Using Puff 2.1 with Windows 95, 98, NT & 2000 & XP

To get around the limitations of the native MS-DOS emulation built into Windows XP, the group of Prof. Gedney at the University of Kentucky has found that Puff can be run under an alternate, superior DOS emulator called DOSBox. This allows, for example, to run Puff in a regular window, to take screenshots, or to speed up simulations.
DOSBox can be installed from the DOSBox website. After installation, Puff can be run inside DOSBox by: More information about DOSBox and its usage and configuration is available in the DOSBox Wiki.
Note: Puff requires access to a printer port (LPT1:). On computers without a printer port, DOSBox will abort with a Runtime Error 008 when trying to start Puff. Recent versions of DOSBox (>0.65) add a fake LPT1: emulation to get around this issue. If necessary, download and install a recent CVS development build to fix the error.
1-30-05 Notes from Gunthard Kraus' website on a possible way to print Puff in Windows XP if the program does not work on your system Download the four programs into the Puff folder/directory:
2. Puffp_XP.bat
3. puffp.exe
4. rtm.exe
then run Puffp_XP.bat which generates PCX files, and open them with a PCX file viewer and print from there. The files can be found at:
There is a small utility called TpPatch which can patch an existing copy of Puff to fix the Runtime Error 200 bug (see below). This might be interesting for people who don't want to downloaded the patched Puff or who need to work with an old version. Thanks to Robert Strand for the tip!
1-22-02 Notes from J. Larrick - PUFF version 2.0 will run on a handheld PC (HPC) which has PocketDOS installed. PocketDOS is DOS version 6.2.2 which works on Windows CE devices and is available on the web at for around $40. It will also run on XT-CE which is an 80186 emulator for Windows CE that can be purchased at .PUFF version 2.1 will not run using PocketDOS or XT-CE, however, since it was not compiled to run on hardware without a numeric coprocessor.
7-16-01 Q: The Compaq 5BW160 computer has an Intel 810e Chipset,which includes a display adapter. The adapter uses the DCC133FSB133 Driver, ver 4.1101.1321. When I try to run Puff, the problem mentioned in the web site with corrupted greek style characters occurs.
A: There is a FIX8X14.SYS file, that one puts into the CONFIG.SYS file, that reinstalls the 8X14 font for the display adapter . It is available at .
2-8-01 Puff 2.1 runs on the Dell Inspiron 5000 using Windows 2000. The graphics chip is an ATI Rage Mobility-P AGP2X. It will NOT run properly when the laptop is connected to the Dell docking station and is using a Sony Triniton Dell monitor. Puff also runs on a Dell Inspiron 3500 using Windows 2000 with a NeoMagic MagicGraph256AV chip. The Puff program will not go past the startup window on the Dell Inspiron 8000 using Windows 2000 with an ATI Rage Mobility 128 AGP 4x graphics chip. To exit the system when you get a black or distorted screen, push the esc button twice.
1-19-01 Information on the ATI website: Regarding the TSR 64vbe210.exe mentioned in the Using Puff with Windows 95 notes, the new ATI web address for this TSR is as follows:

Puff 2.1 works with the following operating systems on machines in our research groups: Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000. Please keep in mind that it may not work as well on all machines depending upon the devices used in your machine. When using Windows 2000, you may have to use "start/run/cmd" to get a DOS command prompt needed for running Puff. In Windows NT, you can use " start/programs/MS DOS command prompt".

  1-20-00 Notes on ATI website: the site listed below dated 9-19-97, at ATI is no longer available. The patch file, for NT4.0 for using PUFF with Windows NT, is located in zip file "", which is contained in "" at :

9-25-98 Notes on Hardware Incompatibilities from N. Ishitobi.

Display problems :
addendum: 9-25-98 Some S3 series devices may have a problem. The file for MGA2064W can improve this problem.
1. S3 series display devices. The problem does not happen in most S3 series display devices.

2. Cirrus Logic display devices. The problem can be corrected with a patch program in display devices on the Cirrus Logic website at : You will need to search the list for your specific model .

The patch program is called "TSRFONT.COM" The reason for the problem is the CL-GD5429 and CL-GD543X chipsets do not support the 8X14 (EGA) font is used by some older DOS software applications, producing garbage text characters when used with these chips. To use these applications, execute this file just before starting the DOS program or add it to your autoexec.bat file.
3. Matrox display devices
For the MGA2064W display device, use the patch program found at :
Download the new unified BIOS file, "", from this site and unzip it.

If you have found the download site for a patch program for your video card, please let me know at email:

12-10-97 Notes on running Puff on Windows NT.

Puff will not run inside Windows NT. You must partition your hard drive (you can give it 50 or 100 MB, for example) and install DOS as the operating system. When you boot your computer, the boot manager will ask you which operating system you wish to use. You must reboot when you switch between operating systems.

