Industrial PCs


Thread Starter

Ranjan Acharya

A customer of ours has to buy an industrial PC for shop-floor debugging of control systems. They have to buy an industrial model, so recommending just buying a Dell or a Compaq would not be helpful. For various reasons, some of the tools used by the customer are best run under true DOS rather than a DOS box under NT / 2000. Some of the DOS tools are old fashioned in that they do not support any type of DOS extender or even EMS and run only in the 640K area -- requiring an aggressive memory manager to free up as much low memory as possible. They need the following: - Must be able to support an external keyboard, or preferably, have a 100+ keyboard built in so that they can use the older S5 software with the number pad keys [! CP/M ! :) ] - Must be able to support DOS with a memory manager (a lot of machines with the new fancy BIOSs lock up after the memory manager is installed with enough UMBs freed up to make it worthwhile OR a lot of machines have weird memory assignments in the upper memory blocks to make memory management useless) -- this also really means being able to turn off advanced features such as automatic power management since it may lock up DOS - Also support Windows NT / Windows 2000 - PCI connectors - ISA connectors for legacy interface cards I would appreciate any feedback. We are located in Canada. Regards, RJ

kalpak dabir

Two distinct parts of your problem. Rugged hardware one obvious choice Advantech. They have a range that does cover the req. Alternately look at laptops since they are better designed & tested for physical abuse than a normal desktop. Only be careful of some laptop power adapters, they have poor isolation( neon test lamp lights up on any port connector shell). As for dos compatibilty try booting from dos for dos based progs, by floppy if necessary, since microsoft has declared 2000 will not support dos. This might be less of a circus. I did that for making a keyboard reprogramming utility platform independent. kalpak dabir [email protected]
Ranjan, Try Stealth Computers, in particular their "Stealthbox" ( Contact Alan Beckstead at 905-264-7440. They will build it any way you specify and they have a lot of experience in customizing computers for different industrial applications. Sincerely, Mark Wells President Runfactory Systems Inc. 1235 Bay Street, Suite 400 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 3K4 Cell Ph. 416-984-0774 Fax. 416-352-5206

Michael Griffin

We had a discussion of a variation of this subject on this list a short while ago. If you are looking for a portable computer, try Lorentco at: Their address is in Kitchener at: 88 Pioneer Tower Road, RR#3, N2P 2H8. Their telephone number is: 519-653-7744, or toll free in Canada 1-877-858-1327. Fax is: 519-653-7744. I think you are located reasonably close to them. I've looked over their products, but I haven't bought anything from them yet so I can't give any opinion on them. However, the guts of their portable computers are all standard components so you should be able to order whatever configuration you are looking for. By the same token, upgrades and repairs should be easier than with a lap-top. The operating system issues are probably best dealt with by a dual-boot configuration. This should allow you to boot true DOS or Windows as required, but not both at the same time. Someone else could possibly advise you better on this matter. ********************** Michael Griffin London, Ont. Canada [email protected] **********************