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Question 1.

I sometimes get an error message saying, "In use by another" and showing some file name. What causes this?

Answer.  A previous problem has caused the application to be shut down in an uncontrolled way and Windows has retained the "file handle" and refuses to release it. The only way to release the file handle is to shut down Windows and restart. Choose Start, Shut Down, Restart.

Question 2.

How do I enter grandparents in a pedigree?

Answer. This cannot be done directly. When you add a new entry, only the parents can be added. After that you must enter each parent as a new entry with their parents. As an example, you enter A with parents B and C. Now enter B as a new entry with its parents D and E then enter C as a new entry with its parents F and G. The system will connect them provided that the names/ring numbers are exactly the same when entered as a new entry and as a parent. Tip: start your entries from the oldest part of the pedigree and work towards the youngsters. This way, most of your parent entries will be done from the drop-down lists rather than having to type out the name/ring numbers again.

Question 3.

I have a bird which appears in the pedigree, why does it not appear in the birds to choose from for race birds?

Answer. Choose Bird | Edit, find the bird and check that it is both in-loft and is assigned as a race bird. You cannot race a bird that is not in-loft nor one that is not a race bird.

Question 4.

I have a bird which appears in the pedigree, why does it not appear in the list of cock (hen) birds for choosing birds to pair?

Answer. Just like the previous question, check that the bird is in-loft, is assigned the correct sex and is not assigned a sex of U - unknown.

Question 5.

I have entered my young birds in races but they do not show in the ratings when I click the "Young birds" radio button. Some show when the "All birds" radio button is selected. Why?

Answer. Find the bird in the bird editor and check that its hatch date has been entered correctly. The value of the hatch date must be within the current hatch year. If it isn't, then it is not a young bird!

Question 6.

I have bought a new computer and want to transfer the software and my data to the new computer. What is the best way to do that?

Answer. Before you disconnect the old computer, make sure you have a good backup  of your data. Floppy disks are obsolescent and are not very reliable. We highly recommend the use of USB drives (memory sticks). If you have East Coast Software from several years ago and have bought upgrades at intervals, there is no need to install all the intermediate versions. The upgrades do NOT contain the full system so you must install the original CD/disks you got when you first bought the software. Then install the most recent upgrade. For example, you may have bought version 2 and the upgrades to versions 3, 4 and 5. Install the original version 2, start it up and fill in the configuration form, shut it down, install the upgrade to version 5 then start it up and choose File, Restore Data with your backup floppy in its drive. All should be now up to date on your new machine.

If you have the following  versions or later of our software V7 for the Loft Management System, V4 for the FSS or V2 for the Club Membership System or the Dog Pedigree System or the Cat Pedigree System, then there is no need to install previous versions at all. Just install the most recent version then go to the Downloads page here and download the latest update to your software.

The latest versions of our software (8 for LMS, 5 for FSS, 3 for Club Membership System, or Dog Pedigree System or Cat Pedigree System) all have an auto-updater that will update you provided you are on-line.

Question 7.

How do I get a race sheet in LMS.

Answer. You MUST first define a race - choose Race, Add/Edit Race. The first time, you will be given an empty race definition form to fill in. It's the second and subsequent ones that cause the problem. Again choose Race, Add/Edit Race and choose ANY race. On its form, click the Add button. The form will clear and allow you to add a brand new race. Only fill in the date and choose the start point from the drop-down then click the Save button. Do NOT fill in any other of the fields on this form because, at that time, you do not have the information to do so. If you do fill in another field, the system will insist on you completing ALL fields which, at that time, is impossible. You can now choose your race birds and print a race sheet. The birds you choose for the race sheet are the only ones that will appear in the drop-down pick list on the Enter Results form so that you are not searching through a long list - only those birds that went to that race. Before you can enter results, the system will insist on the race definition form being completed, which you can do because, by then, you do have all the information.

Question 8.

Why do I need to backup my data?

Answer. Data is your most precious asset. If you lose your hard disk, a rare but quite possible occurrence, the application is easy to restore on the new or repaired disk but, unless you have a backup copy, your data is gone and needs to be re-entered from scratch. I’m sure you would not like that chore!

