Text Expander and TameDOS

Discussion, questions and support.
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 7th, ’18, 03:56

I use Windows 7 32-bit and TameDos to allow the use of legacy MS-DOS applications, including my favorite wordprocessor, WordStar for DOS 7.0. Text Epander works most of the time with these DOS applications, but gets wonky now and again, particularly when expanding longer phrases. For instance, I have "rjsx" set to expand after an ending character to my full name. This is what I got in consecutive tests just now:

Code: Select all

robert j. sawyer 
robeRt j. sawyer 
Robert j. sawyer 
RobERT J. Sawyer 
RobErT J. Sawyer 
robert j. sawyer 
Not a one is correct (obviously, the first and last names should be capitalized, and the middle initial should be a capital; everything else should be lower case).

I also have "junktext" defined to type out the openning narration from STAR TREK, which is:

"Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: To explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

But here's what I got in TameDOS just now:
Seace the final frontier. these are the voyages of the starship enterprise. Her five-year mission: o explore strange, new worlds; to seek out newllifeaand new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

space; The final fronTier. ThesE ARE THE VoYAGES OF THE Starship enterprise. her five-year mission: To explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

SpACe The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship enterprise. her five-year mission: To explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

SeaCE; the final frontier. these are the yoyages of the Starship enterprise. her five-year mission: To explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Notice that several capitals appear as lowercase and vice-versa; and sometimes completely wrong characters appear instead.

I'm using FastKey 4.08 (the latest version), and have "Adjust to typed case" selected, and Paste delay of 100 ms, Key delay of 20 ms, and Key press duration of 20 ms -- although I've experimented with many other values. All my strings to be expanded are in a phrase file.

I realize my need is very idiosyncratic, but I'd be grateful for any help people could provide!

All best wishes!
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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Marko
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Post by Marko » May 8th, ’18, 13:25

Hi Robert, I installed TameDOS and downloaded Wordstar 7.0. Unfortunately I couldn't run TameDOS on our 64 bit Windows. I also tried vDosPlus but haven't figured out how to start Wordstar. Could you give me more specific instructions how to install the right files and run the whole setup to be able to test it?

You could experiment with setting higher key delays, for example 60-80ms. Also you could use a clipboard method - Preferences/Text Expander/Advanced - set "Use clipboard if text..." to 1 to always use clipboard method for sending text.
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 8th, ’18, 14:29

Hi, Marko -- you're the best for even trying to tackle this obscure problem! Thank you!

Yes, TameDOS only works under 32-bit windows; it's a great package, but I've discovered today that it is definitely the culprit here -- if I run WordStar under Windows without TameDOS, Text Expander seems to work fine.

As for vDosPlus, I have comprehensive instructions on setting up WordStar for use under it here: http://sfwriter.com/ws-vdos.htm

I also have trouble under vDosPlus with long phrases being truncated, but I rarely use vDosPlus and so haven't spent a lot of time working on pinning down the cause.

As for using the clipboard-paste method, the problem is that, since it predates Windows, WordStar had its own uses for the standard Windows clipboard commands of Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, and Ctrl-V. In particular, Ctrl-V toggles between insert and overwrite mode. I can see that using the paste-by-clipboard option, text expander is indeed sending a Ctrl-V to WordStar, but WordStar simply toggles between insert and overwrite in response.

WordStar did add its own commands for copying from and to the Windows clipboard, but the keyboard shortcuts for those are, respectively, Ctrl-K,LeftSquareBracket and Ctrl-K,RightSquareBracket. For WordStar, shift and control state don't matter for the second key in a two-key-command, so all of these work to paste from the Keyboard:

Ctrl-K followed by: [ or Ctrl-[ or Shift-[, which is the same as {

Many thanks!
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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Marko
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Post by Marko » May 9th, ’18, 18:29

I was able to install and run Wordstar 7 via vDosPlus following your instructions. Nice memories about the old times... :)

vDosPlus needs time to process simulated key presses and therefore requires key delays. I tested the Star Trek sentence on our computers and setting a Key delay to 40-50ms gave consistent results. It may be different on TameDOS but I will only be able to test this in few days.
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 10th, ’18, 02:01

Thank you so much! I can confirm that Key Delay of 40 ms is working fine for me with vDosPlus and WordStar in limited testing; I'll put it through its paces, on multiple machines, over the next few days.

At the moment, 40 ms is also working on TameDOS, but TameDOS actively adjusts its own settings over time. I've written to its creator to see if he can suggest which of the many dozens of TameDOS parameters might affect FastKeys.

You da man, Marko. Thank you again!
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 11th, ’18, 00:20

My problem with delays seems to be related to setting a value in Tools | Preferences | Text Expander | Advanced | Key delays only active in.

My 4DOS windows contain the title (in the Windows title bar) of "C:\Sync\G\4DOS\4DOS.COM" and so I'd added "4DOS" (without the quotes) to that field, thinking the high value I set for "Key delay (ms)" would ONLY be active in 4DOS.

Either that's not the "real" title of my window or something else is amiss (I've also tried the full "C:\Sync\G\4DOS\4DOS.COM" and "NTVDM" -- Windows NT Virtual DOS Machine, the actual process name -- to no avail). But completely clearing the "Key delays only active in" field seems to solve the problem for both 4DOS and vDosPlus, as long as I set "Key delay (ms) to 50 or above; 30 works fine for plain text, but I need 50 or above if I'm also including WordStar control-key commands (such as Ctrl-P, Ctrl-B to toggle boldface).

All best wishes!

Rob
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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Marko
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Post by Marko » May 11th, ’18, 08:00

Try using the Tools/Window Information tool to find the correct title or class for your window.
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 11th, ’18, 12:40

Ah hah! Something is amiss there, my friend. No matter what window(s) I have open -- 4DOS, vDosPlus, or a regular 32-bit Windows application -- I get this error screen when I invoke "Window information":
Error: The same variable cannot be used for more than one control

Specifically: vt1

The current thread will exit
See this screenshot for the full error dump (which doesn't seem to be capturable to the clipboard as text). I'm running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit; I normally run with Aero turned off, but it makes no difference whether it's on or off -- I still get this error message from FastKeys 4.08:

Image
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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Marko
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Post by Marko » May 11th, ’18, 14:43

Thanks, you discovered a bug. This happens when Window Information tool is opened twice - we will resolve it asap. :oops:

Just close the first instance of Window Information tool and try again.
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RobertJSawyer
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Post by RobertJSawyer » May 11th, ’18, 23:50

Window information shows:

Title: C:\Sync\G\4DOS\4DOS.COM
Class: ahk_class TameConsoleClass
Process: ahk_exe ntvdm.exe

Cutting and pasting that exact title -- C:\Sync\G\4DOS\4DOS.COM -- from the Window information screen to Tools | Preferences | Text Expander | Advanced | Key delays only active in results in the problem I reported in the original message; only clearing that field gets TameDos to actually respect the delays (Pate delay 250; Key delay 50).

All best wishes!

Rob
Robert J. Sawyer
Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer
http://sfwriter.com
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