Updating Old Utilities

Updating Old Utilities

Postby BigVern » Wed May 07, 2014 8:15 am

Thought I would pop the cherry on the MSTS boards with something which has been discussed from time to time at UKTS and TS but seems to defy an answer.

While the chances of me ever going back to MSTS are remote and frankly lessen even further with the passage of time, the biggest handicap is that many of the old utilities no longer install or even work on modern 64 bit computers.

The biggest problem is Demex - the installer is emphatically 16 bit only and no amount of unzipping, copying in Installshield 32 bit launchers has any effect on it. The installer stubbornly refuses to run. Without Demex you are pretty much snookered if you want to make a MSTS route. There was talk on TS a while ago that someone was trying to get permission to redo the installer in 32 bit, but seems to have gone nowhere.

Unless this hurdle can be overcome, those who have upgraded hardware and moved on from MSTS, with no access to a 32 bit machine, have no way of going back even if we wanted to.
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Re: Updating Old Utilities

Postby rivimey » Thu May 08, 2014 12:36 am

BigVern, I would think the solution to this problem is in using a tool like VirtualBox with a Windows XP install within it (Vista 32 bit would also work). VirtualBox is a decently quick way to run one OS inside another - in this case, the whole of Windows XP as one process running on Windows 7 (or 8). You would still need a valid XP license and disk (and OEM ones won't work because they are tied to the actual hardware). VirtualBox does enable interaction with the host with shared folders, networking and clipboard support.

Another way is to use 'XP Mode' within Windows 7 (not 8): you can install apps fairly seamlessly that way, but MS only enable XP Mode for the Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate editions :(

Finally I might mention there is a FreeDOS project which supplies a (slightly improved) clone of MS-DOS 6 - but without Windows. So if your program is text mode or does its own graphics, you might find that useful. Again, use VirtualBox to run it.
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Re: Updating Old Utilities

Postby BigVern » Thu May 08, 2014 8:09 am

The problem there Ruth as you say, is that VM's require you to own a copy of XP or in the case of MS own equivalent it is not available to "Home" users of Win 7 and Win 8. My XP discs long since got chucked in the bin and were probably OEM anyway.

Unfortunately the utilities were sufficiently advanced that though the installer wouldn't work above a 32 bit environment, it was too advanced to work in a DOS emulator (I have tried). In the case of TS Tools/TS Tools 2, was abandoned by the author < 2010 and I couldn't get it working on anything over XP 32 bit, at the time.

Maybe the Open Rails people can think about this aspect particularly as they are going to be relying on use of the MSTS editors until/if such time as they are able to code their own.
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Re: Updating Old Utilities

Postby BigVern » Wed May 21, 2014 10:09 pm

Now then - it seems a fix has just been uploaded at UKTS, File Ref 32983.

Only just downloaded and not had a chance to check, probably tomorrow afternoon or even the weekend, as I'm out on the trains tomorrow having "escaped" the Control on a spare day to do a bit of route refreshing (cushions only - no cab rides these days).
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Re: Updating Old Utilities

Postby BigVern » Fri May 23, 2014 8:32 am

Can confirm the revised file works, Demex installed and running on a Win 7 64 bit machine.

So while a MSTS route from yours truly may be some time away at least it restores the option as a better alternative to RW than Trainz! :P :P
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Re: Updating Old Utilities

Postby rivimey » Fri May 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Glad you're happy(ier).

As an alternative, you may find the resources at http://modern.ie helpful if the requirement is quite short term: a week or two.

Ruth
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