Some people never take a backup and are open to losing all their data. We have occasionally had customers ask if their data can be recovered. We always ask if they have a good backup. On those occasions when the reply is, "No" we have to reply that the only way to get their data back is to retype it all again.

Floppy disks are obsolescent and are not 100% reliable. When you buy pre-formatted floppies, many people think that there is no need to format the disks. If any bad sectors have developed on the floppies, your data is again at risk. If you cannot read the data on the floppy, the backup is useless. Always format your floppies immediately before use. Our preferred mechanism for storage is the USB drive, sometimes called a "pen" drive or a "thumb" drive or "memory stick" and probably the best backup system today.  They have various sizes from 256MB upwards and the smallest should suffice for your backup needs for quite some time. They are an ideal medium for backing up from one machine to restore on another. They do, of course, require your computer to have a USB port and, if you are running under Windows XP or later, they require no drivers.

A multi-disk backup is better still. One such method is called the “grandfather, father, son” method and keeps three copies of your backup. When you start the system, three sets of backup are taken and are marked A, B and C. The first time of backing up, all three sets are backed up to. Then, next time you backup your data, you use the A set. The following time, you use the B set, then next time the C set. After that you revert to the A set and so on. Why? Suppose your hard disk starts to become corrupted. You may not notice it at first and you are backing up corrupted data. With a single copy, you may already have a backup that is unusable. Hopefully, you will discover that your hard disk is failing before all three sets have been backed up to and so the maximum amount of data loss is that between two backups. How do you remember which set of backups you should use next? If you keep them in a box and always use from the front and replace to the back, the system will look after itself.

As our applications are developed, more and more facilities are built in and, quite often, extra data is stored. The records the system stores as backups are not very large until you begin to store photographic images. However, as soon as you begin to store photographic images, the amount of space required for your backup data increases rapidly. You should use some image-manipulating software to reduce the file size of the images before adding them to our systems. A modern digital camera will produce images of several megabytes in size but each image needs only to be a few kilobytes. You will not see the difference but your backup storage system will!

Question 9.

I was trying to set matches for next season's games in the league organiser but it would not allow me to set a match on a particular day. I have not set the day as a non-match day in the diary. What's wrong?

Answer. The reason for missing out any date other than it having been set in the diary as a non-playing date is that there are not enough rinks left on that day to fit the matches in. This could be because you have another league playing at the same time or because you have reserved some rinks in the booking system.

Question 10.

Why will Help not work in my new Vista / Windows 7 computer?

Answer. The new operating system does not deploy WinHelp32.exe required by the help system. You can download a copy from Microsoft's web site by visiting http://tinyurl.com/ypo5fz for Windows Vista or http://tinyurl.com/W7Help for Windows 7.

Question 11.

Sometimes FSS says that the race is not in the ETS clock when I know I have entered it. Why?

Answer. You have edited the details of the race. Perhaps there was a holdover or some change that prompted you to edit the details of the race.

Once a race has been sent to the Unikon clock, do NOT edit that race. Even altering the liberation time is worth leaving until later. Especially do not change the race date or liberation site. Wait until you have struck off the race for everyone and got the results into FSS before you do any editing. If, in your edit, you change anything that affects the velocities, an automatic re-calculation of all velocities will occur so that the corrected velocities will be displayed when you print the result. Prior to editing the things that do change the velocities, you will get strange velocities but just accept them as they will be corrected in the velocity re-calculation.

Look at it this way; you send a race from FSS to the Unikon ETS with a date of D1 and a start point of <somewhere>. If you now alter FSS so that that race has a date of D2 or a place of <somewhere else>, when you come to search for that race, FSS looks for a date of D2 and it cannot find it since the ETS holds a date of D1 or FSS looks for start point <somewhere else> and it cannot find it because ETS holds a start point of <somewhere>.

If you alter the race date or liberation point in FSS after sending the race to the clock and before the results have been imported, Unikon will not find the race. If you send a race to the clock then delete it in FSS and re-enter it, Unikon will not find it. FSS adds an unseen-by-you unique number to identify the race. This unique number is sent to the clock. Deleting and re-entering the same race with all the same data will have a different unique number and so will not be recognised by the Unikon system.