Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : PROBKMND.ZIP
Filename : MANUAL.DOC

Output of file : MANUAL.DOC contained in archive : PROBKMND.ZIP
This manual is copyrighted in 1990 by
Steven C. Hudgik - All Rights Are Reserved


This software is provided as shareware. This means you
have the opportunity to try it before you buy it.
If you find this software useful, you are requested to
become a registered user. Registered users receive the most
recent version of the software, free updates for one year,
a printed manual, and free support.

This software is copyrighted and all rights remain with the
author. However, you are granted permission to make as many
copies as you wish, provided no fee is charged if you
provide a copy to someone else. You may freely distribute this
software, if you wish, on this basis. If you need to
charge a fee to cover distribution costs, please contact
HomeCraft to receive written permission.

To register as a user send $59.95 to the address below (VISA and
MASTER CARD are accepted), plus $3.00 for shipping and handling.
($5 for Canada and $8 for airmail outside North America).

P.O. Box 974
Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 692-3732 - yes, we accept registrations on the phone, or feel
free to call with any questions you have.




INTRODUCTION ........................... page 2

LEVELS OF OPERATION .................... page 3

THE MAIN MENU .......................... page 4
File Names 4
Level 5

MAKING ENTRIES ......................... page 6

SAVING THE ENTRY ....................... page 7

EDITING EXISTING ENTRIES ............... page 8
Moving Through The Catalog 9

List All 11
Searches 12
Editing After A Search 13

UTILITIES .............................. page 14
Copy Files 15
Rebuilding Indexes 16

APPENDIX (Specific Information About
The Software You Have) .............. page 19



Thank you for trying one of HomeCraft's specialty databases.
This software has been designed for storing; then organizing,
searching, sorting and retrieving the specific information
you need.

Since all of our specialty databses work in the same manner
this manual applies to them all. Specific information about
each program is provided at the end of this manual.

To run this software you will need an IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2
or compatible with a minimum of 256K of memory and two floppy
disks. We recommend that a hard disk be used if you have more
than 1000 items in your collection. This software can handle
10,000,000 entries per file - and you can have multiple files.
The result is that you can build some very large date files
using several megabytes. A minimum of a 20 megabyte hard
disk is recommended.

No other software is required (except the DOS operating system).
However, we do recommend you purchase a back up utility for your
hard disk. Your data files SHOULD BE BACKED UP any time you've
made significant changes. A good rule of thumb is to back up
you data any time you've made more entries/changes than you'd
want to type over again.

This software is completely menu driven and easy to operate.
Since the computer does all the hard work for you, this manual
is short. We'll describe how to enter information; what to do to
edit existing entries; and how to find the entry(s) you need.


This software has three levels. The three level feature allows
you to determine the amount of information you want to save for
each entry. If you have valuable information, or need complete
descriptions for professional use, you can catalog your collection
at a level of very fine detail. On the other hand, if you just
need a quick way to find specific entries (or types of entries),
you can use the first, less detailed level. Since you can set up
as many separate data files as you wish, you can divide your
collection and categorize each part in as much or little detail
as you want.

Information about the specific fields and levels in the
version of the software you have is provided at the end of
this manual.


The Main Menu will always be the first thing you see when you
boot up the software. If you have a monochrome monitor, and
just see dark blocks on your screen, then push F1. F1 toggles
the setting for color on and off. Dark blocks on a monochrome
monitor indicate the software is set for color and your computer
does not have color emulation.

You can make a selection from the Main Menu in one of two ways;
you can push the number associated with the function you want to
use, or you can use the up/down cursor keys to move the scroll
bar to the selection you want and then push ENTER.

The first three items on the Main Menu are used to manipulate
the information in your catalog. You can enter new entries,
edit information already in the catalog, or search the catalog.
Items 4 through 6 are features that determine how the software
will run. We will take a quick look at these set-up functions

File Name

The filename is the name used for storing your catalog on the
disk. You can have as many separate catalogs as you wish, using
a different filename for each. Up to 10,000,000 entries can be
made in each catalog.

When you push #4 the current filename will be listed and you'll
be prompted to enter a new filename. You may use up to eight
letters for a filename.

If you push ENTER without entering a filename, the software will
use a preset filename.

You may also designate the disk drive you want the catalog
stored on. To designate a drive other than the drive you are
currently using, type the letter for that drive and then a colon
before typing the filename. For example, to use the filename
TEST on the "B" disk drive you would enter:


The software will automatically add .DAT to the end of all
filenames. If you should put a period in the filename or add a
filename extension such as .DAT the filename will not be


This leads you to another menu that provides several utility
functions. Using these utilities you can copy entrys from one
file to another, rebuild a damaged index, erase deleted entries,
reserve space on your disk for future entries and set the access
code. All of these utilities are described in detail in the
Utilities section of this manual.


