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Uniform DOS support

1. Introduction

DOS is an operating system, which was used 15-25 years ago. There is still hardware - in the industrial, embedded, scientific, medical fields, which uses this operating system.

We are providing uniform support for software written for DOS operating system, servicing ISA and PCMCIA cards used with our usb2isa and usb2pcmcia products - under popular today's operating systems.

DOS software can be used under veriety of modern operating system using DOS emulators. We did select to use the DOSBOX emulator - it is open source, and supports a wide number of operating systems.

2. Builds

We provide currently builds for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.

Binary of the 'dosbox' is included in the install software for the specific OS.

In addition, we offer 'dosbox-rel' package, which includes information for developers - source code, libraries, etc. so that you can further customize and rebuild 'dosbox'.

2.1. Windows build

An end user can copy the files from the 'builds-windows' folder and start using their DOS software, for example with our usb2isa + ISA cards.

2.2. Linux builds

We provide 2 Linux builds - for 32bit and 64bit Linux releases.

2.2. Mac OS X build

We provide also Mac OS X build.

2.3 Pre-requisites

In order to use the binaries of the dosbox builds, our software must be installed, and our enumerator must be running.

Please view the readme.txt file or Users-Guide.pdf for details on the work.

3. Developer support and sources

We provide the sources of the dosbox files we did modify, as well as our object files for different environments.

Details on the sources are included in the readme.txt file in the '/src' folder.

The included files are released under the condition of use exclusively with the hardware and software products of ARS Technologies.

A developer may use the included files, modify them if needed, and make their own dosbox build.

4. Use

4.1 Modes

There are 2 main modes in our dosbox builds -

  • debug mode - started from terminal/command line with -
    dosbox b
    This mode provide 2 screens , where the second screen brings debug messages when connecting / disconnecting / accessing our products.
    This mode is recommended for testing purposes only - displaying reduces performance .

  • standard mode - started from terminal/command line with -
    or, doubleclick on the dosbox.exe file .
    This mode brings one screen only, and has the maximum possible performance.

    4.2. Connecting / disconnecting

    When using the dosbox in debug mode, connecting / disconnecting events of usb2isa + ISA cards, or usb2pcmcia + PCMCIA cards, are registered on the debug window.

    In addition, the connecting event shows the detected resources.

    The process of autodetection is not always precise - there may be a need to add resources.
    To do this please check our user's guide on the particular environment for - adding resources in the ARSTech enumerator.

    4.3. Running DOS software

    After opening the main dosbox window, you will need to select the location of where the DOS software is.

    If for ex. the DOS software is placed in the 'dosprog' folder, please type -

  • on Windows enviroment
    mount c c:\dosprog

  • on Linux and Mac OS X enviroment
    mount c /dosprog

    then type -

    and run the DOS software.

    5. Utilities

    There is currently one DOS utility included with the install software - tst16.exe .

    5.1. Resources access The utility allows read / write to i/o ports, and memory areas.

    Please note that the address range for i/o ports is : 0 to ffff , with the most widely used area of : 0 to 3ff , in hex addresses.

    The address range for memory area is : 0 to ffffff , with the most widely used area of : b000 to fffff , in hex addresses. This is a 'memory hole' where some hardware peripheral cards and the system's BIOS are located.

    5.2. Tests

    The tst16 utility includes 2 tests - serial port, and disk tests.

    Both tests requite an isa card which includes - rs232/rs422/rs485 serial ports, or an ata/atapi ide disk controller.

    Please follow the prompts to select i/o ports and irq channel.

    It is recommended to use dosbox in the debug mode, and check the debug screen for the actual DOS accesses.

    Please note that selected irq channels must be free and available for use. While use of the irq 3/4 may be allowed , if the serial ports on a system's motherboard are not present or used, the use of irq 14/15, will interfere with the use of the system's motherboard ide controller.

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