486 pc or early 90s computer and old Nasa programs

ncc1701d

Member
Do you own an old 486 computer or one made in the early 90s? I have old nasa orbital data trapped in a executable file that
was complied by them in the early 90s on old computers. It wont run on modern computers. It runs on DOS. It wont work with DOS running in Virtual box or
even a new modern computer with only DOS on it. I might be willing to pay you if you can get it to work and retrieve the information for me.
The challenge tho is seeing if it even works on an old computer. I am not keen on buying a new vintage 486 computer just to see if I can get it to work on it.

JDat

Active member
I have Pentium 100 Mhz with MS-DOS.

Fabri91

Donator
Donator
I would be able to try DOSBOX, or if this fails a Pentium III machine able to run DOS.

kuddel

Donator
Donator
Shouldn't DOSBox-X be even better for this? I have never done extensive tasks with it, but all my old software I had to run under DOS worked well with that.
Also they provide portable-versions, which make trying really really easy and harmless.

MaxBuzz

Well-known member
if nothing comes out with dos-box, you can try Virtual-box with preinstalled MS-DOS system

ncc1701d

Member
I have Pentium 100 Mhz with MS-DOS.
sedr2asc.exe
That same directory contains instructions on use.

you can create a directory on your harddrive.
From that same directory
create a text file named col.asc Type a number 1 in top left corner to make it easy.

Then type:
sedr2asc i=EP0001.DAT a=EP000.ASC h=pc f=EPHEM c=col.asc

If it works I would expect you to get a list of numbers.
You are essentially converting a data file to readable .asc text file for a pc. The col.asc
file is just gives a column number that you are extracting from the data file.

Its very super easy program to use.
When I run it on my modern machines though.
I get stack overflow error.
The program works with other file types like SPIN and PULSE just not with EP file types.
It was compiled with C in the early 90s.
Give it a go if you want to try but dont torture yourself trying to get it to work. I already did that.
Only thing I havent tried yet is running it on an old early 90s 32 bit architecture system because I dont own one. The program is finicky about the hardware it runs on I believe.
thanks. Tell me what happens and if you have any luck.

kuddel

Donator
Donator
• Full precision floating point emulation.
Unless using the dynamic core, DOSBox and DOSBox-X emulate the FPU registers using the "double" 64-bit floating point data type.
The Intel FPU registers are 80-bit "extended precision" floating point values, not 64-bit double precision, so this is effectively 12 bits of precision loss and 5 bits of range loss (64 to 53 mantissa bits and 16 to 11 exponent bits). This slight loss of precision is perfectly fine considering DOSBox's original goal in supporting DOS games, but may cause problems in other cases that need the full precision.
It is known at this time that this lack of precision is enough to cause otherwise straightforward comparisons against integers to fail in DOS applications originally written in QBasic or Turbo Basic. There are such DOS games written that check their file size using a floating point compare that will fail in this manner. To run these games, you will need to disable FPU emulation (fpu=false) to force the QBasic/TurboBasic runtime to use software emulation instead.
Source: https://github.com/joncampbell123/d...-dosbox-x-is-unlikely-to-support-at-this-time

JDat

Active member
Tests on Linux DOSbox show the same: Error R6000, stack overflow.
But. there are also Linux version, but not working. By feeding command line parameters and input files it returns to command prompt. Not creating output file.
Another interesting thing, it have source code with ancient Makefile configuration. Tried to compile, but without success. There is small possibility to read source code and write own converter based on original source code.

Still not have time to connect Pentium 100 GRAND pa. Need some spare time.

Fabri91

Donator
Donator
First try using FreeDOS running bare metal on a 2010 i5 750 resulted in the same failure:

Fabri91

Donator
Donator

Same when running on Windows 2000 on a Pentium III. In the weekend I'll be able to install Windows 98 and thus run it in "proper" DOS instead of the NTVDM used on NT/2000.

ncc1701d

Member
Tests on Linux DOSbox show the same: Error R6000, stack overflow.
But. there are also Linux version, but not working. By feeding command line parameters and input files it returns to command prompt. Not creating output file.
Another interesting thing, it have source code with ancient Makefile configuration. Tried to compile, but without success. There is small possibility to read source code and write own converter based on original source code.

Still not have time to connect Pentium 100 GRAND pa. Need some spare time.
Yes Error R6000, stack overflow is what i get. Ya I tried to compile as well but it wouldnt work and have studied source code very closely and tried to do some bit math by hand but failed. You have to do some format conversions from IBM370 to IEEE which adds to confusion for me. Probably beyond just beyond my capabilities. Trying it out on old computer is probably my last try before I just quit.

ncc1701d

Member
View attachment 26181

Same when running on Windows 2000 on a Pentium III. In the weekend I'll be able to install Windows 98 and thus run it in "proper" DOS instead of the NTVDM used on NT/2000.
Yep thats the error. A pentium III might not even be old enough hardware. I guess those showed up around 1999?

