Coprocessor: A math coprocessor is not required nor used even if installed. MUMPS uses exact-decimal arithmetic.
Expanded and extended memory: ALES does not need nor use these types of memory.
Hard disk: ALES runs only on hard-disk systems. It uses a minimum 3.5Mb of hard-disk space as installed for the MUMPS system, the ALES program and support files, and a database sufficient for about five evaluations. As additional evaluations are added, hard disk space is increased by 0.5Mb at each expansion. A fast hard disk and/or a disk-caching program which uses extended or expanded memory (e.g., Microsoft's SmartDrive) can dramatically speed up ALES.
Printer: A printer is not required to run ALES, only to obtain printed results. ALES does not use any special printer features, so any text printer can be used.
Pointing device: ALES does not respond to a mouse or other pointing device.
Multitasking operating systems: ALES can run under several multitasking operating systems, such as OS/2 2.1 or OS/2 V3 ("Warp") or V4 ("Merlin"), DesqView V2.3 and MS-Windows V3.1, V3.11 ("Windows for Workgroups"), and Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, and Windows 2000 but it is not written to take advantage of them (i.e. it does not use their windowing systems or multitasking). It probably does not run under Windows Vista or Windows 7, although perhaps a DOS emulator such as DOSBox might work. It runs under Mac OS/X and probably other Unix derivatives using DOSBox.
It is possible to install one copy of the ALES program on a server with multiple single-user databases, e.g. for a teaching laboratory. Each user has their own evaluation models, but all users share the same program code & system texts. See the technical note for details.
It would be possible to convert ALES into a multi-user network program if there would be demand.
This is both for new users and for updating pre-V4.65 systems.
If you do not have a PaperKey from InterSystems (for the DTM-PC runtime system), you can install ALES but you do not have a license to use the underlying DTM-PC system (which is bundled with ALES). Until 2009 Cornell sold the PaperKey for InterSystems; now you can use the sample PaperKey supplied with ALES or contact the author for an unused key. If you don't have a key, the program will still start up after bout a minute's delay.
If you have your own license for one of InterSystem's DataTree MUMPS products, such as DT-MAX or DTM-PC PC, you should be to install and run ALES. However, you will have to follow instructions in your system manager's guide to configure the database. ALES will not run under DT-Windows or on other MUMPS platforms, because it writes directly to the DOS video.
The Spanish-language manual (translated and adapted by Antonio Jiménez) is a bit outdated, but still useful, also in PDF format.
If you downloaded the ALES update from the ALES FTP server , and installed or updated, you will notice that the opening screen and license information say that you have Serial Number 0, and that the licensee is 'Cornell FTP Site'.
You can change these messages so that they give the correct serial number and your organization's name. Refer to your original disks or correspondence or contact the ALES project if you can't find your serial number.
To change the serial number and licensee:
If you want to load other sample evaluations, you must uncompress them by running their self-extracting archive. Just exectute the program
EXAMPLES.EXE from the distribution, and you will see a set of .ALS files.
Once you have a model decompressed as a '.ALS' file, you can load it into your list of evaluations with ‹F8›.
Answer: Put the following switch at the end of the second line in the
This tells MUMPS to use DOS file access. ALES is now distributed with this switch already enabled.
Answer: (information courtesy of M. Sánchez Maranon of the University of Almería, Spain):
Windows NT isn't based on MS-DOS (as is Win95/98). Instead, NT uses a emulation program to run MS-DOS programs, including DataTree MUMPS (and therefore ALES). The MS-DOS emulation subsystem uses by default two files:
C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG.NT to configure the MS-DOS emulation program in the same way as
CONFIG.SYS are used in native MS-DOS. You will probably need at least
FILES=25 in the
CONFIG.NT file (the default in NT is usually
FILES=20 and the maximum is 255) to run ALES.
You can change all the emulation parameters including the names of configuration files (
CONFIG.NT), the size of the MS-DOS windows, etc., independently and directly in each MS-DOS program, using the "properties" option in the "file" menu of the "MyPC" icon, or Windows NT Explorer, or using the right mouse button. This independent configuration only works with ".exe" files but not with ".bat" files.
Answer: I have no experience with this nor information from the field. According to DOSBox, that should run DOS programs under Vista; see the next section for more information.
Another way is to rescue an old computer, set it up with an older version of Windows which does support DOS programs, or even DOS itself, and network it to your other computers.
Answer: You need a DOS emulator, either just DOS or DOS under an emulator of an older version of Windows, e.g., Windows 3.1.
I have tried Wine with limited success. If you need to run Windows programs this is a good choice; it also works under various Unix systems, as it needs the X11 windows system.
I have had success with DOSBox. This was mainly developed for people who like to play old DOS games, but ALES runs well under it. This solution should also work under other varieties of Unix.
DOSBox requires that you mount virtual drives before using them; this can be automated with the DOSBox preference file; see DOSBox's
README file. Another tweak to the preferences is to specify
cpu=max, since the default CPU emulation speed is very low.
The only problem is that ALES asks for the PaperKey on each startup; it doesn't seem to recognize the
Program error: Stack overflow
Error location: FillMatrix+40^Lmuxu
When using a limited number of MUs this problem does not occur. What do we do?
Answer: This applies to all Stack overflow errors.
ALES.BAT file. As distributed,
it has parameters like
Try changing the second and/or third parameters (start with the 3rd, which is the variable stack size. The other is the 'string stack'size). Raise it to 16k and see what happens. Try this setting:
I doubt you will have to reduce the partition (50K) itself.
Program error: Dataset index file filled to maximum page count
Error location: compSp+11^Le1h
What do we do?
Answer: You will have to increase the amount of disk that ALES is allowed to use. In the same directory from which you run ALES, run the batch file UTIL.BAT and choose the menu items for dataset maintenance. Select dataset EVAL-GBL, which contains the user evaluations. Expand the Maximum Data Page and Index page counts, keeping the same ratio of Data to Index pages. See the technical note in ALES Newsletter 6 for more details.
Page author: David G. Rossiter
Last modified: Sun Jul 8 14:07:19 CEST 2012