PicLan Version Release Announcement

(C) Copyright 1990-1996 Modular Software Corporation. All rights reserved.
For more information about PicLan contact: sales@modsoft.com

PicLan Version is Now Available

June 9, 1996

PicLan version is currently being released for all platforms. This release is intended to be the last BETA before version 2.0 is declared production. All features intended for the 2.0 release are included in build

New Features

The following new feature have been added to version


PLTW32.EXE is a 32-bit version of the PLTW.EXE terminal emulator. The 32-bit version of this program should provide smoother performance in 32-bit environments (Windows NT and Windows 95 with 32-bit drivers). In particular, Windows 95 systems with slow CPUs should be much more responsive with PLTW32.EXE than with 16-bit emulators. PLTW32.EXE will NOT run under WIN32S.

Additional Testing

Version has undergone considerable testing in a number of areas including:

DSG Testing

The DSG functions for file import and export have been tested on a variety of platforms. Particular attention was paid to testing large import operations consisting of more than 100 Megabytes. Some bugs in this area were found. All three DSG programs (PL-TERM.EXE, PL-DSG.EXE, and PL-DSGW.EXE) now appear to be able to reliably import very large amounts of data and do so with multiple applications using them concurrently.

PCI Adapter Testing

The build has been tested using the following four network adapter running in the Pick host system: All of these adapter should also have worked with version, but some field reports showed problems with the SMC cards, so they were all retested. Testing was performed on a P133 system with an Intel MB (courtesy of Monolith).

Code Changes

The following code changes have been made to version

Visual Basic Applications

A number of PicLan Windows applications are actually Visual Basic applications that run in conjunction with DLL routines written in 'C'. These applications include: All of these programs have been upgraded to use Visual Basic version 4.0. This means that VBRUN200.DLL is no longer in use and has been replaced with VB40016.DLL (for 16-bit applications), and VB40032.DLL (for 32-bit applications). PLTW, PL-STATW, PL-DSGW, and PL_SETUP are all 16-bit applications. PLTW32 is a 32-bit application.

In addition to upgrading to Visual Basic version 4.0, a number of VBX dependencies within PicLan applications have been eliminated. PicLan programs no longer use the files COMMDLG.VBX, PLAN.VBX, and PLTVB.VBX. The functionality of PLAN.VBX is now included in PicLan VB code. The functionality of PLTVB.VBX has been moved to PLTWD.DLL (for 16-bit programs) and PLTW32D.DLL (for 32-bit programs).

Windows Support Files

With the switch to Visual Basic version 4, the number and names of Windows support files has also changed.

The following files are used with 16-bit Windows applications. All of these files are loaded into the Windows SYSTEM directory:

The following files are used with 32-bit Windows applications. All of these files are loaded into the Windows SYSTEM32 directory: All of these files are loaded onto your system by the SETUP.EXE program that you run to extract PicLan files. You should always use SETUP to install PicLan onto a Windows system because some files may not have been copied otherwise. The SETUP program also checks the revisions of these files against copies of these files that you may already have loaded. If SETUP finds that you have a newer version of any of these files, then SETUP will use the newer version instead of loading the version that was included with PicLan.

Bug Fixes

The following bugs have been fixed in version


These program now allow you to use the PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End keys.

NE2000 Ethernet Driver

The NE2000 Ethernet driver has been reorganized to prevent timing related system hangs and to improve performance. In particular, the overhead on the Pick host system has been drastically reduced. On some system, the amount of PicLan overhead could actually cause the host system to lose system time (this was particularly bad with Mentor PRO). The new driver does not appear to have any of these problems and extensive stress testing has failed to hang any Pick host systems either at Modular Software or at several dealers.

DEC 21041 PCI Boards

The PCI driver has been modified to correctly address PCI adapters that use the DEC 21041 Ethernet controller chip. PCI boards tested in-house at Modular Software currently include: 100 Megabit adapters based on the 21140 Ethernet controller chip have not been tested.

DSG Timeouts

A bug in the login of the DOS Services Gateway has been fixed that would cause intermittent "Command Timeout" errors when reading data from the DSG has been fixed. This bug was a timing related problem that would most likely occur with the following elements: The bug required that the DSG buffer a large amount of data on the way to the Pick host at the same time as the Pick host was busy with network traffic. If these conditions exactly filled the PicLan buffer to the connection completely just at the end of a transaction block, then the end-of-block delimiter character would be skipped, thus causing the timeout. The bug has been fixed so that network and system timing should no longer effect DSG operations.

The nature of this bug would manifest itself as "Command Timeouts". The problems appear worst when reading large files from a file stored locally on the DSG (network files are slower and thus do not exhibit the problems as often). Making the block size larger would make the timeouts occur less frequently.

PL-DSGW Heap Problems

PL-DSGW.EXE has been modified to avoid using repetitive global heap memory allocations which can fragment windows memory after the program has run for a large number of transaction.


A bug in the 32-bit client allocation routines has been fixed.

Print Job Collisions

A bug in PLSP.EVENT.CHECK.SPOOLER was discovered which would allow multiple print jobs to be spooled to a single destination simultaniously. In some environments, this could result in corrupted print jobs. This has been fixed.

Distribution Changes

Because of the changes to Visual Basic version 4.0, and the addition of PLTW32.EXE, the client distribution is now 4 diskettes (up from 2 diskettes) when shipped, and 4.4 Megabytes (up from 1.9 Megabytes) via download.

Because of the size of the downloadble file, it will now be posted in two parts. For version, these files are:

The first archive contains purely PicLan programs (1.9 Meg), and the second archive contains Microsoft redistributable components (2.5 Meg). Depending on your situation, you may not need to download both parts: