1881 British Census and National Index

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1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-5-31 @ 09:46

Have been using DOSBox 0.74 to run GW Basic for some years.

Subsequently installed the application BDM Revival which calls DOSBOX 0.74 to run the 1990 developed file data retrieval software which accesses extensive births, deaths, and marriages data. Unfortunately it would appear the developer of BDM Revival has passed away as his web site is no longer active. Thus it is not possible to seek his advice on a very similar environment.

The 1881 British Census and National Index (8181) is another file data retrieval application which no longer runs on current systems, and I would believe that DOSBox is the solution.

Before getting into great detail, a question: Has the issue with 1881 previously been considered in the forum, and with what result?

Thank you.

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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Qbix » 2018-5-31 @ 10:11

If it is a DOS program and doesn't rely on file sharing, then it will probably work fine.

However, don't take a our word for it, as we don't want any liability claims in case it doesn't work or the databases get corrupt.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-5-31 @ 20:09

Thanks for the encouragement Qbix. Will press ahead with another preliminary question.

Where DOSBox is providing emulation support for GW Basic, the target in the shortcut to the former reads "C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -userconf". Would believe the -userconf option causes the program to refer to the file "DOSBox 0.74.conf" in the "c:\Users\\AppData\\DOSBox" directory which makes available the C:\ directory to the emulation.

Question: Does DOSBox support multiple installations, with separate entries in its AppData subdirectory, say "DOSBox 0.74 - 1"? If not is the only option the front end program I have read about?

Incidentally, there is no AppData folder for BDM Revival; presumably the developer handled the mounting of his application/data directory in his front end.

Thank you.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-5-31 @ 20:31

Qbix, Have just read MiniMax's "60 second guide ...." which offers 2 solutions which I will have to get my mind around, but will still appreciate your comments.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Qbix » 2018-6-01 @ 08:20

Not directly in the appData directory,

but with -conf XXXXXX instead of (-userconf)
XXXXX is the full path to any configuration file you might want to use. (or relative path to the current working directory)
so -conf c:\users\appdata\dosbox\config1.conf
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-6-02 @ 04:24

The primary CD in this application is the Resource File Viewer. Then 8 CDs for the National Index and 16 CDs of Census Data. When searching I would load the Index CD covering the first letter of the Surname and then the CD covering the region to be seached.

Qbix, inspecting the directories of the primary CD came across the attached document giving instructions for network installation, and am wondering if it might be preferable to go down this path as part of my local network?

Vital Records are a separate resource file. Would only need to install

L:
|
|-- LDS
|
|-- Census
|
|-- BRIT1881 (on previewing this was incorrectly displayed - should be under Census)

Have oodles of disc available so could keep both the National Index and Census Data online.
Attachments
Network.txt
(3.18 KiB) Downloaded 44 times
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-6-04 @ 20:07

By chance while looking for a response to my previous post happened to discover that "How to ask questions the smart way!" was a link to a full blown article on forum behavior. For going "off topic" in asking for an opinion on a possible network solution - instead of doing my homework - I sincerely apologise.

On my issue, after electing to go for a clean install by removing the GWBasic mounting lines from the DOSBox config file, proceeded in accordance with MiniMax's "60 seconds ..." guide. All went well until point 5 - installing the 1881 Census software when the message "This program cannot be run in DOS mode" issued.

So I'm now in the market for a used desktop running Windows XP which I know from experience accepts this software. Sad that copyright holders of Census data files, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which is also the vendor of this application, no longer respond to requests for help on this valuable resource. The data files on the 8 index CDs alone would be in the order of 6GB.

Thank you Qbix for your inputs which gave me much to think about.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Qbix » 2018-6-06 @ 10:25

All went well until point 5 - installing the 1881 Census software when the message "This program cannot be run in DOS mode" issued.


Yeah that sounds like a windows based installer, which matches the XP market that you mentioned. Maybe there are more installers in the disk ?
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-6-07 @ 00:56

Only one installer on the disk, but not giving up.

Have come across an article recommending Orical Virtual Disk as a solution to running software built under older versions of Windows.

Have recovered my XP installation disk from storage, but not the 25 alphanumeric character key which was stuck to a smaller previous system case. On contacting my dealer learned that all Windows Home versions use the same key, and my dealer would happily sell me a replacement sticker for $60. I could have the installation disk for $5 !! Naturally we negotiated.

You learn something new every day, as has been the case in exchanging with you, but now I'm moving away from your territory.

Many Thanks Qbix and Best Regards,

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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Errius » 2018-6-07 @ 04:27

LDS is something to do with Mormons isn't it? I have a relative who is using their software to research his family history. He's travelled all over the country meeting distant relatives he's never met before.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Murf_Oscar » 2018-6-07 @ 13:51

Yes it is the Mormons. They have a particular interest in geneology, for if you join the Church so far as it is concerned you bring with you, think its 10 years of your ancestry as new members. To support this objective they released Personal Ancestral File, their free family tree builder application. Use this software myself, 7700 individual records now, and believe this would be the software your relative is using.

For those following my progress, installed Oracle Virtual Box, loaded Windows XP, and installed and ran RFViewer 2.0 successfully. Result? No better than with Windows 10, ie; RFViewer runs but still refuses to load the data CDs. Searching the net learned the latest realease is RFViewer 4.0 and there is also a patch. Next step is to locate the download source(s).

Summarising thus far, for information only:
Windows 10 and XP installs and runs setup.exe on the application disk but will not load the data CD's, presumably because they can't run setup.exe on each data CD
DOSBox refuses the install because setup.exe on the application disk cannot be run in DOS mode
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2018-6-07 @ 15:02

Murf_Oscar wrote:DOSBox refuses the install because setup.exe on the application disk cannot be run in DOS mode

FYI, the message "This program cannot be run in DOS mode" is produced by stub code in the SETUP.EXE program; it is not a DOSBox message. As such, DOSBox is not refusing anything and actually runs the program; it's just that the program is designed to only display the message when run on a DOS system.
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Re: 1881 British Census and National Index

Postby Errius » 2018-6-07 @ 22:34

What is the theological reason for the Mormon interest in genealogy?
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