f[[[ PicLan ]]]

PicLan Version Release Notes

August 14, 1995
(C) Copyright 1992-1995 Modular Software Corporation. All rights reserved.
Moderate Upgrade
This release is considered a moderate upgrade to PicLan version 1.1.
For more informatin about PicLan contact: sales@modsoft.com


1. New Features for PicLan version 1.1

A. Auto-Logon support
B. New Pick to Pick file access subroutines
C. New PLT options
D. New PL-DEV program
E. New PL-SPRN program
F. New DOS Services Gateway Functions
G. New PL-DSG program
H. Support for Ethernet 802.2 and 802.2-SNAP frames
I. New Display Options for PL-STAT

2. New Features since PicLan version 1.1

2.A. New Features for PicLan version

1. New PLTW program
2. New PL-STATW program
3. Support for Windows event driven applications
4. Support for NE2000 network adapters

2.B. New Features for PicLan version

1. Support for VB SDK
2. Configuring File Transfer Control Block Counts

2.C. New Features for PicLan version

1. Tunable Watchdog Packets
2. Auto XOFF Flow Control
3. New PL-ASSIGN Options

3. Configuring DOS for various network environments

A. Configuring with NetWare and IPX
B. Configuring with third-party IPX drivers
C. Configuring with native ENET support
D. Configuring with packet-driver ArcNET support
E. Configuring with packet-driver Ethernet support
F. Configuring with NDIS Ethernet support
G. Configuring with Windows for Workgroups 3.11
H. Configuring Ethernet frame types
I. Configuring network numbers

4. Installation Notes

A. The DOS INSTALL program
B. Configuring Microsoft Windows
C. Windows DLL and VBX files

5. Miscellaneous Enhancements

A. Enhancements to terminal emulation
B. New utility programs
C. Fast .INI processing

6. Configuring printing

A. Using a DSG and NetWare
B. Using PL-PRN and PL-SPRN and NetWare
C. Using PL-PRN and PL-SPRN without NetWare
D. Printing compatibility problems

7. PicLan Technical Notes

A. All PicLan Hosts
B. Ethernet PicLan Hosts
C. ABS Usage
D. R83 PicLan Hosts
E. UPBOARD PicLan Hosts
F. AP/Native PicLan Hosts
G. AP/Pro PicLan Hosts
H. R91 PicLan Hosts
I. Pick/64+ PicLan Hosts

8. Troubleshooting

9. PicLan Bug List

10. Pick to DOS Printing Issues

1. New Features for PicLan version 1.1

PicLan version 1.1 adds a number of new features and functions. Because of some of the internal changes to PicLan, you must upgrade all systems to version 1.1 at the same time.

1.A. Auto-Logon support

PicLan now supports auto-logon operations in much the same manner as auto-logoff operations. You can set up your system so that when a user "connects" to a Pick host, they will automatically be logged on to a specified end-user account. In order to use auto-logon functions, you must have a running PicLan SERVER-PROCESS.

PicLan auto-logon support is configured based on the user "name" as specified in the 'user=...' section of the DOS PL-CFG.INI file. In order to setup auto-logon support execute the PicLan command:

    PL-LOGON user=acct{,pswd}
For AP systems, you can specify:
    PL-LOGON user=user,{pswd},md,{pswd}
You can specify 'user' as * to setup auto-logon for all users, including for those that do not have a name specified in their PL-CFG.INI file.

The PicLan auto-logon function is actually implemented as a part of the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS. You can examine, and modify, the subroutine PLSP.EVENT.LOGON (as well as PLSP.EVENT.LOGOFF for auto-logoff support) to add you own processing functions for auto-logon and auto-logoff support. If you do make changes to either of these subroutines, remember that it is your responsibility to maintain your changes whenever PicLan is upgraded.

1.B. New Pick to Pick file access subroutines

New subroutines are available for accessing Pick data files remotely from one Pick system to another. In order to use these subroutine calls, both Pick systems must have PicLan installed with the Pick to Pick option enabled. In addition, the remote system must have a running PicLan SERVER-PROCESS. These file access subroutine were originally released with PicLan version and have been expanded in subsequent releases. This documentation assumes that you are running PicLan version or later.

Pick to Pick file access subroutine functions allow BASIC applications executing on one system access to data files that physically reside on a remote system. The access that is provided mimics that available from within BASIC for files stored on the local system.

When using remote file access functions, there are a number of concepts that you should keep in mind. First, access to remote files is considerably slower than access to local files. Second, access to remote files may not always be available, so your application should be prepared for file access perations to fail if the network or the remote system is down. And finally, access to remote file systems is not always completely transparent. The current implementation of PicLan does not allow the transfer of certain control characters between x'F0' and x'FB'. Some systems also have problems moving very large items between systems because of workspace limitations. In general, these restrictions should not pose well-behaved applications that use "standard" Pick data structures any insurmountable problems.

Pick to Pick file access functions operate by first making a "connection" to the destination system and then using that open connection to subsequently open files, read and write data, etc. PicLan keeps track of open connections in a data file so that if your application exits unexpectly, PicLan can clean up unused connections. For this reason, all applications that use remote file access functions should call the subroutine:

both at the beginning and at the end of the program or block of programs that are performing remote file access functions. PLSUB.INIT will clean up any left-over connections for your port that may still be allocated.

Pick to Pick file access functions are all performed with a single subroutine called PLSUB.PICK. This subroutine call has the following syntax:

    CALL PLSUB.PICK(command,handle,p1,p2,p3,p4,r2,r2,r.error)
Not all parameters are used with each function that can be called. Unused parameters should be passed as either null strings or zero.

The following functions are supported:

    'OPEN CONNECTION',HANDLE,'server name','','','','','',ERR)
    'CLOSE CONNECTION',HANDLE,'','','','','','',ERR)
    'PICK OPEN',HANDLE,'acct name','file name','','',RES,FILE.HANDLE,ERR)
    'PICK RELEASE ALL',HANDLE,'','','','',RES,'',ERR)
    'PICK RPC',HANDLE,SUB.NAME,P1,P2,'','','',ERR)
The varaiables used in these commands are:
This is a string that is used to specify a connection to another Pick system. You need to establish a network connection to the remote system before you can use other function by using the 'OPEN CONNECTION' call which will return a HANDLE.
When you open a file on a remote system, you are returned a string in the FILE.HANDLE variable. You then pass this variable to other calls to access the opened file. The FILE.HANDLE variable has the same uses as the Pick BASIC file variable used in OPEN, READ, and WRITE.
When you select a file on a remote system, you are returned a string in the SEL.HANDLE variable. You then pass this variable to subsequent calls of 'PICK READNEXT' and 'PICK CLOSE SELECT'.
This is a returned string that indicates the success of a call into PLSUB.PICK. If this string is returned null, then the command completed successfully. If the string is not null then the command did not complete and the contents of the string indicate why. Possible values of the RES variable include:
This is a returned string that indicates if there was some type of network error. If the string is not null, then some type of network error has occurred and the contents of the variable indicate what that error was. As a programming convenience, you can call PLSUB.PICK with an asterisk at the front of the command field as in '*PICK OPEN'. If you pass a command in this manner and a network error is encountered, the PLSUB.PICK subroutine will exit to TCL with an error message instead of returning to your calling program.
This is either the source or result of your command.
This is the item id for the I/O command you are processing.
This is the attribute number for READV and WRITEV type commands
The 'PICK READNEXT' command can return either one or a list of item ids with a single call. Multiple item ids are returned as a dynamic array of attributes in the DATA variable. NO.IDS specifies the maximum number of IDS that you wish to retrieve in a single call.
The name of the Pick BASIC subroutine on the destination system that is to be called by the RPC (Remote Proceedure Call) function.
P1, P2 -
The two parameters that are passed to the remote proceedure call.

Notes for Pick to Pick Access Functions:

Limited Resources: Pick to Pick functions use limited resources. There are only so many availble connections, file handles, and select handles available on a remote system. Use them sparingly and be sure to close those resources when you are done with them. Calling 'CLOSE CONNECTION' will automatically close any open files and selects.
Use with R83 systems: Because of item size and workspace size limitations, do not try to use items that are larger than about 20K with R83 systems or else the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS may crash.
System to system locks: PicLan uses item locks, even if the underlying Pick system does not support item locks. This can sometimes cause strange behaviour when remote access functions are locking the same file as a local applications.

Note for this release:

Pick to Pick remote access functions are relatively new to PicLan. In addition, not many users are using these functions in a live environment. For this reason, you should test your software carefully with each function. If you have any problems, please contact PicLan technical support for assistance.

1.C. New PLT options

The PLT mini terminal emulator has a number of new options that make it more useful in certain environments. The options for PLT.EXE now include:
    /NOXMS - disable use of XMS memory
    /NOEMS - disable use of EMS memory
    /NOREAL - disable use of real memory
    /NOEXIT - disable keyboard sequence to exit emulator
    /NOSTATUS - disable status line
    /PAUSEONERROR - pause on error before exiting
In addition, you can use the included TSR NOBOOT.COM to disable the <ctrl><alt><del> keyboard boot command. This, in combination with the /NOEXIT option makes PLT useful for installations with public-access Pcs running as Pick terminals in settings such as library card-catalog lookup stations.

1.D. New PL-DEV Program

The PicLan PL-DEV program has been signifigantly enhanced to support a wider variety of network environments, minimize use of real DOS memory, and provide additional support for Microsoft Windows applications.

The PL-DEV program now supports the following types of network interfaces:

This additional network support allows PicLan to be used with a much wider variety of network operating systems, including environments with no DOS network at all.

The PL-DEV program will "search" for a compatible network driver using the following proceedure. First it will look for an IPX driver. If none is found, it will look for a Packet-Driver. Finally, it will look for a raw Ethernet board. You can control what type of driver is used by using the /noipx, /noepkt, /noapkt, or /noenet options.

The PL-DEV program also has quite different memory management characteristics over previous versions. Previous versions of PL-DEV loaded into a single block of DOS memory. This version of PL-DEV loads into several, smaller blocks of DOS memory, optionally locating some or all of it's memory image in either the EMS page frame or into "high" DOS memory. This allows many systems to load PL-DEV and have less that a 1K footprint in 640K DOS memory.

The PL-DEV program also includes the TSR portion of the PL-PRN and PL-SPRN programs. While PL-PRN and PL-SPRN still exist, they no longer load any resident code and instead simply command PL-DEV to setup printing functions.

