Turbo Pascal on iPad

Isn’t not like I need a distraction from work, but I couldn’t resist this one. I saw a tweet about iDOS, a DOS emulator app just released for iPad and iPhone. For fear the app will be pulled from the App Store, I bought it right away. Besides, it’s only 99 cent.

I read a story about someone installing Windows 3.0 inside of iDOS. Sounds cool but I’m not interested in Windows 3.0. Instead, I decided to install Turbo Pascal. Embarcadero recently posted Turbo Pascal v5.5 as a free download so the first thing I did was to grab a copy of it. Next, I grabbed an unzip program so I can unzip TP55.zip in iDOS. (Save time and go here to download unz552x3.exe.)

Here are the remaining steps I followed to get Turbo Pascal up and running on my iPad.

  • Connect the iPad to iTunes.

  • In iTunes, go to the Apps tab for the connected iPad and scroll down to the file sharing section.

  • Drag and drop TP55.zip and unz552x3.exe to iDOS.

  • Sync the device.

  • Once sync is complete, launch iDOS on the iPad. You’ll find the two files in the root directory.

  • Copy unz552x3.exe to a new directory, or just run it in the root directory. This will uncompress the unzip utility files. I prefer running it in a separate directory to keep the root clean.

  • Unzip TP55.zip. This will create two directories, DISK1 and DISK2. Again, I copied TP55.zip to a temp directory before unzip.

  • Run install.exe found in the DISK1 directory. If your experience is similar to mine, you will get a message saying to insert the oop/demos/bgi/doc diskette. I’m guessing the installer can’t find the directory DISK2.

  • At this point, I aborted the install. Not to worry. Turbo Pascal’s IDE, compiler, etc have been installed.

  • By default, the IDE can be found in c:\TP. The program file to run is turbo.exe.

That’s it. Happy coding!

Update: If those not lucky enough to grab a copy of iDOS from the App Store, you can download the source code for DOSPad and build your own version.