Roundtable Software E-Mail Newsletter Issue #5, May 2, 2000
A Weird One
We were recently working with a dealer who was having a strange problem at one of his user sites. When they would run Order Entry program 51 (Delete Invoices) it would often lock up with a Windows illegal operation error. The user was on Windows NT.
We found that the exact same data worked fine when transferred to other systems (including other NT systems), so the problem had something to do with the user's system. After trying many different things to troubleshoot the problem, we ended up checking the attributes on the Roundtable Software Advantage Accounting System files (we were definitely running out of ideas!).
All the data and system files had the correct attributes, but we noticed that the executable files were set to Read Only. Frankly, I didn't think that this could cause a problem, but the dealer decided to try removing that Read Only attribute anyway. On trying Order Entry program 51 again we found that it now worked flawlessly! Just goes to show you that when you've eliminated all the possibilities it is time to check into the impossible.
As long as we're on the subject of attributes, here's a general guideline for the attribute settings on the files:
READ ONLY - Off
COMPRESSED - Off
HIDDEN - Off
ARCHIVE - Doesn't Matter
SHAREABLE - On
There is one known exception to this rule; if running a Lantastic network, executable files should be set to READ ONLY if being run from the server (this gets around a bug in Lantastic where it locks up if enough people are using the same executable file at the same time).
Note that the Roundtable Software Advantage Accounting System installation utility does not automatically set attributes when you install. Your system makes its own decisions about file attributes when the files are copied onto it.
Another dealer recently gave us a 'heads-up' on Windows NT Service Patch #4. He had a user with this system who was having random problems with invoice details moving from one invoice to another. Typically we ascribe this to high buffer settings, but he found through experimentation that in this case it definitely had something to do with this particular NT service patch. He upgraded the user to the latest patch (6A) and the problem immediately disappeared. He then ran additional tests with a user who was on patch 3. They were running fine at the time. He loaded patch 4 on their system and the problem started occurring almost immediately. He then upgraded them to the next patch and the problem seemed to disappear.
We've heard from a few courageous souls who have installed Windows 2000 on their systems, and for the most part they tell me that things are going alright. However, we have gotten some reports that they have trouble with DOS windows displaying incorrectly in full screen mode. They tell me when they switch to full screen that the display of the accounting software screen stays 'small', as if it were still in a window.
We have not yet installed this new network in-house so we can't help. If anyone has encountered this problem and found a solution please send us an e-mail.
We've had a few complaints from people who don't find their new AR customer fields (e-mail, statistics, etc) on the Customer Master report. The reason is that when you have a company-specific print layout file, the new fields are added outside the printable portion of the reports so that they do not mess up any careful formatting you may have done.
To get the fields to show on the reports you must first update your print layout (PL) files in System Administrator program 7. Once that's done you can edit the report formats in System Administrator program 11. Choose the format you wish to work with, then look out past the 80th column on 80 column reports, or the 132nd column on wide reports. There you will find the new fields. Move the fields into the printed portion of the report and then do a test print from the proper print program. This will allow you to see what each field is used for. You can now go back to System Administrator program 11 to add titles for each field to the report.
There is a simpler way to do all this if you don't have or don't really care about specially formatted reports. Simply use System Administrator program 11 to copy the updated report formats from the company 00 print layout file into your company's print layout file. These reports have all the new fields on them and they are already formatted and titled so that the report can be used as is. To avoid confusion, it is usually a good idea to delete the old versions of the reports from your company print layout files.
Q: We ran the CPYSTATE program but it only added the states for some of our records. Anything I can do to improve that?
A: CPYSTATE looks at the end of Address Lines 2 and 3 and finds the last 'word' on each line. If the 'word' is two characters long and matches with an internal table of state abbreviations then it assumes it is a state code and will copy it to the state field. Common reasons for CPYSTATE not working are:
1) state is spelled out, i.e. Utah instead of UT
2) 'old' abbreviations are used, i.e. Fla for Florida
3) zip code appears after the state in the address line (should be in the zip code field only)
4) periods are used in the abbreviations, i.e. N.Y. or P.A.
In all these cases, you really should upgrade your database anyway,
so I would set up a RapidEntry session where I edit only address lines
2 and 3. Fix the state info there and re-run CPYSTATE to copy them to the
new State field.
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