Initial Release: Adam 2018 *** UPDATED ***

What is Adam 2018?

Adam 2018 is a software package that helps improve your Coleco Adam experience. The initial release is a front end to the excellent Adam emulator originally created by Marcel de Kogel and currently maintained by Geoffrey Oltmans.

Upcoming version release information:

  1. Initial release – Adam Emulator Front End (November 2017)
  2. Image manipulation, view directories and files in images, copy and paste (December 2017)
  3. Adam Virtual Disk Drive (AViD) integration (Spring 2018)


Installing Adam 2018

Once I decide on a good installer (i.e. free) I will automate this:

  1. Unzip the archive – I suggest putting it in C:\ADAM2018
  2. Right click on t he “Adam 2018.exe” icon and select Send To .. Desktop Shortcut
  3. Navigate to where you unzipped it and enter the “vc” folder
  4. Run the program “VC_redist.x86.exe” – this will install the needed DLL’s
  5. Restart your computer – this is a must else the DLL’s will not be registered
  6. If you do not have a working copy of Adam EM on your computer continue these steps, else run Adam 2018 and use the Configuration / Program option to tell Adam 2018 where the emulator is (see menu options below)
  7. Windows 7, 8 and 10:
    1. Navigate to the “emulator” folder and right click on the program adamem.exe
    2. Select Properties
    3. Select Compatibility
    4. Click the “Change settings for all users” button
    5. Check the “Run this program as an administrator” option
    6. Click OK
    7. Click OK again
    8. Now run AdamEm.exe, if pop ups show asking if you want to allow changes tell it yes, tell always / never ask again
  8. Windows XP (and possibly Vista):
    1. Navigate to the “dosemu” folder
    2. Double click on the “adamem.exe” file
    3. When it asks if you want to run it uncheck the ‘Always ask before opening file” box and click Run
    4. When Smart Writer opens, press CTRL+F9 and then select Quit Emulator

Adam 2018 is now ready to use. If you installed for XP you will need to initially go to Configuration / Program in the Adam 2018 program and navigate to the “dosemu” folder and select adamem.exe as the emulator.


Adam 2018 Main Menu Options:

  • Adam – Starts the Adam Emulator using the configuration given. If you have not configured it yet it will start in Smart Writer.
  • Colecovision – Lets you select a cartridge (.rom) file and then starts the emulator in Colecovision mode.
  • Configuration – Shows the configuration options:
    • Program – Select where the Adam emulator is. By default it will use the copy that came with Adam 2018
    • Disk Images- Select up to 4 disk images (.dsk) to use with the emulator.
    • Tape Images – Select up to 4 tape images (.ddp) to use with the emulator.
    • IDE Images – Select up to 2 IDE images to use with the emulator. You will also need to have your first disk image be the IDE boot software. You can use the supplied image bootide.dsk in the support folder.
    • Expansion RAM – Select the size of expansion ram to use.
    • Additional Options – Any other options you may want to use to configure the emulator. A full list of these options is in the file AdamEm.txt in the emulator folder.
  • Help – Shows the help options:
    • About – About Adam 2018
  • Exit – Quit Adam 2018


Drag and Drop:

You can drag and drop any disk (.dsk), tape (.ddp), IDE (.img) image or cartridge (.rom) into the window (or program icon) and Adam 2018 will immediately start it. If you drag an IDE image it will also start the bootide.dsk image.



You can change the background of Adam 2018 by replacing the file background.bmp in the support folder with one of you own choosing. The dimensions used are 600 pixels wide and 300 high at 72 dpi and 24 bit color depth.



25 Replies to “Initial Release: Adam 2018 *** UPDATED ***”

  1. I noticed it’s running a little slow. It appears to be using the original MS-DOS AdamEm default frequency of 50 Hz. Typing -ifreq 60 in the command line options in Adam 2018 under Configurations – Additional Options will speed it up to equal the real hardware.

    I’ve still got AdamEm on an old MS-DOS PC and type “-ifreq 60” each time I use it. I guess the 50 Hz default was a ‘quirk’ from the original programmer being in Europe where PAL is the norm.

    I tested the speed by using the countdown clock in CV Wargames (images – Compilation Disk #04). The default – 60 seconds in real time = 51 seconds on the Wargames clock. Using -ifreq 60 then 60 seconds in real time equals 60 seconds on the Wargames clock.

    1. I don’t use the dos version anymore so its good to know how to make it faster – adding -sync 0 to the command line will make the emulator run as fast as possible too.

  2. OK…so now it runs in XP…kind of…all I can get is the emulator Window with the picture of the ADAM in it. I noticed when I click on Adam in the menu bar it closes briefly and then pops back up, with a DOS window flashing very quickly in between. I managed to finally read the message in the DOS window and it says, “The system cannot execute the specified program.”

    1. I assume you have Adam Em installed on that system and use it so use Configuration / Program to locate where it is or follow the instructions in the manual on how to set it up to run on XP.

      1. Did all that, but it still only loads the window with the picture of the ADAM in it. I will keep working with it, but I will be gone most of this next week so might not get to it until after that.

        1. I think the biggest thing is you need to right click on Adam Em and make sure it runs as administrator – also needed to use the Dos version as the Windows version would not start when called from Adam 2018 on XP – win 7 and up it does not problem

          1. I finally got it working. I changed AdamEm to the one I already had installed rather than the one included in Adam 2018. Now it works.

            Sound is crappy though just like running AdamEm by itself. That’s why Virtual ADAM runs it through DOSBox. The Sound hasn’t been right for some sound cards since Windows ME.

          2. That’s why I said in the installation if you have a working emulator skip all of the installation steps after 5 🙂 – I only included the copies so that someone could use it out of the box. If you are using DosBox you should be able to set up Adam 2018 to use it via Configuration / Program. First follow these instructions on making a shortcut to dosbox that will automatically start AdmaEm (link). Test it to be sure it is actually working. Then select that as the program to run in Configuration / Program. type in *.* so you can see all the files in the open file dialog box.

  3. It works in Win 10. Sort of. It always stops responding after about 15 minutes, Also, many games that have the difficulty options won’t work because you can’t enter any choice.
    It needs work

    1. What stops responding? The emulator? That is not my program, I wrote the interface. On the difficulty levels in the emulator, if you mean running Colecovision games you need to press F9 in the emulator to toggle joystick mode then you can use the numeric keypad for the difficulty levels and the arrow keys for the joystick

      1. Yes the emulator stops responding. It doesn’t happen in the VirtualADAM program. Maybe the version of the emulator you are using is bugged

        1. Yes there is a “bug” in the emulator that happens on all versions of Windows. By default the emulator tries to sync and run at the same speed as the Adam would have, this can cause it to lock up under windows. If speed is not an issue use the option -sync 0 to turn off the sync off.

  4. Okay, but, The Virtual ADAM emulator never locks up and it runs at the ADAM speed so there is a way around the bug that they seem to have found.

  5. Yes, this lockup issue is a known problem. As Milli says you can specify -sync 0 to work around this, however it affects timing in games… better for using this option in productivity titles that don’t depend on timing. It happens in the SDL driver and also the older X-windows driver for Linux builds (which is what I started my SDL port from). I think I have that particular issue addressed with my latest code changes (unreleased). I have been holding off doing an official build since I’m still trying to work out one issue in particular that causes Antartic Adventure to run at turbo speed. Not sure what’s going on there, everything else I’ve tried with it seems unaffected. Very frustrating! If you’re interested in beta testing my latest changes I can supply an executable. I am glad that someone is working on a front end for the emulator for the native Windows port now… I have also been trying to add a few work-arounds into the code for the old ADAMEmMam front end, which is less than ideal. 🙂

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