Installing Heavy Metal on Windows ME

We will be using the ActivePerl 5.6 environment for Windows by ActiveState.  You can purchase a CD from ActiveState for convenience containing their Perl environment, but ideally you can just download it for free.  The general installation instructions are on ActiveState's download page here.

So far, installing on Windows ME has been the smoothest of all the platforms. Go to the ActivePerl 5.6 Download Page, and select the "MSI Package" of ActivePerl

When you have completed the download, install it and reboot.  Note also that the Active State folks have run into some virus detection software detecting a false positive on one of the files in the package.  See the release notes for more detail, but you may also just delete the offending file if you'd prefer - it isn't needed for our purposes.

Reboot your system after installing, and then when it comes back open up a MS-DOS prompt window.  To make sure things worked ok, type:

perl -v

This should result in a version message being printed out.

Next, we need to install some additional perl packages that Heavy Metal relies on, as well as the Heavy Metal program itself.  First, download the following onto your desktop.  To do this, click your right mouse button on the following links and "Save target as:".  Be sure to save the files in a place you'll be able to find later.

bulletThe heavy metal program,
bulletThe Serial Port control package,

Unzip  It will create a folder on your desktop called SerialPort-0.19.  Open up a MS-DOS prompt window and "cd" into the new SerialPort-0.19 folder.  On most systems, this will involve typing:

bulletcd desktop
bulletcd  SerialPort-0.19

If you have trouble finding the directory, do a "Find File" searching for "Makefile.PL".  When you figure out where the file is, cd until you get into the same directory.  Do a "dir" once you get there to make sure, and you should see a file named "Makefile.PL".  Now, type the following:

bulletperl Makefile.PL

When you do the "Perl Makefile.PL" is will mention a test you can run, but at this point it's best to skip and and only run the tests later if we run into problems communicating through the serial port.

If you've gotten this far, you've put the hardest part behind you.  The rest of the packages we need to install will largely be done for us by ActivePerl's "ppm" utility.  "cd" back up to your desktop (cd c:\windows\desktop).  Now, type "ppm".  You should get the ppm interactive shell prompt.  Now type the following commands, waiting for one to complete before typing the next.  Note that you should have an active internet connection before you start this process, and depending on your connection speed this could take a few minutes.  In particular, "Tk" will take about 5 minutes to download and install using a 28k baud modem.  Note also that some of the commands are case-sensitive, so type exactly what you see here:

bulletset repository b
bulletinstall CHack
bulletinstall Finance-YahooQuote
bulletinstall Win32-API
bulletinstall Mail-Sender
bulletinstall Net-Telnet
bulletinstall Tk

That's it - you should be ready to roll.  Type:


Once the Heavy Metal window appears, drop the Config menu and set up your serial port parameters. Then, click in the small narrow window at the bottom and start typing.  You should see the characters appear in the small window, and when you hit return they should show up in the big window (and on your teletype machine, if it's hooked up).

Finally, if you're interested in surfing the web with your TTY or running the simulated AP newswire, you'll need to install the Lynx text-mode browser.  See installation instructions here, and how to surf here.

Of course, things do go wrong.  If you have any problems (even if you overcome them yourself), please contact me so that I can either help you through them or document the workaround for others.  Click here to reach me.

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