Running 'old' serial program

hi! i have an old mobile program that runs on comm port(serial), its been running fine until i upgrade my old PC to a new Pentium 4. I have heard of this issue before from people saying the new hardware is 'too fast' for the program and need to install another program to 'slow down'

i have double check on everything - OS(both Windows 98SE), software settings, hardware settings(BAUD RATE, etc) and both is exactly the same. Please help me run this program,

thank you,
abokaAsked:
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abokaAuthor Commented:
i found some info here -
'http://www.gsmhosting.com/vbb/archive/index.php/t-34318.html' that talk about problem with the connecting cables, but the old PC got no issue running them

and the weird thing is, it will work in Safe Mode...... What is load in Normal mode that cause the issue!??? As its not possible to work in Safe Mode for my other tasks

thank you,
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ridCommented:
Check in autostart and in registry what other programs/processes are started at boot time. Kill all unnecessary ones.

If you have some kind of semi-intelligent device on the serial port, you could try a conversation with it using Hyperterminal. If you can't get that to work, you may have to do a thorough hardware test of your COM ports.
/RID
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nobusCommented:
did you try running it in compatibility mode ? right click the exe file,select properties>compatibility tab, check run this program in compatitbility mode
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to rid-
Check in autostart and in registry what other programs/processes are started at boot time. Kill all unnecessary ones.
- I don't think theres any un-necessary application as its a clean installed machine

If you have some kind of semi-intelligent device on the serial port, you could try a conversation with it using Hyperterminal. If you can't get that to work, you may have to do a thorough hardware test of your COM ports.
- I don't have much experience with this, could you guide me in details?


to nobus-
It is a Windows 98SE so theres no compabitlity option :(

thank you,
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ridCommented:
Re serial port testing:
If you have a device like a modem or something like that you can hook it up to the COM port and run Hyperterminal, whic is included in win9X. A modem should respond to AT commands and if you can "talk" with a modem, the port is probably fine.

I'm not sure bout what you are using on the COM port with this program you mention, but sometimes serial devices have the ability to respond to simple commnads through a terminal program.

Otherwise I can only suggest you set the baud rate to whatever is specified and then try different settings for stop bit, parity and flow control (hardware, XOn/XOff etc) and see if you can get it to work. The baud rate is not meant to vary with processor speed, it is supposed to be set to match the requirements of the equipment you hook up to the COM port. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to use a modem on a modern, fast machine.

Check your internet/network settings so there is no odd setup like windows assumint there is a modem for internet access or something.
/RID
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abokaAuthor Commented:
If you have a device like a modem or something like that you can hook it up to the COM port and run Hyperterminal, whic is included in win9X. A modem should respond to AT commands and if you can "talk" with a modem, the port is probably fine.
- I don't have a working serial modem but i have confirm the Com Port is working as i could run another similar program with no issue

Otherwise I can only suggest you set the baud rate to whatever is specified and then try different settings for stop bit, parity and flow control (hardware, XOn/XOff etc) and see if you can get it to work. The baud rate is not meant to vary with processor speed, it is supposed to be set to match the requirements of the equipment you hook up to the COM port. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to use a modem on a modern, fast machine.
- The baud rate, etc(relate to the modem) settings is exactly the same with the old machine. Have try to change to lower and greater value and Hardware flow but none seems to be working

Check your internet/network settings so there is no odd setup like windows assumint there is a modem for internet access or something.
- The PC do not have any modem installed

regards,
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abokaAuthor Commented:
Forgot to mention its an old '.com' DOS program
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ridCommented:
This could be a problem with the software versus the actual hardware... If the program talks to the COM port using the I/O address, say 3F8hex, instead of calling it COM1, and the port is in actual fact at another address, there will be problems...; likewise if there is a discrepancy with the IRQ line. So, compare the settings in BIOS setup for serial ports "1" and "2" between old and new machine and make sure they match I/O address and IRQ line. Manu older motherboards/BIOS's used the old default values for I/O and IRQ, while newer use some kind of "plug and Pray" autmated resources assignment. You may have to set the BIOS in the new machine to use "Legacy" settings for the serial ports and make sure they are reasonable (i.e., using the "classic" I/O address and IRQ lines).
/RID
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
what is the program?
what does it do?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to rid-
Make sense, but have to dig in there and get me hand dirty. let you know

to irwinpks-
its a very old mobile phone software - 'nk_calc.com'. if you are into mobile phone software you must heard of it, as its a common software

first i try to install it on XP Pro with compatibility mode, but its not working, thats why i re-install it onto another Windows 98SE

