Data IO Futurenet - Help please

318 views
Skip to first unread message

Colin Edwards

unread,
Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
to
I am suddenly having a serious problem with the DataIO FutureNet
schematic capture program (Dash 4.2).

This program is no longer supported by Data IO. I'd be very
appreciative if there was somebody who could point me in the right
direction.

Suddenly I am getting the error message "REQUIRED GRAPHICS HARDWARE NOT
PRESENT". However as far as I am aware, no changes have been made in the
machines configuration.

The only clue is that the "SET DISPLAY=" command seems to be missing
from AUTOEXEC.BAT, but I seem to remember that this wasn't necessary on
later versions.

To complicate matters I can't find the update sheets for the manuals,
that give the SET commands for VGA. If anybody has a copy of this, it
might be helpful. I also have no machines with 5.25" drives and so can't
read the original disks.

My machine (on which the software has previously worked) is a Pentium
Pro 200, with the FutureNet bus mouse / dongle board.

Thanks in advance for any help.
--
Colin Edwards

Don Yuniskis

unread,
Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
to
In article <LweTxFAS...@pavilion.co.uk>,

Colin Edwards <cedw...@pavilion.co.uk> wrote:
>I am suddenly having a serious problem with the DataIO FutureNet
>schematic capture program (Dash 4.2).

(sigh) -- an oldie but a VERY goodie! The Win* based tools could
learn a lot from this!

>This program is no longer supported by Data IO. I'd be very

Yeah, DataI/O has a pretty lousy track record with EDA tools.
Anyone want to buy a copy of DASH PCB??? :>

>appreciative if there was somebody who could point me in the right
>direction.
>
>Suddenly I am getting the error message "REQUIRED GRAPHICS HARDWARE NOT
>PRESENT". However as far as I am aware, no changes have been made in the
>machines configuration.
>
>The only clue is that the "SET DISPLAY=" command seems to be missing
>from AUTOEXEC.BAT, but I seem to remember that this wasn't necessary on
>later versions.

SET DISPLAY=EGAECD

>To complicate matters I can't find the update sheets for the manuals,
>that give the SET commands for VGA. If anybody has a copy of this, it
>might be helpful. I also have no machines with 5.25" drives and so can't
>read the original disks.

Heh heh heh... there *are* advantages to keeping a 5" drive
in your system! :>

>My machine (on which the software has previously worked) is a Pentium
>Pro 200, with the FutureNet bus mouse / dongle board.

Most DataI/O (FutureNet) products are really temperamental about
"little things". Missing environment variables or even changing
the attributes on certain "key" files (a lame attempt at copy
protection, etc.). But, you claim the configuration hasn't
changed so they shouldn't be the problem.

Should you ever decide to abandon your copy of DASH, I'd be
interested in buying your *mouse* (C7 or R7) -- since my
UN*X boxes love them (instead of these silly two button mice!)

BTW, ever notice how a UniSite can write a write protected
floppy? Sheesh! Talk about taking "protection" to an
extreme! Why not just make a cheaper product so more folks
will *buy* it!

Oh... I guess that's kinda what their competitors have been
doing! :>

[email address won't be working by the time you read this... sorry]

--don

Colin Edwards

unread,
Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
to
Thanks Don

>>I am suddenly having a serious problem with the DataIO FutureNet
>>schematic capture program (Dash 4.2).
>
>(sigh) -- an oldie but a VERY goodie! The Win* based tools could
>learn a lot from this!
>
I've yet to see anything better. I've designed hundreds of custom
symbols for it, written programs to export the net lists to my PCB
program and print the schematics on A3 using an HP4V.
So it has to be got workin' again.

>>Suddenly I am getting the error message "REQUIRED GRAPHICS HARDWARE NOT
>>PRESENT". However as far as I am aware, no changes have been made in the
>>machines configuration.
>>
>>The only clue is that the "SET DISPLAY=" command seems to be missing
>>from AUTOEXEC.BAT, but I seem to remember that this wasn't necessary on
>>later versions.
>
>SET DISPLAY=EGAECD
>

That's for the EGA version and covered in my manual. I have the upgraded
VGA version.
--
Colin Edwards

Gary

unread,
Jul 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/31/98
to
I am an *ardent* Futurenet user and wish I could help you with
your DASH-4, but I am still using a very old version of (believe
it or not) DASH-2 !

The neat thing about Futurenet is I just install and run it.
Technical support not needed. It just runs. About as reliable as
a hammer. This is one of my cherished softwares I swear by, not at.

It is by far my favorite proggie for doing quick-and-dirty schematic
entry (kinda like an old DOS programmer's ascii editor is my tool of
choice for writing source code, or an old copy of 1-2-3 for really
quick calculation).

I was really lucky on my old DASH2. It had no setup files or anything.
Just an EXE file and a part library file. Fast as the blazes too.
Runs great everything I have, whether it be the old XT in the lab still
running test programs, or the Pentium I do my development work on.

I have never seen anything like it. I have never had it crash on me or
do unpredictables. The only thing it seems to insist on is that the
video board and monitor support some 16-color EGA mode (most do).
Otherwise its been very tolerant of mice and CPU.

