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How to install Ace32 emulator with DOSBox.
It's very simple to set up AceXP a MSDOS emulator to run within DOSBox, a MSDOS environment on Windows 7 32/64 bit O/S. One of the features that Ace32 emulator has is the ability to spool an AceFORTH program as a text file to the Ace32 emulator. This allows the Forth programmer to use their favourite text editor to write Forth code. If you use Notepad++ or UltraEdit you might like to know that AceFORTH language highlighting is available.

First download Ace32XP and extract the emulator files to a convenient location, in our example we have extract the emulator files to the H:\ Drive and a folder call Ace32_Location, you can see the emulator files in the image below.
Ace32 - folder

Next, download and install DOSBox to the default install location.
It usually installs to C:\Program Files(86) on a Windows 64bit system. Once installed click on your windows Start button, then the DOSBox.exe icon. DOSBox will open two windows see the image below.

DOSBox when first run

As you can see in the image above, DOSBox opens a DOS emulated window and is showing the default drive a Z:\

We need to inform DOSBox the location of our MS DOS programs we would like to run, to do that we use the command mount. The command mount c h:\Ace32_Location will tell DOSBox to use the folder h:\Ace32_Location as the location for the emulated C: drive.

In the image above you can see the mount command highlighted in the fist red box, next I have switched to the mounted C:\ with the command c: as you can see in the second red box. In the image below I have used the DOS command DIR to list the contents of the folder.

All we now need to do is enter ace32xp to run the emulator. In the image below the Ace VLIST command has been executed.

You might be thinking is there a way to change the DOSBox configuration file to add the mount command and run Ace32xp from one click of an icon, and yes you can!

First find the Dos Box config file

Windows XP (these are hidden folders)

%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\DOSBox\dosbox-{version}.conf

Windows Vista & Windows 7

{system drive}:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\DOSBox\dosbox-{version}.conf

make a copy and save it to somewhere, we will use H:\Ace32xp_Location (where we first extracted the emulator files) as an example location with a good name such as dosbox-ace32xp.conf

Open your newly named file, dosbox-ace32xp.conf with a text editor and scroll down to the line [autoexec].

Next add this lines, or where ever you have your ace32xp emulator files

mount c: h:\Ace32_Location

And save the config file. Next we will create a new windows shortcut.

On you desktop right click mouse, from the menu select new, and then select shortcut.
A window will pop up asking you to browse to the location of the target file for the shortcut.
See image below

Next give the shortcut a name, DOSBox Ace32XP will do and the shortcut will finish.

Click on the shortcut to check that DOSBox will open and run, at this stage it will not load your new config file yet. It will use the one in the hidden folder.

If it runs fine we can now add our new config file location, close DOSBox. Next, Select the DOSBox shortcut we have just created, and click your right mouse button, at the bottom of the menu that pops up select properties and it should open like the image below.

We need to edit the TARGET section in the shortcut properties, its highlighted in the red box.

enter this line:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -conf "H:\Ace32_Location\dosbox-ace32xp.conf"

The important part is -conf "H:\Ace32_Location\dosbox-ace32xp.conf" which is the location of the new config file. Next click apply and OK. Remember to add the quotes " just like in the line above.
Your short cut will now load DOSBox and run Ace32XP.

To spool a text file of Forth code into the emulator, first write your FORTH code and save it to the emulators file location, in our example H:\Ace32_Location with the file name spool.txt. Next click on your DOSBox shortcut to run Ace32XP . Press F9 and the emulator will read the spool file. The FORTH code is spooled to the Ace's input buffer if there are any syntax errors it will not be entered correctly and you will have to debug your code and re-save your spool file. In the image below you can see the spool.txt highlight in the red box , also UltraEdit open with the same file.

We hope you have found this useful - happy forth coding!