Author Topic: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")  (Read 24175 times)

Andrew Stephenson

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Reading back through the posts on this topic, I think my query only half-belongs here.  But let's find out...

XXX (an AN UK agent, name coded for his security) was kind enough to sell me a Lenovo M900 m/c along with my Personal Edition of AOS-5.1, which he also installed, all at a low price.  That was a big help.  Now he has flitted off to Warpstock and a USian holiday (hmm, I suppose that'd be "vacation" Over There  :)), so I am on my own.

I was getting along fine with transferring material saved from my dead (NB) eCS-2 setup when bugs began to appear.  Encarta94 transferred to the Win-3.1 session and seemed to run fine.  But my DOS software, on which I very much rely, did not.  Two apps in particular: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS"); and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP").

WS would get as far as its sign-on screen, then freeze; and only a ctl+alt+del with 'R' would break me free.  QP (coincidentally (?) after I ticked the box in "System Setup > Icon Size > Use Custom Icons", discussed in another topic) began by running right, like opening *.WQ1 spreadsheet files properly, then went berserk when I tried flipping through its Properties.  On the "Icon" page, AOS got as far as drawing the page and was about to draw the icon (already displayed right in (eg) directory displays) then froze solid.  Again, only ctl+alt+del would break me loose -- then, after two or three such collapses, even rebooting failed: now, we get to the AN logo on a black background... then the m/c runs and runs and runs, going nowhere.  I left it for over an hour and a half, without joy.

So here is Big Question #1.  I cannot access any logs, by the looks of it, and probably must reinstall.  XXX told me that he had issues with getting DOS and Win-3.1 sessions right; maybe I can use the CONFIG.SYS (and AUTOEXEC.BAT?) that I backed up before the Collapse.  But do these symptoms ring any bells?

Now for Big (BIGGER?) Question #2.  I really rely on WS and QP (see above).  I have a lot of work saved in their formats.  Do I stick with them and wrestle these bugs to the ground?  Or are there solid AOS-friendly apps I can switch to?  I know WS's format quite well; it's the app itself I really like.  Reputedly QP was, er, inspired by Lotus Smartsuite 1-2-3 -- to get the marketing joke, try counting "1-2-3-4" in Spanish) -- with QP's "WQ1" apparently being similar to LS's "WK1".  Only, I never checked.

Anybody feeling inspired?  Please?

Pete

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2023, 05:04:52 pm »
Hi Andrew

To try to ascertain where the boot gets stuck: During boot press Alt-F2 when the "OS/2" appears in top left corner of screen. This should show drivers loading and either the driver displayed or the next driver that should load is the likely cause of boot failure.

Having established where boot stops Boot the install media to the Installer gui and select System Management(? think that is what it is called) instead of starting a fresh install. You can then use Text Editor to open old and new config.sys files to compare and adjust as necessary.


Regards

Pete


« Last Edit: November 24, 2023, 05:19:09 pm by Pete »

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2023, 09:36:55 pm »
If you have ArcaOS 5.1, then you still have a software subscription. Go to the Arca Noae website, and open an support incident. Read the Wiki (the link is on the page to file a support incident. Someone will help you through.

If you were not under paid support, I'd be in favor of trying to solve the problem here.
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2023, 10:51:53 pm »
Hello Andrew

I split your topic on the forum so we can focus on your issue with WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP") under the DOS VDM session.

Regards
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ivan

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2023, 11:04:01 pm »
Hi Andrew,

A little more info please.  Are you trying to use the DOS programs in a full DOS screen or a DOS window?  I ask because I remember from years ago that there were problems using DOS programs in a window but they were OK when used full screen, what you describe sounds very like that.

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2023, 11:13:26 pm »
Hello Andrew.

Now for Big (BIGGER?) Question #2.  I really rely on WS and QP (see above).  I have a lot of work saved in their formats.  Do I stick with them and wrestle these bugs to the ground?  Or are there solid AOS-friendly apps I can switch to?  I know WS's format quite well; it's the app itself I really like.  Reputedly QP was, er, inspired by Lotus Smartsuite 1-2-3 -- to get the marketing joke, try counting "1-2-3-4" in Spanish) -- with QP's "WQ1" apparently being similar to LS's "WK1".  Only, I never checked.

On this subject I can easily say, replace WordStar for OpenOffice Writer and replace Quattro Pro for OpenOffice Calc, we have OpenOffice for ArcaOS.  But it is not that easy, it is not fair for me to just say migrate to that software without knowing your background, the quantity of work you have on that old software, and your skills to learn OpenOffice.

Maybe you can get first OpenOffice and start playing with Writer and Calc to learn more about those. And only if you get used on that way of working, we can see the migration path from an old WordStar and QuattroPro file to the OpenOffice format. Migration may also not be perfect.

Regards

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Pete

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2023, 07:02:32 am »
Hi Andrew

Not sure which bit may be confusing you...

As you do not seem to be able to boot the system "... we get to the AN logo on a black background... then the m/c runs and runs and runs, going nowhere.  I left it for over an hour and a half, without joy." my suggestion is to discover where config.sys "barfs" during boot. This can be done by pressing keys ALT-F2 when OS/2 is displayed at top left of screen - almost immediately after boot starts. This should display drivers loading and will indicate which driver is not loading.

Then you probably need to be able to boot from something - I suggested install media - in order to edit config.sys and resolve non-boot problem.

