grrr, stupid old hardware <rant>

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. so I get a phone call this morning saying that a computer wont go, and
    they can't give me the asset number to check it remotely, so I bugger
    off into work, and discover that not only are there two of them, but
    they're running DOS 6.21, on 486s, with no network connection, and no
    data backed up(that I can tell) in the life of the PC's... gah...

    I rang a few of the older IT guys and discovered that they(the dept)
    were told to get a replacement system ~5 years ago, and that I had to
    "try to fix it the best you can".

    Anyway, I got it going with a little help from google, but it appears
    that something is wrong with the Hdd/serial/print controller in one, and
    the other has Hdd issues.

    Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run on
    new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.


    So, where would you guys go from here?

    Oh yeah, software company no longer exists, and so software is
    un-supported, it interfaces to a serial port, comm 2, but even giving it
    the same address in the bios as on the old machine, it kicks up an error
    saying "error: port: config" or similar, but of course no-one has any
    documentation of this software, including the net.

    /rant, Im going home.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005
    #1
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  2. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    Rider Guest

    "Dave - Dave.net.nz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > so I get a phone call this morning saying that a computer wont go, and
    > they can't give me the asset number to check it remotely, so I bugger off
    > into work, and discover that not only are there two of them, but they're
    > running DOS 6.21, on 486s, with no network connection, and no data backed
    > up(that I can tell) in the life of the PC's... gah...
    >
    > I rang a few of the older IT guys and discovered that they(the dept) were
    > told to get a replacement system ~5 years ago, and that I had to "try to
    > fix it the best you can".
    >
    > Anyway, I got it going with a little help from google, but it appears that
    > something is wrong with the Hdd/serial/print controller in one, and the
    > other has Hdd issues.
    >
    > Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run on new
    > hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.
    >
    >
    > So, where would you guys go from here?
    >
    > Oh yeah, software company no longer exists, and so software is
    > un-supported, it interfaces to a serial port, comm 2, but even giving it
    > the same address in the bios as on the old machine, it kicks up an error
    > saying "error: port: config" or similar, but of course no-one has any
    > documentation of this software, including the net.
    >
    > /rant, Im going home.


    "Its broken ... you need a new one"

    :)
     
    Rider, Mar 13, 2005
    #2
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  3. >>
    >> So, where would you guys go from here?
    >>
    >> Oh yeah, software company no longer exists, and so software is
    >> un-supported, it interfaces to a serial port, comm 2, but even giving it
    >> the same address in the bios as on the old machine, it kicks up an error
    >> saying "error: port: config" or similar, but of course no-one has any
    >> documentation of this software, including the net.
    >>
    >> /rant, Im going home.

    >
    > "Its broken ... you need a new one"
    >
    > :)


    yeah.. time to give someone the ..this is costing more to keep than
    to replace.. speech
    --

    Hardware, n.: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked
     
    Shane (aka froggy), Mar 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    Matty Guest

    Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:

    > Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run on
    > new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.
    >
    >
    > So, where would you guys go from here?
    >
    > Oh yeah, software company no longer exists,


    Can you give any clues about the name of the software or the company, or
    what the application is?
    I have a system here that will run on 486's but not Pentiums.
     
    Matty, Mar 13, 2005
    #4
  5. On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 17:33:12 +1300, Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:

    > so I get a phone call this morning saying that a computer wont go, and
    > they can't give me the asset number to check it remotely, so I bugger
    > off into work, and discover that not only are there two of them, but
    > they're running DOS 6.21, on 486s, with no network connection, and no
    > data backed up(that I can tell) in the life of the PC's... gah...
    >
    > I rang a few of the older IT guys and discovered that they(the dept)
    > were told to get a replacement system ~5 years ago, and that I had to
    > "try to fix it the best you can".
    >
    > Anyway, I got it going with a little help from google, but it appears
    > that something is wrong with the Hdd/serial/print controller in one, and
    > the other has Hdd issues.
    >
    > Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run on
    > new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.
    >
    >
    > So, where would you guys go from here?
    >
    > Oh yeah, software company no longer exists, and so software is
    > un-supported, it interfaces to a serial port, comm 2, but even giving it
    > the same address in the bios as on the old machine, it kicks up an error
    > saying "error: port: config" or similar, but of course no-one has any
    > documentation of this software, including the net.
    >
    > /rant, Im going home.