As we've already described you may use any of three levels of
data storage. Push #6 to select the level you want to use. A
menu will appear and you can then push the function key (F key)
associated with the level you want to use.

You can change levels at any time and make entries with a
variety of level settings. However, the software will set the
file sizes for the highest level used in that file. Thus, you
do not save disk space by making entries at the the lowest
level, if there is even one entry at any higher level for the
same file.


Entering information into the catalog is very simple. Select #1
on the Main Menu and an information entry screen will appear.

The length of the bar next to each item shows the amount of
space available for each item. The cursor will not go past the
ends of the bar.

The cursor can be moved around on the screen by using the
up/down and right/left arrow keys.

If you are using a higher level, then the PgDn and PgUp keys are
used to move from one page to another. There are three possible
pages, as each level has its own page. When you move to the
second page the first two lines from the first page will remain
on the screen. On the third page the top three lines from the
first page will be at the top of the screen. This information
is provided to allow you to see which entry you are working on.
It can only be entered and edited, however, from the first


Once you've entered all the necessary information push the F5
key to save this entry. F5 can be pushed while any of the three
screens are displayed.

There is also a feature that will save you some time if you are
entering entrys that have basically the same information. For
example, if you have a series of entries that are very similar,
all you need to do is enter the information for the first entry.
Once that entry is saved, push F3. This will copy the
information from the previous entry.

Please note, however, that this copy feature only copies the two

When you are finished making entries, push F10 to return to the
Main Menu (after pushing F5 to save the last entry you made).


Selection two on the Main Menu allows you to change any part of
any existing entry.

You will first be asked for the number of the entry you want to

As you make entries the software automatically numbers them
sequentially. The first entry you make is number 1; the 100th
is number 100. This number is displayed in the upper right of
the screen when you are making entries. It is also printed on
all reports.

If you don't know the number for the entry you need to change,
use the search function to find the entry. When the entry is
found you will automatically be in the edit mode (more on that

Once you have entered the number for the entry you want to
change it will be displayed on the screen. You can then make
changes in the same way you originally entered information. So
that you can see what you've changed the original entry is
highlighted. The highlighting will not be shown at any spot
where a change has been made.

When you have made all the needed changes, push F5 to save the
edited entry.

Pushing F10, before you push F5, will return you to the Main
Menu without saving any of the changes.

Deleting An Entry

The editor is also used to delete an entry from the catalog.
With the entry you wish to delete on the screen, push the F4
key. This will not erase the entry - all the information will
still be there. The entry will be marked as deleted, however,
and will be skipped in any search of the catalog. You can
"undelete" an entry by pushing F5 to re-save the entry.
If you wish to completely eliminate an entry from the catalog,
you can use the editor to type in a new entry in the same spot
as the deleted entry. There is also a library utility that will
erase all deleted entries from the catalog (more on that

Moving Through The Catalog

There is one other convenient feature in the editor. You can
browse through the entries in your catalog, moving either
forward or backward, by pushing the F1 and F2 keys. F1 will
move the display back by one entry. F2 will show the next


The most useful function is the Search / Printed Report
function. This is the function you use to sort and find
specific entrys or types of entrys.

Select #3 on the Main Menu and you'll see a screen that looks
like the information entry screen. The information you want to
search for is entered on this screen (or the series of three
screens at the third level).

First, however, lets look at the functions listed at the bottom
of the screen. A menu with abbreviated prompts appears there.
To get a more detailed explanation of each prompt push the F1
key for HELP.

F2 - TOGGLE OUTPUT - Pushing F2 will change how the report
is printed. The default setting is the monitor. At this
setting each entry will be listed on the monitor, one at a time.

Push F2 to change the setting to CONTINUOUS. Now the report
will be printed on continuous paper on your printer (BE SURE
YOUR PRINTER IS ON!). The perforations will be skipped based on
66 lines per page.

Push F2 again to change the setting to SINGLE. This setting
also sends the report to your printer, however, the search will
pause once every 66 lines to allow you to put another sheet of
paper in the printer. This setting is generally used for daisy
wheel printers.

