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Incompatibility between PB3.5 & Datalight ROM-DOS

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  • Incompatibility between PB3.5 & Datalight ROM-DOS

    Came across this interesting little buglet while trying out some embedded-systems code... I'm pretty sure this is an issue with ROM-DOS's EMM386 implementation, rather than with PowerBASIC, but I thought y'all might want to know about it if you're considering using PB3.5 for any embedded-systems work, as I'm doing...

    It appears that any PB3.5 program which uses VIRTUAL arrays will crash under Datalight ROM-DOS. The error message it gives is
    Code:
    EMM386 Error - unsupported i67 function 5100
    . After a little digging, I found out that INT 67h, Function 51h is "Reallocate Pages" which, according to Datalight's documentation, their EMM386 does not support.

    Since Datalight claims that "if you find any program which works under MS-DOS which does not work under ROM-DOS, let us know about it and we'll see to it that it does work in the next version", I've brought this little matter to their attention; we'll see if they actually follow through or not. In the meantime, though, be aware that you won't be able to use VIRTUAL arrays in your programs if your target system is a ROM-DOS-equipped embedded PC. (Unless, of course, you buy and install a 3rd-party memory manager like QEMM or 386Max - assuming you can even get those anymore!)

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  • #2
    Gary,

    I found your post interesting, as I have been away from PB for a few years and was just returning with an embedded application. Any recommendations for a free or nearly free OS? I'm looking at FreeDOS for my very minimal requirements, and I've found no troubles at all. I was able to quickly make a boot floppy and have it automatically run a little graphics test program at boot up.

    Any suggestions for a low cost single board computer, possibly PC104? I'd like a variety of cards for digital and analog I/O, etc. Probably no need for CD ROM, hard drive, networking, and definitely no Windows.

    Thanks for any info or experiences you might be able to share.


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    • #3
      Bruce -

      At the moment, we are going to ship with IBM PC-DOS 2000 installed... which isn't free, but which does work quite nicely. (We had been planning to use Caldera's DR-DOS, but Caldera seems to be losing interest in that market in favor of their Embedded Linux; support is spotty, and they now require you to buy some rediculous number licenses at a time.) I hadn't looked at FreeDOS, so I couldn't really offer much comment there...

      What we're using is an Ampro 4DXe, with their LCD-II controller and a Diamond Systems MM-32 data-acquisition board - the end product is a piece of scientific instrumentation, so it needs a pretty good chunk of computing power and high-resolution ADC/DACs to do its job. If your requirements are more modest, Technologic Systems has some nice single-board PCs, including models with onboard ADCs; their TS-2350 and TS-2800, in particular, are very nice boards for less-demanding applications.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the reply, and the very useful links. I checked them out and bookmarked them for later use.

        It is a shame that DR-DOS is being put on the back shelf. You can buy a single copy on the Lineo (was Caldera) site for about $35. It comes with a nice manual that you could give to your customers, in case they grade the documentation provided on the basis of quantity. The next break is at licenses of 50. The 1000 quantity pricing wasn't too bad. They quoted $9 ea/K. I was an early adopter of DR-DOS and really liked it. PB never had a bit of trouble with DR-DOS.

        If I'm going to be doing embedded PC stuff again, I guess I need to buy a Circuit Cellar Inc magazine and read all the ads to get back up to speed.

        Thanks again for your informative post.


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        • #5
          I always liked DR-DOS as well; I'd been using it since the days when it was still owned by Digital Research... but, apparantly, Caldera/Lineo is much more into Linux now; I can't even find anything about DR-DOS on Lineo's site except a few press releases...




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          • #6
            The discussion on embedded applications has been quite interesting since I am setting out down this path
            I amplify some of Akins troubles as far as using ISR's and inline assembly language.

            One of the prime reasons for use of PB in the DOS environment is the ability of producing small code for
            potentially complex operations in instrument design. This has been limited to some extent by the introduction
            of solid state disks but from a systems standpoint cost is a driving factor and Mbytes cost money.

            If anyone can share information on implementation of code for the Diamond MM 16 PC104 board it would be appreciated.
            Diamond Systems in very careful not to share too much information and their source demo code is in C++ although they do
            have some obj files for QB and GW basic.

            For those that are interested, I am using an Octagon Systems 2133 system. (133 Mhz Pentium) with a 32 Mb solid
            state disk.

            More discussion in this area would be appreciated since I am at a highly dangerous stage with assembly language

            Chuck

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            • #7
              As a matter of fact...

              The board we're using is the Diamond Systems' DMM-32 board, which is a "big brother" to the DMM-16... I think you should be able to use most of the code I wrote, but let me compare the two user manuals and see just how compatible they are, then get back to you...

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              • #8
                Charles - see my post over in the Source Code forum, "Using a Diamond Systems DMM-32 with PB/DOS"

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