8-Bit Software Online Conversion

As soon as the computer successfully matches a record with the search paramaters entered, the screen will clear and the appropriate records will be listed. If you are sending results to a printer then the results will be printed out as opposed to being listed on screen. Once output is complete you will be returned to the main menu. 3.9 Other Searching Features ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Searching Facilities option need not just be used to search for individual programs. It can be used for a whole plethara of things depending on the requirements of the individual concerned. For example if you wanted to list all the UTILITIES on your database then you would set the CATEGORY field to UTILITIES when entering search data, and leave all the other fields blank. Likewise, you can even obtain a catalogue of one of your slave discs just by entering it's reference number. Another example would be the facility of listing all the GAMES held on ADFS discs - the searching combinations are endless, and all results can be printed if desired in an easy to understand format. Indeed it is recommended you perhaps print out all your UTILITIES, then GAMES, then TEXT FILES etc. etc., so you can then refer more quickly to a hard copy of the database before using the Loading Gateway to run your program. So let us take an example:- Suppose we have all our UTILITIES discs stored on a particular database, and we would like to print out the catalogue of disc reference UTIL01. From the main menu select SEARCHING FACILITIES, and complete the field entries as follows ... PROGRAM : <leave blank> CATEGORY : <leave blank> - select IGNORE FIELD DISC : UTIL01 OPTION : <leave blank> - select IGNORE FIELD SOURCE : <leave blank> FILENAME : <leave blank> DFS ADFS : <leave blank> - select IGNORE FIELD Confirm these fields, then enter the following ... START Rec : <leave Blank> - just press RETURN SEARCH No : <leave Blank> - just press RETURN Ne SEARCH : <leave Blank> - just press RETURN To PRINTR : Enter Y or N depending on your own choice. The above search information will dump all records on disc referenec UTIL01 to screen or printer depending on the choices you made. This is only a small example. The searching and printing possilities are endless. It may well be worthwhile experimenting until you get the hand of the searching facilities, as they will be the ones you will use the most throughout the SYSTEMS server. ______________________________________________________________________ 3.10 Deleting Facilities ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As the name suggests, this option will enable you to remove records you no longer require from the database. Many deleting facilities provided by other programs will irrevocably delete the record(s) of your choice and wait for your next command. You may have noticed that the more professional programs either use a process known as "marking records for deletion" or a more familiar "undelete" command is normally provided. SYSTEMS server employs the former method of "marking records for deletion". Put very simply, when you delete one or more records via the deleting facilities menu, the records themselves physically remain on the database, but they are "flagged" or "marked" for deletion. The physical deletion of such records does not take place until the database is compacted. So whenever you delete items from the database using the Deleting Facilities options, you can be certain that you can always rescue a record deleted in error. 3.10.1 Marking Records for Deletion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In order to mark a record for future removal from the database, you should select the "Deleting Facilities" from the main menu and press <return>. After a short pause, you will see a sub menu simalar to the illustration below .. Remove Single Record Remove Range Records Remove Entire Database Remove Selected Records Return to Previous Menu Options are selected in exactly the same way as for the main menu - by highlighting the appropriate menu option using the arrow keys, and pressing <return> to select the option of your choice. Each option behaves in a slightly different way, with some being more "final" than others. An explanation of each option appears below. 3.10.2 Removing Single Records ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when you wish to delete one single record from the current signed-on database. Upon selecting this option, you will be asked for a SINGLE record number. Enter the record number of your choice, bearing in mind that it must already exist on the database, and press <return>. The record chosen will then be marked for deletion. 