How To Use aDosBox on Android Phones Without Physical Keyboard
By on May 31st, 2010

I got hold of an HTC Legend as my first Android phone last week and I have quite enjoyed using it. Though recently, I thought of trying out something cool on my phone and I recalled that there was a blog on running Windows 3.1 on Android.

A bit of googling took me to this page and I thought of trying this out. I installed aDosBox and ran the application to see that I could not bring up the keyboard on this application! However, it  occurred  to me that only if I could type into aDosBox by some other method, this would work. Some more searching on the market took me to an app which does exactly what I wanted. These are the steps I followed and with the same, you can type into aDosBox or any other emulator which does not bring up the default keyboard on your Android phone.

  1. First, download and install aDosBox from this page as it is not available on the market yet.
  2. Next, install an app named Wi-Fi Keyboard from the android market.wifi-keyboard
  3. Now, enable it by going to Settings > Language and Keyboard and selecting Wifi Keyboard.
  4. Next, you need to change the text input method to Wifi Keyboard. To do that, bring up a text area and long press into the text box. You will get an option to select the input method. Select Wifi Keyboard on the next screen.
  5. Now, switch on the Wi-Fi on your phone and connect to a network to which you PC will connect.

That will set up your phone to receive text inputs from your PC and completes the first part of the tutorial. Next, you need to connect your PC over Wi-Fi and navigate to the URL:

http://117.99.7.227:7777

in a browser. You will see this page.

wifi-keyboard-desktop

This sets up your computer for sending text inputs.

Coming back to aDosBox, run it and you will see the DosBox screen. With the browser opened at the same time on your PC, you can send text and command inputs to your phone.

adosbox-android-dosbox

To bring up “:”, press “alt + H”. Try other combination for some other characters which do not appear normally. This will be needed to mount folders as drives.

On an ending note, I could not run Windows 3.1 on my phone as aDosBox simply crashed every time I issued win.com. Though, the attempt was thrilling in itself and I enjoyed trying.

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Author: Chinmoy Kanjilal Google Profile for Chinmoy Kanjilal
Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at Techarraz.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Chinmoy Kanjilal has written and can be contacted at chinmoy@techie-buzz.com.

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