Monday, May 24, 2010

Vault-OS : Update - 16 Bit DOS Versions

I was working on my new Vault-OS site, customizing the theme and getting it looking sharp ... when Turkish hackers with political propaganda crashed my site as well as nearly every single site hosted on my server. You may have seen these pages in the past week when checking my other URLs.

The hosting company has moved everybody with their basic domains to a whole new server but the SQL databases remained behind. I now have to rebuild my web sites this week to get them ready again.

Anyway, here's my strategy.

Last night I broke up my monolithic PowerBasic DOS program into modules, which I intend to release individually for testing by other people. Instead of one big fat program, you will be able to run these alone or under a multitasker for DOS like DesqView-X or DR. DOS.

The first module to be released will be the VOSCoder - a 16 bit DOS program designed to do nothing but control the Vault through a combination of I2C Sensors and LPT relays. It is completely programmable, has it's own bytecode language and interpreter and is portable from the 16 bit version to the 32 bit engine that runs on Win NT/32 bit Windows. It sends and receives messages on the network in real-time in IPX packets and will be designed to run even without a monitor or mouse where needed.

The second one to be released after that will be the inventory/storage manager, a pretty big program designed to work around a CueCat barcode scanner, a label printer that takes serial codes for input and a file system to store the DB4 database. This is designed to manage all facets of inventory using barcoding of stock and recognition through the CueCat.

The third module will be the Personnel/Medical management database, which keeps detailed track of all people in the shelter and what their medical status/requirements are.

I think I will get these three out there, get them tested by people and see what the feedback is. If they are all working and easy for others to put to use, I intend to write the first draft of my VOS manual to cover these three and see how that sells. If it is well received, I will update this manual frequently as I add other modules.

Once the 16 bit version reaches saturation, I will begin to introduce the Windows 32 bit tools and software that work in sync with it. Should keep me pretty well occupied during the coming year.


Anonymous said...

Sounds good. What type of cuecat is needed, a usb or ps2 ?

Texas Arcane said...

PS2 - runs on anything, even a USB plug with an adapter.

PS2 version piggybacks off keyboard so supports DOS through W32 devices.