First post, by alsgeeklab
IBM 5162 286 @6MHz
640K onboard RAM
8192MB via AST Rampage/286 16-bit card
The ability to run DesqView so that it will task-swap appropriately, and use as much memory as it needs to achieve this task.
THE PROBLEM & DIAGNOSIS SO FAR:
1) I can't seem to get DesqView to recognize the RAM. In an ideal world, I'd have 4096 MB of RAM on my Rampage to XMS and 4096 to EMS, but configuring it that way went into the too hard basket, and from what I've read, DV doesn't understand XMS at all, so I've gone with all EMS for now. This adds a further complication that I now can't have DOS & device drivers loaded high as I can't load HIMEM.SYS (I must use the LIM4.0 EMS driver from AST - REMM.SYS), meaning less conventional RAM. Generally, the lack of ability to task-swap at this stage, I'd say, is due to the lack of RAM.
2) MEM /C shows 8192 of EMS, so I know the EMS is there.
3) I've re-setup DV umpteen times to see if that's the issue. No dice.
4) I've read a forum post that says you have to remove as much of your system's on-board RAM as possible (i.e. take it down to 256K, so that DV can re-page the area between 256K-640K into EMS), which I though seemed a bit extreme. But I tried changing the CMOS settings to go down to 256K, but the machine is cleverer than me, and saw 640K anyways, so I'd physically have to de-solder some of the RAM if I wanted to test this theory. Not something I'm going to do unless I know that's the right thing to do. Anyone had to resort to this measure?
5) is there a better solution to task-swap on my 286 machine? Ideally I want to be able to run Word/First Choice (both require approx 500K RAM) and 1 other application concurrently. They don't need to be multi-tasking, just task-swapping, so I can cleanly go from task to task. I didn't think it was such a big deal, but it seems to be super hard on a 286 or less class machine. DOSSHELL has task-swapping, but it's incredibly slow and doesn't support XMS/EMS, so it's pretty-much useless, TopView seems like garbage, so I couldn't even get as far as figuring out how the damned thing worked, MS-Windows (including 3.0) is a crash-inducing hell and is overkill really for what I need.. I'd reckon the apps I want should be fairly well behaved DOS apps, but who knows.
Anyways, if one person out there ever task-swapped on 286 class PC's and reads this, I'd be eternally grateful to you if you could answer my question! I know people did this stuff for BBSes back in the day on 286s!