Read this if you encounter problems with DHPOS in DOSBOX

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Johann
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Location: Jember, Indonesia

Read this if you encounter problems with DHPOS in DOSBOX

Post by Johann » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:21 am

Are you using DHPOS in DOSBOX and are you experiencing weird issues?
Well as it turns out at least some of these possible issues aren't related to DHPOS but to DOSBOX and/or your specific DOSBOX configuration.

I myself experienced some difficulties that i could solve with DOSBOX configuration and some issues that i could not solve.
In the end i tried a different DOS emulator and to my surprise i found my issues solved plus a few things that personally i found to work better in that emulator.(VDOS)

So before asking Dale with your issues in your specific DHPOS/DOSBOX setup, try to recreate your issue in a different emulator and so maybe find a solution yourself.

Following below is a small comparison of running DHPOS in DOSBOX and VPOS(my current emulator of choice).
If anybody wants to add to this list, or share experiences running DHPOS in emulators other than DOSBOX and VPOS, just leave a reply detailing your emulator and what it fixes or does better and i will edit it in the list.

Handling of Keystrokes (issues with barcode scanners/scrolling functionality)
DOSBOX seems to emulate keystrokes in memory rather faithfull to an old DOS computer, however this may prove somewhat annoying and can break functionality of some barcode scanners.
This can be most commonly noticed by scrolling through long lists, e.g. your stock table.
HOLDING DOWN a scrollkey (arrow keys, pageUP/pageDOWN etc) in DOSBOX puts an X-amount of keystrokes per second in memory depending on how long the key is pressed, and executes them with a delay in your interface (DOS prompt, DHPOS etc).
The result is when holding a scrollkey while scrolling your list and letting go of the scrollkey when you want to stop scrolling that the remaining keystrokes in memory will still get added and you 'overshoot' the location, meaning you will have to scroll back a little again.

VDOS does not hold keystrokes in memory, meaning that as long as the scrollkey is pressed you will scroll and the instant you release the scrollkey the scrolling stops instantly.

My barcode scanner refused to work correctly in DOSBOX, highly likely due to the way it was sending the string of keycodes to DOSBOX.
In VDOS my barcode scanner worked instantly without additional configuration.

Screen resolutions/Fullscreen/Multiple Monitor issues
DOSBOX seems to SWITCH your resolution to a native DOS resolution (640/480) to display correctly fullscreen.
Also in some cases using multiple monitors (for customer displays/monitor Pole-displays) using the Windows extended desktop feature switching your resolution on your main part of your desktop affects the resolution of your extended desktop on a secondary or even third etc display causing some issues.
This can somewhat be fixed by altering the DOSBOX configuration to use different resolution, output modes and use of SCALING.

VDOS uses SCALING with a standard configuration, meaning your screen resolution of your main and extra screens will not be changed when setting to fullscreen.
No additional configuration needed, easy to use.

As extra bonus with SCALING instead of switching down to low resolutions is in case when working with DHPOS everything will look a whole lot smoother(less visible pixels/more rounded edges of the font)

Speed/Response time
A standard configuration of DOSBOX(no altering of CPU/Cycles etc in DOSBOX config) seems to run slower than VDOS. This can be noticed e.g. when starting DHPOS in the emulators.
Where DOSBOX shows a screen for some amount of time that DHPOS is looking for some files, this screen flashes by in an instant using VDOS.

Other minor differences
- DOSBOX opens 2 windows, the actual screen window that shows emulated output and a status screen in the background(for debugging purposes). DOSBOX also shows a brief SPLASH-screen for a second.
VDOS opens a single screen without SPLASH-screen.

- DOSBOX is configured with a configuration file and uses a AUTOEXEC.BAT for any specific DOS commands (loading of additional drivers, automatic starting of DOS programs e.g. POS.EXE)
VDOS uses a single configuration file which contains a section for commands traditionally applied in AUTOEXEC.BAT

-DOSBOX uses the MOUNT command to mount a folder as drive, which can be added to AUTOEXEC.BAT to automatically mount your POS folder
VDOS uses a similar command named USE which can be added to VPOS configuration file for the same purpose.

-DOSBOX has a lot more features and flexibility in configuration and setup, mostly aimed at setups for gaming and completely unnecessary for use with DHPOS.


FINAL NOTE
I am not claiming that one emulator is better than the other. IMHO DOSBOX is an excellent emulator sporting many features, however for this one specific purpose of running DHPOS VDOS is my emulator of choice for it seems to be working better out-of-the-box for my setup and preferences.
I am not using ALL features available in DHPOS, also my specific setup uses specific hardware that more likely than not is different than the hardware you use.
Therefore it is impossible for me to test all the DHPOS features and hardware combinations and so your experience can differ from mine.
DOSBOX and VDOS can be installed and used next to eachother using your same POS folder as mount so what's keeping you from testing out both?
However for obvious reasons i would not run DOSBOX and VDOS simultaneous while both having mounted the same folder and,as with everything, making a backup of your POS files/folders BEFORE you start testing out random stuff is probably a very good idea!

LINKS
get DOSBOX here: https://www.dosbox.com/
get VDOS here: https://www.vdos.info/

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daleadmin
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Re: Read this if you encounter problems with DHPOS in DOSBOX

Post by daleadmin » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:35 pm

Johann,

I you find yourself bored for a while and are looking for something to do you could try to network DHPOS while using vDOS. This is usually difficult using DOSBox.

Dale

Johann
Occasional Poster
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:11 am
Location: Jember, Indonesia

Re: Read this if you encounter problems with DHPOS in DOSBOX

Post by Johann » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:13 am

Dale,

if im correct you are referring to a setup as described on your site:
http://keyhut.com/postip3.htm#network

As far as i can tell i can hardly see any reason why such a setup currently would not work in DOSbox or vDOS.
I did some research and indeed DOSbox seemed to have some issues with networking previously but the most recent versions claim to have this fixed.
I also browsed some old topics on this forum regarding issues with networking, however these give me little info about the related setups (DOSbox or not, DOSbox/DHPOS versions, types of OS and versions etc etc).

I have some hardware laying around which makes it possible for me to setup a two-register-network and will report back on my testfindings here.
Stay tuned....

[EDIT]
I did the testing and found nothing unusual, however since setting it up correctly could be confusing to some i decided to post the process of setting up networked POS registers in emulators on the forum
It's a bit lengthy so i made a new thread here: http://www.dhpos.com/discuss/phpbb3/vie ... 552#p12552

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