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Need advice and/or help

thegurutheguru Posts: 2Member
Hopefully I can explain this well enough that you can understand my dilemma. An employee for my company wrote a simple program almost 25 years ago, but subsequently died 5 years after creating it. It's a simple simulation program (about 150k total)and it has worked great for us over the years. The problem is that now we need to update some of the information in the program and no one knows how to do this. Is there a way to update this file or open it and make changes. I have searched for programs that can either covert it to C or maybe just decompile it, but I have no idea if any of these will do what I need them to. I guess I'm hoping that someone out there has tried something similar before and has a better answer/solution for me. I'll state one thing again, just so it's clear. My company DOES own this simulation, copywrite and all. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Comments

  • IDKIDK Posts: 1,784Member
    : Hopefully I can explain this well enough that you can understand my dilemma. An employee for my company wrote a simple program almost 25 years ago, but subsequently died 5 years after creating it. It's a simple simulation program (about 150k total)and it has worked great for us over the years. The problem is that now we need to update some of the information in the program and no one knows how to do this. Is there a way to update this file or open it and make changes. I have searched for programs that can either covert it to C or maybe just decompile it, but I have no idea if any of these will do what I need them to. I guess I'm hoping that someone out there has tried something similar before and has a better answer/solution for me. I'll state one thing again, just so it's clear. My company DOES own this simulation, copywrite and all. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
    :
    This Q doesn't seem related to QBASIC, but anyway...
    You could deassemble it and work with the assembler code,
    but then you will have to know assembler wich I assume you don't.

    Ask someone related to the programmer who made it, for the source.
    If you're lucky they have saved everything and you could get the source from them.

    What kind of values is it?
    Are they integer, or more presisly, do you think they are integer?
    If they are you could search the .exe for them and try to modify the places you get, see if it works, else make it work again and replace something else...

    If they are float, it could be done the same way, but it's a little harder...

    The one and only [b]Niklas Ulvinge[/b] [white]aka [b]IDK[/b][/white]

  • thegurutheguru Posts: 2Member
    Thank you Niklas for your last response,
    You are correct in that we don't have the source code. The creator of this simulation died very unexpectedly, and noone thought to save ANYTHING at the time it seems. I am a network engineer, not a programmer, so I am "out of my pond" on this one. I posted on this board because I assumed being almost 25 years old that it would have been written in BASIC or QBASIC, but I don't know that for sure. Is there a way to determine what WAS used? I'll try to explain what we are trying to do a little better. We want to update this old program by making it run on Win XP, giving it a pleasant GUI, and changing some of the formulas it uses to calculate it's information. Hopefully you can understand a little better now. I was hoping to find a way to either convert to a newer language and be able to use it that way, or at least to find some utility that would allow me to edit it the way it is.

    : This Q doesn't seem related to QBASIC, but anyway...
    : You could deassemble it and work with the assembler code,
    : but then you will have to know assembler wich I assume you don't.
    :
    : Ask someone related to the programmer who made it, for the source.
    : If you're lucky they have saved everything and you could get the source from them.
    :
    : What kind of values is it?
    : Are they integer, or more presisly, do you think they are integer?
    : If they are you could search the .exe for them and try to modify the places you get, see if it works, else make it work again and replace something else...
    :
    : If they are float, it could be done the same way, but it's a little harder...
    :
    : The one and only [b]Niklas Ulvinge[/b] [white]aka [b]IDK[/b][/white]
    :
    :

  • IDKIDK Posts: 1,784Member
    : Thank you Niklas for your last response,
    : You are correct in that we don't have the source code. The creator of this simulation died very unexpectedly, and noone thought to save ANYTHING at the time it seems. I am a network engineer, not a programmer, so I am "out of my pond" on this one. I posted on this board because I assumed being almost 25 years old that it would have been written in BASIC or QBASIC, but I don't know that for sure. Is there a way to determine what WAS used? I'll try to explain what we are trying to do a little better. We want to update this old program by making it run on Win XP, giving it a pleasant GUI, and changing some of the formulas it uses to calculate it's information. Hopefully you can understand a little better now. I was hoping to find a way to either convert to a newer language and be able to use it that way, or at least to find some utility that would allow me to edit it the way it is.


    [green]There exist no tool for converting executables to code in any language (except assembler)

    And there is almost no way to determine in wich language it was written. But since it is so old, and the compilers wasn't able to optimize as they do now, you could try to figure it out, but then you'll need to know a lot about the compilers that existed then...

    A normal program exist of the following: a mission, an UI, and you want to change both, and change the platform too.

    The easiest way (if you don't got the sourcecode) is to rewrite the program.

    This is done rather easy, if you know all the formulas and how the GUI looks like...
    Simply send the program to the programmer and he should know how to do it.

    In fact, if you got the formulas, can send me the program, and don't mind if it will be on the .NET platform (wich most computers with XP got) I could make it for you. I will have to look at it to be sure if I can do it. I'm a young programmer (15) and I got a week of school starting at next weekend.
    [/green]

    The one and only [b]Niklas Ulvinge[/b] [white]aka [b]IDK[/b][/white]

  • moneomoneo Posts: 39Member
    : : Thank you Niklas for your last response,
    : : You are correct in that we don't have the source code. The creator of this simulation died very unexpectedly, and noone thought to save ANYTHING at the time it seems. I am a network engineer, not a programmer, so I am "out of my pond" on this one. I posted on this board because I assumed being almost 25 years old that it would have been written in BASIC or QBASIC, but I don't know that for sure. Is there a way to determine what WAS used? I'll try to explain what we are trying to do a little better. We want to update this old program by making it run on Win XP, giving it a pleasant GUI, and changing some of the formulas it uses to calculate it's information. Hopefully you can understand a little better now. I was hoping to find a way to either convert to a newer language and be able to use it that way, or at least to find some utility that would allow me to edit it the way it is.
    :
    :
    : [green]There exist no tool for converting executables to code in any language (except assembler)
    :
    : And there is almost no way to determine in wich language it was written. But since it is so old, and the compilers wasn't able to optimize as they do now, you could try to figure it out, but then you'll need to know a lot about the compilers that existed then...
    :
    : A normal program exist of the following: a mission, an UI, and you want to change both, and change the platform too.
    :
    : The easiest way (if you don't got the sourcecode) is to rewrite the program.
    :
    : This is done rather easy, if you know all the formulas and how the GUI looks like...
    : Simply send the program to the programmer and he should know how to do it.
    :
    : In fact, if you got the formulas, can send me the program, and don't mind if it will be on the .NET platform (wich most computers with XP got) I could make it for you. I will have to look at it to be sure if I can do it. I'm a young programmer (15) and I got a week of school starting at next weekend.
    : [/green]
    :
    : The one and only [b]Niklas Ulvinge[/b] [white]aka [b]IDK[/b][/white]
    :
    : Hi,
    I would just like to reinforce what IDK said. The easiest way is to rewrite the program. With the current working version of the program as a model and some new requirements, one of your programmers (or an outside programming consultant) should have no trouble creating the new program using a language of your choice.

    Having 25 years of assembly language experience, I can tell you that the other approach is extremely tedious and would require a highly experienced assembly language programmer. The result would be a patched executable program that would inherit all the problems that you now have, that is, difficulty of incorporating any future changes.
    *****


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