DOS on the Field PC
5 Oct 2008
Note: This information is provided as a reference and does not imply that Juniper Systems will provide full support for the use of any specific third-party software with a Juniper Systems product.
The Microsoft Windows Mobile and Microsoft Windows CE operating systems are the native operating systems used on current Field PC models. It is recommended to use software written directly for these operating systems. Software that was not directly written for these operating systems is not recommended for use on current Juniper Systems products.
If you would still like to try running a DOS software application on a current Juniper Systems Field PC, please read the information below.
Native MS-DOS 6.22
The native MS-DOS 6.22 operating system has been available on certain model Juniper System Field PCs for quite some time. The model Field PCs that have been used with the native MS-DOS 6.22 operating system include the Allegro DOS Field PC, Allegro CE/DOS Field PC, Pro 4000 Fieldbook, and Pro 2000 Fieldbook.
Though we are no longer able to produce new units of these models of Field PCs, used (refurbished) units may be available to purchase. Please contact a Juniper System reseller or our Sales Department for information about used product availability.
Emulated DOS Operating System
Since Microsoft Windows Mobile or Windows CE is the native operating system on current Field PC models (and not MS-DOS 6.22), there are several software applications that can emulate running a DOS operating system on the newer Field PC models. Some of these emulators include:
- XT-CE (old software prior to PocketDOS)
- DOSbox for Pocket PC (or pDOSbox)
PocketDOS is the only emulator software that has been thoroughly tested for compatibility with the newer Juniper Systems Field PCs. Since the MS-DOS 6.22 operating system is no longer available (unless you obtain and install an MS-DOS 6.22 operating system image into the DOS emulator software on your own from another source), an alternative DOS operating system image must be used in the DOS emulator software. Some alternative DOS operating system images include:
Software applications originally written to run in MS-DOS 6.22 may not be fully compatible with any of the above mentioned alternative DOS images or the DOS emulator software.
The DOS software developer or user is responsible to test and ensure that the DOS software they are wanting to use on the Field PC is compatible and will run smoothly in the selected alternative DOS image, and that the DOS emulator software has been properly configured to emulate the IBM-PC (x86 processor device) hardware requirements for the DOS software (such as Conventional RAM memory (640KB), Upper Memory (High or UMB), Extended Memory (XMS), Expanded Memory (EMS), graphics (Mono/CGA/VGA), display bits-per-pixel, mouse driver (touchscreen), re-direction of drives (C:) and ports (COM1), etc.).
The PocketDOS emulator software has historically (version 1.11 and earlier) included the demonstration (or single user license) version of the Datalight ROM-DOS and Caldera DR-DOS operating system images, and also a couple full license versions of the FreeDOS operating system image. The default DOS operating system image was the single user license (demo) version of Datalight ROM-DOS.
PocketDOS version 1.12 or later now uses the full FreeDOS operating system image as the default. DOS software that has been tested for compatibility in the previous default demo Datalight ROM-DOS image may need to be re-tested in FreeDOS. The Datalight ROM-DOS image can only continue to be used for commercial purposes in PocketDOS by purchasing a full ROM-DOS license with PocketDOS. For more information, please visit the following website:
Buy PocketDOS with full Datalight ROM-DOS
Potential Issues with PocketDOS on the Field PC
Listed below are some potential issues with running the PocketDOS emulator software on the Field PC. These potential issues are based on feedback from other users who have tried using PocketDOS on the Field PC to run certain DOS software applications.
- Having both PocketDOS and Trimble TerraSync installed simultaneously can cause the on-screen function keys in PocketDOS to appear incorrectly (each on-screen function key appears as random symbols instead of "F1", "F2", etc.).
- DOS software applications that use timers may have difficulties portraying time properly or counting at a steady rate.
- DOS software applications that communicate with instruments or sensors extensively or at high baud rates through the serial ports may have difficulties communicating with the instruments or sensors.
- Some built-in features of older DOS-based Field PCs (such as the Allegro CE/DOS Field PC) may not be included (such as FileScout) or may not function properly in PocketDOS.
- Function keys do not behave the same on Windows Mobile Field PCs (like on the Allegro MX).