Because PL-DEV is larger, and more complicated, you should consider the following when configuring your system:

1.E. New PL-SPRN program

A new program supporting 'slave' printing is included. This new program replaces the PL-RPRN program in previous versions of PicLan.

A 'slave' printer is a new concept with PicLan. Printing to a slave printer with PicLan is different that printing to a terminal slave printer. With PicLan, a slave printer refers to a local DOS printer that is attached to the same PC as the user. Slave printer support with PicLan only supports LPT devices, although the DOS MODE command can be used to re-direct this to a COM device.

PicLan slave printing operates in conjunction with the Pick PL-ASSIGN verb and allows Pick applications to generate standard print jobs to the Pick spooler and then have those jobs automatically routed to the users local printer. In order to set up slave printing, you must:

Slave printing is implemented within the PL-DEV driver which must be loaded in order for slave printing to operate.

Execute the PL-SPRN program to set up printing parameters:

You execute the PL-SPRN program to setup your "primary" and "secondary" slave printers. The format of PL-SPRN is:
You can execute the PL-SPRN program twice to set up both a primary and secondary printer. The PL-SPRN program is not a TSR but instead calls into the resident part of PL-DEV to set up slave printing.

Setup slave printer form queues under Pick:

Slave printing works with standard Pick form queues and with the PicLan PL-ASSIGN printer re-direction program. To setup two form queues as the primary and secondary slave printer queues, you would use the command:
    PL-ASSIGN 98=LOCAL!0   (for the primary printer)
    PL-ASSIGN 99=LOCAL!1   (for the secondary printer)
You can also configure "slave" printing to direct print jobs to a specific DOS workstations instead of to the workstation that created the job. This is an example of "routed" printing. To setup routed printing, setup PL-SPRN on the workstation in the same manner as slave printing, and execute the Pick PL-ASSIGN command:
    PL-ASSIGN 90=PL-RPRN!imm_addr:net:node:0  (for the primary printer)
    PL-ASSIGN 91=PL-RPRN!imm_addr:net:node:1  (for the secondary printer)
imm_addr -
The 12-digit hex immediate address of the DOS workstation. If the workstation is on the same network segment (has the same network number) as the Pick host, you can enter this value as null. If you do enter this value, it must be 12 digits long including leading zeros.
net -
The 8-digit hex network number including leading zeros. Again, if the workstation is on the same network as the Pick host, you can leave this field blank.
node -
The 12-digit het node address of the workstation and is required.
You can use the PL-STAT (A) Pick command to help determine these address values. Remember that the values must be correct or printing will fail.

Generate the print jobs as a standard print file:

Once slave printing is configured, you simply generate the print job as a normal Pick print job that is directed to the slave print queue number that was assigned in the PL-ASSIGN statement.

Slave printing operates as cooperative processing between the PL-DEV TSR program and the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS using configuration information supplied by the PL-ASSIGN verb. When a Pick port generates a print job to a Pick form queue that is directed to 'LOCAL', the SERVER-PROCESS will look at who was last attached to that port as a network user and then open a connection to that workstation's PL-DEV TSR program and remotely print the job using the TSR. This printing occurs without using any Pick ports and happens completely in the background without user intervention. The Pick user can logoff Pick and disconnect their network terminal session without impacting the output of the slave print job.

1.F. New DOS Services Gateway Functions

PicLan DOS Services Gateway printing functions have been enhanced to make it easier to setup and maintain DOS Services Gateway printing functions. In the past PicLan DOS Services Gateway printing functions had to be entered in the DOS PL-CFG.INI file for all printer routings. The new version of the DOS Services Gateway allows you to control most of this information with the Pick PL-ASSIGN verb.

Printing from Pick to NetWare:

In order to print from Pick to NetWare using a DOS Services Gateway, you use the Pick PL-ASSIGN command with the syntax:
This example will assign Pick form queue 10 to be routed through the PicLan DOS Services Gateway DSG1 to the NetWare server ACCT and into form number 0 of the print queue HPLJ4. Form-feed and banner options are available with commands such as:
It is not longer necessary to enter any queue information in the PL-CFG.INI file for Pick to NetWare printing. All that is required is that Multiple print queues can be directed by

Printing from Pick to a local LPT port:

In order to print from Pick to a local parallel printer, you would use the Pick PL-ASSIGN command with the syntax:

Printing from Pick to a local COM port:

In order to print from Pick to a local serial printer, you would use the Pick PL-ASSIGN command with the syntax:
Printing to a Pick serial printer uses the serial port baud rate definitions that are stored in the DOS Services Gateway's PL-CFG.INI file. Only serial ports 1 and 2 are supported with standard PC serial adapters.

Printing through a shelled batch file:

The PicLan DOS Services Gateway can indirectly printing by using a shelled command that will be executed after the print file has been transferred to the gateway system. The syntax of the PL-ASSIGN command for this type of printing is:
This command will cause the command SH_PROC (a .COM, .EXE, or .BAT file) to be executed passing the name of the DOS file that contains the transferred print job. For example, if you wished to use the NetWare NPRINT command to print a job, you could use the command:
This example would execute a command such as 'NPRINT /J=AST $T000001'. Of course the actual temporary file name may vary. The %F sequence is used to indicate a '/' characters. % sequences include:
    %% - A '%' character
    %F - A '/' character
    %B - A '\' character
    %N - The name of the file that contains the print job
Using PicLan DOS Services Gateway EXEC functions do have some limitations. In general it is recommended that:

Printing from NetWare to Pick or a Local Printer

The PicLan DOS Services Gateway can still be used to service NetWare print queues and direct the print jobs to either a Pick system or to a locally attached LPT or COM device. When servicing NetWare print queues, you configure the gateway PL-CFG.INI file in the manner documented in the PicLan version manual.

1.G. New PL-DSG Program

A new stand-alone DOS Services Gateway program is not included with PicLan. The PL-DSG.EXE program is the PicLan DOS Services Gateway without the presence of the PL-TERM.EXE terminal emulator. The PL-DSG.EXE program is faster and uses less system memory than PL-TERM.EXE and should be used when concurrent terminal emulation functions are not needed.

1.H. Support for Ethernet 802.2 and 802.2-SNAP frames

PicLan now supports Ethernet 802.2 and 802.2-SNAP frame types on both the Pick host system and on DOS workstations running the native ENET driver. This allows PicLan to more easily communicate with NetWare 3.12 and 4.x networks configured with 802.2 Ethernet frames. This means that PicLan supports the following Ethernet frame types: You can enter these values in both the Pick PL-CONFIGURE program as well as the DOS PL-CFG.INI file.

1.I. New Display Options for PL-STAT

The Pick PL-STAT program has been enhanced to support new options that can be helpful in troubleshooting your Pick system.

The options supported by PL-STAT are:

(Z -
Display all port connection blocks even if they are currently disconnected. This option was added so that PL-STAT would execute more quickly on large systems.
(R -
Display hardware driver errors and statistics. This option is particularily helpful in diagnosing installation problems with a network adapter, or in locating the source of network disconnects and timeouts.
(A -
Display connection network addresses. This display can be used with PL-ASSIGN to set up routed printing by network address.
(C -
Supress connection portion of the PL-STAT display.
(S -
Supress server list portion of the PL-STAT display.
(P -
Direct the PL-STAT display to the printer.

Driver Statistics for PL-STAT

The PL-STAT display with driver statistics and error can help diagnose a number of network problems. The following fields are displayed:


Retries -
The total number of packet retries since the PicLan driver was loaded.
Xmit Timeouts -
The number of packet transmit operations that failed. Transmit timeouts nearly always indicate a card configuration problem or a cabling problem. The two most likely causes of transmit timeouts are configuration errors or conflicts with the network adatper IRQ setting, or for coax-based Ethernet networks, a cable off condition. Twisted-pair Ethernet networks do not display transmit timeouts it the cable is disconnected.
Disconnects -
The number of sessions that have been disconnected because the client no longer was responding to the host system. PicLan will retry each packet a total of 20 times before disconnecting a session. The first 10 retries happen relatively quickly using the 'timeout' setting in the PicLan configuration. The next 10 retries happen one each 30 seconds. This means that it should take over 5 minutes for a connection to be disconnected.
Reopens -
This is a special case of retry that occurs during the connection open process. It's inclusion in the statistics display is historical in nature (an old PicLan release had a bug in this area).
Transmits -
This is the total number of packets transmitted. This number can grow quite large. In addition to active network connections, one packet per minute is sent out using IPX Server Advertising Protocol (SAP).
Receives -
This is the total number of PicLan packets received by this system. This count does not include broadcast packets received.
Bcast Receives -
This is the total number of broadcast packets received by this system that match the PicLan frame type are are IPX packets. They are not necessisarily PicLan packets.
Discards -
This is the total number of broadcast packets received by this system that do not match the PicLan frame type or are not IPX packets. This count usually represents other types of network traffic on the LAN (such as Windows for Workgroups traffic). A count here can also be a clue to a mis-configured PicLan frame type.

2. New Features since Piclan version 1.1

2.A. New Features for PicLan version

PicLan version includes a number of new programs and functions. These new programs are function have less field experience that existing PicLan functions, so caution should be exercised when using these functions for critical applications.

2.A.1. New PLTW Program

A new Windows application version of the PLT.EXE program is included as a pre-release. This program is an actual Windows application and does not run in a Windows DOS box. In order to use this program, you should copy the PICLAN.INI file into your Windows director and change the PL-CFG.INI=... line to point to the PL-CFG.INI file that your system is using. The PLTW.EXE program is pre-release in nature, so some of it's functions and operations are likely to change.

2.A.2. New PL-STATW Program

A new Windows application version of the PL-STAT.EXE program is included as a pre-release. This program will display current PicLan status information including what driver is in use, network addresses, a display of PicLan servers, and a display of PicLan applications that are currently using PL-DEV.

2.A.3. Support for Windows event driven applications

The PL-DEV program has new code in place that support "event-driven" Windows applications. This allows appropriately designed Windows applications to use PicLan and not have to "poll" the network connections to see if there is any traffic. A new PicLan SDK is being prepared that documents these new event-driven proceedures. The PLTW program includes with PicLan version is event-driven.
NOTE - As of PicLan version, the "event-driven" Windows architechure is not considered stable. PLTW.EXE has been modified to poll instead. Be sure to check the release notes for information on when "event-driven" usage of PLAN.DLL is recommended.

