SignWriter 4.4 on Linux

Stuart Thiessen smt_sw at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat May 18 19:26:41 UTC 2002

See comments below ....

Stuart Thiessen
Des Moines, IA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Trevor Jenkins" <Trevor.Jenkins at SUNEIDESIS.COM>
Sent: Saturday, 18 May 2002 03:38
Subject: Re: SignWriter 4.4 on Linux

> A more elegant solution would be to recompile SignWriter 4.4 for
> Linux. Either of FreePascal or gpc would probably do. Haven't tried to do
> this yet. The biggest problem will be converting the pure-assembler module
> to something else and removing the hardware dependencies from it.

I agree, but as an interim for Linux users, it seems dosemu works well.
Actually, it is probably better to wait for a SignWriter 5.0 or we need to
produce something native for Unix-based systems.  Not having done much
programming in the Unix world yet, I wouldn't know what cross-Unix
programming issues might be there.  But that's the third alternative.

This means that another alternative for a SW4.4 lab situation would be to
install linux on all the workstations and set up SignWriter on each machine.
That would be one way to have a networked environment but still run a DOS
program.  (Setting up DOS in a networked environment is a headache ... I've
done it before and wouldn't want to remember how. <grin>).  It would
probably be cheaper than setting up a Win9x/ME environment since you would
not have to pay for licenses for Linux for each of the workstations.  That
was one reason I was glad to see it work.

I did notice something else afterwards that I should mention.  SuSE also has
an "xdosemu" as well which is (I guess) dosemu for graphical applications
under DOS which is what SW is.  I did try to run dosemu under the regular
terminal window which works fine for text-based DOS programs, but not SW.
So you do need to have xdosemu running for SignWriter 4.4 to work.  The way
SuSE worked, it detected my printer settings and set them to the DOS
defaults, so I can say pretty confidently about the SuSE 7.3 dosemu setup
that it should work well for any application.  It is the seamlessness part
of things for other installations of Linux that I don't know about.  If you
have a compatible version of dosemu, you should be able to set it up to do
this manually or via your distribution's setup. The nice thing is that Linux
understands postscript, so it should be easy to take postscript output from
SW4.4 under Linux and print it or make it a PDF.


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