Software:Pads-Logic V4.01, Pads-Work V7.01

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I began using Pads-Logic V4.01, Pads-Work V7.01 for DOS at my company back in 1994. Since then I have designed and manufactured about 200 designs using the software. There have been many times where hardware and operating system upgrades have broken the software but I have always managed to find a way to fix it.

In 1994, my company was running Win3.1 so DOS Pads worked just fine. We were using 386/486 PC's and there was a security dongle on the parallel port. When Pentium PC's came along, they ran so fast that the dongle failed because the program would give up waiting for the dongle to respond before it could do so. The dongle would not run on any PC faster than a 486. Someone else in the industry gave me a little crack exe that could crack the Pads exe if the dongle was plugged in, which it was, so ever since then I have run pads on the cracked exe and kept the original dongle in the drawer. Later that same year, the company switched to networked printers so all LPT1: traffic got redirected to the network path so the original parallel port dongle would have been rendered inoperable regardless.

In 1997, the company upgraded to WinNT. No matter what I tried, Pads would not run on NT. The solution was to boot from a DOS floppy to work in Pads, then reboot to WinNT later. Believe me, this was not fun.

In 1998, at home, I upgraded to a new Pentium PC with Win98se. I was able to get Pads to run natively on Win98se by adding a simple Pharlap memory manager as a DEVICE within the enh386 section of the system.ini file of Windows.

In 2003, the company upgraded to WinXP Pro. At this time, I purchased VMware Workstation v4 and created a Win98se virtual machine (VM) and ran Pads on that for many years. All files had to go through a simple shared folder called Xfer. That was a bit of a nuisance but it worked.

In 2013, the company upgraded to Win7 Enterprise 64bit. My VMware Workstation V4 would not operate on it so I purchased the new V9. It automatically upgraded my existing VM's and once again I was able to run Pads under the Win98se VM. Just for fun, I tried to get Pads to run on a WinXP VM. It would not, as I expected.

I began to search for alternatives and discovered DosBox. After taking about a day to read the manual and figure out the drive mounting procedure and how to make and edit the default config file, I decided to give DosBox a try at running DOS Pads. I copied the entire folder structure of my Pads system (about 3000 files!) from the Win98se VM into the WinXP VM. I installed DosBox, made the appropriate config file and shortcut to launch it, and Pads ran on the WinXP VM like a charm. I was thrilled and amazed. I quickly copied the entire thing over to my Win7 drive D:, installed DosBox on Win7, adjusted the config file and shortcut accordingly, and tried it. Again, I was amazed. Pads runs perfectly happily and at the speed of light on Win7. I could not be happier!

I want to thank the person/s responsible for creating DosBox. It's literally a small miracle. It's not just for games.

DosBox Rules!