2.A.4. Support for NE2000 network adapters

PicLan now supports NE2000 style adapters in addition to WD/CPX style adapters. Both WD/CPX and NE2000 adapters actually use the same National Semiconductors NS8390 Ethernet Network Interface Controller (NIC) chip. The WD/CPX adapters implement a dual-ported shared memory architechure whereas the NE2000 design uses a programmed I/O (PIO) architechure. In general, the WD/CPX design is better suited for use in host systems because it is more efficient than is the NE2000 PIO design. For workstations, this increased efficiency is less of a concern and the lack of a shared memory window in the NE2000 design is often an advantage.

If you wish to use Compex adapters in the Pick host in NE2000 mode, you can by answering the appropriate question in the PL-CONFIGURE program. If you run in NE2000 mode, understand that the PicLan driver in NE2000 mode has had considerably less testing than in WD/CPX mode and that this PicLan driver will exert a higher level of overhead on the Pick host.

If you wish to use NE2000 adapters in DOS workstations with the native ENET driver, specify EnetRAM=0 in the PL-CFG.INI file.

2.B. New Features for PicLan version

2.B.1. PicLan Visual Basic SDK

The PicLan Visual Basic SDK is now available in Beta format. This SDK (Software Developers Kit) allows Visual Basic applications to perform the same file I/O commands that Pick Basic applications can. The PicLan VB SDK is available from either the Modular Software web site

2.B.2. Configuring File Transfer Control Block Counts

PicLan version allows you to custom configure the number of file transfer connections supported by a Pick host. This is designed to allow you to same memory on large systems that do not need a lot of PicLan connections for file transfer operations.

This function is currently only implemented on the AP/Pro and Mentor PRO PicLan releases.

This installation option is included on the last page of the PicLan PL-CONFIGURE program:

    Extra file sharing connections = No
The default is to not configure extra file transfer control block. In this case, your system will be configured with a number of PicLan file transfer control blocks equal to your Pick user license plus 1. A maximum of 25 file transfer control blocks will be configured in this manner.

If you select extra file transfer control blocks, then PicLan will allocate a number of PicLan file transfer control blocks equal to your Pick user license plus 1 even if that would allocate more than 25 control blocks.

You should not change this field to 'yes' unless you a) have a Pick license larger than 24 users, and b) are doing a lot of concurrent file transfer operations. In general, only users with heavy Pick to Pick, Pick to DOS Services Gateway, or Visual Basic SDK traffic fall into this category.

The net effect of this configuration change is to allow large Pick hosts to have a larger number of concurrent file transfer connections active at any one time than was previously supported.

2.C. New Features for Piclan version

2.C.1. Tunable Watchdog Packets

You can now adjust the frequency of PicLan watchdog packets generated by the Pick host system. PicLan host systems generate watchdog packets. A watchdog packet is a packet that is periodically sent from the host to the client to insure that the client is still present. The previous default for PicLan was to geneate one watchdog packet every 5 seconds. Under PicLan version, you can change this time duration, or even elimiate watchdog packets all together.

If you are running a wide area network, you may wish to lengthen the time duration of watchdog packets to reduce overhead on your WAN.

If you are running a local area network and are experiencing connection losses during periods of inactivity, lengthening the time between watchdog packets may reduce the frequency of your connection losses.

Setting the watchdog timeout to 0, which disables watchdog processing altogether, is generally not recommended unless you are prepared to manually reset all hung connections.

The watchdog packet timeout value is set in the PL-CONFIGURE program (option 3 from the PIC-LAN menu) under hardware configuration.

2.C.2. Auto XOFF Flow Control

NOTE: This feature was implemented specifically to support sites running on-demand ISND dial-up links with PicLan. If you environment does not include these type of WAN links, then you should probably not use this feature.

Auto XOFF support allows PicLan terminal connection to automatically flow-control after a defined period of inactivity. Flow-controlling a channel has the same effect as pressing <ctrl>S in the PL-TERM.EXE program. Of particular note, is that during the time that a channel is flow-controlled, PicLan watchdog packets will not be sent from the Pick host system.

To setup Auto XOFF support for a DOS/Windows workstation, you enter the field AutoXOFF=n where n is the number of seconds of inactivity required. This line should be added to the [SYSTEM] section of the PL-CFG.INI file.

Auto XOFF support can also be configured for Pick to Pick terminal sessions (although this feature will probably never be used). This is configured in the PL-CONFIGURE program.

2.C.3. New PL-ASSIGN Options

Several new options for PicLan network printing have been added to help control the presence or absense of form-feed characters at the front and end of Pick documents. These options are available for all formats of the PL-ASSIGN verb. The general format of these options are:
    PL-ASSIGN q=dst_name!dst_queue!options
The available options are:
Supress Leading Form Feed.
Supress Trailing Form Feed.
Add Leading Form Feed.
Add Trailing Form Feed.
Multiple Options can be specified seperated by commas.

The options that supress leading and trailing form feeds also supress NUL (char(0)) and CR (char(13)) characters which the Pick spoolers uses to pad jobs to full frames.

An example of printer re-direction to a NetWare queue with a Laser printer would be:


3. Configuring DOS for various network environments

This release of PicLan supports a number of DOS workstation environments through expanded functionality of the PL-DEV driver program. With the new version of PL-DEV, PicLan supports the following DOS driver configurations:

3.A. Configuring with NetWare and IPX

If you are running any version of IPX-based Novell NetWare including NetWare 2.x through 4.x, NetWare Lite, and Personal NetWare, PicLan will automatically use the existing IPX driver that you have already installed. PicLan is compatible with any version of NetWare IPX driver including IPX.COM and IPX ODI drivers running on ArcNET, Ethernet, Token-ring, and other network topoligies.

3.B. Configuring with third-party IPX drivers

If you are running a third-party IPX driver such as Spry Concurrent, or the MSIPX program that shipped with Microsoft Windows for Workgroups version 3.1, PicLan will automatically use that driver as if it were a NetWare IPX driver.

3.C. Configuring with native ENET support

The PicLan driver will directly control some brands of Ethernet adapters that are compatible with WD8003 and NE2000 ethernet adapters. These include the following adapters: Not all models of these adapters have been specifically tested by Modular Software, so dealer and user testing is appropriate if you plan on using non-standard adapters with the native ENET driver. Modular Software does not supply technical support for non-PicLan adapters that are used at the customer's discretion in workstations.

The NE2000 support for PicLan is relatively new and as such not yet thouroughly tested. In order to run NE2000 type adapters, simply set EnetRAM=0 in the PL-CFG.INI file. You can now also use NE2000

type adapters in the Pick host with the same cautions. NE2000 adapters are slower than WD/CPX adapters, so their use in large Pick hosts is not recommended for performance reasons.

Field reports indicate that SMC Elite/16 Ultra adapters are not compatible with Piclan. Modular Software has not confirmed this in-house.

3.D. Configuring with packet-driver ArcNET support

This is primarily for users with ArcNET networks and GA R91 systems that are not running Novell NetWare. PicLan supports the packet-driver ArcNET interface for directly driving RX-NET compatible ArcNET adapters such as the Compex ANET-1 series adapters. In order to run this type of support, you need to load the following TSR:
    ARCNET 0x67 0x5 0x280 0xD800
The 0x5 is the adapter's IRQ number, the 0x280 is the adapter's I/O address, and the 0xD800 is the adapters memory address. You should enter the values that are correct for your installed adapter. The 0x67 refers to a software interrupt number between 0x60 and 0x80. Most packet-driver installations use 0x66 or 0x67 for this number. If this number conflicts with other software installed on your system, you will need to try a different number. The PicLan PL-DEV program will scan from 0x60 to 0x80 looking for a loaded packet-driver driver.

The ARCNET.COM program included with PicLan is a modified version of the FTP free-ware ARCNET.COM program. It is not a product of Modular Software and is not warranted by Modular Software. The source code for this program is available from a number of sources including posting on various bulletin boards and the Internet. The modifications to the ARCNET.COM program by Modular Software consists of removing an initialization test routine that a number of RX-NET compatible boards fail.

You must load the PL-DEV program to use packet-driver specification drivers. When you load PL-DEV for the first time, you should include the /i option to insure that PL-DEV is actually using the DRV_APKT hardware support module.

Note for 5.25" diskette users:

Because of space limitations, the packet.exe archive of public domain packet drivers is no longer supplied on 5.25" diskettes. This file is included on the 3.5" installation diskette.

3.E. Configuring with packet-driver Ethernet support

PicLan has been tested with a number of Ethernet packet-driver specification drivers including NE1000 and NE2000 free-ware drivers as well as Compex and SMC commercial drivers. These drivers install in a manner similar to the ARCNET driver described above. The individual parameters vary depending on the particular driver in use. Consult the FTP documentation or the documentation for the commercial driver you are using for specific details.

When using PicLan with Ethernet packet-drivers, you should configure the PL-CFG.INI file to specify 'Ethernet-II' format frames. Some packet drivers support other frame types, but many do not.

You must load the PL-DEV program to use packet-driver specification drivers. When you load PL-DEV for the first time, you should include the /i option to insure that PL-DEV is actually using the DRV_EPKT hardware support module.

Note for 5.25" diskette users:

Because of space limitations, the packet.exe archive of public domain packet drivers is no longer supplied on 5.25" diskettes. This file is included on the 3.5" installation diskette.

3.F. Configuring with NDIS Ethernet support

PicLan uses the packet-driver to NDIS converter DIS_PKT.DOS to support NDIS Ethernet networks. The DIS_PKT.DOS file is a device driver that is loaded with your NDIS 2.0 specification network drivers that creates a packet-driver specification interface that PicLan can utilize. In order to use the DIS_PKT.DOS program you must:
    drivername = pktdrv
    bindings = MS$NE2CLONE
    intvec = 0x61
The DIS_PKT program only supports Ethernet-II format frames, so you will need to specify Ethernet-II frame types in the PL-CFG.INI file.

You must load the PL-DEV program to use packet-driver specification drivers. When you load PL-DEV for the first time, you should include the /i option to insure that PL-DEV is actually using the DRV_EPKT hardware support module bound to the MAC/DIS converter.

3.G. Configuring with Windows for Workgroups 3.11

PicLan support for Windows for Workgroups clients requires a particular installation proceedure. This proceedure allows PicLan to utilize any WFW supported Ethernet network adapter.

