upgrading OMAX software

Hi Can anyone tell me if it is possible to upgrade the OMAX DOS software or changing it to Windows version on the same computer? We have a
500Mhz computer so I think it should be possible to run WinXP on it. Would it be possible to simply change the harddisk and install Windows and additionaly OMAX software?
Thanks
Henri
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I guess that you feel that the software is running too fast on that computer? Odd to think that way but I guess that some people prefer to get a cup of coffee between operations. I'd stay away from windoz when running a good DOS program as the way that windoz of any variety runs tends to slow a computer way down when dealing with anything to do with the outside world of the processor. Math and logical work isn't affected by windoz but unless there is a lot of that, you will note a real slowdown of the program from the DOS version.
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The problem is that we have a lot of problems with floppy disk drive because of the environment we work in. That is why I would like to upgrade to windows in order to connect to network or use USB.
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Will the software go to a hard disk and run? Some pieces of software have had stupid tricks applied to insure that the software isn't pirated and they require that the software be run with the original disks in the floppy drive. If so, you are right in that the only thing you can do is find a later version that will run on a hard disk. The unfortunate thing is that windoz XP doesn't support DOS correctly anymore so you will have to find DOS 6.22 and install it on a HD. FWIW, I've got several smaller HDs that will be much more than needed for a DOS program and will run well in a faster machine. I'll also note that a floppy disk drive is still a nice thing to have to get stuff on and off of a computer. On the other hand, even windoz for workgroups will do an excellent job of working with an ethernet connection.
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    Though you may have to download drivers for TCP/IP, IIRC.
    And Win for WG (Windows 3.11) came with MS-DOS 6.22 as the starting layer -- then you had to type "WIN" to start Windows -- except on my system, where you could just as well type "LOSE". (I didn't like the subliminal part of Microsoft's naming -- I was already running various flavors of unix at home. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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I;m running 98 and the startup sound is an old ford trying to start and finally failing. Closing sound is a Chevy firing up like they do in a very short sequence. LOSE is a nice name for the win.com file! Yes, you do need to find the drivers for the Ethernet cards but the WFW will connect to 95 or 98.
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    Thanks.
    Not just the drivers -- you also need to pick up the TCP/IP software, if you want to connect to anything other than other Windows boxen. I have experienced this, because, even back in the Win for WG 3.11 days, I was mostly running unix boxen, and needed to talk to those, too. Back then at least, Microsoft was using exclusively its own networking protocol over ethernet -- I think that it was called something like "NET BUI" (still supported in later Windows, but they added real TCP/IP support as well, which is what I use.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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snipped-for-privacy@guest.arnes.si wrote:

Why do you want to run Windoze? If you *really* want to upgrade, get eCS from http://os2.mensys.nl/indexuk.html or pick up a copy of OS/2 Warp4 on ebay. OS/2 and its derivative, eCS, run DOS programs better than DOS did and you gain a multi threaded OS.
Ted
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Henri,
The answer is yes and no.
There are basically two options available to you:
#1 - Stick with DOS, and your DOS version of OMAX software
...or...
#2 - Buy the necessary hardware and software to upgrade to the Windows version of OMAX software.
#3 - Use Windows 3.1
Let me explain these in more detail, and offer some hints:
Option #1: Stick with DOS:
If you intend to run the DOS software, then the computer you have is going to be a good choice, and it is also a good idea to keep running pure Microsoft DOS, and DO NOT install Windows. The reason for this is that the DOS software relies on the fact that DOS allows the OMAX software to take 100% control over the PC in order to do precision timing of the motor motions. If you run the DOS software under Windows, then Windows will constantly keep interrupting, which causes the tool path to execute in a very rough manner, as it moves along at 100 inches per minute, then suddenly with infinite deceleration goes to 0 IPM while Windows does something, then infinitely accelerates back to 100 when Windows finishes.
You can, however, install networking stuff, but you must do so with caution. I have some documents on networking a DOS OMAX machine that explains the cautions in some detail. However, the amount of work it is to network a DOS machine, and not interfere with normal operation of the OMAX may make it not worth the effort. In addition, it takes finding a network person who is familiar with DOS, and anyone who does networking for a living that started way back in the DOS days is probably a high dollar networking person by now!
One danger to consider with sticking with DOS is that if your computer fails, you may not be able to find a replacement computer very easily. There are some hardware requirements for running the DOS OMAX software that are simply no longer becoming available on newer computers. You are probably ok for a while, but just be warned.
Option #2: Upgrade hardware and Software to Windows:
Because of the precision timing issues previously mentioned, the Windows version of OMAX software requires additional hardware to off-load the timing from the PC. This hardware is also used to prevent problems such as Windows crashing causing a ruined part. This allows Windows to freeze for moments without interfering with the tool paths, and if Windows freezes completely, the machine can come to a normal "paused" condition, ready for a re-boot and easy recovery. Unfortunately, this extra hardware costs money. In addition, the PC power requirements for running the Windows software are significantly higher than what is required for DOS, so your 500Mhz computer would be just barely on the edge.
However, OMAX does sell a Windows upgrade kit. This kit is approximately $5000. I am not 100% sure what all it contains, but I know it contains a new (and fairly hot) Dell computer, a special controller card for doing the precision timing stuff previously mentioned, the latest OMAX software, a "pause" switch to install on your controller, and free software upgrades for the rest of the life of your machine. I believe it also includes free technical support. I don't know if it includes installation and training, though.
Installation is:
#1 - Remove old PC #2 - Drill hole in controller for "pause" switch #3 - Install new PC #4 - Plug new timing card into USB of PC, and plug all existing cables into the timing card.
Also, if you bought your machine used (which I am assuming you did since you posted this question to the Internet), then there might be an additional "transfer fee" involved to get full support from OMAX (but that would also give you hardware support.)
There are pretty big advantages to the Windows upgrade over the DOS. Here are a few of them:
- You can do huge tool paths of great complexity - On the same speed computer, calculations are about 10-20 times faster (and add to that the fact that you would be getting a 3+ Ghz computer, the calculations come out to be maybe 100x faster.) - The cutting model is much improved, which means faster cutting (about 30% on average, but for some parts even up to 200% faster), and slightly improved precision. There are also improvements in areas such as piercing. - Because it's running under Windows (XP), you get all the features you would expect from Windows including reasonably easy networking, USB 2.0 support, CD burning, DVD drive, high resolution graphics, sound card (though you would need to wire in your own speakers, since you would be upgrading an old machine that does not have the speakers built in.) multi-tasking so you can program your next part while cutting another, remote monitoring of the machine over the network, massive amounts of memory, ability to run the wide variety of Windows software out there, etc. - Support for hardware not available in DOS, such as the Precision Optical Locator (video camera), Drill pierce accessory, Tilt-a-jet (for taper removal), motorized z axis for contour cutting or "heads up traverse", etc. - Lots of new features in the software such as array nesting, "go to spot on path", multiple home locations, better previewing tools, super-accurate estimated times,
(You might also want to consider buying a 1Gb usb 2.0 "memory stick" to store you're your files on.)
Option #3:
On many DOS OMAX machines, Windows 3.1 is installed. Just type "win" from the DOS prompt to run it. You may find that helpful, but most likely just a pain.
Hope this helps. If you need any details, please feel free to email me at snipped-for-privacy@omax.com. I am a software engineer at OMAX. (You can post back to this group also, but it likely I won't see it.)
See also:
http://www.omax.com/software_specs.html http://www.omax.com/intelli_max.html
Carl.
snipped-for-privacy@guest.arnes.si wrote:

Windows
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