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
How about booting the system up in "Windows 98 Command Prompt Only"

When the computer starts and as soon as you see the text

"Starting Windows 98"

press the F8 key.. you will have a list of options, choose the afformentioned "Windows 98 Command Prompt Only"

Then run your software
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_Commented:
The only other thing I can think of:
is that in Safe Mode, Windows uses "generic drivers" for the motherboard, and in Normal Mode it uses the "correct drivers" for the mobo.

I am not sure Why that would cause a problem, but it is the only thing I can think of that has not been mentioned yet.
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_Commented:
forgot:
Are you using the latest mobo drivers for the mobo?
Can you uninstall the mobo drivers and make W98 use its default "generic drivers"?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to irwinpks-
I did not try that as i need it to run in Normal Windows

to coral74-
How could i do that and know im running Windows 98 generic mobo driver?

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
if it is a DOS program.. then running outside of Windows should be primary
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abokaAuthor Commented:
ro irwinpks-
i don't really understand what you mean by that, but i want it to run inside a Normal mode is bcoz i need other program to run at the same time and they run inside Normal mode

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Well...let's see if it works in stand alone without Windows, at least determine if it functions without anything that could possibly compound the issue making it hard to troubleshoot... can you do that?

Boot in to COMMAND PROMPT ONLY
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to irwinpks-
have tried in COMMAND PROMPT ONLY and heres the result - 'Unable to enter 32-bit DPMI ! Run from Windows or other 32-bit DPMI host'

got any clue?

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Yes....the application does require Windows.  I just had to confirm that if it was a full blown DOS application or that it needs the Windows OS.

Being that we have no clue what this program is like, painting a picture requires attempting several avenues.









is this program available in the public domain, (so that we can actually view it?)
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abokaAuthor Commented:
as the progrm is not mine or something, pls try to find a download version by keying 'download nk_calc.com" on your search engine

im sorry as i could't provide with the original verison i have as the program is not with me now

regards,
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_Commented:
>> know im running Windows 98 generic mobo driver <<
Usually looking through Device Manager will tell you. What does the Properties for Com1 <driver tab> say?
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
does the Nk_calc program phones?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
Microsoft
4-23-1999
So i guess its using Windows generic driver

to irwinpks-
yeah, its to program Mobile phones

FYI - the com port does work as when i use another similar software thru the same - com port 1, it works perfectly.
- and i could post the program to anyone thats interest to look at it
- Plus i don't mind if anyone could make it work inside Windows XP as i could simply reformat and install with the new OS

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
I'll look at it...tell me where I can find it.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
I believe we could find and download from some place on the internet, but im not sure if its the same version, etc as mine. Could i email them to you?

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
to be fair to the other experts here.. you need to have it available to all.

How big is the file?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
it have couple files in all and the combine size is around 12KB. I don't mind posting to anyone thats interested, but i don't have a public server, so what do you suggest?

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Register on my message board (free)

http://www.superman808.com

Then click on the following link

http://www.ctrlaltdel-usa.net/yabb_2_1_superman/YaBB.pl?board=Experts

post a message and attach your files in .zip format

Come back to EE, and let me know when you are done.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
oh yeah.. in the message title label it

aboka - Serial program - Q_21825062
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abokaAuthor Commented:
hi! hv done what you suggest

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
got it...reviewing...be right back
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
I'm not able to get in at all as I have XP.. but I do have a Windows 98 system at my office.but that is 2 days away if you don't mind waiting till Monday.

Since the program works in SAFE mode, then the configuration of nk_calc is OK.

However, once Windows 98 runs, then the software doesn't work...this could be due to Windows taking full control of the communications port..