In order to install PicLan onto a WFW workstation, the following limitations apply:

Installation Proceedure

The following installation proceedure is described in the PicLan software manual, but is repeated and enhanced here:

PicLan is compatible with Windows for Workgroups (WFW) version 3.11 when WFW is configured to use real-mode NDIS-2 Ethernet drivers. PicLan will not work with WFW 3.11 protected mode (NDIS-3), protected/real-mode (NDIS-3/2), or ODI Ethernet drivers.

If you network is using Novell IPX drivers (IPX.COM or IPXODI), you should not follow these installation instructions. Follow the instructions for use with IPX drives instead.

In order to configure your workstation for PicLan and WFW support, you need to follow the following proceedure:

    [network driver]
    A copyright message for your network adapter driver.
    A copyright message for the MAC/DIS converter (DIS_PKT.DOS)
    The message 'The command completed successfully'.

3.H. Configuring Ethernet frame types

PicLan now supports four Ethenet frame types on both the Pick host and on the DOS workstation. The Pick host is configured with the PL-CONFIGURE program (selection 3 from the PIC-LAN account menu), and DOS workstations are configured with the PL-CFG.INI text file.

Available Frame Types:

PicLan can be configured with the following frame types: On the Pick host, you enter these frame type as:
    802.2-SNAP   or   SNAP
In the DOS workstations PL-CFG.INI file you enter these frame types as:
    EnetFrame=802.2-SNAP   or  EnetFrame=SNAP

Configuring with NetWare:

When installing with NetWare, you should configure PicLan to use the same native Ethernet frame type that NetWare uses. NetWare versions 2.x through 3.11 and NetWare lite had a default frame type of 802.3. NetWare 3.12 and NetWare 4.x have a default frame type of 802.2.

Configuring with Ethenet Packet-Driver Drivers:

When configuring PicLan for use with DOS packet-driver network adapter drivers, you should probably use Ethernet-II format frames. Some packet drivers support other frame types, but some (particularily the public domain drivers such as NE1000 and NE2000) do not.

Configuring with Ethenet NDIS Drivers:

The packet-driver to NDIS converter only support Ethernet-II format frames so you should configure PicLan for Ethernet-II format frames.

Configuring with Ethenet NDIS Drivers and Other IPX Traffic:

If you are configuring PicLan to run on an NDIS supported network that is also using IPX traffic such as Windows NT Advanced Server or Windows for Workgroups with IPS/SPX transport enabled and you are not using NetWare, you will need to configure NT or WFW to use an Ethernet frame type other than Ethernet-II and you will need to assign the PicLan Ethernet-II frame type IPX traffic to a different network number than that assigned to the NT or WFW IPX traffic.

3.I. Configuring network numbers

PicLan allows you to configure the IPX 'Network Number' as a part of both the Pick and DOS configuration process. Under Pick, this is configured on page two of the PL-CONFIGURE program. Under DOS, this is configured in the PL-CFG.INI file as:
If you are using NetWare, you need to configure the Pick host to the correct network number, but you do not need to configure the DOS workstations. DOS workstations will get their network number by asking the IPX driver for it.

If you are not using NetWare and have a small, single-segment, network, you should configure the Pick host and all of the workstations as network number 1.

If you are not using NetWare and are building a larger network that has IPX routers, you will need to configure the network numbers to match the router configuration that you are setting up.

4. Installation Notes

4.A. The DOS INSTALL program

The DOS installation proceedure has changed from previous releases!

In order to install PicLan, execute the INSTALL.EXE program that resides on the DOS installation diskette. This program will prompt you for source and destination path and for whether you wish to install Packet-driver and NDIS support files. The default directory structure that will be created is:

    c:\piclan         PicLan        files
    c:\piclan\packet  Packet-driver files (if selected)
    c:\packet\ndis    NDIS-driver   files (if selected)
The PicLan installation disk consists of the following files:
The PICLAN.EXE, PACKET.EXE, and NPACKET.EXE files are LHA self-extracting archive files.

If you wish to manually install PicLan, you can create the desired directory, make that directory the working directory, and then execute the self-extracting archive.

The LHA self-extracting archive program is:

Copyright (c) Haruyasu Yoshizaki, 1988-1991
Some sites have reported that the self-extracting program can fail if you try to install PicLan directly onto a network file server. If you experience problems with the PicLan installation proceedure, try installing to a local hard disk and then copy the files to their final location.

4.B. Configuring Microsoft Windows

PicLan support Windows environments through the use of the PL-DEV PicLan driver TSR. You should always load PL-DEV prior to starting Windows if you are going to use any PicLan functions. Some PicLan applications such as PL-TERM will run within a Windows DOS-box without PL-DEV loaded, but execution and connection reliability problems may be encounteded.

4.C. Windows DLL and VBX files

PicLan includes the following Windows support files: PicLan also includes several Microsoft "re-distributables": If your installation has newer copies of these redistributables, do not copy the versions included with PicLan into your Windows directory. Use the newest files instead. This is particularily true for CMDIALOG.VBX.

You should place all of the files into either your Windows directory or into a directory on your PATH if you wish to use any PicLan or third-party Windows applications.

5. Miscellaneous Enhancements

5.A. Enhancements to terminal emulation

The PL-TERM.EXE program (as well as the new PLT.EXE and PLTW.EXE program, see below) now supports "protected fields" in the PC CONSOLE emulation.

PicLan terminal emulators now recognize a new escape sequence:

    ESC CTRL-D     {the ASCII codes 27 and 4}
This sequence will cause the terminal emulator to close the connection. PL-TERM.EXE will also exit if that connection was the only one open. PLT.EXE and PLTW.EXE will always exit after closing the connection.

The PL-TERM.EXE program (as well as PLT and PLTW) now support insert and delete character and line operations while running in PC_CONSOLE emulation.

    ESC * CHAR(22) Insert Line
    ESC * CHAR(23) Delete Line
    ESC * CHAR(24) Insert Character
    ESC * CHAR(25) Delete Character

5.B. New Utility Programs

The ARCNET.EXE program is an ARCNET diagnostic tool. It is shipped with the PicLan install set for the convenience of certain sites running ARCNET.

The NOBOOT.COM program is a TSR which disables the use of the Alt-Ctrl-Del keyboard sequence for rebooting the PC. It can be used in such situations as public access environments where the user shouldn't be allowed to do anything but run PLT.EXE - the combination of NOBOOT.COM and PLT.EXE with the /NOEXIT option is fairly secure.

5.C. Fast .INI Processing

This version of PicLan includes fast processing for .INI files read by the PicLan DOS utility programs. Basically, the programs all look for a file in the same directory as the .INI file, with the same filename but with the extension .$$$ - this file is a binary representation of the configuration in the .INI file. If this file is found, it is checked to verify that it was derived from the current version of the .INI file in that directory - if it was, then the .$$$ file is read instead of processing the .INI file. If the .$$$ is not found or if it does not match the .INI file, then the .INI file will be processed and the .$$$ will be created.

Because the .$$$ file is carefully checked for version dependency against the .INI file, you do not need to be concerned about whether or not the .$$$ file is updated. If you make any changes to the .INI file, then the next time a program is run, the .INI will be reprocessed and a new .$$$ will be created.

Note that because the binary file has the same base filename but with a different extension, it is possible to have multiple configuration files all attempt to use the same binary file - for example, if you have three users who have configuration files all stored in the same directory and named PL-CFG.DON, PL-CFG.DOU, and PL-CFG.SAN, all of these files will try to use a binary file named PL-CFG.$$$. There is no technical problem with this - the software will operate properly. However, the situation is non-optimal because the binary file will be recreated whenever a different user runs one of the programs - this will actually cause things to run slower, instead of faster.

You can prevent the creation of the .$$$ file by setting

in the .INI file.

6. Configuring printing

PicLan supports a number of different options regarding printing. There are some specific suggestions for various network environments.

6.A. Using a DSG and NetWare

If you are configuring printing between Pick and a NetWare network, you should try to configure PicLan with a DOS Services Gateway and use the DSG to handle printing on a queue to queue basis between the Pick host and NetWare print queues.

6.B. Using PL-PRN and PL-SPRN with NetWare

In general, this is not recommended. Use a DOS Services Gateway instead. If you do insist on using PL-PRN and PL-SPRN, try to aviod using PL-SPRN in conjunction with the NetWare CAPTURE command as this can lead to DOS workstation shell instabilities. If you must configure your system this way, be sure to test everything carefully as PicLan was not really designed for this type of configuration.

6.C. Using PL-PRN and PL-SPRN without NetWare

The PicLan DOS Services Gateway's printing function are specifically designed for interaction with NetWare print queues. If you have a non-NetWare network, or a NetWare network that does not support print queues (such as NetWare lite and Personal NetWare), you will need to use PL-PRN and PL-SPRN. In this case, try to setup printing with the following strategies: Our in-house testing of PicLan with WFW printing functions work much along this line. As an example, a parellel printer is attached to a DOS workstation and need to accept print jobs from both WFW and from Pick. The configuration is: In this example, a print job can be created under Windows on one workstation, move across the WFW network to another workstation, go through the WFW print server and print on LPT2: which is re-directed with PL-PRN to the Pick host, end up as a job on form queue 10 on the Pick system, and finally go back to the parellel printer on LPT1: back on the DOS workstation.

6.D. Printing compatibility problems

The PicLan PL-PRN and PL-SPRN programs are both control programs that work with the PL-DEV TSR. Because PL-DEV is a TSR, incompatibilities can occur that can prevent successful and reliable printing in all environments. This list of potential problems and workarounds is far from complete, but may help in some situations:

7. PicLan Technical Notes

These release notes cover additonal information not included in the PicLan end-user documentation. Before installing PicLan, you should carefully read all of the relevant sections in these notes. These release notes were formerly included in the PicLan package as a printed addendum, but are now on-line.

7.A. All PicLan Hosts

How PicLan Authorization Codes Work

The PicLan authorization code is generated based on the PicLan software serial number, the number of DOS users, whether Pick to Pick and/or DOS Services Gateway functions are enabled, and the Ethernet node id of the installed network adapter (Upboard and R91 systems are based on the system serial number instead of the network adapter node id). If you system does not authorize, very carefully check to see that you have entered all of the configuration information properly. A single typographical error will result in PicLan not authorizing.

