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Re: laptop ideas (kinda long post, sorry)



[Mark Garvey:]

>I'm looking for a new personal laptop to run Xy.
>
>So, my question #1: If I were to get a used Thinkpad,
>something like an old Pentium or PII, I could just
>wipe out Windows and boot it up as a DOS machine, and
>run Xywrite on it, couldn't I?

     On mailing lists, people sometimes respond to queries like this only
privately, to the individual who asked it.  However, I would be interested in
this, too - so could anyone responding either respond on the list, please, or
else include me in any private replies?  Thanks.
     I've been on this list for several years now, although it's been a long
time since I've said anything here.  Soon after I joined, I managed to buy a
copy of XyWrite - but I have been inhibited from using it because it doesn't
seem to agree with Windows 95, and I have thus tended to forget about it -
although, from the little I've seen of it, I think this program is in a style
that is far more to my taste than any of the modern, graphics-based stuff.  But
if I can get a suitable computer (a laptop) and operating system, I am still
interested in returning to XyWrite.
     I understand that with *some* DOS programs, it is best to run them on old
computers.  The new ones are so fast, faster than the DOS program designers
anticipated, that they are literally too fast to run the old software properly,
and things either don't work properly, or else they happen so fast you can't
keep track of them.
     I believe this is so with some old DOS games - and I have heard of people
wanting to run them going to great pains to obtain old XT computers, precisely
because they run these games better than anything more recent.  And I know that,
with my Turbo Pascal compiler (the most recent version, from maybe 10 years or
so ago), when I write programs on a Windows-based computer, I sometimes get
run-time errors that I *know* shouldn't happen, and they appear to be the result
of some incompatibility with Windows and / or with the hardware (which may be
too fast to run Turbo Pascal properly).
     I have no idea whether any of these incompatibilities would arise with
XyWrite.  One problem I have encountered is that XyWrite can sometimes freeze
the DOS window when I try to quit it, especially if I am using a 50-line screen
rather than a 25-line one, as I prefer to do; and I am sure this shouldn't
happen.  If I haven't saved a file before I get this far, then I lose any
changes I've made.  Normally the program prompts you to save the file, if you
haven't already done so.
     I don't know the exact reason for this problem, or the other ones I've
noticed while running other DOS programs with Windows or on more recent
hardware.  But I just thought I might mention the possibility of compatibility
problems if you use either modern hardware or modern operating systems.  I would
think probably a 486 computer to be best for programs like XyWrite or for Turbo
Pascal - although, if anyone knows better, I would be glad to be corrected on
this.
     My suggestion is that, before you buy a laptop, you try XyWrite on it first
if you can, and with the operating system you intend to use, and make sure it
works to your satisfaction.  You probably won't be able to change the installed
operating system before purchasing it - but you could boot up DOS from a floppy
for the purpose of trying it out.

>... question #2: Anyone know of any NEW, simple laptop-like machines that will
>run DOS programs such as Xywrite?

     I would also certainly be interested in hearing any thoughts anyone may
have on these questions.
     Thanks.

                         Regards,
                          Michael Edwards.