3.10.3 Removing a Range of Records ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when you wish to delete a "block" of records in numerical order from the database. For example, your database might consist of records numbering from 1-100, but you would like to delete all records from numbers 20-35 inclusive. Upon selecting this option you will be prompted for a "start record" (which would be 20 if using our example), and a "stop record" (35 in our example). All records between these numbers (and including the numbers entered themselves) will be marked for deletion. ______________________________________________________________________ 3.10.4 Removing Selected Records ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option is used when you have a number of records to delete which fall into no logical pattern or order. For example if I have a database containing 150 records and I wanted to delete records 50, 12, 78, 23 and 132, then I would select this option to perform this. Upon selection you will be given a list of 10 "Record No" fields. Start entering the record numbers you wish to delete, making sure you press <return> after each one. It is not necessary to fill ALL the fields - just leave the ones you do not need blank by pressing <return> until you reach the end. For example ... Record No 50 Record No 12 Record No 78 Record No 23 Record No 132 Record No Record No Record No Record No Record No When you get to the bottom, you will be asked to CONFIRM ABANDON or REVISE your choices. Confirming will proceed with the option, and all records stated will be marked for deletion. Revising will blank all the current entries you have made, and provide a fresh screen for entering your revised record numbers. Abandoning will return you to the Deleting Facilities Sub-Menu. 3.10.5 Removing Entire Database ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the most dangerous command on the whole of the SYSTEMS server program. Selecting it will cause the WHOLE DATABASE currently signed-on to be deleted IRREVOCABLY from the disc. Upon selecting you will be required to confirm, which you can do by entering "YES" and pressing the <return> key. BE WARNED! - This option is completely irreversable. 3.10.6 General Points on "Marked" Records ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Records marked for deletion will still remain on the database, and will appear in all catalogues, with the exception of any screen lists or hard copies. If a record that is marked for deletion happens to be displayed on the screen, then a flashing "Deletion Pending" message will appear next to the record details. Restoring a record marked for deletion can be achieved by selecting the DELETE option from the sub menu in "Revising Facilities" (see earlier in this manual). ______________________________________________________________________ 3.11 Compacting your signed-on Database ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As described above, compacting a database will remove all records "marked for deletion" from the disc. That is the only purpose served by this option. Compacting can take a long time, so be sure you have the time to spare before attempting to compact your database. To compact your currently signed-on database, you should select the "Compact Current Database" option from the main menu. You will be asked to confirm your choice, which you can do by entering "YES" at the prompt and pressing <return>. Compacting will then commence, and you will be returned to the main menu once the process is complete. WARNING! - Never stop the computer whilst compacting is in progress. Compacting can take a very long time. Stopping the computer during compacting will wreck your database. Make a backup of your disc before attempting to use the compact option. 3.12 Installing a new Database ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The "Install Program Database" option is provided to enable you to sign-on another existing database. For example you might have your GAMES database signed on, and you may wish to transfer to your UTILITIES database without having to press <Break> and restarting the program. This option will effectively sign off your current database, and re-load the sign-on screen for you to use. 3.13 Extending your Database (ADFS users only) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There may be an occasion when using SYSTEMS server, when you have used up all the available records you reserved when creating the database. This option will provide the means to add more blank records to the disc for later use. This option should be used to get around the "DATABASE FULL" rejection message when trying to add more data. Upon selection you will be asked to enter the number of extra records you would like to reserve. Enter this (ie. 50) and press <return>. You should then confirm your choice by entering "YES" and pressing <return>. Provided there is enough space on the disc, your database will then be extended by the specified number of records. Should there not be enough space on the disc, then the program will abort with a "Can't Extend" error. Pressing return after this error message will return you to the main menu. NOTE - DFS users may not use the Extend Database option, as the filing system is incompatible with the methods employed when extending databases. It is therefore more advisable to use ADFS when using the SYSTEMS program. If using DFS, then be sure to reserve the maximum possible No of Records that disc space will allow when creating a new database. 