PicLan for AP/Pro and Mentor PRO do not use authorization codes. Instead, Pick Systems and SunRiver generate PicLan authorizations as a part of their Pick O/S release codes.


PicLan no longer uses serialized KEYDISKs on any platform.

If you encounter an error message that refers to KEYDISKs during the PL-LOAD program, this usually indicates that either the PL-LOAD program was unable to locate the network adapter, or that the PicLan authorization code does not match your installation.

DOS Print Job Problems

Jobs generated under DOS can print incorrectly when printed to a Pick-attached printer.

Jobs generated under DOS and printed on a Pick attached printer can appear to become corrupted in some circumstances. If you have a DOS print job that includes graphics, you must be careful to insure that the job is not sub-divided into multiple print files. The Pick spooler pads the end of a print job with NUL characters (CHAR(0)). These pad characters, if encountered in the middle of a graphics print sequence can glitch the printed output. The most common cause of print jobs being cut up into multiple parts is an incorrect use of the timeout value with PicLan PL-PRN or NetWare CAPTURE.

Jobs generated under DOS can print incorrectly when printed to a Pick-attached serial printer.

When a job is printed on a Pick-attached serial printer, the Pick spooler will add NUL characters as delay characters after each CRLF or FF sequence in the job. The number of delay characters is specified by the TERM setting in effect when the printer was started with the STARTPTR command. These NUL characters usually do not affect job output, but they may cause graphics jobs to be printed incorrectly. To correct this problem, include the statement:

    TERM ,,,0,0
before you start the serial printer.

Some Pick hosts cannot print certain control characters.

Open Architechure and Advanced Pick hosts cannot print system delimiters (characters 252 to 255) through the Pick spooler. This is not a PicLan limitation, but instead a limitations of the Pick spooler.

Attaching a Postscript printer to a Pick system.

It can be difficult to attach a Postscript printer directly to a Pick system. The problem occurs with the Pick spooler inserting NUL characters after the <ctrl>D end-of-job character at the end of each Postscript print job.

File-Transfer Issues:

JET documents may not transfer correctly.

JET documents that contain BOLDFACE text do not PL-COPY from one Pick system to another. The JET document item itself contains a CHAR(249) character which is used by PicLan as a file-transfer stream delimiter.

DOS Services Gateway block size limitations.

PLSUB.DSG(...) calls can transfer a limited amount of data to and from a DOS Services gateway. In release and earlier, the limitation was 15,000 bytes of retrieved data. With conversion options such as converting into hex, this limited the imported data length to 7,500 bytes. With PicLan version, this limitation has been increased to 200,000 bytes (100,000 bytes of converted hex data) for all releases that support unlimited item size data storage (everything except R83).

Performance Issues:

PicLan file-transfer performance tuning.

The PicLan file-transfer functions will move data at a rate determined by the speed of the Pick host system, the load on the Pick system, the size of the items being transferred, and characteristics of the Pick system performing file I/O. In general, PicLan transfers a small number of larger items faster than it transfers a large number of smaller items. Remember that PicLan file-transfer functions perform file I/O in roughly the same manner as your applications do. For R83 Pick systems, the file-transfer speeds are typically limited by the speed at which the system does disk I/O. Installing disk caching software (PC-Cache or Flash-Cache) or caching disk controllers will often help file-transfer rates significantly.

PicLan print-job transfer performance.

The PicLan SERVER-PROCESS uses a temporary file to store print jobs that are being moved from system to system. This file is a data portion of the PL.BP file called PL.BP,PRINT.DATA, and is initially sized with a modulo of 211. This modulo may or may not be appropriate for your system's print-transfer usage. PicLan typically transfers print files in approximately 8K blocks. For R83 this makes the temporary file good for about 200K of print data at one time. For other systems that are unlimited item-size, the 8K blocks will be stored as indirect items so the temporary file is good for more than 100 Megabytes of print data at one time. If you use PicLan to print large jobs on an R83 system, you may wish to consider increasing the size of the PL.BP,PRINT.DATA file. If you have an unlimited item-size system, you may wish to consider decreasing the size of the PL.BP,PRINT.DATA file if you wish to save 150 to 200 frames of disk space.

If you choose to resize the PL.BP,PRINT.DATA file, remember that this file contains only temporary print data. The data does not need to be saved on a system FILE-SAVE and should not be subject to transaction logging or incremental saves (on systems that support these features). As such, be sure to create the file as a DY type data file when you resize it.

PicLan System to System Printing Services

Hold jobs will be deleted from the Pick spooler when they are routed by PicLan to another system.

PicLan DOS Services Gateway printing services involve moving print jobs from one print spooler to another. If you spool a print job with a hold option present, that option will be preserved (if possible) when the job is moved to the destination system. The job will always be deleted from the current system whether it is a flagged as a hold job or not. If you need to keep jobs on the Pick system, spool the file to a temporary print queue number and then re-spool the job back to a file using SP-EDIT.

PicLan Slave and Routed Printing Services

Slave and routed print jobs are deleted if there is a network or printer error.

The PicLan SERVER-PROCESS is designed to handle slave and routed printer requests using a particular set of rules. Slave and routed print jobs are always printed immediately regardless of the jobs hold or suppress status. If the job has a copy count, it will be printed multiple times. If the destination connection cannot be established or fails, the job will be deleted. If the destination printer goes off line for more than 5 minutes, this is considered an error and the print job is deleted.

Monitoring the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS

The MONITOR-SERVER command can be used to "watch" the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS as it executes on a background port.

A new function, MONITOR-SERVER, is included with PicLan that allows you to monitor most messages that the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS generates. This can be particularily helpful in locating configuration errors with slave, routed, and Dos Services Gateway printing. The MONITOR-SERVER program operates by polling a status file that the SERVER-PROCESS updates. When you run the MONITOR-SERVER process, you can elect to toggle the Log and Verbose flags. The log flag toggles display and logging of most SERVER-PROCESS actions. The Verbose flags toggle display of SERVER-PROCESS low-level events. MONITOR-SERVER is not good at finding actual SERVER-PROCESS bugs as it does not display system or debugger messages. If you need to watch the SERVER-PROCESS more closely, run the SERVER-PROCESS on a terminal connected port by:

On some platforms, running the SERVER-PROCESS on a real port is not as efficient as running it on a background port, so you should only execute the SERVER-PROCESS on a real port when you need to debug it's operation.

The SERVER-PROCESS now keeps an event and error log.

You can now display the last 200 events or errors that the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS has encountered by typing:


7.B. Ethernet PicLan Hosts

NE2000 Support

PicLan Pick hosts can now use NE2000 style network adapters.

PicLan has been enhanced to support NE2000 style network adapters in both the Pick host system and on DOS workstations in native ENET mode (without the use of any DOS drivers). Use of NE2000 adapters was included in PicLan because some international distributors are having difficulty sourcing Compex and compatible adapters.

There are a number of issues you should consider before using NE2000 style adapters in a Pick host. First, the NE2000 PicLan driver has received much less testing, both at Modular Software and in the field, than the WD/CPX driver. It is entirely possible that the NE2000 PicLan driver may be less reliable than is the WD/CPX driver. Second, the NE2000 driver has only been tested with Compex adapters in NE2000 mode. There are almost a limitless number of NE2000 clones in the field and PicLan should work, but this has not been tested.

The last issued that you should consider before operating in NE2000 mode is performance. The WD/CPX style adapters use dual-ported RAM mapped as shared memory across the ISA bus. This allows the system to move data to and from the network adapter at about 5 Megabytes per second. NE2000 style adapters use programmed I/O (PIO) commands to move data across the ISA bus. This design limits the data movement speed to about 1 Megabyte per second. The net result is that NE2000 mode is slightly slower, and less efficient than is WD/CPX mode.

The question is then, should you use WD/CPX mode or NE2000 mode. For the Pick server, you should try to use WD/CPX mode if at all possible, especially if you are supporting a large number of network users. For DOS workstations, the performance considerations are less important and configuring NE2000 adapters can be easier when DOS memory managers are in use.

The Pick servers is configured in NE2000 mode by selecting NE as the adapter type in the PL-CONFIGURE program. DOS workstations can be configured to run raw NE2000 drivers (ie. without any DOS network driver) by setting ENETRam=0 in the PL-CFG.INI file.

16-bit ISA Network Adapters

Configuration problems can occur with 16-bit Compex adapters installed in some systems.

Problems configuring 16-bit network adapters have been reported with some systems. As of PicLan version, the PicLan driver software has been modified to allow PicLan to operate with Compex ENET-16/U adapters jumpered in either WD8003 mode or Compex ENETCPX native mode. With these adapters jumpered in ENETCPX mode, they may be inserted into either 16-bit or 8-bit slots. When jumpered in WD mode, the adapters only operate in 16-bit slots. By inserting the adapter into an 8-bit slot, the adapter can co-exist with 8-bit shared-memory devices such as 8-bit VGA adapters, etc. There appears to be little performance penalty in operating these adapters in 8-bit slots. When used in 8-bit slots, high interrupts (10, 11, and 15) are not available.

Configuring 16-bit adapters in ENETCPX mode also has the advantage of allowing the shared memory address to be placed at any upper memory block address on an 8K boundary. If the adapter is operated in WD8003 mode, the shared memory address must be placed at a 16K boundary.

Recommended Configuration

PicLan for Ethernet on ISA systems should use the following network adapter settings. Pick/64+ and ADDS users should refer to the Pick/64+ and ADDS section of these release notes for specific information. The card should have been shipped to you with these default settings, but you should check them anyway. PicLan will probably work, in some environments, with other settings, but you should try these first.

Microchannel Adapters

MCA systems (mostly IBM PS/2s) use a different network adapter manufactured by SMC (The SMC Elite/A). The recommended settings for this adapter are: These settings are not the defaults for the adapter. In order to use these settings, you will need to select "custom configuration" when using the adapter reference diskette.

7.C. ABS Usage

R83 Style Hosts

PicLan uses a number of ABS frames for Pick assembly code.

PicLan automatically loads a number of assembly frames. These frames are automatically MLOADed by the PL-LOAD program. The following ranges of frames are used by various releases of PicLan:

You should check other Pick software packages that use Pick assembly code to insure that these frames are available.

If you are installing PicLan onto an early release of R83 3.0, you will need to install Pick with and "extended ABS area" in order to load PicLan.

OA and AP/Native Hosts

PicLan uses a number of Pick assembly modes which must be loaded into a system ABS area.

