Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vault-OS Web Site : Itz Coming

I have no idea why the turkish hackers had to crash my Vault-OS site after I had worked on it for three weeks getting ready to debut. They didn't just ruin my site, they crashed my entire server host. They have actually been sold to get rid of the support headaches.

I have moved everything but this Vault-Co blog to a new server.

I have almost finished rebuilding the site and will launch it again this weekend. It will have a wiki, a gallery and a forum for Vault-OS. The software itself is looking and running pretty good. The closest thing to a release candidate that I have is the Win32 version - it is working really good on Windows NT Workstation, Win 98SE and Windows XP. I know I said the DOS 16 bit version was going to come out first but I have run into a lot of problems with it, particularly communicating with the data server seamlessly via IPX. I know I will get the simpler version integrated but the likeliest thing to have in your hand this year is going to be a Win32 application.

I have broken up my Win32 build from being a monolithic desktop into a series of modules, of which the most important is the VOSCODER. This is essentially the control, alert and monitoring program which is visually represented by a marquee. I have the inventory standing alone, the personnel module standing alone, the calendar and scheduling apps standing alone. They all use the same data server which runs in the background and they use IPC to communicate locally or over TCP-IP to each other.

The sooner I get this version out and running on site in my shelter, the sooner I can wrap up my first book on Vault-OS and Vault-Co best practices for shelter management. Instead of hawking it here (this blog is reserved always for non-commercial interests) I will probably be selling it off the new site, which means I will stop blathering about it on the blog once and for all. That should make some visitors pretty happy if they were sick of hearing about it.

P.S. My test version of the Win32 VOSCODER has run up to 19 days 24/7 continuously without any interruptions, crashes or even unexpected behaviour. The only reason it finally got turned off was that I accidentally unplugged it when working on another setup. Windows NT is a very, very stable platform and 15 years ago it was regarded as superbly suited for embedded, industrial applications that had to run around the clock with zero maintenance.


Anonymous said...

Sounds great TEX I look forward to seeing what it all looks like. Especially looking forward to the inventory control system, I got a cuecat off ebay last week, and I have a storeroom full of inventorying to do. Will the system have the ability to create it's own barcodes, for the likes of barrels of rice? Also why did you choose to use IPX as a protocol instead of TCP/IP?

joe said...

Do not think that because some (or most)of us can't realistically build a vault we aren't interested in how to do it. I will not possibly in the near future be able to do it, but I read the posts and take the info I think may be helpful when push comes to shoot. This is off topic but here's a link to some information on the gulf that suggest an outcome much worse (about a brazillian times worse) than we're led to believe. at the very least its a good lesson on the geology and history of the gulf. And one of the posters calls himself Tex arcane (that you?)

Texas Arcane said...


At present my Win32 version is creating onscreen Code 128 or UPCs and then sending the bitmap to the printer driver for my label printer. I did it this way because I figured the implementation of the bitmap printing can change according to whatever printer driver is being used. I wanted to make it possible for the user to decide how they wanted to print the barcode image whatever way was convenient for them on their setup.

I have a network driver for my little label printer but have not set it up yet. The ideal situation would be send a barcode to the printer in the storage drum, I am still working on that.

The reason I chose IPX for the DOS 16bit program is that it was the only protocol I could get working reliably and simply for PowerBasic. Since my Win-32 data server uses IPX, I am tempted to have another crack at it in PowerBasic. Obviously if the protocol was identical for both Win32 and DOS16 versions as TCP-IP, that would be ideal.

Solsys said...

Question from a noob, not directly linked with the article : would it make sense to buy a second-hand credit card payment terminal (ingenico , for instance) and use it as a "direct thermal" printer ? (Is it even feasible ?)

Advantages would be low cost in aquisition, less consumabbles (only thermal paper, which is rather cheap at that), lower wear and energy consumption.

I think I read you already used thermal printers, but I can't remember for sure.

Thanks :)