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Still "too big to fit in memory"...

pgru2

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Sep 14, 2017
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I am trying to use @ACLOGO.EXE from floppies that I bought(sadly first floppy is probably broken, and this program is on second 5,25 DD floppy). So guessing that it may work with PC-DOS 2.0 I tried and failed, despite chkdsk is showing 629760 bytes free...
Thanks for reply in advance, maybe You known how to use it?
 

VileR

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Having less free memory might actually help. Some old compilers, packers, etc. produced buggy code, which fails to allocate memory if DOS finds enough space for the program in the first 64K of RAM.

Later DOS versions had a "LOADFIX" utility to work around this, but on 2.0 you could try something like EATMEM (http://cd.textfiles.com/swheaven2/misc/eatmem.zip)
 

krebizfan

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If it is early enough to be used on DOS 2 or before, it may have a different bug that prevents it from running on a system with more than 512 KB installed.

A quick check shows "Program is too big to fit in memory" is an error message that shows up with the 512K bug. EXEPACK gives a different error message when loaded below 64K.
 

VileR

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Hm, yes, this is a different problem. But that might depend on more than 512 KB being *available*... I do recall something about a bug where a signed comparison is done on the amount of free memory in paragraphs, so more than 8000h (*16 = 512K) is interpreted as negative.
If that's the case then EATMEM might still help out there.
 

Trixter

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Or, the user could run unp and just unpack the executable (after copying it off of the original disk, of course -- do not write anything to the original program disks!)
 

krebizfan

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I did find a fanpage for AClogo which suggests using ACLOGOA.EXE instead of ACLOGO.EXE if the automatic translation of the original written in Polish is correct. Admittedly, relying on a very old archive of a web site for a programming language I have never used is perhaps unwise.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070328213727/http://www.ac-logo.prv.pl/

Though Advacom AC-Logo is listed as being written in 1992 and thus unlikely to be a DOS 2 or earlier program. So there may be multiple software packages with similar names.
 
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Trixter

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The files contained in that upload are not valid .EXE files. They start with a garbage character before the MZ header, and even if you remove the garbage character, they're still not valid EXE files.

That said, looking at the binary data, there are chunks of what looks like valid 16-bit x86 code. So it's my belief that these files were either meant to be processed (installed, patched, decompressed, whatever) via some other process, maybe an "install" process. It's possible what you need to actually load and run these is on the other floppy you can't read.
 

Chuck(G)

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Yup, looks like simple run-length compression, with ff xx yy signifying xx bytes of yy. Otherwise, zz .... specifies a block of zz uncompressed bytes. But that's just a 30-second guess on my part.
 
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