SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6

Without asking Google, how many of you can tell me what any of the parameters in today’s blog title mean? If you’re at all familiar with it, you’ll be able to get at least three. I remembered five of them, myself. If you know all seven, you are a true old-school god.

These days you don’t need to know anything about the hardware in your machine, especially if the machine comes with Windows pre-installed. If you build it yourself, you may need to know the names of the pieces so you can find drivers, but you never need to know the interrupts and hardware addresses being used by the hardware. PnP no longer means Plug and Pray. Except in very very arcane situations, nobody ever needs to move a jumper.

If you gave today’s computer whiz kids all the parts to build a Pentium-166 and the all the right disks, how many of them would be able to get it put together, get DOS installed, and get it to play a network game of Doom II with sound?

So you won’t have to scour the Internet trying to figure out the inner workings of the BLASTER environment variable, here is an excerpt from the SoundBlaster AWE32 readme file:

   BLASTER environment variable

   The BLASTER environment variable specifies the base I/O address,
   interrupt number and DMA channel hardware configuration of the
   Sound Blaster AWE32.  The command for setting the BLASTER environment
   variable is as follows:

             SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6

         Axxx  Specifies the Sound Blaster AWE32 base I/O address.
               xxx can be 220, 240, 260, or 280.
         Ix    Specifies the interrupt request line.  x can be 2, 5,
               7, or 10.
         Dx    Specifies the Low DMA channel.  x can be 0, 1, or 3.
         Hx    Specifies the High DMA channel.  x can be 5, 6, or 7.
         Pxxx  Specifies the MPU-401 interface base I/O address.  xxx
               can be 300 or 330.
         Exxx  Specifies the Advanced WavEffects chip's base I/O
               address. xxx can be 620, 640, 660, or 680.
         Tx    Specifies the card type.  x must be 6.

4 responses to “SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6”

  1. Geez, grampa, easy on the “uphill both ways” talk. Oh, and wtf is ‘dos’ anyway, some kinda ancient PunkBuster program? Doom is that game based on the movie starring Teh Rox0rz, right?

  2. I think you’re a little older than the ‘whiz kids’ I was thinking about, Seth. 🙂 I’m talking about kids of 15 or 16 who’ve been toying with computers since they were very young. I’m going to create a separate post about “my” first computer.

    I didn’t know there was a movie! Thanks for the tip! That’s coming out really soon, too.

    It would be amusing if they came out with movies with these titles over the next few years:

    Doom II
    Final Doom
    Quake II
    Quake 3 Team Arena

    At some point, they would have to do something like “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” as a prequel.

    As for the grampa stuff … I have a 13 year old daughter. I could be a grampa sometime in the next 5 years. I really hope I’m not, as it would be better for my kids to be “grown up” before they have kids.

  3. I got 4 of them and, if I may date myself, only the first three were required on the very first and original SoundBlaster card (which I still have somewhere in my basement).

    I would like to see a movie made about Descent.

    Remember that the SoundBlaster was not the best sound card available? What about my Gravis Ultrasound that I pimped out with 2MB of RAM! Now THAT was a sound card!

  4. I loved my GUSMAX. Because of the card’s design everything that supported it natively would run much faster because it wasn’t using the main processor to mix sounds.

    Now of course that’s the way they all do it.

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