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Some people are puzzled as to how to go about downloading and installing Johnny Castaway, so here are a few pointers which may help you on your way.

I've created zip file that includes a fully working Johnny screennsaver. You will download DosBox to run it on.

Running Johnny under Windows

The biggest downside to the classic Johnny Castaway screensaver, which remains popular today even though it was first released way back in 1993, is that it will not run on 64-bit versions of Windows. This is due to the fact that Johnny Castaway is a 16-bit program, and while 32-bit versions of Windows have built-in compatibility for 16-bit applications, all modern 64-bit versions of the operating system only support programs that are 32-bit or newer. As a result, the growing number of Windows 64-bit users are unable to install and run Johnny Castaway out of the box.

Step 1. Install DOSBox

  1. Head over to the DOSBox website and get the latest version of DOSBox for Windows.
  2. Double-click the file you downloaded to start the setup program, and follow the on-screen instructions to install DOSBox onto your computer.
  3. When the installation of DOSBox has successfully been completed, a DOSBox icon will be placed onto your desktop. Double-click it to make sure DOSBox is working, then type "exit" on the command line and press Enter to close it again.

Step 2. Download the dosbox.zip package

  1. Download the dosbox.zip file to your computer.
  2. Locate the file in your Downloads folder and double-click it. This will open the archive file in the Explorer if your version of Windows has the built-in capability to open and extract ZIP files without a need for third-party software. If your installation of Windows does not support opening ZIP files, you will need to download and install an additional application such as 7-Zip to extract the contents.
  3. Extract all contents of the ZIP file, including the main "dosbox" folder, to the root of your hard drive. For most users, this will be "C:\" (without the quotation marks). This will create a "dosbox" folder at the location "C:\dosbox".
    • Warning: make sure you also extract the enveloping "dosbox" folder to the root of your hard drive (this is the default behavior). Extracting only the contents of that folder may put you at risk of overwriting files in your Windows folder, which may break your Windows installation or cause it to become unstable.

Step 3. Enable audio support (optional)

This step is optional. If you would like to be able to hear the sounds, follow the below instructions, which are based on those given by Reddit member ace2go:

  1. Download this file (SB16W3x.zip) to your computer, and extract its contents to a new directory within your dosbox directory. To illustrate: if in step 2 you extracted the dosbox.zip fil to C:\dosbox, extract the contents of the SB16W3x.zip file to C:\dosbox\SB16W3x. You can extract the files wherever you like, but choosing a separate folder within the DOSbox folder helps in keeping everything organized.
  2. Confirm that the files from the ZIP archive you just downloaded have been extracted into the C:\dosbox\SB16W3x folder, and then launch DOSbox via the Start Menu: press the Windows key on your keyboard, or click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen, and browse to or search for the DOSbox shortcut.
  3. Once launched, manually enter the following commands into the DOSbox window. It is important that, at the end of each command, you press the Enter key on your keyboard to execute it before moving on to the next command.

    mount c c:\dosbox
    cd c:\SB16W3X

  4. After a few seconds, you should be greeted by the "Audio Software installation program". Press the Enter key to continue.
  5. Use the arrow keys to select "Full Installation" and press Enter.
  6. Again use the arrow keys to select the "Microsoft Windows 3.1 path", press Enter, and again press Enter to confirm setting the path to the default "C:\Windows".
  7. Select the "Proceed using the settings shown" option and press Enter.
  8. In the next screen, move down to "Interrupt setting", press Enter, select "7" and again press Enter. Repeat this for the "High DMA setting".
  9. Again make sure that "Proceed using the settings shown" is selected, and press the Enter key to begin installing the audio software into the DOSbox environment. This may take several minutes. If at any time you receive a message about replacing one file with another, simply select "Skip" and press Enter to proceed.
  10. When the installation has completed, press the F10 key to exit DOSbox.

You have now installed audio support into the DOSbox environment.

If you ever want to disable audio support, open the C:\dosbox\autoexec.bat file in Notepad and comment out the following lines by adding a number sign (#) in front of them, like so:

#SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 H7 P330 T6

Note that we did not comment out the last three lines, which are unrelated to audio support. If you ever want to re-enable audio support, simply remove the number signs.

Step 4. Configure DOSBox to start Johnny Castaway

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start Menu, then click "All programs" and browse to and click on the DOSBox folder, then click "Options", followed by "DOSBox X.XX Options" (where X.XX is the version of DOSBox you downloaded). On Windows 8 you may need to use the search box to find the shortcut.
  2. A configuration file will be opened in Notepad. Change "fullscreen=false" to "fullscreen=true", then scroll down all the way to the bottom of the file. Just under "[autoexec]", copy and paste these lines:

    mount c c:\dosbox
    cd windows
    win runexit c:\windows\scrantic.exe /s

  3. Make sure that "c:\dosbox" corresponds to the location of the "dosbox" folder you extracted from the dosbox.zip file you downloaded earlier in this tutorial.
  4. Press Control+S on your keyboard or click "File" at the top of the window and select "Save" to save your changes. You can now close Notepad.
  5. Launch DOSBox by double-clicking the DOSBox icon on your desktop. The Johnny Castaway screensaver should appear within a few seconds. You can exit it by moving your mouse or pressing any key on your keyboard.

