Go to: Bottom - FAQ Index - EMME/2 Support Center Home Page

FAQ: EMTOOL Related Questions

This compilation of frequently asked questions is still under construction. It will get updated on an irregular basis, depending on the time I have available and the ideas that emerge from my support activities. This document has last been changed on August 22, 1996 .


1. General questions about Emtool

1.1. What is Emtool?

In order to support EMME/2 graphics on PCs and various workstations, a standard EMME/2 graphic protocol was defined and a generic graphic interface named Emtool was developed and ported to the different graphic environments. This allows the EMME/2 modules to stay independent of the particular graphic environment by simply generating Emtool compatible output which is then intercepted by the corresponding Emtool implementation and translated into the primitives available on the particular graphic environment.

1.2. What versions of Emtool are available?

Currently, the following Emtool implementations are available:

DOS version of Emtool. This version is based on the standard IBM PC Video BIOS function calls and the corresponding VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) SuperVGA extensions. On today's accelerated high resolution video boards, EMTOOL.EXE is mostly used with VESA SuperVGA modes.
Version of Emtool running under Microsoft Windows.
X-Windows implementation of Emtool running on all UNIX workstations supported by EMME/2, as well as on VAX/VMS.
Emtool implementation for Sun Microsystem's SunView windowing system.

1.3. What protocol is Emtool using?

EMME/2 was originally designed to work with stand-alone graphic terminals. As these were mostly Tektronix or Tektronix compatible terminals, the Emtool protocol includes the complete Tektronix 401x protocol and a large subset of the Tektronix 411x commands. For this reason, even if this is not its primary purpose, Emtool can also be used as a Tek emulator to run other programs which generate Tek 401x style graphic output.

2. EMTOOL.EXE - DOS Version

2.1. When should I install EMTOOL.EXE?

EMTOOL.EXE is a TSR program which must be installed before calling the EMME/2 modules under DOS. While it is of course possible to install EMTOOL.EXE manually each time before an EMME/2 session is started, it is certainly more convenient to install it automatically, using one of the following two possibilities:

2.2. Which VESA modes are supported by my graphic card?

When EMTOOL is in verbose mode and is called with an invalid VESA video mode, it will display a list of all currently available VESA modes. Since there is no VESA mode 999, the command
emtool -v -c999
will produce a listing of the type

VESA mode 0x999 not supported!
Supported VESA modes:
100 640x480x256
101 640x480x256
102 800x600x16
103 800x600x256
104 1024x768x16
105 1024x768x256
106 1280x1024x16
107 1280x1024x256
from which the mode with the desired resolution and color depth can be chosen.

If the list you get is empty even though the manual of your graphic card says that many VESA modes should be supported, this is likely due to a missing VESA driver. Check the graphic card manual for information where to find and on how to install the VESA SuperVGA drivers. If the driver is a TSR program, make sure to install it before EMTOOL.

2.3. Why do I get garbage text instead of network plots?

This is usually a sign that EMTOOL is not installed at all. Check carefully if a correct EMTOOL command is contained either in AUTOEXEC.BAT or E2START.BAT and verify that the installation is carried out correctly, i.e. does not just give an error message. Possible reasons for such errors include missing VESA SuperVGA driver, invalid VESA mode number or E2FIFO being installed in AUTOEXEC.BAT.

If you get garbage text even though you are sure that EMTOOL is installed correctly, this might be due to some other driver or TSR taking over video interrupt 10h or 29h, or using the Emtool interrupt 93h. The utility program E2INT can be called to list all interrupts currently intercepted by EMME/2 (you should see interrupts 9h, 10h, 16h, 29h and 93h listed). In some cases, especially when using non-compatible console drivers, it might be necessary to install the the EMCON.SYS (see section 7.1.1 of the EMME/2 User's Manual).

2.4. Why do I get some strange characters in text mode?

If EMME/2 works fine and you can generate graphics on the screen,i this indicates that EMTOOL is installed correctly. But if, when in text mode, the screen does not erase when entering a new module and you see funny characters (usually a "Venus" sign, i.e. a circle with a cross underneath), this usually indicates that you have not installed the ANSI.SYS driver in your CONFIG.SYS file. This way, ANSI escape sequences are not recognized. Putting the line "DEVICE=C:\DOS\ANSI.SYS" should solve the problem.

3. EmtoolW - Microsoft Windows Version

3.1. Why do I need E2FIFO?

E2FIFO is a TSR program which is needed to allow EMME/2 modules to communicate with EmtoolW. It installs two FIFO buffers (one for each direction) into a globally assigned chunk of memory, from which they can be accessed from the modules and from EmtoolW. E2FIFO must be installed before Windows is started. This is best done in AUTOEXEC.BAT (in Windows 95 this is actually the only way it can be done).

3.2. Why do I get a strange typeface when printing from EmtoolW?

When using the typeface Terminal (which is best readable on small Windows), some printer drivers behave strangely when using EmtoolW's Print Page command. Instead of displaying the characters in a normal fixed-width font, the Script plotter font is used (simulating some kind of handwriting). This seems to be due to a bug in the Font matching algorithms used by these drivers and is best corrected by changing the driver for one which does not have this problem. If this is not possible, removing the Script font with the font manager usually makes the printer use a more readable font, such as the Modern or Roman plotter fonts.

4. emtoolX - X-Windows Version

4.1. Why is my system so slow when I start emtoolX as an icon?

There was a small bug in emtoolX which was corrected in version 3.3 which occurred only when emtoolX was started in iconic form using the option -ic. In this case a tight polling loop in the start up code was executing continuously until the emtoolX window was opened for the first time. This used up a considerable part of the workstation's CPU time, so that the system performance was affected. The problem disappeared as soon as the emtoolX window was opened for the first time.

A a corrected version of emtoolX (version 3.3 or higher) is distributed starting with Release 8.1p/8.2. If you are using older versions of emtoolX, it is best to avoid using the option ic and always start up the program in normal mode.

Back to: Top - FAQ Index - EMME/2 Support Center Home Page

Copyright 1996. Heinz Spiess, EMME/2 Support Center, CH-2558 Aegerten, Switzerland
Last changed on Thu Aug 22 14:48:26 MET DST 1996