3.14 Finishing the SYSTEMS program ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Very simply, this option when selected will close all files, sign off your database, and make the system "safe" for pressing the <break> key. You will be advised when it is safe to press <break>. ______________________________________________________________________ SECTION 4 ~~~~~~~~~ 4.1 Loading and Running Software from SYSTEMS Server ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whilst the SYSTEMS server acts primarily as a program database, the added facility is provided to be able to LOAD and RUN programs directly from SYSTEMS server without having to exit the program first. This adds a new dimension to the operation of SYSTEMS server, in the fact that it can double as a comprehensive menu program as well as a database. You may recall when entering information onto the database by using the "Add New Program Record" option, you were required to enter the Loading Method (or OPTION) of the program - ie. CHAIN, *RUN etc. This is where that information becomes useful, as you have already told SYSTEMS server how each program is loaded into memory and run. You now have at your disposal a ready made "super menu" program incorporated into SYSTEMS server, from which you can load and run any program you choose (no matter what disc it may be kept on). Before you can load and run a program from SYSTEMS server, you must know it's corresponding program number on the database. It would be advisable to print out your whole database on paper so you have an easy reference to which program you choose. 4.2 Using the Loading Gateway ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To use the menu facility, you should select the top option from the main SYSTEMS menu (called "Loading Gateway"). You will be asked to enter the corresponding record number of your chosen program. Enter this and press <return>. Provided the record number you entered is valid, the program details will be displayed. Note the DISC field (third one down) which is the reference number of the disc containing your chosen program. You should now look this disc out, and insert it into your second drive (if using dual drives), or your single drive after removing the SYSTEMS disc first. Having done this, you have 3 options displayed on the screen. PROCEED DRIVENO ABANDON If you ABANDON, you will be returned to the main menu. If you do abandon, then be sure to replace the SYSTEMS disc back into your disc drive if you removed it to load your program. If you PROCEED, then the computer will attempt to LOAD and RUN your chosen program, using the specifications you entered when adding the record to the database. If loading is successful, you should have your chosen program up and running within a few seconds. The DRIVENO command enables you to override the currently selected drive, and load your selected program from an alternative drive surface. Upon selecting DRIVENO, you will then be offered a choice of drive surfaces (number of surfaces varies depending on which filing system was specified). Select your desired surface after making sure the correct disc is present. After selecting, the computer will switch drives as instructed, and proceed to LOAD and RUN the program selected. ______________________________________________________________________ 4.3 Loading Programs on DFS and ADFS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is not important which format your programs are stored on, as the computer will automatically select the necessary filing system by using the information you entered when adding the program(s) to the database. It is only recommended that the SYSTEMS source program is stored on an ADFS disc. All other programs stored on your SLAVE discs can be any format you choose and will not affect the operation of the SYSTEMS server in any way. 4.4 What if a Program Fails to Load? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are a few errors you can encounter when attempting to load programs through the Loading Gateway. The first of these will be the "File Not Found" or "Not Found" message which is caused by any one of the following ... a. Program to load is not on current disc resident in drive b. Attempting to load from wrong drive (DFS or ADFS) c. Specified Directory Path is incorrect d. FILENAME on system does not match FILENAME on disc Another possible error is a disc error. If you encounter a "disc fault" or simalar message, then check firstly that you have specified the correct disc format, and that the system is not attempting to load a DFS format program in an ADFS environment (or vice/versa). If this fails to allieviate the problem, then it is likely that you DO have a disc error, and you should attempt to load the program from Basic in order to confirm this. The third possible error is when the computer just "hangs" after loading is attempted. The only way out of this is to <break> the program (no loss or damage to the SYSTEMS files will be done). This kind of error would be caused by an incorrect loading OPTION (ie. *RUNning and program instead of CHAINing). Check that the OPTION field is correct by looking at the program record in question. 4.5 Points to Remember ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The way in which the SYSTEMS program LOADs and RUNs programs, including the filing system and drive surfaces employed, is TOTALLY dependent on the information you entered when adding your program(s) to the database in the first place. If you have ommitted or incorrectly entered any of this information, then it is likely that future attempts to load the program from SYSTEMS server will fail. The rejection message "LOADING PROHIBITED" or simalar is displayed when attempting to load a program that has been catagorised as a REFERENCE program (see earlier in this manual). Should you wish to override this, then you will have to amend the programs category by means of the Revising Facilities option from the main menu first. ______________________________________________________________________ SECTION 5 ~~~~~~~~~ 5.1 Problems Encountered? