OVER 2 YOU, 150 (07/10/03)
As a clergyman, I wonder if
anyone can recommend some software that would help me to plan my parish visits?
It would be good to put in different frequencies of visits, follow-up reminders
and so on. I have names and addresses in Access and Outlook but haven't yet
worked out if these could be used.
Revd. Jeremy Vaughan, Basingstoke, Hants.
Our Parish Data software does
all this and much more. It is intended to support all the pastoral aspects of
parish management - but its visit scheduling and recording functions do
everything he asks. He can get more information, including a copy of the
program's manual, from our web site (www.parish-data.com).
Peter R. Fletcher
The Church Administration
software marketed by Data Developments Ltd contains an excellent parish visits
module in the RollCall application. Visit their web site at: www.data-developments.co.uk
to see a demo or ask them for a full demo disk. We use RollCall in our
parish and find it very effective. Please
note that if you keep parish visit (as opposed to a parish address list)
records you must register your use with the Data Protection registrar.
I use a program called
Reminder on a daily basis. I can set up free text events or select names from
an address book. It displays 21 days at a time and the page can be printed. An
addition to the start-up folder gives a pop-up if an event is in the range of
the advance warning time. It can be downloaded and tested for free at www.dbtogo.co.uk.
If Jeremy is already using
Access to maintain and store names and addresses, this can be developed to provide
a planner for visits. I have developed databases for clients of mine, which
deals with a number of different tasks and the flexibility is already in the
software to adapt it for Jeremy's use.
If Jeremy doesn't want to go down this route then he could use Lotus Organiser,
which is developed precisely as a time planner and scheduler. Its appearance on
screen is like a diary and it is a very straightforward piece of software to
A colleague working on a
WWF funded conservation project in coastal Kenya has 45,000 plant records on an
old Borland Reflex 2 database on his rather ancient laptop. He has tried to
copy program and data onto a modern computer; the program loads, but the
display comes out as gibberish. Can it be that there is a font missing? How
would he go about getting it, and operating it? He has tried Borland but they
no longer support this software. Any solutions would be much appreciated!
Henk Beentje, via email
As Borland Reflex is a
DOS-based program, it may well need the ANSI.SYS driver installed to allow it
to correctly display on a modern computer. In Windows 2000/XP, the following
line should be added to the bottom of the CONFIG.NT file in
(Use any text-based editing program to edit this file, such as Notepad)
Rob Preston, via email
One option would be to transfer the data files out of the Borland database
either as CSV, (comma separated value) Text or some other commonly understood
file, and load the data into a more up to date database program. Using a CSV
interpreter such as Excel, the files can then be manipulated into a layout,
which can be understood by another database (say one created with Access etc).
Once amended/modified the files can be imported into the new database.
Gibberish is more likely to
be the result of a bad or incomplete copy of files from the original. You need to copy ALL the files of the
programme and ALL the files of the data, even for a single table, are
stored in various files. The other possibility is that you need to limit the
memory available to the old DOS application. In its day (80's), it would
not know about memory above 16Mb - as it just did not exist! On a modern
machine with more memory, Reflex could get confused. There will be a
"switch" that can be set in the command line when calling the
application. I do not know exactly what it is for Reflex, but for Paradox
(a contemporary database bought by Borland in the 80's and replacing Reflex),
you would add "-extk 15000" after the command to limit the memory
usage to 15 Mg (be safe)
E.g. the command line would
I would guess it will be
similar for Reflex - the exact switch however may be different - check your
manuals if you have them, or the Internet could be useful. If you have any
problems, I would be happy to convert your data to Paradox tables (or any other
preferred format) for you free of charge. Just send me the raw data (ALL
the files) and I will return converted versions.
ONLINE GUITAR TUTORS
Somewhat late in life (Iím in my late fifties) Iíve decided to learn to
play the guitar. So far Iíve found the various books and teach-yourself CDs
very slow going and Iím reluctant to pay for private lessons. Can anyone
recommend any websites or on-line guitar tutors?
Alex Chapman, via email
I too started learning guitar
at a late stage last February at the age of 48. I have been having
lessons from a guitarist who is in the current line up of a famous 70's
band. I have concluded that having the lessons has several
benefits. Being on a one to one basis with someone that can play is in
itself an inspiration and motivation. The trouble with all the other
methods is that they cannot point out when you are doing something wrong or
that there is a better way of achieving the chord/riff you want to play.
I have an hourly lesson a week at £15 and I thoroughly look forward to the
time. I always come away with something new that encourages me to
However, to compliment this I found a web site www.riffinteractive.com. Yes, its
American but I would recommend checking it out. Ultimately the idea is you buy
interactive tutorial CD's for you PC. I have bought 3 and they are
excellent. They include movie clips of how to play, jam tracks to play along
with and a visual "neck" so you can see the notes as they are played.
I am about to become Company
Secretary of a company newly formed to acquire the freehold of the block of
flats where I live. There will be approximately 40 shareholders. Can anyone
recommend an inexpensive software package to help take care of the
administrative duties involved?
Ken Dimdore, via email
If your correspondent is
more concerned about his role as company secretary rather than the collection
of rents I would recommend he looks at PC Share Register Plus. This takes
care of all the records, minutes and Companies House forms etc. and at a
starting price of £99 is excellent value. Contact PTP Software at www.ptpgroup.co.uk.
I suggest Mr Dimdore have a look at the Company Secretarial software package
'PC Share Register Plus' at www.bhis.co.uk.
I have used a number of Company Secretarial software packages, and have found
this to be one of the simplest and most straightforward available, and one of
the least expensive. A fully functional evaluation copy is available
free of charge, and the annual licence fee is under £100. The user will require
a basic knowledge of the completion and maintenance of the statutory registers
of a limited company.
Mark Thomas, London
CAN YOU HELP?
Most nights I am plagued by urban foxes rooting through my dustbins and
at various times Ė presumably during the mating season -- making the most
horrific screeching noises (at first I thought someone was being murdered!).
Iíve seen various noise making gadgets that are supposed to scare off cats and
dogs, does anyone know of a similarly humane deterrent for foxes Ė perhaps some
sound effects that I can download onto my PC or tape recorder -- or a web
resource with suggestions for getting rid of these nocturnal pests?
Dennis Shearer, Enfield
I have recently
been sorting out my loft and cataloguing 40 years of accumulated books.
I thought it
would be a good idea to use the standard catalogue system found in public
libraries. However, to my
astonishment, my local libraries were unable to help much. They receive
books already catalogued. They did give me a list of number codes (e.g.
Technology is 620) but this has to be refined into subcategories using a number
of digits after the decimal point (e.g. 621.38392 is a book on recordable CDs).
I have searched on the Internet but cannot find this full category listing. Can
Can anyone point me in the direction of scientific clipart that I can
use in connection with a geology project for my adult education class? Iím also looking for clipart showing English
sports such as Cricket, Football and Rugby, and English oriented scenes and vehicles.
Most of the packages Iíve seen seem to be American in origin.
Mick Penn, via email