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Protel Autotrax
What is Autotrax?
What is the Purpose of this Site?
Installation - Tasks 1 and 2
Installation - Tasks 3 and 4
Installation - Task 5
Installation - Task 6
How it Works
The Resizing Problem

Let's Design a Circuit
Now Draw It
Place Components
Adding the Tracks

Aston Home

Task Number 5

Download the DirectX Driver DLL from me here:  Richard's Driver (News: Updated 25th October 2015 to stop crashing on resizing and occasional crash on arc drawing)
Download the Autotrax Driver from me here:  Richard's other bit.

Copy them to the same directory where you put the TRAXEDIT files.

Now, when you run Traxedit.exe, it will load up with a display the same size as the Windows 2000 client area.  Wait!!!  I have to tell you some things first:

1. It will load up and then after about a second, the screen will go white except for a corner.  DON'T PANIC!!  I don't know why it does that but it doesn't matter.  As soon as it re-draws, it will be fine.

2. If you have Mouse Integration on, then the mouse will do weird things.  Press (right-ctrl)-i.  That's the right-hand Ctrl key simultaneously with the "i" key.  The right-ctrl is called the host key.  When you click a dialogue box will pop up.  Click "Capture" and the mouse will stay on the Windows 2000 screen.  Press the host key to release it again.

3. It still isn't working right because you now have to hide the Windows mouse pointer.  Go to near the top left corner and right-click.  A sort-of ghost of the DOS window will appear underneath it.  When you right-click the spectral caption bar, select "Hide Mouse Pointer" and then clicking the left button should give you the menu.  Select Zoom->All
to refresh the screen.  You might have to hit escape a couple of times to get past the File Load bit.

In summary: Capture the mouse.  Hide the mouse pointer.

If the mouse isn't moving, close the program and re-start.  Instead of clicking "Hide Mouse Pointer", click "Properties".  Unclick "Quick Edit Mode" and "Insert Mode".  Save for all future invocations.  That seems to fix it.

Technical Notes for Future Reference...

DirectX is giving us access to the screen and essentially we are scribbling all over what's already on it.  The DOS command window that's invoking Autotrax is in the foreground but it looks like it isn't because of our scribbling.  That's why it gets the mouse and keyboard input messages.  Try Alt-tabbing.  You get two icons, one a little DOS command window and the other a little Windows logo.  It's the command window that's in charge.  It doesn't always tab back happily.  It is sometimes necessary to shut down and re-start Autotrax.

Re-sizing the Windows 2000 window causes the driver to fail.  The problem is that it doesn't work properly because in 1992 Autotrax couldn't have forseen working in a resizable window.  The status text moves but the status panel doesn't.  It won't fall over but it will not work quite as it should.  Re-start Autotrax to refresh the screen.  

I might get round to fixing this sometime but it would only be partly successful anyway.  The problem is shutting down DirectDraw and re-starting it within the framework I adopted for the coding.  I've basically shot myself in the proverbial...

The memory is a problem.  If you try to load Bigdemo.pcb, it will be incomplete.  Solution to follow.  Stay tooned.