98’s source code has been rescued, all saved here.

—years later

I just received this screen shot of Neko x64 rocking it on Windows 8 (Desktop mode)

Neko on Windows 8