My 'Little' Software Project

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My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:11 am

I wasn't sure where to put this thread, but here feels safe.

For the last few months I've been teaching myself two languages to build this project.
Borland Turbo C (8088 compatible code yey) and;
C#.NET / VisualStudio 2010.

Anywho wanted to share because last night I had a hit a bit of a milestone. I transferred Commander Keen 5 from my Windows 7 USB-only desktop, to a 486, then I played it. No disks, no DOSBOX, no overpriced PCI serial card. No command prompt even, a nice Windows 7 styled GUI interface.

So far the features I've put in are:
- upload files (plural, it queues)
- connection testing on connect
- serial port selection
- can navigate the remote machine in/out of any folder (filename and size are displayed)
- can switch drives (and it identifies which are floppies and which aren't - it even spots the fake MS DOS B-drive when present)
- full serial cable handshaking
- long file name to 8.3 conversion
- had a logo made and branded it, looks pretty!
- client tested on a 5150 with 256KB RAM, 25Kb file, no problems.

I've also got remote upload code written but it's not in the main project yet.

Tool will be free when it's released in a few months. Just pretty stoked at the moment and had to share with people who might actually care lol I'm using a $12 null modem cable, and a $20ish generic USB to serial adaptor.

To do this week are CRC quality checks on transmit, and on the weekend I need to add 'make folder' and 'download from remote'.

Edit: this probably is the wrong place, feel free to move if it is, I wasn't too sure where it fitted
Edit2: and if curious my client dev was done on my 386-33 until I got tired of compile times, and switched it out for a 486DX2-50 - which apparently can't quite do 115,200 without the occasional error even with handshaking - had to turn the baud rate down, not sure what UART it's using.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby tezza on Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:37 pm

Nice!

I'm sure some ppl will be interested in the final product.

I've used Procomm or Telix on DOS machines and Hyperterminal on XP to do this kind of thing. However I understand hyperteminal doesn't come with Windows 7, so I can appreciate the need (as well as the satisfaction of doing it yourself).
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:18 pm

Cheers :) I'm hoping it becomes a popular tool in people's arsenal.

My favourite DOS tool was FastLynx 2 - but it doesn't work with USB adaptors (cuts out every two seconds, LL3 is the same) and must run under DOSBox on new PCs :(

I'd noticed a few people buying their first vintage PC and realising they had no way to get software on to it without buying a 3rd machine (which they often do not want) to bridge the gap. That was my initial inspiration, but being able to download abandonware/freeware, unzip, and throw it straight across is actually pretty handy.

I also want to add disk imaging and restoration (e.g. download DISK1.IMG, then have your XT write it) and fetching BIOS images - but thats a bit off yet - too much other stuff to do first.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby ZL2AOX on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:14 pm

Nice one but it's a pity you didn't make the server app cross-platform instead of .NET for the benefit of us non-Windows folk.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:28 pm

ZL2AOX wrote:Nice one but it's a pity you didn't make the server app cross-platform instead of .NET for the benefit of us non-Windows folk.

lol yes I knew this would come up.

I was thinking last night that I could write a C++ version for both Mac OS and Linux users. At the very least a CLI to begin with.

The reasons I went with C# was because I find it easy to work with. Not only does the OO implementation feel clean (at least to me) but also VisualStudio quickly deals with GUI building and installer packaging etc. I want to do my .NET certification later in the year to further my career, so it was a perfect fit.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:11 pm

Looks like I can just import it in to MonoDevelop and (probably with some tuning) get GTK+ versions spat out for Linux. Will play around more with that later. If it's not too painful I'll release Mac OS and Linux binaries alongside the Windows verson.

I'll have to put a counter on the download links, see how many vintage folk use Linux as their primary desktop.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:48 pm

The ultimate reliability test.

Doom ~14 megs-ish at 115,200 baud, just waiting for it to finish now.

Although I'm only getting around 7KB/s, start to finish around 30% slower than FastLynx 3.3. But at least it's transferring correctly.
Have been dropping files on it all evening. Been quite frustrated because Microsoft's serial port handshaking is garbage, it keeps losing single bytes, so I have to do the CTS line check myself then send one byte at a time - which is causing the slower rate.

Edit: success! Playing Ultimate Doom now.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:57 am

Yes I dug up a 2 year old thread. But for good reason.

I also dug up my 2 year old source code and started improving it. I've setup Turbo C on my IBM PS/2 76s (which sits near my main Windows 7 workstation).
I actually thought I'd left it in a complete mess, but was surprised when I ran it, just dragged and dropped a folder on to the UI and it started copying to the PS/2.

Stuff I added yesterday:

- DOS Slave - if host doesn't send data for 3 seconds then abort file transfer and reset connection
- DOS Slave - fixed connection loop to reset to 2400 baud whenever connection is lost
- Windows Client - as files are copying, the transfer thread now updates a progress bar, so you don't need to watch the DOS PC to work out what's happening

Windows Client Progress Bar:
Image
Windows 7 -> DOS, drag and drop, using cheap USB serial converter. I played the games after copying.

Turbo C setup (DOS Slave)
Image
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby RonTurner on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:12 pm

Just a Tad over two months?

A good idea, I forgot how reliant I had become on
USB until I need to get a file on a pre-xp computer!

Even optical disk feels oldschool now
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby kevman3d on Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:03 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:I've setup Turbo C on my IBM PS/2 76s (which sits near my main Windows 7 workstation)....

Image


Cool! Turbo C was where it was all at for me way back when I was writing Shareware... Its been a while since I saw that old interface... Sorry - just took your off-topic post off-topic a second time to have my nostalgia fix... :lol:
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:46 pm

haha all good, it's why I posted the photo after all :)
I switched it in to 50 row mode to get more text on the screen, but the font is a bit bold.

For the sake of compiling quickly, I'm using a 486, but the program it creates runs on my 5150.
Unrelated, but I'm about to make that same 486 sing the IBM song (found ibmsong.bas on an old hard drive).

Edit: that was sufficiently hilarious

Edit 2: changed the layout, new panel ready for local drive maps, also fixed up my drive selector - here you can see I've switched to the floppy drive (up to 4 floppy drives are supported, and it'll automatically detect and remove a MS fake-B-drive)
Image
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby lizardb0y on Sat May 10, 2014 10:25 am

I should still have my original Turbo C v1 box and disks around somewhere.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon May 19, 2014 2:01 pm

Awesome :) I'm using 3.0 there, last version to support the 8088. With the built in documentation, it's actually pretty nice to work with.
Working with C on Linux these days is no where near as fun :(

Reminds me, I keep forgetting to bring it in, but I still have these for you:
Image
I'll try and remember tomorrow.
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby Gibsaw on Mon May 19, 2014 2:08 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:<snip>Working with C on Linux these days is no where near as fun :(

No... It's an exercise in getting anything to compile, library prerequisites, incompatible header files and other nightmares. :/
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Re: My 'Little' Software Project

Postby lizardb0y on Mon May 19, 2014 2:46 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:Awesome :) I'm using 3.0 there, last version to support the 8088. With the built in documentation, it's actually pretty nice to work with.
Working with C on Linux these days is no where near as fun :(

Reminds me, I keep forgetting to bring it in, but I still have these for you:
[Photo removed]
I'll try and remember tomorrow.


Oooh nice :)
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