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Thread: Solution to most Win 7 problems

  1. #1
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    doug silver
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    Default Solution to most Win 7 problems

    I accidentally stumbled on a workaround that eliminates any start-up problems under Windows with Alpha Four. Basically Alpha Four is a DOS program but the typical start-up via the A4.exe file is essentially a windows front-loader as I understand it. The winagent.exe file is looking for pdf printers that cannot be properly installed so the program basically crashes at that point.

    So the workaround is to download DosBox and instead of running A4.exe have DosBox run A4V8.exe which is really the Alpha Four program.

    The surprising thing is that in perusing the various threads here I did not see this offered as a solution. But this worked for me and will hopefully save others countless hours of frustration.

    Doug

  2. #2
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    Alan Tattersall
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Yes, I've been doing this for a while. But I find I'm not able to copy/paste between A4 and Windows when running it under dosbox. Have you solved this problem?

  3. #3
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    doug silver
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Alan,

    I have to admit my needs for Alpha Four are extremely modest. Prior to about 5 years ago I regularly used the program for almost 20 years for setting up projects and tracking clients for my business and I had written a specialized set of rules that would cleverly assign project numbers based on client, job sequence for that particular client, and job sequence for the year. However I essentially closed that company 5 years ago and am now employed by a larger company with their own system. So the only reason I very occasionally refer to Alpha Four is to look up something related to some old project I did. Consequently I have no need for real use of the program, per se, but merely wanted to be able to look through my old databases on the odd occasion.

    But getting to your question while I am not an expert in DosBox I am aware there are "mega builds" of DosBox that go way beyond the basic program with all sorts of other bells and whistles--you might investigate those mega-builds.

    Doug

  4. #4
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    Alan Tattersall
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Many thanks, I'll look into that. How these old systems linger on ...

  5. #5
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    doug silver
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Yes--long live DOS. Years ago I bought some specialized applications relating to earthquake risk that were written by a geotech consultant. As it turns out his programs were pretty much the most widely used in the industry by other geotechnical engineers and sort of became the defacto standard. He originally wrote the programs in DOS and eventually updated them to run in Windows. However, the fault maps produced by the older DOS version are superior in appearance to those produced by the Windows versions. So I still prefer using the DOS versions but with each iteration of Windows it has been more difficult to accomplish the final task of actually printing the map. Luckily I found a workaround via DosBox to run the program, print output to a file rather than a printer port, and then print the file using another great utility called PrintFile. PrintFile allows you to print any Dos generated print or plot file to a Windows printer just by drag-and-drop.

    Doug

  6. #6
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    Alan Tattersall
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    I'm already using PrintFile but in order to make it print A4 print files, I had to write a little basic program to preprocess the print files so that PrintFile could handle them. A bit left-handed but it works OK for me.

  7. #7
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    doug silver
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    The days of my writing basic programs are long in the past (I was actually a Fortran guy).

  8. #8
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    Bo Roche
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Quote Originally Posted by tatteralan View Post
    I'm already using PrintFile but in order to make it print A4 print files, I had to write a little basic program to preprocess the print files so that PrintFile could handle them. A bit left-handed but it works OK for me.
    Tatteralan - Do you mean PrintFil? Would you be willing to share the basic program you wrote?
    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    doug silver
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    Default Re: Solution to most Win 7 problems

    Here is a link to the handy utility I use that allows printing my Dos-generated files to Windows printers:

    http://www.lerup.com/printfile/

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