Windows 95b and APS software


Thread Starter

Larry Wollert

I am having a problem with some new laptops being very quirky about running APS 5.11. Exiting to dos has no positive result. By telling the PIF that this program should be ignored by windows takes care of the problem with communication but, now the program does not start consistantly(sp?) sometimes the program will start and everything works just fine and sometimes the program will fail to start numerous times. What am I doing wrong? AB has been no help at all. Again TIA

Larry Lawver

I would expect it to be quirky. Windows95 was released long after APS 5.11, and Win95 changed the way that hardware drivers work on PCs. The instructions supplied with APS 5.11 describe how to run it under DOS 4, DOS 5, DOS 6, and OS/2. Those instructions still work. They don't mention Win95, because it was not available for testing.

Since you are still maintaining your plant with a 1994 software package, it should be easy to find a PC running DOS or OS/2 in your inventory.

Meanwhile, I can tell you that running APS 5.11 under Win95 usually won't work at all.

You got what you paid for. That software runs under contemporary operating systems. You can still do that. I think that A-B gave you all the help they could, since they NEVER told you that you could run that software on Win95.

Hope this helps!

Larry Lawver
Rexel / Central Florida

Larry Wollert

Thanks for your reply. It is not my plant, but my customer's. I was just trying to find an easy fix for them. I'm using RS and I can save in APS for them as long as I remember to make sure I keep the OS (SLC500/03) 301 not 302 that RS automatically changes. That way my customer can still use APS for access. I already understood the problem I was facing. This forum seemed to be the ideal place to ask this question. Thanks again anyway.

Eric Zimmerman

The way I got APS and 6200 software to run in 95b on my last job was to set it up to running in DOS Mode with a custom Autoexec.bat and Config.sys
Option in the PIF. Make the Autoexec and Config.sys minimum to run with the necessary memory exclusions.

Eric Zimmerman
National Circuit Inc.

Colin T. Marsh

Industrial automation customers usually pay a premium price for products and services. Is it unreasonable for them to expect these investments to last longer than 6 years?

Larry Wollert

I've done that successfully with an older laptop but, they've replaced it with a recent model and now sometimes it works and sometimes not. I don't know why people will sometimes cling to an old technology (dos) but they do. I'm about ready to give up and tell them to upgrade or lose support. Thank you all for your patience and support.

Diana Bouchard

One reason people may "cling to an old technology" like DOS is that, believe it or not, a number of software packages still in use on
the plant floor or in engineering offices are DOS-based. Possibly the company that wrote the software has since gone out of business or ceased to support it, but it still does the job it was
purchased for and time and/or economics may not permit an upgrade. I know this creates major problems for software support people, but that's the world we all live in.

Diana Bouchard

Diana C. Bouchard Pulp and Paper
Research Institute of Canada (Paprican) Process Control Group
570 St
Johns Boulevard Pointe Claire Quebec H9R 3J9 Canada phone:
(514) 630
4100 x2376 fax: (514) 630 4120 email: [email protected]

Larry Lawver

Industrial automation customers should definitely expect their investment to last and be supported for ten years and more, IMHO. The problem is in shifting part of the baseline.

I am supporting many clients that are maintaining equipment at an old baseline. For example, I have a client running 1774 PLCs with all necessary spare parts and terminals. The plant hasn't changed much in 25 years, and no bugs have been detected for over a decade! There are reasons to run old stuff, most notably not fixing
what ain't broke.

My response was practical, given the use of APS 5.11: Go back to the original baseline. That software is stable and all features purchased are still functional if it is run on an operating system that it was designed for.

(Also note that Larry Wollert posted in a follow-up that he is a consultant and has limited room to move at his customer's plant.)

Hope this helps!

Larry Lawver
Rexel / Central Florida

Bruce Durdle

I have now got a considerable investment in work using Word and AutoCAD LT to produce a series of books for my students on various aspects of industrial instrumentation. Every time I upgrade
one or the other, I have problems in maintaining compatibility (and not just between packages - every time I try to edit an equation written in Equation 2.0 with Equation 3.0, all the spacing
disappears and it takes me as lot longer than necessary to make any amendments.

There comes a point where the hassles dealing with bugs in new sssoftware far outweigh the benefits to be obtained from making the change.


Very true. For instance, off the top of my head, here's a tally of some of the things I still need to keep alive using old tech.

1. Forming machine - using Eagle Signal Eptak 245 PLC, and old serial Xycom monitor
Reason: machine to be phased out in 1997 (OK, so it's still here ;).
Pitfalls: both PLC and monitor are long obsolete, and difficult to get parts for.
2. Husky EPROM burner
Reason: it works fine
Pitfalls: uses an ISA-8 bus plug-in card, so not laptop-friendly, and need to slow the bus down to match an 8088 if plugged into a relatively modern desktop machine.
3. Blending equipment using A-B PLC2s.
Reason: PLC/2' s working fine. Have started upgrading to SLC 5/05-based systems, but machine mfg still working the bugs out.
Pitfalls: If the ICOM master disk ever craps I'm dead in the water.
Still run this on our first 80286-12 MHz computer.

I'd also mention that many DOS-based programs, although they can be finicky in their own adorable ways, are simplier. They aren't near as mysterious to get running as some Windows-based
programs I've used (especially during the "standard" 2AM breakdown, and I haven't looked at the program in 3 years kind of scenario).

Not that I dislike Windows programming per se, it's just that some of the initial promise (i.e. - uniform user interfaces, plug n' play, et al) hasn't played out completely in the WinNT world.

Charles Nelson

I hope this is not too late. I have encountered the same problem. It is not enough to go to a DOS window, Windows still has control of your comm. ports. I have a laptop with Windows 95, and I have made a Dos boot disk. With the proper files on the boot disk my laptop does not know 95 exists. I have run 5.11 and now 6.3 ( I think ) and they run with no problems. If you need to know how to make a boot disk contact me and I will tell you how, it's easy.

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