Running APL*Plus/PC on Windows 10

There are problaly not many people who, like myself, are still keeping their good old APL*Plus/PC from STSC, and who might also want to run it on Windows 10. However, if you are one of those few people, here is some useful information about how to do it.

As APL*Plus/PC is a DOS application and Windows 10 does not have a built-in DOS environment, you will need to install a DOS emulator, such as DOSBox or vDosPlus. Both of these DOS emulators will run most DOS programs as they would on a dedicated DOS PC.

DOSBox has been around for a number of years and you may already be familiar with it. vDosPlus is a newer player in this field, but absolutely worth considering. Actually, after having used vDosPlus for some time, it has become my personal favorite. DOSBox uses a fixed bitmap font that really makes its window look like an old fashioned DOS screen, whereas vDosPlus uses scalable True Type fonts that integrate very niclely with a modern Windows environment. In the two pictures below you can see how each DOS emulator displays the 256 APL characters in APL*Plus/PC's atomic vector (QuadAV). In both cases the emulator's default window size has been used.



Whether you are using DOSBox or vDosPlus, you will need to know where the APL characters are located on the keyboard. In case you don't remember any more, you can see the APL*Plus/PC keyboard layout in this picture.

Using DOSBox

Using DOSBox for APL*Plus/PC is actually quite straightforward. All you need is a way to generate the APL characters. For this purpose you can use the program APLFONT. To get help about using the program, type "APLFONT /?" (without the quotes, of course).

As you can see in the picture above, DOSBox's default window is rather small. If you are not satisfied with that, you can switch to full screen mode (and back again) by pressing Alt+Enter. You can also customize the window size (plus some other options) in the configuration file "dosbox-0.74.conf". It can be found in the folder "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\DOSBox" or via "Apps => DOSBox-0.74 => DOSBox 0.74 Options"

Using VDosPlus

With vDosPlus things get a little more complicated, but the result is also more rewarding. Here is what you have to do:

Now your APL*PLUS/PC should be running on Windows 10 - faster and better than ever before!

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This page was last updated 2017-05-24 09:16 CED