So I need more information from you..

what are the communication settings that are in nk_calc?

also,

do you have a modem? If so, do you use it? If not, REMOVE it

While in Windows, go to DEVICE MANAGER and report back your COM PORT settings.
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_Commented:
>> So i guess its using Windows generic driver <<    Looks like it. That's the same as mine (W98SE)

Something else to look at, from START > RUN  type in MSINFO32 and click OK. Click the PLUS SIGN in front of HARDWARE RESOURCES and click on IRQ, and see if anything else is trying to share IRQ 4

Something is definitly not playing nice, somewhere.  : /
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to irwinpks-
what are the communication settings that are in nk_calc?
- Theres no settings for nk_calc except running the BAT file and select which COM port we want to use

do you have a modem? If so, do you use it? If not, REMOVE it
- The new machine do not have modem install, at least now. But it has a built-in LAN

While in Windows, go to DEVICE MANAGER and report back your COM PORT settings.
- COM PORT 1
- Exists in all hardware checked
- 9600, 8, NONE, 1, XON/XOFF
- Advance -> Use FIFO checked

to coral47-
IRQ4 is only for COM1

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
"Theres no settings for nk_calc except running the BAT file and select which COM port we want to use"
and which COM port is that?

In Windows, what is your COM port address?


Below is reference (don't use until I mention)
Userport
http://www.dexter.ind.br/download/UserPort.zip

Userport Documentation
http://www.vvm.com/~darkwing/PDF/UserPort.pdf
http://students.sabanciuniv.edu/~nusrettin/index_files/Archive_files/ParPortXP_files/ParallelActivation.pdf




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abokaAuthor Commented:
I am using COM PORT 1 as all new machine only have a single com port. And im not sure if this is what you are asking(COM PORT Address) -

Use automatic settings checked
Input/Output Range 03F8 - 03FF
Interrupt Request 04

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
Yes.. that is what I'm looking for to confirm you Win98 settings..

go back into the nk_calc and see if the COM1 settings have the SAME address & IRQ
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abokaAuthor Commented:
like i mention earlier, theres no setting for nk_Calc. but..... I do another testing after posting my last msg using COM PORT 2(selecting COM PORT 2 from setup.bat) , and it respond.....

but im still not sure if its working 100% as i don't have the hardware with me now for testing - will arrange tommorow. in the meantime, how could i know for sure which COM PORT is Windows(the Mobo) is using?

note - i use COM 1 all the time but i use COM 2 to test before but it did not respond!!??

thank you,
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abokaAuthor Commented:
note - i use COM 1 all the time but i use COM 2 to test before but it did not respond!!??
- It means i have tried with all the ports before, but none respond until now using COM PORT 2
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
how about going into the BIOS, and changing the COM port selection..

FORCE the settings rather and having it set to AUTO

COM1
IRQ4
3F8


OR

COM2
IRQ3
2F8
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abokaAuthor Commented:
i will keep it as ref for now. the most important now is getting the hardware to test it out as the program now is responding. will keep you ppl posted

is the value you post specifically assign only to those ports? what im worry is, it works now bcoz im not running any other program - other program refer to other mobile program that use COM PORT. But i only run them one at a time - quitting before running another one

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
you can have multiple programs access the same port to OUTPUT.. but if they need to run exclusively, then you will be stuck.  The modem is an example..but since you don't have one, you don't have to worry about it.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
good to hear that. will keep you guys update ;) wish me luck!

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
cool.
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_Commented:
Glad to hear something good.   : )
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abokaAuthor Commented:
not good news guys :( I have confuse myself thinking that the program did respond and will work by selecting COM PORT 2....

I have confirm that the machine COM PORT number is 1 and it works fine as i test using another similar program selecting COM PORT 1 and it run smoothly

thank you,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
ok.. so now you need hardware to attach to COM1 to confirm? (or was I missing something?)
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abokaAuthor Commented:
we don't really need a hardware to test, but will need one if need to confirm if its works 100%. but now making it 'respond' is the first priority

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@aboka...ok I'm confused now, I think it was the last few comments that did so.. could you please clarify what state/status we are in?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
sorry to confuse you ppl. i have mistakenly thought choosing COM PORT 2 with setup.bat is working since it respond. But its not, as we need to choose COM PORT 1 as the machine only have one COM PORT 1. so now we are back to square one finding ways to make the nk_calc work

fyi - 'respond' means the program nk_calc will gives an error 'bad connection' when we press F1 instead of staying idle

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
looks like I need to get an actual Windows 98 to run...
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abokaAuthor Commented:
..... waiting for some gud news ~
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to irwinpks-
you need a new machine like P4 and new mobo as the program run fine on 'old machine'(PIII - couple years old)

cheers,
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ridCommented:
If there is only one COM port (physically), DOS and windows will call it COM1. The existence and settings for COM and LPT ports can be checked with the "mode" command (at the command line prompt).
/RID
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to rid-
thanks for the info. seeing your message remind me to check on the BIOS.... will post back with results in a while

cheers,
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abokaAuthor Commented:
i have look in the BIOS and have also change the COM PORT 1 default AUTO to 3F8/IRQ4 but nothings change. I don't know if this is helpful, but heres some extra settings i note down -

Boot to OS/2 - NO
IOAPIC Function - Enabled
Execute Bit Support - Disabled
Intel(R) SpeedStep(tm) tech - Enabled
Set Limit CPUID Maxval to 3 - Disabled
PCI Master 0 WS Write - Enabled
PCI Delay Transaction - Enabled

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
One thing that we didn't attemp was changing the COM port configuration. You mentioned baud rate.. how about .

data bit

parirty

stop bit?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
i didn't change any settings, just use default as it match the orginal settings that works. so you want me to try? if yes, what should be change and what value?

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
are there any options in the NK-Calc to do this?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
nope, nothing in there. the only settings is the COM PORT from 1 to 4 done with 'setup.bat'

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
do you have a reference to a manual?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
nope :( have u manage to get to your Win 98 machine?

regards,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
It's going to be alot of work.. as I have to repartion a system, then fully install Windows 98... depending on what's going on in the office will determine when I can finish.  I attempted today..but too many things going on.  So if you don't mind the wait, realistically it may be several days more before that happens

If we can get a hold of a manual.. that would be helpful, rather than guessing on what settings do what.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
well, theres nothing much now except #1 - try to post to some handphone forum, #2 - try fiddle with all the settings one-by-one(this most daunting~!!), #3 - wait for you(or a miracle, etc...)....

will update if i got anything new

cheers,
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_Commented:
I don't know if it has anything to do with the problem, but I remember some people were having trouble running W98 on systems faster than 2.?GHz. Random problems. And I can't find it now. : /

Have you tryed installing the patches and updates for W98SE?
This all in one package is nice. I downloaded it and burned it to cd:
The author's latest download is version 2.0.1.
http://exuberant.ms11.net/98sesp.html

To view the full history of these updates, go here:
http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=30818
http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=46399
http://exuberant.ms11.net/


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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
thanks for the recommendation, is downloading and will try to install them and test tommorow if reach home early

cheers,
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
have install the update, and i only select 'main', but nothings improve.. :(

anyone got anymore ideas!?
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_Commented:
Not at the moment. As far as I can tell, it should be working.

Did you make a Shortcut on the Desktop and Right Click it, then Properties, and play with the settings under the tabs?
The Screen > Performance check boxes, and the settings under the Memory tab?
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abokaAuthor Commented:
Well, i don't know about Windows 98, but i have manage to make it respond in XP Pro. It will respond when we start the program with 'setup.bat' and not 'nk_calc.com' as it will need to delete the 'nk_calc.cfg' file first.

i have open up the 'nk_calc.cfg' and it only has couple weird characters, now i suspect it actually runs on XP, but the the way it save the 'character' between Windows 98 and XP is tottally different so making it not reading and hang

Fyi - i do the test on another similar hardware machine running XP Pro. With no compatibility mode selected

p/s - to coral47 - did you try downloading the program and test it out?

cheers,
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_Commented:
I haven't yet. I am limited to my online time, and have been swamped with things to get done.
It's on my list for when I get a couple of minutes.
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_Commented:
OK I tryed it. Seems to run OK. Just says "Bad Connection" when I press F1-2-3.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
could you tell me the details on how you run them? and your hardware and OS. Plus is it 'working' everytime or only the first time?

cheers,
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_Commented:
>> how you run them <<  So far, just double click the .BAT/.COM files in Explorer. They pop up in a DOS box, and when I push one of the 3 F keys, it says "bad connection" at the bottom. The first time I ran setup.bat "as stated on irwinpks site", I had the Option to set Com port, and I set to Com1.
Worked the same on about 6-8 tries. 3 times with just the F1, then I noticed it had F2 and F3 options and did it using those.

AMD 750 SlotA on a FIC SD-11 mobo with 256meg PC-133 SDRAM
3 IDE drives (2 HD, 1 CDROM), 1 SCSI HD on PCI card.
Voodoo 550 APG video card (2x I think).
56K modem.

