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  1. #1
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    DOS based program and more recent versions of Windows

    Since 1986 I have been using a medical billing program which interfaces with our provincial health insurance plan. It works smoothly and effectively, but I've been restricted to Windows XP Pro. My program only prints through an Lpt1 port to further complicate things. We've not found anyone yet able to update it or even make an iOS version.

    Hence my question: can any more recent Windows version be used with a DOS window and Lpt1 printer port?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    herschm

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    The Command Prompt window can allow some of the DOS commands but a bigger issue with the program is that newer computers don't have a Parallel Printer Port or LPT1 so that rules out support for the older printers. If the hardware support is there one could install WinXP in a Virtual Machine environment such Windows XP Mode on Win7 but support for WinXP ended back in April.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...indows-xp-mode
    Another post about using a Virtual Machine:
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...386#post967386
    From what I'm seeing on the 'net WinXP won't die but needs antivirus support and several such companies are continuing support for awhile, maybe another year or two.

    Also to consider is that some older programs won't work on the 64-bit versions of Windows but will on the 32-bit versions.
    Last edited by Berton; 2014-09-18 at 12:49.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Herschm,

    Google "Route Lpt1 to USB" there are some promising items there. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Search medical billing and medical billing software on Google. There must be many alternatives available.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Herschm,

    Google "Route Lpt1 to USB" there are some promising items there. HTH
    This one looks interesting http://www.ehow.com/how_8698428_redi...b-printer.html

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by herschm View Post
    Since 1986 I have been using a medical billing program which interfaces with our provincial health insurance plan. It works smoothly and effectively, but I've been restricted to Windows XP Pro. My program only prints through an Lpt1 port to further complicate things. We've not found anyone yet able to update it or even make an iOS version.

    Hence my question: can any more recent Windows version be used with a DOS window and Lpt1 printer port?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    herschm
    I found a free program called VDos (http://sourceforge.net/projects/vdos/) which, when properly set up, runs DOS programs in a window and includes another program called DOSPrinter which takes the output of the program and routes it to your regular Windows printer.

    So far I have used it with two word processors and a database program with good results.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    A viable alternative is to configure the virtual machine (e.g. VirtualBox), linking LPT1 to any other output, install DOS and use the program in its genuine mode.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek.1974 View Post
    A viable alternative is to configure the virtual machine (e.g. VirtualBox), linking LPT1 to any other output, install DOS and use the program in its genuine mode.
    A major problem (which vDos solves) is the inability of modern printers to accept older programs character-based printer output. They want a series of dots which form the characters.

    For example, an old DOS program will cause the letter 'A' to print by sending the ASCII value to the printer which uses an internal character generator to form the letter. Windows printers cannot handle this; they want the computer to send commands which print dots on the paper that form the letter 'A'. This method allows tremendous versatility in size and shape of the text but old DOS programs cannot supply this kind of information.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I have a DOS game, that I bought on a single 3.5" floppy disk, back in 1990, pre-windows.
    It runs just fine on Windows XP but not on Windows 7.

    Then I tried to load it on Windows 8.1/32bit, and it asked me if I wanted to engage 16 bit compatibility. ??? Well, of course I clicked "YES" and the rest is history.
    I now play that old 16 bit, DOS game in Windows 8.1 with nary a problem.



    Yes, this is Windows 8.1, running my old 16 Bit game. No sheep jokes!

    Good Luck with the printer.

    The Doctor
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  10. #10
    Silver Lounger
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    Looks like a version of Mahjong.

  11. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Correct! Circa 1990.

    It's a great game, to promote Hand to Eye coordination, for us old timers.

    And, it's a timed game so you can play it against the clock or against another person.

    It will only load on Windows 8.1, 32 bit......NOT on 8.1, 64 bit.
    Only the 32 bit version has 16 bit compatibility.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
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  12. #12
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    DrWho
    ROTFL bringing back memories, I think I have that one some place or maybe even a dos version...
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  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Nearly stuck my smelly foot back in my mouth over this one. Was about to suggest a "USB to LPT adapter", but (of course) that would be back-to-front ("USB to LPT adapter" is for connecting LPT devices to USB ports on newer computers - wrong way around).

    OP should be able to use the method in your link for printing (provided the USB printer can understand the DOS program's output) but OP would need to be running a 32bit version of Windows (32bit is more compatible with older software).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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