Chapter 1: Installing WinLissy 5.4 in W2K

First, I’ll talk about the software installation, as Lissy herself still is forced to rest tightened to a wooden palette in the dark dungeons of the company I am working for. I wonder if I may get her out of there soon as it was pitch dark there this evening when I wanted to take her home, but I couldn’t find any working light bulb, due to construction workers which seem to sabotage us, as we constantly are complaining about them throwing their garbage in our storage, covering everything with dust, stealing our -> Ameise (ant/MaYi)  and blocking the access with their tools and supplies.

The software, WinLissy Version 5.4 with a horribly long serial number (was it you, Briegel?) has been designed to run in Windows NT4, as Windows 2000 was just about to be released when that stuff was developed. Nevertheless,  I don’t want to bugger myself digging for a salvaged NT and install it in a virtual machine and then fighting with the dongle driver trying to access its counterpart. At least, for first experiments and if I may circumvent it. Must run in W2K, too, I think, VirtualBox will come later (I plan to control everything from on piece of hard ware). Somehow. Of course, there were some troubles to shoot, that’s why you may read here about my attempts.

As for reasons I (and possibly you, too) cannot understand, the software came with a dongle (a hardlock-e.y.e) which wants to be attached to a parallel port. Therefore (also for reasons of portability, in the literal sense), I decided to install it on an older notebook (Celeron 300, 384M RAM, W2KSP4 and – a PARALLEL PORT). The latter is not so easy to be found on a notebook, nowadays. Just wonder why a software that is designed to control a so easy to steal and or to copy >50kg robot needs to be protected with a dongle. You might want to steal the software and clone the robot then, probably. Or try to control one robot from 3 computers at the same time. Or you were so lucky to buy 5 robots but only one software from that company and they didn’t notice or believed you that 4 robots are a backup, just in case…. Or you’re the boss of the robot company and your in-laws own that dongle-firm. Or…

Anyway, as that notebook is in a pretty chaotic state (somehow, I managed not to re-install windows for >4 years although I had installed lots of experimental stuff there in the meanwhile)  software installation didn’t run as smoothly as I had expected. Actually, the installation itself ran smoothly, but the troubles started as soon as I started the program: “WinLissy could not be started”. “Incorrect Serial Number”. A WinLissy window opens, however. Playing some sort of demo/restricted mode. But I hadn’t had any chance to enter that lengthy serial number yet, in contrast to what the manual read: “After starting the software, you’ll be prompted for the serial number”. So what to do? It doesn’t like W2K?

Updating the dongle drivers didn’t help. Playing around with the dongle’s diagnostic tools didn’t, either. It even couldn’t find the dongle. The dongling is integrated in WinLissy, there is even no separate licence file. Playing around a bit and examining some files that came with WinLissy, I found that the program seems to expect a working COM1, which is not the case on that machine (as I said, it’s a bit screwed). The (really existing) COM port somehow got enumerated as COM3, there are lots of virtual Bluetooth COM ports and a USB2serial at COM9.  In .\Zinsser\Sampler\data, there is a file “MACHINE.INI” with a section [PORT] and the entry Port = COM1. I changed this to Port = COM9 and voilà, when starting “Sampler.exe”, it complains about an invalid Port COM3  and asks me for the serial number!. Bad programming, probably, and missing Lissy attached to the port.
Control experiment: I entered COM3 instead. The program didn’t start. So, let’s see what happens when Lissy gets connected!


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One Response to Chapter 1: Installing WinLissy 5.4 in W2K

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