Windows 98SE (no Service Pack on this one yet)
IE5.5
AVG anti-virus (free)
ZoneAlarm Firewall (free)
with Roxio 5 Plat., Diamond Video control, and sound volume and mixer also on the Task Bar (bottom right) with them.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
thanks for the info, but i guess it works for you because your hardware setup is 'old'. Like we mention earlier in my post, the program will not work if its run on a new P4 machine and work fine otherwise

regards,
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_Commented:
Looks that way. Probably something about the fast FSB it doesn't like. A timing issue?
But you said it works in Safe Mode. Anyway you can add "wait states" or "clock cycles" to the PCI bus in the BIOS? (I'm just thinking out loud).
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@aboka...didn't forget you...been out on a business trip....will return to this on Monday.... I managed to load up Partition Magic on one of my systems..but the next step is Win 98.. :-(
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abokaAuthor Commented:
to coral47-
i can't find the feature in my bios....

to irwinpks-
hi! nice to see you back ;) did you follow all the msg about it runs on XP Pro now?

thanks,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
yeah...I did, and if that is good with you, then I can relax on my Windows 98 as I'm having a little difficulty with the dual boot system.
:-(

I'll wait for coral47 to get back to us
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_Commented:
I'm stumped.  : /

The fact that it works in XP Pro, and Safe Mode on W98, makes me think it a problem with the DOS program having trouble with W98 com drivers running too fast in Normal Mode. And I'm not sure how to make the com drivers wait longer to hear from the DOS program.  : /
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@coral47...I think that something is utilizing the COM port which does let the DOS program access.
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_Commented:
Yes. That's possible.
But the only thing I can think of that has not been mentioned, is a serial mouse.
A clean install should not have anything using Com1.

Then again, I have a list of weird things W98 has done, that are still unsolved.   : D
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abokaAuthor Commented:
coral47 -
you mention that it works for XP Pro, does it runs 'normally' or you need to run the 'setup.bat' everytime resetting(deleting) the 'del c:\nk_calc.cfg'?

as mine need to start using the setup.bat everytime or else it will not work. if you do not need to, pls tell us how you do it - settings, etc

thank you,
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_Commented:
Sorry, I don't use any flavor of XP. I was just repeating that you said it worked on Pro. I misunderstood the part where you mentioned the .cfg file problem.

FWIW: when I open the .cfg file in Wordpad, I get - DK and 5 squares (meaning they are not ascii characters).
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abokaAuthor Commented:
more bad news guys.... i thought it works in XP Pro when it respond, but it did not. i test with the hardware yesterday and it does not work :(

anyone got anymore suggestions?

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_Commented:
: /
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
my brain is about to explode...
:-(
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abokaAuthor Commented:
well, i have almost giveup this one. anyone got any suggestions?

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
hey aboka...couldn't get that Windows 98 machine up and running for ya'...just not working.  Hmmm...the major thing that is halting us, is that this software is really not general use, and most of the documentation is either obscure, or not published.  I'm sure you're realizing that.

perhaps new blood of Experts to inject some life or at least spark something up.  Can you post a 20pt pointer question(s) in the Windows 98 & Windows XP TA?

This will help as the question is buried and 6 weeks old.  Posting in the Windows 98 & XP topic areas will draw those experts here. Not to take away from all the Experts that are already here...we've pretty much bottomed out of ideas.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
oh yeah...and bumping up the points would surely help as this question is quite meaty.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
okie, sounds like a good idea. will do that when im home and free later

cheers,
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abokaAuthor Commented:
well, the guy that owns the PC we are trying to fix has call it off - ask me to install XP Pro even thou the program is not working for him. i ask him to try to buy me the hardware so we could continue this. give me sometimes and i will post here how it goes

cheers,
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
yeah...let us know.
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abokaAuthor Commented:
well, guys, i will close this QA now and award the points. as the guy that needs this, haven't reply me and i don't think he would soon. the reason is hes using 2 pc now, one XP and one 98SE.....
anyhow, i appreicated of all the times and effort although we did not successfully find the 'fix'. thanks

cheers,
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )

>> as the guy that needs this... <<   Yeap. That's life in the big city.   ; )
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
hmmm....well, at least my brain wasn't going to explode..

Thank you!
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