VOGONS


First post, by PaulECW

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Hello,

I apologize if I'm in the wrong area to ask this but I'm at whit's end...

I have a client that uses DOSBox... and to make a long, filled-with-gaps-story short, he uses it to calculate "beam sizes" (his words). He was recently setup on a new PC and the DOS config files and everything else were copied over.

According to him, at the end of punching in the different inputs to calculate the beam size, a "calculation sheet" should popup detailing the inputs and the beam size calculation for him to print/provide to his clients. This is no longer happening on the new PC and the old PC is gone with.

I realize I'm probably not leaving enough bread crumbs to get an appropriate answer but I'll take anything that could help point me in the right direction.

EDIT: Resolved. Issue was PrintFil wasn't launched when user was trying to print.

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Last edited by PaulECW on 2021-03-22, 18:07. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 7, by darry

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PaulECW wrote on 2021-03-22, 15:10:
Hello, […]
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Hello,

I apologize if I'm in the wrong area to ask this but I'm at whit's end...

I have a client that uses DOSBox... and to make a long, filled-with-gaps-story short, he uses it to calculate "beam sizes" (his words). He was recently setup on a new PC and the DOS config files and everything else were copied over.

According to him, at the end of punching in the different inputs to calculate the beam size, a "calculation sheet" should popup detailing the inputs and the beam size calculation for him to print/provide to his clients. This is no longer happening on the new PC and the old PC is gone with.

I realize I'm probably not leaving enough bread crumbs to get an appropriate answer but I'll take anything that could help point me in the right direction.

DOSBox is meant for games . Something like the vDosPlus fork might be more appropriate for your use case http://www.vdosplus.org/ .

That being said, if the purpose of the software being used is to calculate beam sizes for weight carrying capacity in something like a structural engineering context, it may be better/safer to

a) Use a general purpose, industry-standard, virtualization solution based on something like QEMU, VirtualBOX, VMWare, etc
b) Develop and execute a thorough test plan to verify that whatever virtualization/emulation solution that is chosen actually produces the same results as a legacy bare-metal DOS environment

This is based on concerns for safety and potential liability .

EDIT: As always, I am not a lawyer, so it is be best to seek legal counsel to address any legal concerns in your jurisdiction .

Reply 2 of 7, by Jorpho

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Your screenshot indicates you are using "Megabuild 6". That is really very old at this point and – assuming you don't go with one of the solutions M. Darry suggested, which would be a much better idea – the first thing to do would be to try the standard DOSBox 0.74-3. If there's a specific reason you think you need Megabuild 6, there is probably an alternative.

More particularly, this is obviously a program running in some DOS flavor of BASIC. There is no need to use DOSBox for this when there are modern versions of BASIC that should work just as well. QB64, FreeBasic, and PC-BASIC come to mind.

There are really too many unknowns here to guess at what the program is supposed to do; most situations like this come down to mounting the directories incorrectly when starting DOSBox. But since this program is evidently running from source, it should be fairly trivial to look at the code and see what it is doing to "popup a 'calculation sheet'". (If it was returning an error message I could suggest trying to slow down the emulation, but it is obviously not doing that.)

But the best solution of all would be to just reimplement the code in an Excel spreadsheet (or LibreOffice, or FreeOffice Planmaker, or whatever) and be done with it. How complicated could it be?

Reply 3 of 7, by Stiletto

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for him to print/provide to his clients

That's probably the key phrase here, I believe Megabuild 6 included a printer patch (and many other patches). Standard DOSBox doesn't include printing capabilities.

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 5 of 7, by Jorpho

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Stiletto wrote on 2021-03-22, 17:00:

That's probably the key phrase here, I believe Megabuild 6 included a printer patch (and many other patches). Standard DOSBox doesn't include printing capabilities.

Ahh, but of course. Is there no alternative for that printing patch nowadays aside from vDosPlus?

Anyway, the DOSBox message window says "Parallel 1: File closed", which suggests it is writing a file somewhere, possibly specified in dosbox.conf. If that's the case, it's just a matter of looking at that file.

Reply 6 of 7, by PaulECW

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You guys not only pointed me in the right direction, but I was able to figure out what the problem was. Turns out he was coupling this with PrintFil but PrintFil wasn't set to launch on boot.

Thank you all!

Reply 7 of 7, by Wengier

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-03-22, 17:15:
Stiletto wrote on 2021-03-22, 17:00:

That's probably the key phrase here, I believe Megabuild 6 included a printer patch (and many other patches). Standard DOSBox doesn't include printing capabilities.

Ahh, but of course. Is there no alternative for that printing patch nowadays aside from vDosPlus?

DOSBox-X also includes printing support, which is a much improved version of the printing patch as in Megabuild 6 and it is much newer than Megabuild 6 of course. Megabuild 6 was a great fork back then but it appears to have been abandoned for many years.