    Something like this thread may help:

    http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/Q_21048162.html

    You probably will have to piss around with the bios settings for the com
    port to get the irq settings etc the program actually likes.
     
    wogers nemesis, Mar 13, 2005
    #5
  6. Matty wrote:
    >> Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run on
    >> new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.
    >> So, where would you guys go from here?
    >> Oh yeah, software company no longer exists,


    > Can you give any clues about the name of the software or the company, or
    > what the application is?


    it no longer matters anyway, I came in today and found an email(from
    CIO) telling them to replace it as IT will no longer support it.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005
    #6
  7. Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    > Matty wrote:
    >
    >>> Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run
    >>> on new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime error.
    >>> So, where would you guys go from here?
    >>> Oh yeah, software company no longer exists,

    >
    >
    >> Can you give any clues about the name of the software or the company,
    >> or what the application is?

    >
    >
    > it no longer matters anyway, I came in today and found an email(from
    > CIO) telling them to replace it as IT will no longer support it.


    heh, this morning on a "monday brain" I gave it another go... had a few
    reads through some google results, and fond some sites mentioning about
    disabling CPU cache...well I did it, and it seems to be working, but
    I'll have to take it back up there and test it.

    heh, P4 2.8GHz, 512MBram, 120GB SATA Hdd, and it's running an old dos
    program from a 425MB partition on the Hdd, nice.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005
    #7
  8. Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    >>>> Both are now backed up(took a ghost), but the software fails to run
    >>>> on new hardware(runs on hardware of similar age) giving a Runtime
    >>>> error.
    >>>> So, where would you guys go from here?
    >>>> Oh yeah, software company no longer exists,


    >>> Can you give any clues about the name of the software or the company,
    >>> or what the application is?


    >> it no longer matters anyway, I came in today and found an email(from
    >> CIO) telling them to replace it as IT will no longer support it.


    > heh, this morning on a "monday brain" I gave it another go... had a few
    > reads through some google results, and fond some sites mentioning about
    > disabling CPU cache...well I did it, and it seems to be working, but
    > I'll have to take it back up there and test it.
    > heh, P4 2.8GHz, 512MBram, 120GB SATA Hdd, and it's running an old dos
    > program from a 425MB partition on the Hdd, nice.


    Just to give credit where it is due...
    http://members.aol.com/bretjohn/

    This is where I got the program to slow down the PC, not that I
    mentioned it above, but this was the first thing I tried, and it didn't
    work, but neither did disabling the cache either(by itself).

    I needed both.

    The CPU spped slow down was needed to get around an apparent software
    glitch, I can't find the reference for it, but I think it was something
    about Pascal and timing, but anyway...

    And the cache thing is something about referencing registers directly or
    something, and the cache just gets in the way... as you can tell,
    programming just isn't my forte.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005
    #8
  9. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    Rider Guest

    <Snip>
    > The CPU spped slow down was needed to get around an apparent software
    > glitch, I can't find the reference for it, but I think it was something
    > about Pascal and timing, but anyway...
    >
    > And the cache thing is something about referencing registers directly or
    > something, and the cache just gets in the way... as you can tell,
    > programming just isn't my forte.


    I used to work worth cash registers linked to computers for stock tracking
    and sales etc etc. We had a program that on modern computers (modern meaning
    P233- LOL), would send the instruction to connect to the cash register via
    com1 too fast and create an error, because the cash register wasnt fast
    enough to accept it.

