Software spotlight: HESWARE Finance Manager 1.0

edited July 2017 in Software Spotlights
Finance Manager 1.0, released in 1984 by Human Engineered Software (HESWARE), is an easy to use home-oriented financial program. It can create checks and keep track of multiple account balances. It appears this program was also licensed and sold under the name "Peachtree Home Accountant". There were versions for both the Apple II and IBM PC.


What the application does is fairly unremarkable. It seems like a decent simple finance program that a home user might choose to use on an IBM PC or XT.

The problem is getting it to run!

Like most programs of the era, it is copy protected. The copy protection itself seems simple enough. Just a mis-sized sector. Yet the copy protection appears to fail inside both PCE and DOSBox-TC. I was able to make a copy using as little as Copy II PC that ran on a real generic XT clone. However, the software fails to run on a 286 or later, even from the original disk.

I doubt it is a CPU timing issue, because the clone in question has a 10MHZ NEC V20. But on the other hand it does have a genuine IBM floppy controller in it. When I get a chance I'll have to pull out my Compaq Portable, although I would expect that to work. I did try it on the Columbia Data Products 1600, it seems to get passed the protection but falls down and goes boom elsewhere.

Unfortunately, like most copy protections, it doesn't give any meaningful error message. In fact it just immediately exits back to dos. So it is hard to tell just looking at it if the copy protection is really the issue, or if there is some additional compatiblity problem.


In case you don't believe me, here it is running on a real PC!


  • Thanks for posting rare program.

    It works on PCE too.

    By the way, I wonder Disk 2 (Data Disk) is modified or untouched.
  • Unless I badly goofed, disk 2 should be untouched. As I recall the Kroflux dump showed all sectors as green. The contents are a bit odd, consisting of null files - but that seems to be how their starter database works. I also have a second "data disk/disk 2" with 100% identical contents.

    You got it to work in PCE? What configuration did you use?

    (oops, just realized I forgot the library link - added it to the main post)
  • Yes, I've tested it with 80188 CPU + 7x relative speed. (Speed is about 710% of original 4.77Mhz CPU clock.)

    I think you should convert image of disk 1 with option of pri (-s mfm-min-size 512).



  • Ok, that makes sense. It must be reading the sector as a 512 byte sector and looking for something at the end. I keep forgetting the PRI utility truncates what looks like unused data.

    So the commands:
    pfi track00.0.raw disk1.pfi
    pfi disk1.pfi -R 1 -r 500000 -p decode pri disk1.pri
    pri disk1.pri -s mfm-min-size 512 -p decode mfm disk1.psi -f -v
    Seem to create an image that works in PCE.

    Also BTW it looks like has the Apple II version. But I haven't had a chance to dig in to that.
  • This program has "Formaster Copylock" and can't be copied by Teledisk / ImageDisk

    (It is possible to copy by TC / KF / SCP / COPYIIPC)
  • SomeGuy wrote:
    Yet the copy protection appears to fail inside both PCE and DOSBox-TC.
    I am not sure what you did, but it works perfectly here. Just make sure that DOSBox-TC' cycles setting is below 500. 320 very roughly equivalent to a PC/XT. Formaster Copylock, the protection method used in the product, is indeed picky about system speed, and will fail on anything faster than a slow AT, as you found out yourself.

    And the nice thing about DOSBox-TC compared to is PCE that it will run the raw TC disk image without you manually having to tell the conversion utility what the keydisk check will be looking for. ;)

    According to the Formaster Serialization tag on track 40, cylinder 0, the disk was duplicated on May 31, 1984. :)
  • Thanks for pointing that out. Initially I did not believe speed was a factor (thought it was the disk controller) and just accepted the DOSBox defaults. Never got around to re-resting.

    Cranking the speed down now, and I see it does run directly from the TC dump.
  • DOSBox-TC emulates the Floppy Disk Controller 99%. The remaining 1% are:
    • It does not support reading a disk image at a different data rate than it was written. The only reason known to me for doing such a thing is reading an Amiga disk with two PC floppy disk drives, which requires reading the DD disk with a HD data rate to get all the bits, since you don't know the MFM framing in advance. (Boo-hoo.)
    • It does not support interrupting a write operation in-progress. This means you cannot write to a disk image using Copy II PC. (Who gives a f?)
    • It does not emulate the acceleration and deceleration of the drive motor. This means you cannot write a copy-protected disk using the Cop's Copylock II Demonstration Disk. (Reading and verifying Cop's-Copylock-II-protected-disks is of course supported, when supplying a proper disk image.)
    I suppose all of these could be emulated as well with sufficient investment of programming time, but those issues are way past the point of diminishing returns, if you take my meaning. Not that PCE allows any of these things, to my knowledge.

    DOSBox-TC does have the same limitations as regular DOSBox in terms of CPU speed accuracy. This means that a MUL instruction will take just as long as a simple MOV instruction, and that is why DOSBox-TC is likely to be more sensitive to the emulated speed setting in simple delay loops such as the one that Formaster Copylock uses than PCE or MAME.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file