Windows XP is an interesting operating system that greatly simplifies the addition of new hardware and software. However, it is also incompatible with many older programs designed to operate under previous non-NT versions of WindowsTM. The sales guy at the local computer emporium will always fail to mention that much of your non-Microsoft software will not operate on your new computer unless is is specifically-rated for XP. This includes virtually all third-party software more than a year or so old! If that isn't bad enough, XP also has quirks that make it more difficult to run programs such as Morse, which must have access to the serial or parallel ports of your computer. The problem is that XP has no direct way to reboot the computer under MS-DOS, forcing you to run DOS and any DOS programs under Windows XP. Since Morse must access the ports, we have a problem. Fortunately, there is a solution.
The key is to make a DOS boot or start-up disk that will force the computer to bypass Windows startup and stay in the DOS mode. Proceed as follows:
where morsex is the particular version of morse you are using. Save the file on the A drive as AUTOEXEC.TXT. Use Windows Explorer to rename the file AUTOEXEC.BAT and you are done.
To run morse:
While all this is great, it may not solve the problem on some computers. On my Dell Dimension 4600, the boot disk permits the computer to boot under DOS, but the system will not recognize the presence of the <C> drive! Since drive <A> is a bit small, particularly as your log grows, it looked like the end of Morse on my main computer!
Well, it turns out, there is a way! If you have a drive or drive analog on a USB port, the computer does recognize that drive as drive <C>! It makes no sense at all, but does provide the means to run Morse after all. If you have a USB ZIP or CD R/W drive, put all your morse files on there and run the program from that drive. In fact, you don't even need a real drive, as a virtual drive will work just as well! I had a 8 megabyte compact flash card left over from a digital camera flash card upgrade. I put it into an inexpensive USB flash card reader, and the computer recognized it as drive <E> on my system. I copied the files, and now run Morse from the flash card. Since I didn't add any subdirectories to the flashcard/"disk", my floppy autoexec file was modified as follows:
Note that, under DOS, I refer to drive <C>, since that is how the computer, operating from the boot disk, recognizes the flash card "drive". The system is working just fine and nicely bypasses the limitations of the WindowsXP DOS boot disk!