One nice feature is that no other printer set up is required.
The software will automatically work with almost any type of
printer. (Laser printers may require special settings of their
dip switches as they may not use 66 lines per page).
When you're using either the CONTINUOUS or SINGLE setting each
entry that matches the search criteria will be displayed on the
screen. If there are a lot of entries that come close together
in your catalog, these may only be on the screen for a short

Push F2 one more time to change the setting to DISK. The report
will now be stored as an ASCII file on your disk. Before the
search starts you will be given the chance to enter the drive
and filename you want to use for the report. If no name is
entered, then a preset filename will be used. Do not enter a
filename extension - the extension ".DOC" will be added to all

List All - If you want to get a complete listing of the
contents of your catalog, or list a block of entries (for
example the entries you made today so you can check them for
correctness), then press either F3 or F4.

Pressing F3 will result in the entries being listed in the order
they were entered. After pressing F3 you will be asked for the
entry number to start the listing at and the entry number to end
it with. If you chose an ending entry number that is higher
than the total entries in the catalog, or is lower than the
starting number, it will not be accepted.

The F3 function is most useful in checking entrys you've just
entered. Select a range of entry numbers that includes your
most recent entries. The resulting printed report is an easy
way to check for typos in these new entries.

F4 is used to get a listing of all of the entries in your
catalog in alphabetical order. You must be using the indexing
feature (Index On) for this function to work. When F4 is
pressed a small menu will appear in the lower right corner of
the screen. The indexing is based on the top three items on the
first screen. Select the index you wish to use by pushing
the appropriate F key.

To perform a search first set the F2 toggle for the type of
report you want to get. Then enter the information you want to
search for. You can use the cursor and PgUp/PgDn keys to move
through the screens just as you did when making entries. You
can enter information on any one line or all of the lines.

There are three different ways you can search your catalog.

F6 - Normal Search: When you push F6 an index search will be
conducted, if you've entered something to search for on the top
three lines of the first screen. The top three lines contain
the information most frequently searched for. Since the indexes
can use a significant amount of space only these three are
indexed. The Super Utilities (an add-on utility available
to registered users) provides indexing and sorting for all fields.

Indexing provides a way to locate specific information very
fast. Even with tens of thousands of entries the index will be
able to locate any entry within a second or two. In addition,
with indexing you can get an alphabetical listing of your

The other type of search is a sequential search. This means
that every entry in the catalog is looked at to see if it is a
match. A sequential search starts with the first entry you made
and step through all subsequent entries until a match is found.

Sequential searches are started by pushing F7 or F8.

In a sequential search any entry that contains the information
you entered will be identified as a match. For example, in this
case if you enter "Roses," Red Roses will be identified as a
match. Entering just "os" will result in a match with Red

This leads us to another important point. The both index and
sequential searches will only find exact matches in one
respect. If you search for "Rose", the word "ROSE" will not be
found as a match. The capitalization must match the way the
word was originally typed into the catalog. For that reason I

always capitalize the first letter of every word. Another
option would be to always capitalize the entire word.

Getting back to function keys F6, F7 and F8. As we've
discussed, pushing F6 will result in a search that uses the
indexes. F7 and F8 provide two different ways to start a
sequential search.

Push F8 to start a normal sequential search. Your catalog will
be searched starting with the first entry and
continuing through the most recent entry you made.

F7 provides a special way to search your catalog. If, for
example, you are looking for entries that have the word
"Christmas" in them, both the indexed and sequential searches
will find entries in the same order every time a search is done.
Pushing F7 starts the search at a random location in the
catalog, resulting in different entries being found first.

If you are conducting a sequential search, it may take some time
to complete if you have a large catalog. To pause the search
you can push F9. To stop the search and return to the menu push

Editing After A Search

When a search finds a matching entry in your catalog, that entry
will displayed on the screen. You can then edit that entry
just as you would using the "Edit An Entry" function. Type the
changes you need to make, then push F5 to save those changes.

NOTE: The indexes are the most fragile parts of the data files.
If at any time you feel the indexes are not working properly, go
to the Utilities menu and build new indexes. The problems
should then clear up.

There are eight functions available on the Catalog Utilities
screen. Some of these are also available as a part of the Main
Menu and are provided as a convenience here. These functions

Copy Files - Used to copy all of the entries from one file to
another file. This utility is intended for users upgrading from
floppy disks to a hard disk. It will transfer entries from
floppy disks to a hard disk, combining the files from several
floppies into a single file on the hard disk.

Rebuild The Indexes - The indexes are the most fragile part of a
data base. This function allows you to replace your indexes should
the index files be damaged.