ABS Files

With the AP/Native and Pick/64+ releases of PicLan, it is highly recommended that PicLan not be loaded into the system boot abs area. Loading the PicLan modes into an ABS area is accomplished with selection '7' from the PicLan menu. For Pick/64+ version 2.2 and AP/Native, the recommended action is to create a private PICLAN.ABS file for the PicLan assembly modes to reside in. For Pick/64+ version 2.3, you should load PicLan into the USER.ABS area.

Regardless what which ABS area PicLan is loaded into, you need to EXEC that ABS area before any PicLan programs will operate. This does not mean that you cannot login to the Pick system, only that Pick commands and subroutines will not work. You can EXEC the default PicLan ABS file by executing the proc EXEC-PICLAN when you log on to your user account.

You should exercise some care if you should ever need to delete the PICLAN.ABS file (or the entire PIC-LAN account). Make sure that no users are currently executing out of the PICLAN.ABS ABS area. If you ever delete an ABS area which is currently being executed by any user, the system will become unstable and eventually crash. This situation is not unique to PicLan, but rather is true for any assembly-based software running under Pick OA or AP.

The AP dm account contains an EXEC ABS command as a part of it's login macro. If you try to execute PicLan functions from outside of the PIC-LAN account, you need to EXEC the ABS area that PicLan's assembly modes are loaded into. If you see the message "[112] in program "...", User exit 'piclan.user.exits' is not valid", this means that you are executing an ABS area that PicLan has not been loaded into. You can typically type EXEC PIC-LAN,PICLAN.ABS, to switch to the PicLan ABS file. With a Pick/64+ system, the message "invalid user exit 0053" indicates the same situation.

If you need to execute PicLan functions concurrently with other assembly applications, you may wish to load PicLan's support assembly modes into an ABS file of your own choosing. Selections '7' of the PIC-LAN account menu will describe how to do this if necessary.

PicLan for AP/Pro always loads it's ABS modes into the system boot abs file. This process is automatic at the time that PicLan is installed.

7.D. R83 PicLan Hosts

Combined Install

PicLan for R83 and PicLan for AP/Native have been combined into a single install disk. The only changes to the documented install procedure for R83 are the addition of one question during execution of the install proc.

Parallel Printer Problems:

Some sites have reported system crashes when printing large print jobs to parallel printers attached to an R83 Pick host system. These problems seem to only happen when the PicLan network adapter is installed. This problem does not occur at all sites or with all print jobs.

This problem appears to be a conflict between Pick parallel printer support code and the Ethernet network adapter installed in the Pick host system. To resolve this conflict, re-configure PicLan to use I/O base address 0x380. This new I/O base address is now the recommended default, instead of the old recommended value of 0x340.

Cartridge Tape Problems

Using the SET-SCT (M) command can hang the system.

The PicLan driver software uses enough memory that executing a SET-SCT (M) command can hang the system because not enough memory buffers are available. Use SET-SCT 512 instead

Using Intelligent Serial Adapters

There are significant configuration issues and limitations when using PicLan with 3rd-party intelligent serial drivers

If you are installing PicLan into an R83 system that has intelligent serial I/O adapters with 3rd-party driver software, there are a number of important limitations to keep in mind.

Most 3rd-party intelligent serial card driver software is not designed to co-exist with other 3rd-party serial driver software. This includes software for Monolith, Digiboard, Chase, and other intelligent serial adapters. The problems stem from the 3rd-party driver's assumption that they are loading into an unmodified R83 Pick monitor. If you attempt to load two of these drivers simultaneously onto the same system, the first driver will load and the second driver will generate an error message and abort. This scenario is also present if you first load the PicLan driver (by running the PL-LOAD program) and then load a 3rd-party serial driver - the serial driver will error because PicLan changed portions of the Pick monitor during loading. PicLan is not written like most serial drivers. Instead of making specific assumptions about the state of the Pick monitor, it dynamically calculates load interface routines so that it can load after other drivers are loaded. Therefore, if you are loading PicLan and a 3rd-party serial driver, load PicLan last. This will require you to manually insert the PicLan PL-LOAD command into the system COLDSTART after the serial driver has been loaded.

Most 3rd-party intelligent serial card drivers can not tolerate PicLan de-allocating ports from them for use as network connections. With non-intelligent Pick-supported serial adapters, PicLan can overlay physical serial ports. All that is required is to physically disconnect any serial device. With intelligent serial drivers, this usually does not work and you have to use all of the physical ports on the intelligent serial adapter card as actual serial ports.

7.E. UPBOARD PicLan Hosts

Using IPX Drivers:

The UPBOARD version of PicLan can optionally use NetWare IPX drivers to interface with networking hardware installed in an UPBOARD host system. Using IPX drivers has both advantages and disadvantages.

Using IPX drivers has both advantages and disadvantages with the UPBOARD version of PicLan. In particular, using IPX drivers and actually logging the UPBOARD PC into a NetWare server can allow UPBOARD functions such as IMPORT, EXPORT, and virtual tapes to be used in a network environment. Using IPX drivers also allows UPBOARD systems to use nearly any type of network adapter instead of PicLan specific adapters. This includes ArcNET and Token-Ring adapters in addition to Ethernet. Because of this added functionality, most users will prefer to use IPX drivers in UPBOARD installations with NetWare in use.

However, the use of IPX drivers does have it's downside. IPX drivers are typically not as efficient as PicLan's native Ethernet driver. Also, most IPX drivers are written with large portions of their code operating with interrupts disabled. This can cause loss of inbound characters on systems with non-intelligent serial adapters running at higher baud rates.

If you do chose to use IPX drivers in an UPBOARD installation, the primary consideration is to ensure that the IPX driver configuration does not conflict with the UPBOARD co-processor board or with installed peripherals such as serial port or tape controllers.

Running NETX.COM With the UPBOARD:

UPBOARD systems should issue the NetWare CASTOFF command before booting the UPBOARD.

As noted above, many users will choose to have their UPBOARD systems logged in to a NetWare server. If this is done, and CASTOFF is not issued, then any NetWare broadcast message received by the UPBOARD computer will cause the UPBOARD system to hang until Ctrl-Enter is issued at the UPBOARD console. Use the NetWare CASTOFF command to prevent this from happening by discarding any broadcast messages received by the UPBOARD.

Note that this problem is not related to PicLan. However, many users of the UPBOARD version of PicLan may experience it.

PL-TERM Pick to Pick Performance

The Pick PL-TERM remote login verb, when executed on an UPBOARD system, can degrade Pick performance.

PicLan's implementation of the PL-TERM Pick to Pick remote login verb on UPBOARD differs from other PicLan host platforms. Because of architectural limitations within the UPBOARD software, PicLan is unable to implement the PL-TERM program as an event-driven program. This means that PL-TERM, as implemented on the UPBOARD, polls. This polling operation causes PL-TERM to have a larger impact on system performance with UPBOARD than on other hosts.

SERVER-PROCESS Port Assignment

For best performance, you should always assign the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS to a port that is assigned to PicLan.

7.F. AP/Native PicLan Hosts

Supported Release

This release of PicLan for AP/Native is designed to operate with several different releases of AP/Native.

PicLan makes a number of interface operations with the Pick AP/Native monitor. Because of how the AP/Native monitor is built, the addresses that PicLan interfaces to usually change with each release of AP/Native. To avoid having to release an updated version of PicLan for every Pick monitor build, this version of PicLan includes a database of the monitor addresses and constants that PicLan interfaces with. With this release, the database includes information for the following AP/Native releases:

If you would like to display the monitor release database, type the command LIST-AP-MONITORS at TCL in the PIC-LAN account. You can tell which AP/Native monitor you are running by executing the WHICH verb at TCL in the dm account.

If you install PicLan on a monitor version which is not included in the PicLan database, the PL-CONFIGURE program includes a routine that will check for the existence of a new user-exit in the Pick O/S release, and will use that user-exit to retrieve information about the monitor in order to update its database. Modular Software had requested that Pick Systems add this new user-exit to the next production release of AP/Native (and Pick Systems has done so as of AP/Native version 5.2.5). This means that PicLan should run with any subsequent version of AP/Native. PicLan has been tested with AP/Native releases:

AP/Pro 6.1

PicLan for AP/Pro 6.1 is a seperate release that ships with AP/Pro from Pick Systems. This release has it's own documentation and Pick Systems is providing all technical support and distribution services.

Upgrading AP/Native to a New Release

If you are upgrading AP/Native from release to release, it is acceptable to simply restore the PIC-LAN account from your system file save tape provided that you perform several important steps.

Supported Hardware

PicLan for AP/Native requires "extended memory".

The actual PicLan driver software is loaded into the system HMA (High Memory Area). This is the first 64K of memory just above 1 megabyte. This load scheme was chosen to allow the PicLan driver to load without using any real-mode memory, which would have seriously degraded Pick performance. With AP/Native, in order for this area to be accessible, your system must have at least two megabytes of extended memory present, and the extended memory feature of AP/Native must be enabled. PicLan will not load on an AP/Native system without extended memory.

Case Sensitivity

The PicLan release for AP/Native (and AP/Pro as well) is case sensitive. When specifying parameters that are to be used on other Pick systems, be sure to specify them in the correct case.

Maximum Ports

This release of PicLan has lower user-count limits than the underlying operating system.

This release of PicLan for AP/Native is running a "real-mode" network driver, limiting the amount of memory available to the PicLan driver. Because of this, there are limits to the number of ports that you can assign to the network. The PicLan driver has a pool of 40 total connection channels, which are used both for the assignment of network ports as well as for various polling and transfer functions. If you assign 32 ports to PicLan, the remaining 8 ports are used to respond to polls, perform file transfers, and other non port-related functions. We do not recommend that you allocate more than 32 ports to PicLan, since this will not leave very many channels available for the other functions. (The other functions are reasonably uncommon and only use channels for intermittent periods. However, if the pool of available channels is exhausted, the Pick host may stop responding to network polls, making it inaccessible to new network connections.)

With AP/Native version 5.2.4 and later, it is perfectly acceptable to assign port numbers higher than 32. This allows systems with 32 serial ports and 32 network ports.

Most installations should install PicLan to allocate AP/Native ports 33-64 as network ports (unless you have more that 32 serial port present). This configuration allows the greatest configuration flexibility.