Kubala95

New member
I tried on QEMU emulating 486 (with and without FPU) with MS-DOS 5.0. Unfortunately the same... amazing.

ncc1701d

Member
I tried on QEMU emulating 486 (with and without FPU) with MS-DOS 5.0. Unfortunately the same... amazing.
Ya. Thanks for checking that out. I dont think emulation will work.

Fabri91

Donator
Donator
I must give up: trying on the above-mentioned Pentium III machine running Windows 98 in DOS-Mode (so in effect "just" DOS, though I'm not sure which version) yielded the same result:

I have no older system available to try.

Face

Well-known member
Orbiter Contributor
Beta Tester
Perhaps the program is just buggy and fails with this specific input?

ncc1701d

Member
I must give up: trying on the above-mentioned Pentium III machine running Windows 98 in DOS-Mode (so in effect "just" DOS, though I'm not sure which version) yielded the same result:
View attachment 26188

I have no older system available to try.
thanks for trying!

ncc1701d

Member
Perhaps the program is just buggy and fails with this specific input?
It is designed specifically for this data so it should work. It works ok with the other few data types like PULSE, SPIN etc. I got those to work already. The EP files are just larger and have double precision values in them. Not sure if that makes a difference but it might.

kuddel

Donator
Donator
The h parameter should be MSB (or rather MSD I believe, as MSB seems a typo)
The c parameter should name an input file containing columns to extract
Code:
                   sedr2asc User's Guide
===========================================================================
General Info:
===========================================================================

The sedr2asc program is used to extract data from the PDS Archive CD-ROM's
containing the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) Supplemental Experimenter Data
Record (SEDR) dataset. The program is written in the C programming language
and will compile using either the Gnu C Compiler (2.3) with the
"-traditional" option or the sun C compiler version 3.1.

The original PVO SEDR tapes contained 6 files per orbit (logical header,
pulse time, spin period, selected roll reference, attitude, and ephemeris).
This program can extract any of these files and either display the data to
the screen or output data to an ASCII file on the local system. In addition
to the basic 6 files, this program can extract data identical to the
ephemeris dataset submitted by the Magnetometer instrument team or it can
output the matrix which rotates from Inertial Spacecraft
Coordinates to Venus Solar Orbital coordinates. Please see the coordinate
system description text on the CD-ROM for definitions of these coordinate
systems.

===========================================================================
Usage
===========================================================================

The program is command-line driven. All options to the program are given
at run-time in the same command that executes the program. All options, except
colfile are required!!!

Usage:

sedr2asc [infile=AAA] [ascfile=BBB] [host=CCC] [filetype=DDD] (colfile=EEEEE)

or , to reducing typing,

sedr2asc [i=AAA] [a=BBB] [h=CCC] [f=DDD] (c=EEEEE)

Options:

infile:     The complete name including path to the input data file.
ascfile:    The name of the output file or "-" for output-to-screen.
host:       The type of host system you are working on.
VALID:  sun, SUN, IBM, HP, MSB (MicroSoft DOS), PC (IBM DOS)
filetype:   The type of input file.
VALID:  PULSE, SPIN, EPHEM, LOGISTIC, SEL_ROLL, ATTITUDE,
MAG_EPHEM, SC2VSO_MAT
colfile:    An ASCII file containing a list of column (numbers) to be
extracted from the "ephemeris" dataset. This file contains
1 column number per line.

===============================================================================
Examples
===============================================================================

For all usage examples, we will assume an IBM PC or compatible
computer with a CDROM mounted as drive D:

--------------------------------------------------------------
Example 1:
--------------------------------------------------------------
Extract an ephemeris data file for orbit 291 to the file "mydata.asc"

sedr2asc infile=D:\DATA\EPHEM\ORB0201\EP0291.DAT outfile=mydata.asc
host=pc filetype=ephem

--------------------------------------------------------------
Example 2:
--------------------------------------------------------------
Extract the list of columns specified in the file "eph_cols.asc" from
the ephemeris data file for orbit 291 to the file "mydata.asc"

sedr2asc infile=D:\DATA\EPHEM\ORB0201\EP0291.DAT outfile=mydata.asc
host=pc filetype=ephem colfile=eph_cols.asc

--------------------------------------------------------------
Example 3:
--------------------------------------------------------------
Extract a spin period data file for orbit 363 to the screen

sedr2asc outfile=- host=pc filetype=spin
infile=D:\DATA\SPIN\ORB0301\SP0363.DAT

--------------------------------------------------------------
Example 4:
--------------------------------------------------------------
Extract a spacecraft attitude data file for orbit 341 to the screen

sedr2asc filetype=attitude infile=D:\DATA\ATTITUDE\ORB0301\AT0341.DAT
outfile=- host=pc

--------------------------------------------------------------
Example 5:
--------------------------------------------------------------
Extract a pulse time data file for orbit 241 to an ASCII file

sedr2asc filetype=pulse infile=D:\DATA\PULSE\ORB0201\PT0241.DAT
host=pc outfile=mydata.asc

As you can see the order in which options are given is not important. The
software only requires that all options be fully specified.