Condense Data - When a entry is deleted from the catalog all
of the information remains in the file and it can be recovered.
If, however, you would like to completely erase all of your
deleted entries (i.e. to reduce clutter), this function will
permanently remove them from the file.

File Name - Used to change the current filename being used for
cataloging. (This function is also provided on the Main Menu).

Reserve Space - This function will set aside space on your
disk for future entries in the catalog.

Level - Allows you to change the level in use. (This function
is also provided on the Main Menu).

Security Code - Allows you to limit access to your catalog.
(Not available in the shareware version).

Customize - Allows you to change the titles on three of the
lines, one on each level.
Now let's look at each of these in more detail.


This function will take all of the entries in any data file and
add them to the end of any other data file.

Select #1 on the Utilities Menu and we'll see how this works.

A series of prompts will lead you through the copy process.

First you will be asked for the letter of the disk drive from
which you'll be copying entries. Push the letter that corresponds
to the drive you want to select. When you push a letter (only
A-F may be selected) the selected drive designation will appear
at the bottom of the screen.

Next push the letter for the drive that contains the file you
want to copy to. This can be the same drive as you will be
copying from.

The file you are copying to does not need to exist yet. A new
file will be created, if required.

The names of the data files on the disk you are copying from
will now be displayed. You must enter the name of one of these
files. If you enter the name of a file that does not exist, or
is not a existing data file, the copy process will be stopped.
When you enter the filename, DO NOT enter the .DAT filename

When you push ENTER the filename will be displayed at the bottom
of the screen and the list of data files on the disk you are
copying to will be displayed. Enter up to eight letters as the
filename to copy to. This filename does not need to be in the
list of data files. If you select a file used by another
program, that file will be erased and replaced by your catalog
data. That's why the filenames are displayed, so can see what
is already on the disk.
The next screen shows the names of the files you are copying to
and from. In addition, the number of entries already in each
file will be shown. All of the entries in the top file will be
copied to the second file listed. They will be added to the end
of the second file.

The level setting for each file will be shown. You may
continue the copy process when the levels do not match, but only
data for matching levels will be copied. For example, if one
file is set at the second level and the other is set for the
third level, only the data for the first two levels will be
copied. You can exit at this point and reset the level for
either file, if you want them to match.

The indexes are not updated in the copy process. If you are
using the indexes, you will be given the opportunity re-index.


The function will erase the existing index files and rebuild them
from scratch. Everything is automatic once you start the process.
Since each file must looked at individually rebuilding the indexes
for a large catalog could take some time.


What do you do if you're running out of space on a floppy disk?
One option, if you've deleted quite a few entries, is to remove
those deleted entries from your catalog file. Option 3 on
the Library Utilities menu will do that for you.

When you select #3 you'll be asked to confirm that the correct
data file is being used. Push the letter "Y" if it is the
correct file. All of the entries in that file will be checked
and if an entry is marked as deleted, it will be removed from
the catalog. The catalog will be reduced in size by the number
of entries that were deleted. (Note: The file size reported by
DOS will not change).
FILE NAME Option 4 on the Library Utilities menu works in the
same way as the change filename function on the Main Menu.

RESERVE SPACE This function is used to save space on your
disk for future entries in your catalog. You will be asked for
the number of additional entries you plan on making. Disk space
will be reserved for these additional entries. (See appendix A
for the maximum number entries on a floppy disk).

Reserving space does two important things for you: It sets
aside space on your disk so that if your disk should become full
due to other activities, you will still have "reserved" space in
which to make entries in your catalog. This is particularly
important when using floppy disks. Reserving space also helps
to keep your data files in adjacent sectors on the disk (more
important for hard disk users). As files become fragmented, and
spread among more widely separated sectors, the access time for
getting data from those files becomes greater. In addition,
highly fragmented files are more likely to be damaged over time
than files composed of adjacent sectors.

This software can not put fragmented files back together. To do
that you will need software such as the Mace Utilities, PC-
Tools, or the Norton Utilities. If you have any of these, and
plan on creating large files (1000 or more entries), I'd suggest
unfragment your hard disk first, then reserve the space for your
catalog files.

LEVEL You can change the level you are using in the same way
as at the Main Menu.

SET SECURITY CODE This function is not available in the
shareware version in order to protect the security of
registered users.

This function turns the indexes on or off. I recommend that
if you are using floppy disks, that you turn the indexes off
to save disk space. Hard disk users should have the indexing
on to increase the speed of some searches.
to save disk space. Hard disk users

  3 Responses to “Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : PROBKMND.ZIP
Filename : MANUAL.DOC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

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