An additional family of simple files maintain parts lists, net lists,
connectivity, import into PADS PCB, import into EXCEL databases, as
well as even feed DXF's into AUTOCAD-R14! The whole shebang fits
nicely on a floppy!

The downside was a rather lengthy learning curve to create symbols, as
they are fabricated from a graphics "language" that one must learn to
communicate shapes to the proggie. But once you have that one down pat,
if you can imagine a new part, you can create it. Even if you create
a part where pieces of the same part exist all over the place- even
spanning several pages. (such as a connector or parts of sophisticated
ASIC's).

Its a shame Data-I/O dropped it. I understand Capilano Computing may
have picked up on the old Futurenet line. However, a quick internet
search I just did seemed to tell me that my beloved Futurenet is mostly
a memory by now.
Gary..

Colin Edwards

unread,
Aug 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/2/98
to
>>I am suddenly having a serious problem with the DataIO FutureNet
>>schematic capture program (Dash 4.2).
>
>(sigh) -- an oldie but a VERY goodie! The Win* based tools could
>learn a lot from this!
>
>>This program is no longer supported by Data IO. I'd be very
>
>Yeah, DataI/O has a pretty lousy track record with EDA tools.

Problem solved.
DataI/O emailed back saying that they passed on the program to a company
called Synario.
Thank you very much DataI/O. I know it was a long time ago (1987?), but
FutureNet did cost about $5000.
So I tried to phone Synario but it's always engaged.

Next I guessed and tried ftp://ftp.synario.com, and there was a full
copy of FutureNet 6.10, with the dongle disabled.
Loads of new libraries, VGA up to 1024 x 768, can be run from windows
and will read my v4.2 files.
Good enough for me!

--
Colin Edwards

Gary

unread,
Aug 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/4/98
to
Colin Edwards wrote:
>
> >>I am suddenly having a serious problem with the DataIO FutureNet
> >>schematic capture program (Dash 4.2).
---
> Problem solved.

> DataI/O emailed back saying that they passed on the program to a company
> called Synario.
> Thank you very much DataI/O. I know it was a long time ago (1987?), but

> FutureNet did cost about $5000.

> So I tried to phone Synario but it's always engaged.
>
> Next I guessed and tried ftp://ftp.synario.com, and there was a full
> copy of FutureNet 6.10, with the dongle disabled.
> Loads of new libraries, VGA up to 1024 x 768, can be run from windows
> and will read my v4.2 files.
> Good enough for me!
>
> --
> Colin Edwards

Thanks for the report, Colin!

As a Futurenet addict, I had to nose into that one and see for
myself.

Isn't it nice to find that a companies such as Futurenet, DataI/O,
and Synario would still make the code available to past customers?

I can not expect anyone to continue to provide support for anything
they've ever released, but to provide their customers with the support
files such as Synario has done speaks volumes of their integrity and
committment to their customer base.

Many of their customers had invested much time developing databases
based on those tools. To get someone hooked on a tool then cold
heartedly withdraw *that* tool smacks of the same ethical tactics
used by drug dealers.

Just about the time I think that the entire world has gone to the new
paradigms of push technology, forced upgrades, gotcha by the balls type
of marketing schemes, I read something like your post.

Made my day...

Gary...

gb48...@gmail.com

unread,
Dec 19, 2016, 11:55:08 AM12/19/16
to
This is a really old post, but I found it looking for a solution to open DASH files. Anyway, I found a a derestricted copy of DASH and wrote a DASH file viewer and converter which I have posted on my web site at http://www.contrelec.co.uk/pages/dashcon which others might find useful.

Jorge Argente

unread,
Apr 5, 2021, 6:26:54 AM4/5/21
to
El lunes, 19 de diciembre de 2016 a las 17:55:08 UTC+1, gb48...@gmail.com escribió:
> This is a really old post, but I found it looking for a solution to open DASH files. Anyway, I found a a derestricted copy of DASH and wrote a DASH file viewer and converter which I have posted on my web site at http://www.contrelec.co.uk/pages/dashcon which others might find useful.

Thank you! Very useful piece of old software. I've checked your page and it's very nice.

Joseph Allen

unread,
Apr 7, 2021, 12:34:39 AM4/7/21
to
I've been playing with the version of DASH on the Contrelec website. The release notes mentions video modes such as FG_VESA7. How do you use these modes? I'm guessing there are drivers missing from the .zip file, for example there is a VGA12.DG for 640x480 mode, but none for the VESA modes. Does anyone have a more complete version of the software?

I'm not a traditional Dash user, and I've been learning the software without the manuals. Does anyone have manuals they could scan?

This software should not die.. there is a big Old DOS OrCAD following, and I'm thinking the same should exist for FutureNet Dash.

I've put my notes about dash here: https://github.com/jhallen/joes-sandbox/tree/master/pcb/dash

Thanks,
Joe


Jorge Argente

unread,
Sep 29, 2021, 10:32:08 AM9/29/21
to
Good job Joe. I checked the github page and it is very interesting, a manual/guide may come in handy.
I'll start to tinker with DASH when I have time and I will definetely use your notes as a guide. Btw, where can I find the old DOS OrCAD community?

They are not manuals, but have you checked bitsavers? they have some brochures of futurenet software.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages