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ATLPROG, Computer Software Engineer
Category: Programming
Satisfied Customers: 7677
Experience:  MS in IT.Several years of programming experience in Java C++ C C# Python VB Javascript HTML
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I use an old custom-made DOS program to record data on books

Customer Question

I use an old custom-made DOS program to record data on books (title, author, inventory, ISBN, sales, etc. The data is entered into separate fields. I want to add two fields to the record. The record appears on a screen upon which entries can be made and saved. Some field entries interact with other of my programs but the two new fields do not need to.
There is adequate space at the end of one of the larger fields to add these two new fields. Added fields will have "YEAR" AND "COND" (for "condition") show as text on the record screen, with two additional spaces to add the year and one for a single letter to record condition (used, new, scuffed, etc.). I have the addresses of the existing fields on the record page; new addresses would be needed for the two new fields.
The program allows me to scroll through the fields on the record, landing on each in turn; I want to have the cursor now land on these two new fields in sequence as well.
I can supply the existing DOS programs as well as the data file which will record the entries made in the new fields along with entries made for the existing fields. Vistatil.bas is the principal program; it can be accessed with "b /f:11/s:256" (I can compile vistatil.bas to vistatil.exe using a bin directory I have). The headings for the record come form title.hdg, which can be edited with edlin. The data file is title.dat. One other file, vista.bas, may be needed to run vistatil.bas but it will not need any programming. I don't seem to have a way to supply a screen shot of the book record with its fields but it can be seen when vistatil.bas is run.
These old DOS programs and data records will run in a DOS command prompt. They are working in command prompts in Windows XP and Windows 2000 and I believe they will work from command prompts in Windows 10 32-bit but not from a Windows 10 64-bit command prompt.
I think the programming will be straightforward provided one has a knowledge of older DOS programming.
Please let me know if you can do this.
Bill *****
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Programming
Expert:  Robert replied 7 months ago.

can you send me a copy of the program to look at.

If i can see how much work it will take i can give you a price for it.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I would like to send the program(s) and the data file that accompanies. But when I use the "Add files" button on the reply box for this email response, I am asked to use a different file format than they are in. Do you have a way for me to send the items electronically? I suspect the files can be moved on a network, as i can copy them from one computer to another via wi-fi. I can always copy them to a disk and mail them if I have an address.
Thanks for being willing to take a look at this project and pricing it.
Bill *
Expert:  Robert replied 7 months ago.

Post at

And copy and paste the download URL in here

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sorry for the late response. I have been away for awhile. I have uploaded the following to the URLs shown: vistatil.bas (the application displaying a page of two records with fields that describe a book) title.hdg (headings of the above fields) title.dat (data that is displayed in the above fields)
I have a program by which I can extract data from the above records for use in Excel so want to ensure that program can still do so after modifying fields on the records for the title page. Perhaps that program will need to be tweaked to do so.
I have done more thinking about the modifications to the book title record that I would like.
When you run the above files you will note in vistatil.bas there is a page of two 256 byte records that displays fields to insert data on a given book title. Fields on the first record are Title, Author, Description. At the start of the second record is a field that continues description of the book. The last part of this record carries fields whose data is accessed for reports by various other programs and thus these fields must remain in their present locations. The first part of the second record is therefore where space is available to place new field headings.
When browsing this page of two records the cursor, after moving through the fields on the first record, now lands at the start of the second record. If the programming is substantially simpler, new headings could begin at the start of the second record and follow in sequence as the cursor scrolls from one field to the next until it begins scrolling though the existing fields. But if not a lot simpler to have the new fields start at the beginning of the second record, then I'd like to preserve what I can of the space at the beginning of the second record for the continuation of the book description and have the new fields be inserted in front of the existing ones that are toward the end of the second record.
New fields would include the headings
YR: (needs 2 spaces to insert year data),
OP: (needs 4 digits to insert month and year),
COND: (needs 1 space to insert single letter to describe condition, such as new, used, scuffed, rare), AGE: (needs 5 spaces to insert age group, such as kind, el-hi, 10-15, adult).
NEW1 (a field for future use, as I can change name. say 2 digits)
NEW2 ( a field for future use, as I can change name, say 10 digits)
The order of these fields is not important.
You may find it convenient to have the names, locations, and lengths of the existing fields on the two records Here they are (from some very old notes so maybe a little off toward the end):
1st record
Title 1/2-191
Author 192/193-238
Desc 239/240-223
Desc 224/225-255
2nd record
Desc 1/1-132
Supplier 133/134-137
Supplier #: 138/139-142
Bin # (now called Grp#): 143/144-146
Price 147/148-154
Discount 155/156-157
ISBN# *****
Type 174/175
Supplier Discount 176/177-199
Categories 200/201-206
W/R 207/208
Restriction 209/210
Inventory 211/212-216
Minstock 217/218-222
Maxstock 223/224-231?
YTD Sales 232/233-237
PRY Sales 238/239-243
ERY Sales 244/245-249?
Title # 250/251-255
Thanks for being willing to take a look at this for me.
Bill *
Expert:  Robert replied 7 months ago.