9-19-97 Notes from Poan Sung and Jeff Liu When using the ATI Rage II+ video card, you will run into a problem when using the puff.exe program in Windows 95. The solution is as follows:

1.Go to and download the file 64vbe210.exe
2.copy the file to the PUFF directory
3.Use notepad to write the puff.bat file. The command in the puff.bat file should be:
m64vbe puff
4. Use the mouse right button to set up the shortcut for puff.bat
5. Double click the puff.bat shortcut,and you will be able to run puff properly!
6. The contents of the puff.bat is listed below:
  • command /c m64vbe
  • command /c m64vbe vw
  • REM set path=%path%;c:\puff\
  • c:\puff\puff.exe %1
  • REM command /c initgraph
  • REM command /c c:\puff\
  • REM command /c c:\puff\puff.exe

    4-17-97 There are font problems with some of the new video cards. The fonts come out corrupted or in Greek text. For example, the Matrox Millenium video card has this problem. Apparently the ROM address space has been reassigned to new video BIOS extensions. The original 8x14 VGA font can be restored by using a TSR (Terminate Stay Resident program) before starting Puff. We do not know at this time if the TSR program will work with other video cards, however, the supplier of your video card should provide an equivalent utility either on the disks that come with the card or on their respective web pages.

    Please note that Puff runs in the 480x640 mode.

    One of our colleagues has an incompatible 3D-Rage video driver. He found a program similar to a TSR program at the ATI website that fixed most of the problems.

    1-21-97 Some computers require that you follow the instructions below AND do the additional item listed here. Click the right mouse button on the Puff.exe shortcut. Click on "Properties", click on "Advanced". This will open the "Avanced properties window. Check the box "Prevent MS DOS programs from detecting Windows". By default, the "Suggest MS DOS mode as necessary" box should also be checked.

    Here is an alternate way to run Puff using your old version of DOS if you had installed Windows 95 as an upgrade: Boot your computer. When it is almost finished booting and just about ready to open the Windows 95 page (timing is essential), push the "F8" button. This will give you a screen with 8 choices. #8 will be your previous version of DOS. Push the "8" button and you will get a DOS prompt.

    To preserve compatibility with MS-DOS programs, Windows95 allows the user to alter certain settings before launching the program. Older versions of Windows achieved this by the use of a PIF, or program information file. A PIF was required to run each DOS program. Windows95 condenses this feature into the shortcut links that are used to launch applications.

    Two problems exist when using Puff with Windows95. The Print Screen button in Windows95 is configured to paste a copy of the screen to the clipboard instead of sending a screen dump to the printer. The shortcut link will have to altered to return the Print Screen key back to its original function.

    Also, the proper screen dump routine needs to be executed before Puff is started up. Windows95 allows the user to run a short program, called a batch file, before starting up the main application. The shortcut link should be configured to have the screen dump routine listed as its batch file.


    1. Using Windows Explorer, go to the directory that puff is located in. Click on the 'puff.exe' file using the right mouse button and select 'Create Shortcut.' This will place a shortcut link to the executable in the puff directory.

    2. Now right click on this shortcut and select 'Properties'. This will bring up the dialog window that allows you to alter the MS-DOS settings for the shortcut link.

    3. Click on the 'Program' tab near the top of the window. Go to the entry for 'Batch file:' and type in the name for the required screen dump routine. (Most network printers use the routine named VGA2LASR.COM)

    4.Make sure the 'Close on exit' box is checked at the bottom.

    5. Click on the 'Screen' tab at the top. In the 'Usage' section, select 'Full-screen'. Puff doesn't run within a window.

    6. Click on the 'Misc' tab. In the 'Windows shortcut keys' section, make sure that 'PrtSc' is NOT checked. When this box is checked, pressing the Print Screen button will dump an image of the screen to Window's clipboard instead of directing the output to the printer port.

    7. Click on the 'OK' box to save the settings and close the properties dialog window.

    Puff can now be run by simply clicking on this shortcut link. The screen dump routine that was entered as the batch file will run before Puff is started, and the Print Screen key will allow you to send a screen dump to the printer.

    When doing a screen dump, Puff directs the output to the LPT1 printer port. In order to print on a network printer, the specific printer must be set to 'capture' the output from the LPT1 port.


    1. Under the Start Menu, click on 'Settings' and select printers. This will open a window with all the printers that your system is setup to use. Using the right mouse button, click on the network printer that you would like Puff to print to and select 'Properties'.

    2. Click on the 'Details' tab. The entry entitled 'Print to the following port:' will be highlighted. Make note of this path. (An easy way is to press Ctrl-C. This copies the path into the clipboard.)

    3. Click on 'Capture Printer Port...' This will bring up another dialog box. Use the arrow keys to scroll up to 'LPT1' in the 'Device' entry. Go to the 'Path:' and type the path of the network printer EXACTLY as it appeared in the 'Details' window. (Or press Ctrl-V to paste it from the clipboard.)

    4. Make sure that 'Reconnect at login' box is checked.

    5. Click on 'OK' to capture the printer port. This will return you to the 'Details' window. Click on 'OK' in that window to save the settings and close the printer properties dialog box.

