Help for users of Apple Macintosh who want to run PQMethod under DOSBox.



For help with PQMethod itself, please refer to the file PQManual.htm. Users may  wish to locate it and keep it open in a browser window the first few times  they run the program. This "help4mac" file does not repeat the information in  the PQManual, but is concerned with issues such as special key combinations or  file format issues that Mac users may face in using PQMethod within DOSBox on  the Mac. 

1. Alternative Key Strokes

Since version 2.0, the rotation add-on program PQROT (contained in the PQMethod 2.35 package) has got a handy workaround for most problems with certain keys that do not exist on the Mac keyboard and for the F-keys that are typically bound to certain functions on the Mac. It consists in alternative keys or key stroke combination which you always find in the instructions on screen or in the dedicated help screens. For instance,  pressing F4 on the Mac often starts Dashboard (as usual) and PQMethod never receives the keystroke.  Now you can, instead of F4 hit  ESC first and then the 4, which does the same. Similarly, on Mac keyboards that do not have an END key, the alternative key combination ESC - e should work (if not, holding down the Command key while pressing the right arrow will do).


2. Full Screen Mode

Holding down Option and pressing Return will toggle the DOSBox (and PQMethod within it) in and out of full screen mode. On some systems this reportedly helps PQMethod receive key presses that didn't work otherwise.

3. File Translations

All input and output files in PQMethod are plain text files without any formatting.  At this very basic level of sharing data between computer systems there are nevertheless two compatibility issues. The first consists in the way characters, that is, the letters of various alphabets and some special characters, are encoded. The second compatibility issue refers to the definition of the newline symbol that is necessary to divide the stream of data into separate lines or paragraphs.

3.1 Character Encoding

If you are using PQMethod only with statements written in English and SortIDs (names or shortcuts for persons) without special letters, you can skip this section.

The code pages that are nowadays in use for encoding characters of the various alphabets differ from those used in the times of MS-DOS. There are (as far as I know) no differences for numbers and for the normal Latin letters used in the English language. But if you write a text with, e.g., German Umlaute like:   with a DOS program like the editor ed.com packaged with PQMethod, and later view it on the Mac with TextEdit you will see strange symbols instead of the correct letters.

The PQMethod results file (.lis) is written in English, except for the statements that are passed through without modifications from the statement file (.sta) to the output tables. Hence, when a Mac text program is used for viewing, editing, and printing the PQMethod results file, only the character encoding of the statements  may be critical. My recommendation therefore for entering the statements is not to use the DOS editor (ed.com) that can be invoked from within PQMethod, but to use Mac software like TextEdit.

3.2 Newline Characters

In DOS/Windows text files a line break, also known as newline, is a combination of two characters: a Carriage Return (CR) followed by a Line Feed (LF). In Unix text files a line break is a single character: the Line Feed (LF). In Mac text files, prior to Mac OS X, a line break was single Carriage Return (CR) character. Nowadays Mac OS uses Unix style (LF) line breaks.

There are various versions of a pair of tools, unix2dos and dos2unix, for converting text files in either direction. Erwin Waterlander's set of Dos2Unix / Unix2Dos  tools contains also the option of character code conversion.

Many text-file processing programs of both platforms, DOS/Windows and Mac OS X, have no problem reading text files from the other system. This is the case with the PQMethod main program. Therefore, a statement file (.sta) that was created or edited with the Mac TextEdit, need not be converted. However, if you want to manually edit the data file (.dat) with TextEdit, it is necessary to translate it to the DOS/Windows format afterwards because the PQROT plug-in program  that reads the SortIds from this file cannot cope with the Unix style format. Instead of downloading an extra tool, the file conversion can also be done with the DOS editor, ed.com, that is contained already in the PQMethod package:

For loading your data file in the editor, type

ed project.dat

at the c:\PQMETHOD\PROJECTS> command prompt, where "project" is the name of your project. Next hit F2 for saving the file again, and Alt/x (= Option together with X) for exiting ed.com, and the file is saved in the DOS/Windows type format.

The following section is outdated, perhaps some time somebody rewrites it to work with the current  PQMethod for Windows version

4. Making a "QSTICK" USB Installation Usable on Both Mac and Windows

It is assumed that you have installed PQMethod with DOSBox  on your Mac already.
  1. After plugging in the USB flash drive change its name to QSTICK

  2. Download and unzip the pqm220win.zip,  and copy (drag & drop) the resulting folder PQMethod to your QSTICK drive. 

  3. Copy or move the PQMethod220_DosBox.dmg to the QSTICK , double-click it for  changing its content:

    1. Open the file dosbox.conf with Textedit, and search for the command
          mount c ../.. 
      and replace this command by
          mount c /Volumes/QSTICK 

    2. For avoiding duplicate copies you should remove all files outside the DOSBox folder that are also in the PQMethod folder of the Windows version. If you have created new project files already don't forget to copy them  to the PQMethod/projects folder of the Windows version. 
Using the QSTICK on a Mac computer, the RunPQMethod icon can be used to start DOSBox with PQMethod. On a Windows PC, you must locate and double-click the DOSBox.exe in the DOSBox subfolder.





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Peter Schmolck <Peter@schmolck.org> 2014-September-01