    Rider
     
    Rider, Mar 13, 2005
    #9
  10. Rider wrote:
    >>The CPU spped slow down was needed to get around an apparent software
    >>glitch, I can't find the reference for it, but I think it was something
    >>about Pascal and timing, but anyway...


    >>And the cache thing is something about referencing registers directly or
    >>something, and the cache just gets in the way... as you can tell,
    >>programming just isn't my forte.


    > I used to work worth cash registers linked to computers for stock tracking
    > and sales etc etc. We had a program that on modern computers (modern meaning
    > P233- LOL), would send the instruction to connect to the cash register via
    > com1 too fast and create an error, because the cash register wasnt fast
    > enough to accept it.


    yeah, we use these things call "workabout"s here at work in some dept
    for ordering/stock tracking or something, and when we gave them new
    Dells(P4 ~2Ghz) from IBMs(P3~600Mhz) they had a problem with them...
    this was solved by adding "pause" to the batch file scripted to do the
    transfer :)
    The actual problem was that the batch file was set to copy the data from
    the device, confirm it was there, and then transfer a blank template
    back to the device, the problem occured where the batchfile was too
    being executed too quickly, and it was trying to confirm and copy the
    blank template back prior to finishing the initial copy.

    Later on, rather than using "pause", we used "set" so that it waited for
    a variable to be set.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 13, 2005
    #10
  11. Dave - Dave.net.nz said the following on 13/03/2005 5:33 p.m.:
    > so I get a phone call this morning saying that a computer wont go, and
    > they can't give me the asset number to check it remotely, so I bugger
    > off into work, and discover that not only are there two of them, but
    > they're running DOS 6.21, on 486s, with no network connection, and no
    > data backed up(that I can tell) in the life of the PC's... gah...
    >

    So you think finding a 486 on DOS is bad. i used to get calls to go and
    find out why Phone call logging systems had stopped. Open the coms
    cupboard and i would find 1 XT or AT class system (640k) with a Herc
    monitor and a Sekoshia dot mattrix. The software for logging was so
    robust it never broke, the load was minimal and never thrashed the
    hardware and they just ran for ever getting a polling signal with call
    data via the serial port. Once a month the it exported the reports to a
    file and that was it. Hard drive never filled up it would trash the
    oldest report if space was lomited.

    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    "With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine......
    However, this is not necessarily a good idea...."
     
    Collector»NZ, Mar 13, 2005
    #11
  12. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    d Guest

    In article <4234a5af$>, says...
    > Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    >
    > This is where I got the program to slow down the PC, not that I
    > mentioned it above, but this was the first thing I tried, and it didn't
    > work, but neither did disabling the cache either(by itself).
    >
    > I needed both.
    >
    > The CPU spped slow down was needed to get around an apparent software
    > glitch, I can't find the reference for it, but I think it was something
    > about Pascal and timing, but anyway...
    >
    > And the cache thing is something about referencing registers directly or
    > something, and the cache just gets in the way... as you can tell,
    > programming just isn't my forte.
    >

    Hiya Dave,

    I hope you've documented all this, and stuck a copy (on dead tree) with
    the machine, so the next poor bloke has an idea of how you fixed it last
    time.

    Probably still a good idea to retire the machine though.

    D.

    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
    http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
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    d, Mar 13, 2005
    #12
  13. d wrote:
    >>This is where I got the program to slow down the PC, not that I
    >>mentioned it above, but this was the first thing I tried, and it didn't
    >>work, but neither did disabling the cache either(by itself).
    >>
    >>I needed both.
    >>
    >>The CPU spped slow down was needed to get around an apparent software
    >>glitch, I can't find the reference for it, but I think it was something
    >>about Pascal and timing, but anyway...
    >>
    >>And the cache thing is something about referencing registers directly or
    >>something, and the cache just gets in the way... as you can tell,
    >>programming just isn't my forte.