If you ever want to make changes to the DOSbox environment after completing this step, you will need to edit the configuration file again and remove the lines we added under "[autoexec]", or comment them out by adding a number sign (#) in front of them. You can then launch DOSbox normally, e.g. to add or remove audio support as described in step 3.

Step 5. Install and configure Screen Launcher

If the Johnny Castaway screensaver started successfully, we can now set it as our screensaver of choise using the free Screen Launcher utility.

  1. Right-click this link, select "Save (link) as", then browse to the Windows folder on your hard drive and click "Save" to begin downloading the Screen Launcher program.
  2. Open the Screen Saver Settings panel. In the list of screensavers, check if "Screen Launcher" is listed. If not, locate the Screen Launcher file in the Windows folder (or wherever you saved it) on your hard drive, right-click it and select "Install", and re-open the Screen Saver Settings panel; it should now appear in the list of screensavers.
  3. Return to your desktop, right-click the DOSBox shortcut icon and select "Properties". Copy the contents of the "Target" field to the clipboard (Control+C) and click "OK".
  4. Return to the Screen Saver Settings panel, select the Screen Launcher screensaver, and then click "Settings". Click once in the white text field, then press Control+V to paste the contents of the clipboard into it. Alternatively, click the "Browse" button and navigate to your hard drive, double-click the "Program Files (x86)" folder, followed by the "DOSBox-X.XX" folder, then select the DOSBox application file and click "Open".
  5. Click "OK" to exit the Screen Launcher settings panel. Return to the Screen Saver Settings panel and, making sure Screen Launcher is still the selected screensaver, click "Preview". The Johnny Castaway screensaver should now start. You can close it again by pressing any key or by moving your mouse.
  6. Finally, click "OK" in the Screen Saver Settings panel to save your changes and to set Johnny Castaway as your default screensaver.

Hopefully, you now have the 16-bit Johnny Castaway screensaver set up on your 64-bit version of Windows! Our thanks go to Reddit user ztjuh for sharing this clever method.

Running Johnny on a Mac

Thankfully, a Reddit user going by the nickname ztjuh has come up with a method similar to our workaround that allows the installation of Johnny Castaway on Mac OS X

Unfortunately, Johnny Castaway was never made available for the increasingly popular Apple Mac OS family of operating systems. Since Windows programs aren’t compatible with Mac, and vice versa, Mac users have never been able to enjoy Johnny’s screen antics.

The good news is that there is a way around these limitations, allowing Johnny Castaway to run like any other screensaver on Mac OS X. This requires a few supporting utilities, but all in all you should be able to have Johnny Castaway up and running within 15 minutes.

How it works
The 'trick', as we explain it below, is to use a combination of Wineskin, a computer program that can emulate a Windows environment on Mac OS, and AppStartSaver, a utility that allows you to run any program as your screensaver.

We have tested the below process to work on Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard, 32-bit) and OS X 10.10 (Yosemite, 64-bit). This means that while computers with a 64-bit version of Windows are unfortunately unable to run the (16-bit) Johnny Castaway screensaver, Wineskin allows it to work on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Mac OS X.

Note: because of the emulation process required to run a Windows program on a Mac, running the screensaver may result in a relatively high level of processor (CPU) load.

Let's get started!

Before you start, an update: unfortunately, AppStartSaver, a program that is crucial to getting Johnny Castaway to work on macOS, is no longer maintained, and the latest version doesn't work on the latest version of macOS. We are still looking for an alternative.

Step 1. Download Johnny Castaway
Create an empty folder named "JohnnyCastaway" on your desktop by right-clicking on an empty area and selecting "New Folder". Name it "JohnnyCastaway" and press Enter or click elsewhere to save it.
Download JohnnyCastawayMac.exe to the folder you created by right-clicking the before link and selecting "Save As".
We will be returning to this folder and file later in the process.

Step 2. Download and run Wineskin
You can optionally skip this step by downloading the application wrapper file we created using the below instructions: JohnnyCastaway.zip (42.5MB). We tested this file to work on Snow Leopard and Yosemite. Copy the Wineskin wrapper within the ZIP file to a folder on your computer where you can easily find it later, and where it is unlikely to be accidentally deleted. Double-click it to see if the screensaver works, then proceed to step 3.

