Sunday, January 11, 2015

Filling out the PC side software to drive the keypunch interface

I have a business trip to Raleigh that begins on Tuesday, but required quite a bit of preparation of the material I will present. I spent a lot of the day today doing work, not restoration work.


I put in a substantial amount of code on the user interface and basic function of the PC side software to drive the keypunch interface box. Marc Verdiell suggested that the software remember which serial port was last used to spare the user from repetitively selecting at startup. I added a configuraton file (KPinterface.ini) which tracks the serial port as well as the last encoding the user picked (BCD, EBCDIC, Binary, etc).

The program will now successfully open files for punching and validate the contents. It reads through, checking that there are no characters in the file that are not valid under the encoding in force. It ensures no card is longer than 80 columns and it validates the format of the binary mode which consists of groups of four hex digits for each column, separated by a space.

Obviously file input/output is working, since I pre-read the file before any punching will occur. Since I do the validation, I will know the total number of cards, which allows me to set up the scroll bars to move through the cards.


I still haven't shoved the shed to the right spot on the platform - it is close but I am not satisfied. Once that is done, I have to shim one side of the front wall, which is how the swinging doors are adjusted to be level with each other and the floor but not before it is in the final place. The lug screws that will anchor won't take more than ten minutes to install. The only thing I really need is some time with my son-in-law to do the shoving and tugging to get it aligned on the platform. 

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