I have a program called Parsonstech Hebrew Tutor, designed for Windows 98. Evidently it was compiled as a 16-bit program, although it is not DOS, and has a GUI (16-bit Windows program). I have been able to get this to run on 32-bit Windows XP running in a VMWare virtual machine, but that is a lot of overhead for what is otherwise a very simple and could even be portableized program (it is one of those older programs that runs off CD without installation). I don't really want to boot up a whole OS to run this program.
That being said, I have done some research into DOS box, and read a tutorial on installing Windows 3.1 on Dos box, but I do believe this is a full system emulation anyway, and I don't know if the program would run on Windows 3.1 since it is designed for Windows 98.
The most promising thing I have seen is qemu user-mode emulation, which claims it can emulate just the processor and call the program (even 16-bit programs) without running a whole elaborate VM environment. Unless I am misunderstanding it. I tried to call the program as follows:
from command line, but it just runs and resets and doesn't open the program. I think I am using it wrong. Can somebody help? Or what are my options? Ideally, I would love to make the entire program and whatever virtualization it needs to run into a portable executable, without installing VMWare player on every computer I use it on. I do not have the source code to recompile it, and the company that made it does not exist anymore, but I don't want to let it die!