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At this point this is just a question.

First let me say; I'm not a "Computer guy" I'm a "phone guy".

I have a customer that is using an OLD Computer system using PC-MOS
The customer has come to the realization that if this thing "takes a dump" they are in trouble.

PC MOS is a FOUR or FIVE user system, I have over the last few years installed wiring for their internet connection which is basically a "non network, network".

EVERYTHING in the PC MOS system is written in GW BASIC , and to my understanding is nothing more then a number of data bases that interact with each other.
One of the things they would like is for the "finished product" to "look like" it does now.

I talked to a friend, and he suggests that the data MAY BE ABLE TO BE parced into Access.
But I'm not sure that this is the "answer".

I know this is an impossible question to answer with the little info I have given - BUT
is this something that could be done ?
How hard would it be to do ?


Don Ritchie
460 EAST 270 ST.


You do not specify what type of application nor the database but I guess something like Point of Sale. linux does have some DOS emulators like dosemu or dosbox. However, many DOS applications were written to access hardware directly which means porting to linux may not be possible. I also do not know what the current capabilities of dosemu or dosbox. There are basic compilers and interperters but again porting to linux may not be possible.

Yes, I would say with some effort and time you could "rebuild" the system with linux using any one of the SQL databases like mysql or postgresql and rewrite the basic code. Since I do not know what the finished product is I can not say it can look like the original.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.

There are a number of data bases (data files) that are up-dated as necessary.

The basic author taught himself to write code and had ( has) no one to answer to, so the code may or may not be to any standard.
The basic "programs" that he writes (wrote) are "just" routines to:
find, sort, print or display ( as the case may be) and to do any up dating to the several
"data files". It seems that the data files have little in common with each other, as far as "format" is concerned .

You're best bet is to hire somebody to write a new peice of software that will read in the old data and store it in some sort of standard database system.

The way I understand it is that you have an exisiting program that was written in BASIC and uses a custom scheme for storing data in a file.

What you need is to migrate that data to a new system. I seriously think you're best bet is to have a new up-to-date piece of software written. Looking into emulation and all that is just a mess and not something you want to do for a mission critical buisness aplication. Its pricey, but its worth it.
Thanks Jim'

That's just the kind of answer I need to show the customer as they have "trouble" parting with a buck huh.gif
I guess the question now is -

would it be cheaper to do a linux app or to figure how to parse this data into Access,
and pay someone to "write" Access apps ?

Keeping in mind that whatever needs tobe networked to at least six boxes.

Thanks again

What I would do is leave that up to the developers. You can get quotes from people and if the lowest quote is to parse it into access then away you go.

One note on that though, access is proprietary remember, so if MS stops making it, you could be right back here. If you use an option like mySQL, something that is open, at least if mySQL ever stops (which I can't see it any time in the near future) the startard is open which will make migrating easier. But ya, you will be able to let the designers handing those kind of choices.
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