Download the Wineskin Winery program here. Once the file has been downloaded, double-click it to extract its contents into the folder you downloaded it to.
Locate the "Wineskin Winery 2" application in that folder and double-click it to launch the program.
If an updated "Wrapper Version" is available, click "Update" before proceeding.
Assuming the list of "Installed Engines" is empty, click the "+" button to add an engine. Select the newest engine at the top of the dropdown list (e.g. WS9Wine1.7.35), then click "Download and Install", followed by "OK". It may take a few minutes before the engine is downloaded and installed.
Wineskin Winery will return you to the list of installed engines, and the engine you just selected and downloaded should appear in the list. Now click "Create New Blank Wrapper", name it "JohnnyCastaway" and click "OK".
If prompted to allow "WineskinX11" to accept incoming network connections, click "Deny".
The Wine Mono Installer may complain that certain packages such as "Mono" and "Gecko" are missing. The Johnny Castaway screensaver does not need these, so you can simply click "Cancel" when asked to download these.
Wait until the "Wrapper Creation Finished" message appears, then click "Open Folder in Finder". You should now see the JohnnyCastaway wrapper file we just created. Double-click it, then select "Install Software". Click "Move a Folder Inside", then locate the "JohnnyCastaway" folder you created in step 1, with the JohnnyCastawayMac.exe file in it. Select that folder when you’ve found it, and click "Choose".
Since "JohnnyCastawayMac.exe" is the only file in the folder, it should automatically have been selected as the executable. Make sure it appears at the end of the selected entry, then click "OK".
Upon returning to the Wineskin menu, click "Advanced". "JohnnyCastawayMac.exe" should appear at the end of the "Windows EXE" field. If it does not, click "Browse" and manually browse to the JohnnyCastaway folder, located in the Program Files folder, select the .exe file and click "Choose".
In the "EXE Flags" field, enter "/s" (without the quotation marks) and click "OK".
Click "Test Run" to see if the Johnny Castaway screensaver can successfully be started. Move your mouse or press a key to exit the screensaver. When prompted to view the Test Run Logs, click "Cancel".
Close the window. All settings have been saved.
Step 3. Install and configure AppStartSaver
Important: the AppStartSaver website was taken offline and the latest version of the application doesn't work with that latest version of macOS. We are looking for a solution.

Determine which version of Mac OS X you have by clicking on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and selecting "System Info".
Visit the AppStartSaver website and study the table below "Version history". Depending on your version of Mac OS X, you may need to download a version of AppStartSaver other than the latest release. Click on the version name that, according to the right column, should work with your Mac OS X installation to download it.
See "Important" note above.

Double-click the AppStartSaver file (ending in .zip) you downloaded to extract its contents into the same folder, then double-click the extracted AppStartSaver.dmg file.
A new window will pop up with the AppStartSaver.saver and ReadMe.rtf file. The window may be hidden from view behind your current (web browser) window, so try minimizing other windows if you do not see these files. Double-click the AppStartSaver.saver file to install it as a screensaver.
The Screen Saver panel will now open, and AppStartSaver should appear in the list of screensavers.
Select the AppStartSaver screensaver and click "Options".
In the "Program Control" tab, click "Set Path" and browse to the Wineskin folder on your computer. This is usually located in Users > YourUsername > Applications. If you cannot find it, enter "Wineskin" in the search box (and optionally click "This Mac" to search your entire hard drive). If you downloaded the premade wrapper in step 2 instead, browse to the folder where you copied the wrapper file to.
Within your Wineskin folder, you should be able to find the "JohnnyCastaway" Wineskin wrapper you created (or downloaded) in step 2. Click it once, then click "Open".
Click "OK" to exit the options menu for the AppStartSaver screensaver.
In the screensaver preview window, a black image with the current date and the text "JohnnyCastaway Not Running" should be visible. Click "Test" and do not move your mouse or press a key, as it may take a few seconds before Wineskin initializes the Johnny Castaway screensaver.
How to change the screensaver's settings
By default, sound effects are enabled in the Johnny Castaway screensaver. To disable these, you will need to access the screensaver's settings panel by following the below steps:

Find the "JohnnyCastaway" Wineskin wrapper file you created or downloaded, then right-click it and select "Show contents".
A new window will pop up, displaying two folders and one file. Double-click the "JohnnyCastaway" file, then click "Advanced settings" in the Wineskin menu.
In the "EXE flags" field, replace "/s" with "/c", then click the "Test Run" button.
The screensaver's settings panel should appear. Change any of the settings to your preference and click "Save" to close the panel.
Now replace "/c" with "/s" in the "EXE flags" field and optionally click "Test Run" once more to start the screensaver and see whether your changes have taken effect.
You have now changed the screensaver's settings, and since all changes have been saved, you can freely close the opened windows.
Voilá! You now have the Johnny Castaway screensaver running on Mac OS X!



Q: I continue to get the 103 error even though I've added the set temp command.

A: (from Jack Smith): Experimentation wins. I succeeded by moving johncast.exe into the temp directory before running [on a Windows 95 system]. Same thing on a 3.1 machine as well, although others with similar configs had no problem.


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Last updated on 15 July 2009 at 11:49