This comprises two patches for the ARC Science Dance
the Planets astronomy simulator (DOP).
One patch fixes the screen corruption problem on some PCs, and the other changes the zero '0' character for one which is less confusing with the letter 'O'. See screenshots below.
You can apply either or both patches.
Font address patch
DOP is a DOS-based program dating back to the 90's, but is
still one of the best simulators around. It will run in a
command window under Windows (XP & 7 work ok), but some
'modern' PCs use a non-standard location for the font table, so
when DOP tries to display certain characters such as the numbers
1 to 9 and a few punctuation symbols, you'll see corrupted or
scrambled characters on the screen. See screenshots below.
One solution is to run DOP under an emulator such as DOSBox,
but you can fix the problem at source by using this patch
program to change the font table address used by DOP.
The actual address of the font table is BIOS-dependent, so a few different addresses are built-in to the patcher for convenience. There's no harm trying them all until you find one which works; you'll just see more or less corruption in the date & time area. If you find none of them work, either contact me, or find the address manually using tools such as FindFont and tell the patcher to use that instead. Let me know if you want me to add your address to the built-in ones.
Note that DOSBox appears to use the standard location for the font table so if you try running a patched DOP within DOSBox, you may see similar corruption, in which case, just remove the patch.
The 'zero' patch adds a diagonal line to the shape for number
'0' so it doesn't get confused with the letter 'O'. The
screenshot shows the date & time and year '2011' before
& after this patch. Unlike the font address patch, this one
works with or without DOSBox.
Date/time and Menu before any patches...
After 'font address' patch...
After 'zero' patch...
Minimum system requirementsWindows 98SE and later, tested on Windows XP & Windows 7.
Although the patcher only runs in a command window, once it's patched, the Dance program can be run in either Windows or DOS.
V4.00 adds an option to specify your own font table address; you can find these addresses yourself using tools such as FindFont.
V4.02 handles the May variant of Dance 2.71 QED (thanks to Rick L for reporting).
The program is free, but if you pass it on, please keep the package intact.
InstallingThere is no 'installation' - the downloadable file is the main executable you run, so download & save it to the folder containing your Dance.exe file, e.g. C:\Dance
There are several options when running the patcher so nothing will happen if you just double-click it - it needs to be run from a command window. Starting one of these varies according to your version of Windows; some examples are:-
Run the patcher by typing:
This will display various options for appling/removing patches. For more information, type:
Contact me if you have any problems.
UninstallingJust delete the executable file you downloaded.
© Phil Tipping, 2019