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I hope that this manual has been easy to understand, and informative, and you are able to get the best possible use from SYSTEMS server. However, if you have enountered a problem that you cannot overcome, then please get in touch urgently, using the attached "problem report" form. Please complete this form as fully as possible before sending it, and a copy of your working systems disc to me at the address below. Your disc and hopefully a solution to your problem will be sent back to you by return post. 8-bit Software SYSTEMS SUPPORT Duncan Webster 7 Ashdale Thringstone Leicestershire LE6 4LW. The same address applies to all other correspondence regarding the SYSTEMS server program. Unfortunately, telephone enquiries cannot be dealt with unless you are a registered member of 8-bit Software, and have access to your User I.D. ______________________________________________________________________ 5.2 Converting SYSTEMS server Version 4a SYSTEMS server Version 5a (pilot) files to Version 6a. *** NOTE *** This procedure should only be used with an ADFS system. Existing users of SYSTEMS server will currently be using older versions of the program. Because of the significant changes applied to this latest version of the program, it will be necessary to run a conversion program in order to make your existing datafiles compatible with Version 6a. This is an extremely straightforward procedure, and can be automatically run using version 6a of SYSTEMS server. In order to effect transfer, proceed as follows ... 1. Make 2 full backups of your Version 4a or Version 5a discs NOW 2. Copy the filename PROGFLE from your old Version 4a or 5a SYSTEMS disc to your new version 6a disc. Havin done this your NEW disc should contain the following filenames ... SERVER1 SERVER2 SERVER3 SERVER9 PROGFLE !boot If any of the above files are missing, then discontinue with the transfer and contact 8-bit Software for further guidance. 3. Boot up your NEW server disc, and wait until the computer askes you for a USERNAME. 4. If you were using the old Version 4a of SYSTEMS, then sign-on with the username "TFR4" and press <return>. If you were using the old Version 5a (pilot) of SYSTEMS, then sign-on with the username "TFR5P" and press <return>. Having done this you will see a screen simalar to the following ... TRANSFER VERSION No <version to TFR> ie. 4 TRANSFER OF <csd>.PROGFLE 6a USERNAME 6a FILENAME 6a NOTEFILE No RECORDS CONFIRMED The older versions of SYSTEMS server did not allow multiple databases as the latest version does, so you must now specify a new database name under which to transfer your old datafiles. For Example, if you have only stored games on the systems server so far, then you might like to call your new database GAMES. If you have all sorts of files on your old system, then you might well use a neutral name like DISCS or DBASE etc. Decide upon a name - make sure the length of the name is within current filing system limits (ie. Max. 7 characters for DFS etc.). Enter this name into the 6a USERNAME field and press <return>. ______________________________________________________________________ 5. You must now decide on a 6aFILENAME and 6aNOTEFILE name for your new database. The choice of name is not important as you will not refer directly to them again, but it is advisable to make them simalar (but not identical) to the 6aUSERNAME. For example, if you have entered "DISCS" in the 6aUSERNAME, then it is recommended you call the 6aFILENAME "DISCS1" and the 6aNOTFILE "DISCS2" so as to aviod confusion between databases. *** TAKE CARE NOT TO OVERWRITE ANY EXISTING FILES ON THE DISC *** 6. You will then be required to complete the No RECORDS field. Just press <return> here for "All" records. 7. Finally, check you have entered all the information correctly before entering "YES" at the CONFIRMED field to proceed. Any other input will abort the transfer. The computer will then attempt to transfer all your old data on versions 4 and 5a of SYSTEMS server to a new database compatible with version 6a under the database names you have just specified. Providing transfer is successful, SYSTEMS server will organise all the necessary database filenames, sign-on the transferred database automatically, and proceed to load the main SYSTEMS program. All being well, you should be presented with the main menu a short time after transfer is complete. You should now EXTEND your new database (see appropriate section in this manual) as required in order to make additional entries as required. Note that some of the referencing fields in version 6a differ from that of versions 4 and 5a (pilot). The transfer procedure therefore automatically re-references records when the need arises. If you prefer, send your disc to 8-bit Software and the transfer routine will be done for you and your discs sent back by return post.