EMRFD Message Archive 6208
Message Date From Subject 6208 2011-04-26 08:23:11 w5ida HamCalc Many of you may be users of HamCalc, the collection of useful subroutines for builders of homebrew equipment. George Murphy, the author of HamCalc has asked that I share the letter below with members of EMRFD. You may send your ideas concerning his letter to me and I will see that they are forwarded to George.
22 April 2011
Personal letter to all HamCalc users
The HamCalc Story
HamCalc "Painless Math for Radio Amateurs" free software is available as a free download from the author <firstname.lastname@example.org>. It was born in the 1950's when I decided ro take up ham radio as a hobby. I particularly wanted to design and build my own equipment so I dug up some old text books, a pocket calculator and got to work. But aversion to mathematics is not an acquired distaste, it comes naturally it and soon became apparent I was ill-equipped for the task. So I bought a Radio Shack 8-bit 3.5 k RAM computer and learned how to write GWBASIC computer programs to do all the math while I concentrated on designing and building radio station VE3ERP.
Four decades and several computers later, in 1993 I decided to retire, re-write all 400 or so programs into a single cohesive suite named HamCalc and give it away to anyone interested. In those days the `giveaway' involved costly floppy discs and instruction sheets in padded mailers and foreign postage. It got to be a bit of a chore until a few years ago when CQ magazine very kindly offered to take over distribution of HamCalc via the Internet.
For nearly 20 years HamCalc has been running successfully in Windows operating systems worldwide but now Microsoft has, in my opinion, foisted a gross disservice on purchasers of Windows 7 by depriving them of access to the users' existing GWBASIC libraries. The 32 bit version of Windows 7 can be "fixed" (not recommended) to partially run some GWBASIC programs, but HamCalc CANNOT BE RUN AT ALL in the 64 bit version.
Before deserting an apparently sinking ship I would appreciate hearing from anyone with comments and/or suggestions on how to keep HamCalc afloat.
George Murphy, VE3ERP <email@example.com>
6209 2011-04-26 11:50:34 Vern VanZ Re: HamCalc My suggestion is for [someone] interested in learning say, Java... to re-write
all of it. The Java virtual machine is (if I'm not mistaken) available for all
recent versions of Windows and would allow (Windows 7) users to still enjoy
HamCalc's utility... Just a thought.
I would volunteer but am currently working a full time jay-oh-bee and also
attending 15 credit hours of night classes (i.e., 'no time').
----- Original Message ----
6210 2011-04-26 12:38:51 popmedkoh Re: HamCalc Dosbox and x86 emulator is said to work on Vista and Windows 7. I can't confirm since I don't run either. Once Dosbox is installed and running can allegedly run GWBASIC or at least QBASIC which can, after a fashion, run GWBASIC programs if they're saved in ASCII and not packed binary. This from Microsoft knowledge base:
To run a GW-Basic program under QBasic, do the following:
1. Convert the program in GW-Basic to ASCII format.
2. Run QBasic with the /MBF switch.
3. Load the program into QBasic.
All QBasic programs must be in ASCII format. The GW-Basic program editor can sa...
All QBasic programs must be in ASCII format. The GW-Basic program editor can save programs in the format QBasic requires. The file must be saved with the A option in GW-Basic. Otherwise, GW-Basic compresses the text of your program into a format that QBasic cannot read.
To get QBasic which is sort of a subset of QuickBasic see:
for a link to download olddos.exe which is what is needed.
There are doubtless tweaks needed for a port to QBasic but this would likely be much easier than a complete rewrite.
73 David KE1LY
> My suggestion is for [someone] interested in learning say, Java... to re-write
> all of it. The Java virtual machine is (if I'm not mistaken) available for all
> recent versions of Windows and would allow (Windows 7) users to still enjoy
> HamCalc's utility... Just a thought.
> I would volunteer but am currently working a full time jay-oh-bee and also
> attending 15 credit hours of night classes (i.e., 'no time').
> ----- Original Message ----
6211 2011-04-26 12:59:41 popmedkoh Re: HamCalc Forgot to menti 6212 2011-04-26 15:31:18 kb1gmx Re: HamCalc There are many ways to keep old code alive without resorting to a huge investment of effort to rewrite.
As a linux user that often needs windows support either for old tools or even current ones I resort to many approaches.
DOSEMU A dos environment emulator so I can run does programs.
Wine A windows environment emulator for many but alas not all
programs for windows 95/98 and even XP.
Vmware this allows creating virtual systems and thse systems
are effectively like having a box on your desk with a blank disk.
With VMware I can run DOS6.22, NT4, Win98 and XP or if I choose
linux of a different flavor than the host. Inside each Virtual machine environment I have resources and capabilities of the
host box but in parallel unlike a dual boot. So I can even
cut and paste between them. I use thsi for programs that actually require a real copy of say XP and in fact the OS and any
applications are installed like XP.
There are many simulators to "run" a wide variety of old machines
as well most famous of those is SIMH.
And I have BASIC the language for running in the linux system
just like the old days of DOS complete with command lines.
I ahve tried hamcalc in many of the VMware setups with no
issues at all the HAMCALC programs are running on XP for
all the know because they are.
They also work under dosemu and so under wine as well.
a few I saved as source from GWbasic (under VMWARE XP)
and run under BASIC256 in the linux space.
Windows-7 pro has an XP environment sandbox. If it runs XP
it can then run a dos window. It can also run VMware,
VirtualMachine, both allowing users to install a copy of
XP or W98 as needed to run older programs.
Generally I've tried to get away from Windows as a system environment
but in a virtual sandbox it's still a useful tool and does not have to have all the newest bells and whistles that can't be installed
or supported. If you need the latest prowser for facebook the host system has it but if you need W98 to run and old program who cares
Internet explorer is out of date you are not running the emulator
for that. Once this is understood then total value of a system that can run all the old stuff alongside the new shines.
Of course I also have a few older 486/DX66 boxes that can run anything up to and including NT4 and a few older versi
volunteer to do it as soon as i can mop the arduino/si570 project of my
workbench. let me take a look in the mean-time.
6215 2011-04-27 01:12:26 R Wall Re: HamCalc Hi W5IDA,
What about compiling the Basic programs into a .exe file and run it direct?
Some free compilers are:
Roderick Wall, vk3yc.
6216 2011-04-27 04:41:10 Alan Melia HamCalc I see several options already suggested, being an old Basic hacker myself. I
also have a number of personal gems like that (though not so widely
distributed as HamCalc) My solution was to stuff the source into an old copy
of QuckBasic 4.5 (note, not QBasic) the syntax might need a few minor
changes, but QB4.5 is very close to GWBasic. Then compile the code as a
stand-alone .exe file. These will run on most systems I have ....but I dont
have a Win7 PC !! I am moving towards Linux now. Any other solution
involving say VB is a complete rewrite.
It may be possible with other systems like Liberty Basic but to my quick
browse the syntax differences may involve a lot more work that the QB45
A similar series of DOS style programs was available from the late Reg
Edwards, I believed Reg used Pascal and compiled to standalone .exes these
are still available on a number of "tribute" sites and still usable.