I will look at it.

Would you consider switching it to a modern program ?

something like excel might handle it all on its own and save you some bother

there is a problem with those urls. I think that there should not be a space in them

did you copy and paste or try to retype it ?

the other way is to just give me the file id from wikisend

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have considered just using Excel, but I am also using a custom software program for order fulfillment, ordering, inventory management, sales records, etc., so I need to have the book records in one coherent place. I can still use Excel for some advanced sorting function separate from the main data base because I have a program to move the title records into Excel.
It appears the Just Answer Send function clipped off my file extensions. After there should have been
53466 for vistatil.bas
83063 for title.hdg
22978 for title.dat
Let me know if this works.
Bill *
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Wondering whether you have received my files and if there is anything more I need to do so you can evaluate answering my question to modify the fields on the title record page.
Bill *
Expert:  Robert replied 6 months ago.

I tried using the number as well and it said they expired. Can you put them up again please

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have just once again uploaded the three files needed to review the program that enters book . data into fields on the record card.
They are-- File size: 34.1 kb File size 257b
http:/ File size 7.2 MB
Files will last 7 days, site says.
Let me know, please if there is another problem with this.
Bill *
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I just noticed that two of the files I sent via wikisend on June 28 now have have expired--even though they were supposed to be alive 7 days and it is now only Junde 30. One that is still live is
http:/ File size 7.2 MB.
I have just now again uploaded the other two files and here are their file numbers (repeated in case they get clipped off), etc.: File size: 34.1 kb VISTATIL.BAS 239272 File size 257b TITLE.HDG 557184
Please let me know if you can retrieve these.
Bill *
Expert:  Robert replied 6 months ago.

i got them this time. Its going to take me a day or 2 to read it and see what needs to be done where in the program.

How much were you looking to spend to get it done? I would think at least a couple of hundred for me to do it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm hoping your cost estimate of "at least a couple of hundred" is high. I know the original programmer would have been able to add these fields probably in an hour or less but then he was familiar with the program. If after looking over the code you confirm your initial thought as to cost, let me know and I will process that. Or, I may need to have someone else consider the job to get another estimate. The budget here is tight although the usefulness of adding the data to the title record is high. I will understand if you want to bow out of this now although I hope you will not.
Bill *
Bill *
Expert:  Robert replied 6 months ago.

I will let you know. if you want to get another opinion thats fine too. If it was a language i was working in every day rather than 20 years ago and i was familiar with the program i could probably do it in an hour as well. As it is it will take me more than an hour just to find a compiler that works on it and figure out where to make changes

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Glad to hear you'll look further into this project.
If it would help I just uploaded the compiler I have used, QB, via wikisend. File number is ***** Size is 187 kb. God for 7 days.
Bill *

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