Installation Procedures

PicLan for AP/Native has been combined with PicLan for R83. A single install diskette can be used for either R83 or AP/Native systems and if you order PicLan for either system, you will receive this new combination install diskette. The install diskette actually contains a single INSTALL proc followed by separate data files and account saves for R83 and AP/Native. To install PicLan for AP/Native, simply follow the same procedures as documented for R83 and then answer the appropriate INSTALL proc questions. PicLan for AP/Native should be installed by the 'dm' user from the 'dm' account. Please note that AP uses a different ABS organization than R83 does - you should review the "ABS Usage" section of this document for more information.

The PicLan INSTALL proc will create a new account (md) named PIC-LAN. The PicLan install does not create a new AP 'user', it only creates an account. You can log onto the PIC-LAN account by entering 'dm' as the user and 'PIC-LAN' as the master dictionary.


The PicLan for AP/Native SERVER-PROCESS is somewhat dual-personality. It can be either executed on a real port (including a network port), or it can be executed as an AP/Native phantom. If you configure PicLan to automatically start the background process, it will be started as a phantom.

Modular Software has observed that the AP/Native phantom scheduler does not react well to phantom process aborts. If the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS executing on a phantom port aborts for some reason, the phantom scheduler will often malfunction and crash itself. If this occurs, you will probably need to re-boot the system to recover.

Some earlier release of AP/Native had a bug in the phantom scheduler that caused the system process table to become corrupted if you ever executed a LOGOFF command against a phantom port. With the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS, you should use PL-STOP-SERVER to stop the phantom job and not LOGOFF or SHUTDOWN. This bug was fixed in AP/Native version 5.2.6NAT6.

7.G. AP/Pro PicLan Hosts

This PicLan release is distributed by Pick Systems. Modular Software does not provide direct technical support for this release. If you experience any problems and require technical support, please call Pick Systems technical support. If they are unable to help you, they will refer you to us. Modular Software cannot provide end-user or dealer technical support for PicLan for AP/Pro unless you have been referred to us by Pick Systems.

Installation Proceedure

The PicLan installation proceedure for AP/Pro has been automated as much as possible. When you load PicLan, it will automatically setup it's ABS files and configure PicLan for your host system. Because of the M52 patch in AP/Pro, the default PicLan configuration is different than is described in the PicLan manual that ships with AP/Pro. The default installation configuration is now:

PicLan ABS Manager

The PicLan AP/Pro release includes a program called the PicLan AP ABS manager. This program is designed to ease the process of loading and managing PicLan assembly modes into your system boot abs file. Because AP/Pro locks the system boot abs file (for systems with at least 4 megabytes of memory), it is important that PicLan functions execute out of the boot abs file instead of another abs file. The AP ABS manager makes it easier to run PicLan in the boot abs area by automating actions requires when you re-load your system.

The AP ABS manager operates by keeping two copies of the data portion of the boot abs file. The primary boot abs data portion contains the assembler mode cross reference information in the normal manner. The secondary, or boot abs data file contains an image of the abs cross reference information prior to loading PicLan onto the system. This boot abs file is used to recover in the case of a system re-load or abs load. Most AP ABS manager operations should be automatic. The AP ABS manager is called every time that the PicLan PL-LOAD program runs. The following flow chart shows the steps that the PicLan AP ABS manager performs:

if not(DM,ABS,BOOT exists) then
  Create-file DM,ABS,BOOT
if (DM,ABS verifies) then
  if (PicLan is loaded into DM,ABS) then
    if (DM,ABS,BOOT is empty) then
      Copy DM,ABS, into DM,ABS,BOOT
    MLOAD PicLan modes
  if (DM,ABS,BOOT verifies) then
    Copy DM,ABS,BOOT into DM,ABS,
    MLOAD PicLan modes
    Clear DM,ABS,BOOT
    SEL-RESTORE DM,ABS,BOOT from Pick installation diskettes
    If (DM,ABS,BOOT verifies) then
      Copy DM,ABS,BOOT to DM,ABS,
      MLOAD PicLan modes
      Prompt user to restore ABS
Pick Systems is investigating adding a function similar to the AP ABS manager to the AP/Pro release to facilitate third-party assembler code. Modular Software is working with Pick Systems in this regard.

Case Sensitivity

The PicLan release for AP/Pro (and AP/Native as well) is case sensitive. When specifying parameters that are to be used on other Pick systems, be sure to specify them in the correct case.

7.H. R91 PicLan Hosts

Maximum Configuration and Memory Usage

The R91 version of PicLan has specific limits on numbers of connections and system memory usage.

PicLan for R91 uses a minimum of about 140K of system memory. This value increases as the number of network ports increases with about 240K in use with 128 network ports. There is no hard limit to the number of ports that can be allocated but the maximum that has been tested is 256.

If your system has less than 2 megabytes of memory, PicLan may not load. If your system has only 2 megabytes of memory, you may wish to limit the number of ports that you assign to network connections to 32 or fewer.

PicLan Printing Issues

R91 generated print jobs don't print correctly when transferred to other Pick systems or to DOS.

The R91 spooler maintains printer definition tables that allow a printer-type to be established. This allows a print job generated for one brand of printer to be printed on another even though control sequences for line spacing, fonts, etc. may not be the same for both printers. Other Pick implementations and the NetWare print server do not support this processing, so print jobs destined for other systems must be generated with this feature disabled. You can specify "direct" printing by using the "D" option with SP-ASSIGN or by executing DIRECT-ON. The SP-ASSIGN method will only effect a single job while the DIRECT-ON method is global to the entire R91 system.


PicLan is not compatible with R91 warmstarts. You should not warmstart a system that has PicLan loaded onto it. Execute a coldstart instead. You can force a coldstart by selecting the 'R' option at the "is a UPS connected to the system (Y/N/Reset warmstart)" prompt. If you execute a warmstart with PicLan loaded, the virtual portions of the PicLan software will be restarted, however the monitor portions will not. This will likely lead to a system crash.

7.I. Pick/64+ PicLan Hosts

Recommended Configuration

Pick/64+ recommended network adapter settings.

PicLan for Pick/64+ uses the same network adapters as other version of PicLan. Recommended settings for the network adapters and Pick/64+ are different with Pick/64+. In general, we recommend the following network adapter settings:

These setting will require that you both enter information into the PL-CONFIGURE program as well as change jumpers on the adapter itself.

Pick/64+ systems can be configured with hardware that will conflict with these settings. Specifically Maxspeed serial adapters can conflict with shared adapter memory settings, and SCSI controllers can conflict with IRQ settings. Please review the contents of your system when installing PicLan. Also be sure to perform functional tests of all subsystems (including tape), after the PicLan installations to insure that conflicts are found before the system is placed into production.

Dedicated Serial Printers

Pick/64+ allows configuration of system with more serial adapters than licensed O/S ports.

Pick/64+ includes a feature that allows extra serial adapters (those above the number of licensed Pick O/S ports), to be used as output-only serial printers. When PicLan is loaded onto a Pick/64+ version 2.2 system, this is no-longer possible and all ports, either PicLan or serial, must have Pick O/S ports licensed for them.

Pick/64+ version 2.3 has changed the order in which ports are allocated and serial only ports are again available.


PicLan for Pick/64+ version 2.2 is not compatible with the PL-CONNECT verb.

8. Trouble Shooting

Instalation Problems

This paper discusses the methods that can be used to diagnose problems with PicLan. Most PicLan problems have a single simptom, the workstation is unable to communicate with the host. When this type of symptom occurs, the problem can be at the host, at the workstation, or the network itself. By using the techniques described you can more easily isolate the source of the problem. You should follow these proceedures before you call for technical support.

On the Pick Host


Check to see that the PL-LOAD program actually completed without any errors. If there were errors encountered during the PL-LOAD program, you must correct them before proceeding. Also, the PL-LOAD program can only be executed once each time the Pick system is booted. Always reboot the Pick host by powering down or pressing the hardware reset button when retrying the PL-LOAD program.


Execute PL-STAT (R) in the PIC-LAN account. You should see the name of your Pick host at the top with a TP of 07 (or 01 if you do not have a SERVER-PROCESS running).

Your system should display a "reasonable" node address that matches the adapter that you have installed. If you see all zeros or all FFFs, then the adapter is misconfigured.

You should not see any "ERRORS". If you see 'TRANSMIT TIMEOUTS" this indicates that either the adapter has an IRQ configuration problem, or that your network coax cable is disconnected or incorrectly wired or terminated. Adapter IRQ problems can be misconfiguration of the IRQ setting in the PL-CONFIGURE program and on the board, or it can be a conflict with another installed adapter.

NetWare / NetWare Lite / Personal NetWare


Server-based NetWare file servers can display a number of configuration error messages if the Pick system is mis-confugred. If you see "router addressing errors", this usually means that the Pick host is configured with the incorrect IPX network number. Unfortunately, the lack of these error messages is not an absolute indication that the Pick host is configured correctly.


Server-based NetWare network users can execute the Novell console command DISPLAY SERVERS. This command is entered at the Novell file-server console. You should see a list of all network servers of all types. The Pick host's name should be included in the list. If it is not, check the frame type and IPX network number settings on the Pick host.


Server-based NetWare network users can execute the Novell console command CONFIG. This command will display a configuration dump of the Novell file server. Included in this dump is the configuration of each LAN adapter along with it's frame type and IPX network number. You should verify that the Pick systems confuguration matches these numbers.


From DOS, without starting Windows, and after the network drivers have been loaded and without loading PL-DEV run PL-STAT. This program should report that the IPX driver is in use. It will also display the IPX network number for the network segment that the DOS system is connected to.


NVER is a Novell utility program that displays configuration information about a workstations drivers, including the frame type. You can use this information to verify the Pick system's configuration.

WFW / NDIS / Packet-Driver Networks


The PL-DEV program must be loaded under DOS for these networks to function. By including the /i option, you can check which low-level driver PL-DEV is using. You should see PL-DEV using DRV_EPKT. If PL-DEV is using another driver (most likely DRV_ENET) then the underlying NDIS or Packet-Driver configuration is incorrect.

WFW / NDIS Boot Messages

Watch the WFW or NDIS system boot carefully. Look for messages from the network adapter driver as well as the DIS_PKT.DOC MAC to DIS converter program. You should also see a message from the protocol manager of "The command completed successfully.". If you see a message "The protocol manager reported an incomplete binding." you have NDIS configured improperly (probably in the PROTOCOL.INI file).

