OM4 - Extended Memory Edition
Overview and Benefits
Those running OM4 on 386, 486, or Pentium class computers with 4
MB or more of RAM may want to use the Extended Memory Edition of OM4
(OM4/X) rather than the standard program. This special edition of
the program provides the following benefits:
- OM4/X significantly lowers conventional memory requirements.
The main program can easily run in 450K or less conventional
memory. Memory requirements increase to 530K only when
outputting insurance claims or statements.
- Disk space requirements for the OM program files are reduced
by over 1.6 MB.
- All aspects of the program run faster provided that enough
extended memory is available (approximately 2.6MB) because the
entire program can be loaded at the same time. The standard
version has to continually swap pieces of itself in and out of
memory. Note that initial program load is slower than with the
standard edition because so much more is being loaded.
- Creating batches of insurance claims and statements is much
faster because the batch creation program is part of the main
program. In the standard version, it is separate, so creating a
batch involves moving back and forth from the main and secondary
- You can access patient and policy information from the
insurance claim and statement selection screens (as you could in
OM2 and OM3). At the Patient From and Patient To fields press m
to display the Active Patient list. From this list you can
access all the patient and policy screens. The standard version
provides only a patient lookup list, not the full-function
Active Patient list.
Version 4.13 and later installation diskettes contain both
standard and extended memory editions of the software. The INSTALL
program will give you the option of installing the extended edition
if it detects that your computer is a 386 or better and that you
have extended memory available. If your system does not meet these
criteria or you are installing the software on a network, the
standard edition of the software should be installed instead. After
initial installation, you can replace the program files with either
version by selecting "Non Standard Installation" on
INSTALL's main menu.
Program File Differences
The Extended Memory Edition involves replacing the standard
OM.EXE file with a new OM.EXE file. This single new OM.EXE contains
all the functionality of the standard version's OM.EXE, OM.OVL, and
No special environment settings are generally necessary, though
OM4/X will use your temp directory if one is defined in your
AUTOEXEC.BAT file with a SET TEMP= statement. If you have such a
setting, be sure that the drive and directory provide enough space
to store fairly large amounts of data (up to a couple of megabytes).
Extended Memory Requirements
As implied in its name, OM4/X requires extended memory. This
memory may be in the form of XMS, DPMI, or VCPI. Any computer that
is able to load Microsoft Windows 3.1 or higher has such memory
available. Most often the proper memory format is provided by the
HIMEM.SYS driver loaded in the CONFIG.SYS file. The more of this
extended memory that is available, up to approximately 3 MB, the
faster OM4/X will run. To check on available memory resources, at
any C: prompt type the command:
In any event, you must have AT LEAST 1.8 MB of available extended
memory to use the extended edition. It will run with less extended
memory, but program load time will be quite long and you will not be
able to print insurance or statements or do any other functions that
require executing a second program from within OM (such as Report
Writer, backup program, scheduler, etc.)
Adjustments in CONFIG.SYS
The standard version of OM must open and close data files
continuously in order to keep memory usage down. This process has a
considerable negative impact on performance. OM4/X keeps most files
open while the program is in use and therefore may require a higher
number of FILES to be specified in the CONFIG.SYS file than the
standard version does. To avoid any possiblity of problem, increase
the number to at least 120, up to a maximum of 255.
Running OM4/X under Microsoft Windows
Although OM4/X, like the standard edition of OM4, is a DOS
program, it may be run from within the Microsoft Windows
environment, if desired.
Extended memory is shared among the programs you run under
Windows. Some modern Windows software, such as many popular
Windows-based word processors, will gladly use up to 6 MB of
extended memory if it is available! This makes for rather cramped
quarters if you have only 4 MB of RAM on your system. In such
circumstances, you will probably find that your programs work much
better if you run only one at a time. On the other hand, if you have
16 MB or more of RAM, you can easily run several large applications
When OM is loaded from within Windows, Windows looks for a file
called OM.PIF for instructions on how to allocate resources for OM's
use. OM4/X has very different requirements than the standard edition
of OM, so to maximize performance you may have to modify this file:
- In the Program Group MAIN you should find the PIF Editor
program. Double click on it to start.
- Select FILE, then OPEN.
- Enter the filename C:\OM\OM.PIF in the active Program Filename
field. If you have installed OM in a different drive or
directory, make the appropriate adjustment in the filename you
type here. Once the filename has been typed, click OK or press
- The PIF settings window should appear. Notice the settings for
XMS Memory, KB Required and KB Limit. The first of these tells
Windows how much XMS extended memory it should have available to
allow the program to start at all. This value can be set as low
as zero. The second tells Windows to limit the amount of XMS
extended memory to the indicated value. If you have plenty of
memory and want OM to be able to take as much as it needs, set
the XMS limit field to -1 (minus 1). OM actually will use about
2.8 MB. If you have limited extended memory and limit OM to less
than this amount, enter the value here in KB. To limit it to 2
MB, for example, you would enter 2048. Do not set the limit to
less than 1800K! Also, keep in mind that restricting the amount
of extended memory OM can use will force it to use the hard disk
instead, greatly reducing the performance benefits possible with
Problems Running OM4/X under Windows
If you can run OM4/X without problem under DOS, but encounter
Access Denied errors when trying to load it under Windows, check to
see if you are using the 32 bit disk access option. Some computers
seem to require that this option be turned on. In some cases, such
as if using a portable computer, you should NOT enable this option,
but on regular desktop systems it usually results in significantly
better system performance. To check the setting:
Open Control Panel in the MAIN program group.
Double click on 386 Enhanced (the computer chip icon).
Click on Virtual Memory.
Click on Change.
At the bottom of this window there is a check box for 32 bit disk