    > I hope you've documented all this, and stuck a copy (on dead tree) with
    > the machine, so the next poor bloke has an idea of how you fixed it last
    > time.


    I document everything... thats one of the first things that I got to use
    here, although it seems that no-one here ever used it prior.
    My job has become progressivly easier during my time here, so much of it
    is scripted now.

    > Probably still a good idea to retire the machine though.


    it is being replaced in ~3 weeks when the new gear arrives. they are
    scheduled to have two weeks to get it going, old gear will still be used
    in the mean time.

    ghost images of Hdd are/were fine, and patient data for the last x
    number of years is now imported into the current patient management
    system, so all is rosie.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Mar 14, 2005
    #13
  14. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    d Guest

    In article <>, says...
    > I document everything... thats one of the first things that I got to use
    > here, although it seems that no-one here ever used it prior.
    > My job has become progressivly easier during my time here, so much of it
    > is scripted now.
    >
    > > Probably still a good idea to retire the machine though.

    >
    > it is being replaced in ~3 weeks when the new gear arrives. they are
    > scheduled to have two weeks to get it going, old gear will still be used
    > in the mean time.
    >
    > ghost images of Hdd are/were fine, and patient data for the last x
    > number of years is now imported into the current patient management
    > system, so all is rosie.
    >


    Thanks for the update, sounds like you've got it all well covered.

    D.

    ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
    http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
    ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
     
    d, Mar 14, 2005
    #14
  15. Dave - Dave.net.nz

    Kiwi Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 11:01:28 +1300, Collector»NZ
    <> wrote:

    >So you think finding a 486 on DOS is bad. i used to get calls to go and
    >find out why Phone call logging systems had stopped. Open the coms
    >cupboard and i would find 1 XT or AT class system (640k) with a Herc
    >monitor and a Sekoshia dot mattrix. The software for logging was so
    >robust it never broke, the load was minimal and never thrashed the
    >hardware and they just ran for ever getting a polling signal with call
    >data via the serial port. Once a month the it exported the reports to a
    >file and that was it. Hard drive never filled up it would trash the
    >oldest report if space was lomited.


    Hi Collector,

    Been there too. I used to deal with several CDR systems for Telecom.
    Did you ever work with TABS (originally written by a couple of guys
    from New York, later sold to MER Israel)? It was written in Qucik
    Basic and ran as a DOS app.

    Telecom also sold a CDR system that consisted of a board installed in
    a ML 182 printer. The add-on board was made in Aus, if I remember
    correctly.

    Cheers, Kiwi
     
    Kiwi, Mar 14, 2005
    #15
  16. Kiwi said the following on 14/03/2005 7:06 p.m.:
    > On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 11:01:28 +1300, Collector»NZ
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>So you think finding a 486 on DOS is bad. i used to get calls to go and
    >>find out why Phone call logging systems had stopped. Open the coms
    >>cupboard and i would find 1 XT or AT class system (640k) with a Herc
    >>monitor and a Sekoshia dot mattrix. The software for logging was so
    >>robust it never broke, the load was minimal and never thrashed the
    >>hardware and they just ran for ever getting a polling signal with call
    >>data via the serial port. Once a month the it exported the reports to a
    >>file and that was it. Hard drive never filled up it would trash the
    >>oldest report if space was lomited.

    >
    >
    > Hi Collector,
    >
    > Been there too. I used to deal with several CDR systems for Telecom.
    > Did you ever work with TABS (originally written by a couple of guys
    > from New York, later sold to MER Israel)? It was written in Qucik
    > Basic and ran as a DOS app.
    >
    > Telecom also sold a CDR system that consisted of a board installed in
    > a ML 182 printer. The add-on board was made in Aus, if I remember
    > correctly.
    >
    > Cheers, Kiwi
    >

    Dont remember the name of the shit I dealt with but it was compiled basic.



    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    "With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine......
    However, this is not necessarily a good idea...."
     
    Collector»NZ, Mar 14, 2005
    #16
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