Come to think of it: If you are running UEFI boot instead of booting install media you can, once you have established what the boot problem is, press ALT-F1 when OS/2 is displayed at top left of screen. This should display a Recovery Menu which includes the option to edit config.sys for this boot. Hopefully that will resolve the non-boot problem.


Regards

Pete





Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2023, 02:03:10 pm »
Hello

I was reading about WordStar.
- Migration:
If the goal to is to migrate to a modern word processor, for what I had read online, it seems that people suggest to save the WS file as RTF, so it can be opened on OpenOffice Writer. Some other recommend the "WordStar (for DOS) converter for Word" and from there OpenOffice can open the word format.

- Testing The Software:
I tried WordStar 7c for DOS in ArcaOS 5.1, it runs but I get an error that a file is missing, while the file is there on the folder. Maybe it is some copy protection. 

But I also tried WordStar 2.0 for Windows (Newer than 7c according Wikipedia). It seems to runs fine on Win-OS/2, but what needs to be test is that it can open the WS files created with the DOS version. I remember that on those times, even if the software is called the same and created by the same company, sometime the file were not compatible between different OSes.

Regards
« Last Edit: November 25, 2023, 02:06:56 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2023, 02:24:32 pm »
Hello

I was also trying Quattro Pro. With a little trick, I was able to run Quattro Pro 6 in WinOS2. It installs fine, but it copies some DLLs to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM, and in Win-OS2 we need to move those files to C:\OS2\MDOS\WINOS2\SYSTEM.

It seems to be able to save the Quattro Pro files to XLS, which will be good to migrate to OpenOffice Calc eventually. But again, depending on the complexity of the spreedsheet, migration will not be perfect, some calculation may break.

Andrew, I hope this can give you some ideas of the path you want to choose.

Regards
« Last Edit: November 25, 2023, 02:29:37 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Doug Bissett

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2023, 06:30:33 pm »
Looking back, I see that you said it is a Lenovo n900 computer. Which one? There are a lot of different models of m900.

Then, is it installed using Legacy support (in the BIOS), or in UEFI mode (without the CSM)? If it is not UEFI, without the CSM, you do not have the new DOS/WIN support that UEFI supplies, and the old CSM is likely not capable of running your DOS/WIN programs. The symptoms, that you describe, would seem to be what happens, when trying to run DOS/WIN programs with a broken CSM (most of them are broken, in machines less than about 15 years old).

Quote
(or maybe using Alt+F2 did it) because the system booted up normally.

That is an indication that you need to properly sort your CONFIG.SYS. Look up LCSS (Logical Config.Sys Sort) at HOBBES. It may not help, but it usually does, when Alt-F2 helps. They both change the load timing, which often causes trouble. The other option, is to put a file, named Alt-F2on.$$$ into the root of the boot drive. The presence of that file (contents don't matter) will do Alt-F2 for you. That will not make DOS/WIN work, but booting will likely be fixed (no guarantees).

Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2023, 09:24:14 pm »
Hi Andrew,

About WordStar, this is just a suggestion, I would migrate away from it and start using a modern word processor. But it is up to you to see if you feel comfortable with a modern word processor.

1) Get OpenOffice for ArcaOS. Start first using OpenOffice Writer and write something else, get used to it, play it around and check if you see yourself using that word processor tool.  Don't think about the migration yet when you are learning it.

2) About the migration, if you can post a non-confidential, but some kind of complex or big WS file here, I can try to see the migration path from a WS file to a .ODT  (OpenDocument Text ) file format, which is the one native on OpenOffice. But it is up to you if you can share that file here on the forum. You can upload .zip files here.

These are just suggestions.

Regards
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Doug Bissett

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2023, 07:30:20 pm »
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(Re: Doug)  M900?  Oh, Lord.  I'm guessing that "a Tiny" doesn't quite cut it as an answer.

"Tiny" has nothing to do with it. What is the model, so we can tell, exactly, what it is?

The "Tiny" probably means that it has no cooling fan, and will be somewhat sensitive to heat (which will cause it to slow down, to protect itself from overheating). Not a great problem, but be aware that placing anything on top of it (or even near it) will tend to capture heat, and aggravate the problem. Otherwise, the "Tiny" should be much the same as a "normal" PC. The question is: is it UEFI capable, and is it enabled properly? If not, the new Arca Noae support for DOS/WIN will not be enabled.

Quote
If there is a way to ask the m/c, I can give it a go.

Go to a command prompt, and run "TESTLOG GENERIC" (no quotes). It will create a lot of information about the machine, and how it is configured. Post it here.

Rich Walsh

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2023, 08:23:32 pm »
The question is: is it UEFI capable, and is it enabled properly?

FWIW... the easiest / fastest way to determine if you're in UEFI or CSM mode is to go to the System Setup->Screen object. At the top of the first page (possibly out of sight unless you make the window taller), a UEFI boot will show:

Card name:  UEFI VESA Emulator v1.0
Card vendor: Arca Noae, LLC

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2023, 03:28:47 pm »
I suggest that you post the entire testlog. It has other interesting information.
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM: WordStar-for-DOS 7c ("WS") and Borland Quattro Pro ("QP")
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2023, 03:48:16 pm »
..."ThinkCentre (UK spelling) M900.  Machine Type: 10FL.  Model Number: S3E500.  MFG Date: 1607." ...

Just for reference:
- https://psref.lenovo.com/Product/ThinkCentre/ThinkCentre_M900_Tiny
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