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UserGUIDE: How to get CompuShow v9.04a running on modern PCs (Users)

posted by Arjay(R), 12.12.2009, 15:56
(edited by Arjay on 13.12.2009, 01:13)

Hi all, [note this is a draft work in progress - input from others here would be helpful / any resulting guide from here can be freely distributed under creative commons etc]

How to resolve the infamous "Runtime 200" bug for CSHOW / CompuShow

Firstly I don't personally know what has happened to "Bob Berry" of "Canyon State Systems and Software" who wrote CSHOW, as Bob's website has NOT been updated for many years (since 2005) and his phone number in Sedona, Arizona strangely appears to be diverting to India. (I am trying his email / further efforts to locate him - any feedback from anyone on this matter would be appreciated. archive of his compuserve site which has turned up a short personal biography). It would appear but I am not yet certain that CompuShow may now have been abandoned (including Windows version), still to aid existing registered DOS users please find below a short patching guide for anyone interested in running "C o m p u S h o w 9.04a" (or earlier) for DOS on modern "fast" PC's:

You will need at least 3 things:
1) A copy of CompuShow aka CSHOW (*preferably* registered by yourself - remember this software is/was shareware - please support authors!)
2) A copy of Ben Castricum's UNP 4.11 (or later) Executable file restore utility (usually available as or
3) A copy of Andreas Bauer's TTPATCH.ZIP (link to background and download)
4) Haruyasu Yoshizaki (Yoshi)'s Lha 2.13 (or later) - if you do NOT have a floppy disk drive or an easy way to set a virtual drive A: one up.

Steps that need to be taken to achieve a working version of CSHOW:
1) If you don't have it already download CSHOW for DOS from somewhere. At the time of writing it is still available from the authors original website:

2) Unzip/extract the entire contents of the CSHOW distribution that you have into a directory. In this example we are going to use a directory called Q:\test.

3) Unzip TPPATCH and Ben Castricum's UNP into exactly the same directory.

4) In the case of CSHOW v9.04a you should have 2 files in the directory: CSHOWA.EXE (264,615 bytes) and FILE_ID.DIZ (369 bytes). We only need to worry about the CSHOWA.EXE which is a PKLite compressed LHA self extracting archive and three programs it contains: CSHOW.EXE + README.EXE + SETUP.EXE.

5) [still working on this bit but basically it is as below...]

q:\test>unp.exe -k+ cshowa.exe

UNP 4.11 Executable file restore utility, written by Ben Castricum, 05/30/95

processing file : CSHOWA.EXE
DOS file size   : 264615
file-structure  : executable (EXE)
EXE part sizes  : header 96 bytes, image 12594 bytes, overlay 251925 bytes
processed with  : PKLITE V1.12 -e
action          : decompressing... done
new file size   : 271221
writing to file : CSHOWA.EXE

q:\test>tppatch.exe cshowa.exe
TPPatch v1 - written by Andreas Bauer <>

Überprüfe die Datei ...Datei ist ok.
Die Datei wird jetzt gepatcht... fertig.

Install: CompuShow standard version 9.04a

Install on a floppy? (Y/N) >Y
Floppy drive? (A/B) >A:
Installing to A:
LHA's SFX 2.12L (c) Yoshi, 1991

A:CSHOW.EXE ..........

Install completed. To execute CompuShow standard version 9.04a,
 type "A:CSHOW" and press ENTER

q:\test>md cshow
q:\test>copy a:\. .\cshow
q:\test>cd cshow
q:\test\cshow>..\unp -k+ *.exe
q:\test\cshow>for %a in (*.exe) do ..\tppatch.exe %a

 12/12/2009                    C o m p u S h o w                       Saturday
 14:01:21             Standard Version 9.04a [02/06/1995]
=============================== Q:\TEST\CSHOW\*.* ============================
 HDD           <VOL> 00/00/80 00:00:00   CSHWIN.BAT        9 02/06/95 12:00:00
 .             <DIR> 12/12/09 13:57:34   FILE_ID.DIZ     369 02/06/95 12:00:00
 ..            <DIR> 12/12/09 13:57:34   README.EXE    62544 02/06/95 12:00:00
 CSHOW.DRV     36617 02/06/95 12:00:00   SETUP.EXE     46320 02/06/95 12:00:00
 CSHOW.EXE    266528 02/06/95 12:00:00

Other good alternative DOS viewers:

External references of people running into this problem (may be included / may not since may help point people to this guide):
Vista - Running cshow under DOS/VPC2007
[BL] no XVESA or svgalib - DOS/linux video problem


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