    Warning: A screen dump can take as long as five minutes when using a networked printer. Don't be alarmed if the printout doesn't appear right away.

    This page was written by Lon Christensen for the EE20 class at Caltech.

    Suggestions for Printing Puff 2.1 on

    Windows NT


    Your machine is connected to a printer by parallel port:

    1. Create a file PUFF.BAT in the Puff directory with the following commands in it: VGA2LASR and PUFF

    2. Change the MS-DOS properties for Puff (if there is no PUFF.PIF file yet, create one by right-clicking on PUFF.EXE and then "Properties")

    • Program name is "Program" tab, command line): PUFF.BAT
    • Misc tab, at the bottom, deactivate the check box for the Prt-Scr key (i.e. PrtScr chould not be captured by Windows NT but be sent to the application)
    3. Start Puff by double-clicking on PUFF.PIF (shortcut to PUFF.BAT with the MS-DOS icon). Printing should be possible directly by hitting Shift-PrtScr (as under DOS).
    Your computer is trying to print through the network
    For network printers or printers not supported by VGA2LASR, only the solution through the NT clipboard will work. Use a screen capture program which must be activated before opening Puff. We use Corel Capture ver 5.0 or higher to capture. It comes bundled with CorelDraw and Corel Photo Paint.

    To print Puff 2.1 on a Windows NT system connected to a network printer:

    Method #1

    1. Open Puff
    2. Do your simulation on the full DOS screen
    3. "alt-enter" will reduce it to a small window and freeze the program
    4. "PrtScr" will capture the whole screen and put it on the clipboard
    5. Open MS Paint (this program is frequently bundled with NT )
    6. Go to "edit", then "paste" (from clipboard)
    7. Click "image", "invert colors"
    8. Crop and print

    Method #2

    If you get to step #7 and can not proceed, try the following:

    7. Save as a 16 color bitmap
    8. Crop" image (center and put a box around window using the dashed-box icon) using
    "ctrl-x" or "edit" then "cut". Click on "file", "new" then "edit" and "paste"
    9. Open a graphical vector editor like "Coreldraw" (version 5 or higher)
    10. "New graphic"
    11. "edit" and "paste
    12. "Effects" and "color adjustment" then "invert"
    13. Print to network printer

    Method #3

    1. Do steps #1-5 above
    2. Open Microsoft photo editor (this program is frequently bundled with NT)
    3. Paste from clipboard
    4. Crop and paste as a new image
    5. Your image may be displayed in reverse colors- go to "effects" then "negative"
    6. Print (don’t forget to check off "fit to page" and "landscape"

    This page was last updated Decemer 15, 1998

    Puff Version 2.1

    Puff 2.1 is based on Puff Version 2.0 adding some handy features to this program. Puff 2.1 enhancements fall into five distinct categories:

    1. A `q' (for quick) mode has been added to the plot function. In the quick mode the new plot will be drawn after the complete analysis of the circuit has been done. In most cases this results in a significant time saving compared to the standard `p' plot procedure.
    1. In the Ctrl-q function the previous plot will be drawn before the new plot. A mixed p, q, Ctrl-p, and Ctrl-q operation is possible.

    2. For many practical uses it is desirable to know the component values of the equivalent series or parallel circuit of the calculated S11 or S22 coefficients.

      After executing the plot (or the quick) function, the cursor should be moved to the desired parameter S11 or S22 in the plot window. After hitting the `=' key the equivalent series components RS, XS and the corresponding C or L value will be listed in the message box. Accordingly, the component values RP, XP, and the corresponding C or L value of the equivalent parallel circuit will be listed in the message box when the Smith chart has been toggled from impedance to admittance state.

    3. The Smith chart has been changed to a 1-2-5 separation giving a higher resolution.
    4. Some more devices have been added. The ".dev" devices available now are a voltmeter (, a voltage controlled voltage source (, a voltage controlled current source (, a unity gain differential amplifier (, and an operational amplifier ( with an open loop gain of 10000.

      All the symbols have been standardized for the input being on the wide end side and the output on the pointed side. See Table 1 for a description of the devices.

    5. Some software problems have been solved. Several software errors showing up as "runtime error at ....." have been removed. The malfunction of the cursor (fast flashing) as observed with some hardware configurations has been corrected.

      The `VGA2LASR.COM' print screen utility program has been patched to make it work correctly (solves problems with aborted printouts).

      The software has been adjusted for different national keyboard layouts. Puff 2.1 should handle every possible keyboard layout correctly (i.e. as described in the manual). In particular, problems existed previously with the key combinations `Shift-1' through `Shift-4' in the Board window (F4).

    Johannes Gerstlauer (jgerstlauer AT
    Andreas Gerstlauer (andreas AT

    To return to the Puff page, click here
    For the order form for this non-profit educational program, click here,
    To return to the RF and Microwave Group page, click here
    To return to the Department of Electrical Engineering home page, click here.