Frame Types

Piclan requires that you use Ethernet-II frames under both Pick and DOS with NDIS and Packet-Driver networks.

Windows Issues

If PicLan works with WFW from DOS but does not work within Windows, check to make sure that WFW is actually using "real mode only" NDIS drivers (use Network Setup to check this). Also try deleting IPX/SPX support from the WFW Network Setup protocol list. If PicLan still does not work, try adding the line EMMExclude=A000-FFFF into the SYSTEM.INI file in the [386Enh] section. That forces Windows not to manage upper DOS memory.

Windows and PL-DEV

Most users should run PL-DEV prior to starting Windows. PL-DEV "virtualizes" PicLan network connections and signifigantly stabalizes the Windows environment for use with PicLan. If you do not load PL-DEV, you will be limited to a single DOS application (PL-TERM, PL-STAT, or PL-COPY only) in a single DOS box. You cannot run Windows PicLan applications (PLTW, PL-STATW, etc.) or run any third-party PicLan products. Also if you run PL-TERM in a Windows DOS box, be sure to check "background execution" or your PicLan connection can disappear if you switch away from the emulator to another Windows or DOS application. In addition, if you do run PL-TERM inside a DOS without PL-DEV, you are at the mercy of Windows virtual IPX provider. Older version of VIPX.386 (actually a Novell program) had bugs which would cause Windows crashes.

Troubleshooting Lost or Corrupted Connections

Nearly all occurances of intermittant or corrupted connections can be traced to conflicts between PicLan and memory managers or Microsoft Windows.

If you are experiencing problems with PicLan from DOS (not from DOS within Windows), try setting UseEMS=no and UseXMX=no in the PL-CFG.INI file. This will prevent PL-TERM from using extended or expanded memory for communications buffers. The only downside of this is that the number of sessions with a large screen size (such as 132x60) will be limited because you will run out of DOS memory. If this works, it means that your EMS and/or XMS memory manager is not compatible with PicLan's use of extended and expanded memory as a part of a network device driver.

If you are experiencing problems running PicLan from within Windows, first make sure that you are loading PL-DEV prior to starting Windows. If you still have problems, try adding the line EMMExclude=A000-FFFF in the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI file. This command will instruct Windows to not try and re-allocate high memory blocks which DOS and/or PL-DEV are already using.

If you experience problems with one PicLan application stealing port from other PicLan applications on the same system running under Windows, you may be hitting a known conflict between PicLan and QEMM. If you use QEMM 7.x and are running DOS-UP, there is a bug in DOS-UP that interferes with PL-DEV. You can correct this problem by not using DOS-UP with QEMM 7.x.

Troubleshooting the PicLan Server Process

The PicLan SERVER-PROCESS is a background job that is responsible for PicLan file transfer, printing, and other utility functions. This program begins when the PicLan PL-LOAD program initializes the PicLan network driver and runs until you shut your system down. The SERVER-PROCESS program is actually a large BASIC program (one main-line program with about 45 subroutines) that in turn uses Pick assembler and PicLan driver code helper functions.

Due to the nature of the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS, it is one of the more likely elements of PicLan that can malfunction. It is for this reason that the SERVER-PROCESS provides a number of functions to monitor its operation. These include logging function DISP-SERVER-ERRORS and DISP-SERVER-LOG along with the interactive program MONITOR-SERVER. These functions are described elsewhere in this readme file. If you experience problems with the SERVER-PROCESS, follow the instructions to execute the SERVER-PROCESS on a terminal or network connected port. This should help you determine the nature of the problem (PicLan bug, O/S corruption, printer assignment error, etc.) so that you can take steps to correct it.

9. PicLan Bug List

These technical notes discuss known bugs, documentation error, and possible work arounds for PicLan. You should review this document before calling technical support to see if any problem(s) you are experiencing are described here.


WFW 3.11 Driver Installation

The NDIS DOS client driver installation instructions are unclear in the printed documentation. In order to install PicLan, with Windows for Workgroups version 3.11, you must install NDIS 2.0 "real mode" drivers only. Do not install "real/protected mode" NDIS drivers as these are not compatible with PicLan.

SLAVE Printing Support

PicLan "slave" printing can use either the word "SLAVE" or "LOCAL" to specify a slave printer.

ROUTED Printing Support

The syntax for PL-ASSIGN and routed printing is:

    PL-ASSIGN q=PL-RPRN!imm:net:node:printer
'imm' and 'net' may be left blank if the destination is on the same network segment as the Pick host. 'imm' and 'node' must be 12-digit hex numbers including leading zeros. 'net' must be an 8-digit hex number including leading zeros. 'printer' is a 0 or 1 to indicate the primary or secondary printer as assigned with PL-SPRN.EXE. If the PL-ASSIGN statement is in an incorrect format, the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS will generate an error and the print job will be deleted.

PLSUB.DSG Documentation

The documentation for PLSUB.DSG when writing to a DOS file states the parameters for conversions and data in the incorrect order. The actual parameters are:



DOS Installation Failures

Some sites have reported that the install proceedure for installing the PicLan DOS support software can fail. This problem appears to occur only when installing the DOS support files directly to a network drive. If this occurs, first install the DOS support files to your local hard disk and then copy them to the desired network directory. The PicLan install program is simply a de-compression routine and does not configure any of the DOS files in any special manner. You can freely copy the DOS files from place to place.

Multiple SERVER-PROCESS Processes

It is possible on some platforms (specifically AP/Native) to have more than one copy of the PicLan SERVER-PROCESS running at a single time. This can happen by executing PL-START-SERVER when a SERVER-PROCESS is already running. This is very bad. You must reboot the system to recover from this situation.

Conflicts with Other MSC Products

If you install PicLan onto an R83 system with PC-Cache version 2.0 loaded, executing the CACHE-OFF verb will cause PicLan to stop functioning. Upgrade to PC-Cache version 2.1 to correct this.

If you install PicLan onto an R83 system with PC-Item-Locks installed, PicLan file transfer functions will fail and the SERVER-PROCESS will abort. There is no fix for this at the present time.

PC/OS - Mentor PRO

PicLan for ADDS PC/OS 3.0M has reached production status.

PicLan for SunRiver Mentro PRO 4.0 has reached production status.

PicLan for PC/OS requires PC/OS release 3.0M5 or later. PicLan for Mentor PRO requires Mentor PRO release 4.0B9 or later (4.0B6 does not function).

In order to use PicLan you will need to install Pick will additional PIBS allocated when you initially install Pick. This will probably require that you re-install PC/OS or Mentor PRO if you are loading PicLan onto an existing system.

This release of PicLan includes a number of limitations, particularily in regards to theuse of certain Mentor serial port control and query functions.

PicLan version also has the following known limitations when used with PC/OS 3.0M:

PicLan version has the following known limitation with both PC/OS 3.0M and Mentor PRO 4.0: The recommended hardware settings for this release are I/O 380, IRQ 10, and MEM DC00.

It is recommended that PicLan ports not be allocated on top of ports that have installed serial hardware. While this may function, it has not been tested and may result in system instabilities.

10. Pick to DOS Printing Issues

PicLan includes a number of methods to support network printing functions. Because of the nature of networks and particularily DOS, a discussion of network printing and possible problems is usually helpful in solving printing problems.

Printing with a DOS Services Gateway

If your network is built around server-based Novell NetWare, the DOS Services Gateway is the preferred method of supporting network printing. The DOS Services gateway is able to directly and bi-directionally interfact with NetWare print queues. The only disadvantages to the DOS Services Gateway are cost and the inconvenience of setting up a dedicated DSG system.

Printing with Personal NetWare

Personal NetWare does not support the generalized print queue structure that server-based Netware supports. As such, the PicLan DOS Services Gateway can not interact with Personal NetWare print queues directly. This limitation will be addressed in a future release of the PicLan product.

DOS to Pick printing with PL-PRN

PL-PRN is used to configure DOS to Pick printing. PL-PRN is actually a control program used in conjunction with PL-DEV. PL-DEV actually contains the PicLan printer support code. PL-DEV executes as a TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) program under DOS allowing you to execute other programs concurrently.

In theory, PL-PRN should provide very stable DOS to Pick printing functions from nearly any DOS application. PL-PRN should also be compatible with real, standard, and enhanced-mode Windows 3.0 and 3.1 applications either running as DOS applications within a Windows DOS box or printing from Windows application through the Windows print spooler.

If you are using PL-PRN, you can effect print performance and print behaviour in a number of ways.

Pick to DOS printing with PL-SPRN

PL-SPRN is used to configure Pick to DOS printing. PL-SPRN is actually a control program used in conjunction with PL-DEV. PL-SPRN is used in conjunction with the Pick PL-ASSIGN comand and either "slave" or "routed" printing to direct Pick printer output to a DOS attached printer.

PL-SPRN only supports parellel printers. PL-SPRN uses the PC BIOS INT 17 interface to drive printers. While it is possible to use a serial printer in conjunction with the DOS MODE command, performance in this scenario is likely to be very very slow.

PL-SPRN is designed to drive printers that are actually attached to your DOS workstation. It is not explicitly designed to drive printers that are actually controlled by DOS networking software.

Using PL-SPRN concurrently with DOS printer users

If you are printing to a PL-SPRN managed printer and the same DOS system prints to the same printer at the same time, either the print jobs will be mangled, or the DOS system will hang. If you need to run in this environment, you should setup the DOS system with PL-PRN to direct print jobs to the Pick system on one LPT device and then let PL-SPRN send the job back to the DOS system on a different LPT device. This way all print jobs go through the Pick spooler and multiple jobs will not try to print concurrently.

Using PL-SPRN in conjunction with NetWare CAPTURE

While not recommended, it is possible to use PL-SPRN in conjunction with the NetWare CAPTURE command to route print jobs from Pick to NetWare print queues. If you choose to operate in this environment, there are several things to avoid.

Windows utility programs. PL-SPRN protects against re-entrancy within DOS, but cannot protect against re-entrancy within NetWare utilities.

Remember that PicLan was not designed with using PL-SPRN and CAPTURE concurrently in mind. This environment is supposed to use a DSG. If you insist on using this print routing method, try to keep the DOS systems configuration and operation simple.

Using PL-SPRN in conjunction with other network CAPTURE functions

If you are using a non-NetWare DOS network,the discussion of PL-SPRN and NetWare CAPTURE above also applies to you. In your case, even less testing and code tuning has been done to help insure that the DOS system does not crash.