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Time and Place:

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is an 'Asset' in Per-Asset pricing
  2. What is a 'Simultaneous User' in per-user pricing
  3. How do I create my own picture sets for rows and event types?
  4. Is there any problem moving to Windows XP? Vista?
  5. What can I do to improve performance on an older system?
  6. How can I create my own reports?
  7. What causes users to Get "Table is locked by user..." errors?
  8. What causes "Database is Corrupt" or "Invalid Format" messages and how do I solve them?
  9. How do I interpret and report various types of error messages Faults?
  10. Can the installation disks be copied onto a network hard disk to run setup?
  11. Can I copy the grid properties from one computer to another?
  12. How can I move the database to a different hard disk.

What is an 'Asset' in Per-Asset Pricing?

On the Time and Place main screen each thing which is distinctly scheduled gets its own row. The rows can be rooms, outside spaces, vehicles, major pieces of AV equipment, or whatever. Items that are fixed to a particular room, such as a video projector mounted in the ceiling, would not be scheduled separately, as would insignificant items such as individual tables and chairs. Non-event spaces such as restrooms and offices also would not need to have a row on the grid.

The number of rows on the grid is the number of assets.

What is a 'Simultaneous User' in Per-User Pricing

A 'user' is a session of Time and Place running on a computer. The full, user and read-only versions of Time and Place all count as 'Users'. Add-on utilities such as Calendar Publishing and Graphic Analysis do not count as users. A computer using output files from Calendar Publishing does not count as a user.

The most certain approach would be to have the number of users and the number of computers on which you plan to install the software be the same. That way even if they were all to be running Time and Place at once there would be no problem. However if you expect your use to be more occasional than that you would be able to have fewer licensed users than number of computers on which the software is installed.

Two unusual conditions should be noted. The first is that if a user launches multiple instances of Time and Place on their computer they ALL count as users. The second is that if a computer exits abnormally the record of their session may not have been closed, resulting in a false extra user. This is easily cleared by using the 'Reset User Count' feature of the Database Utilities.

Is there any problems with upgrading to Windows XP?  How about Vista?

Time and Place has supported every version of Windows from Microsoft as of the day of their public release. 

We have tested Time and Place under both 32 and 64 bit Vista including Service Pack 1.  Under Vista there is one known limitation.  Time and Place must be run maximized.  When run windowed a screen size calculation problem will cause it to only display one row.  To our surprise running Time and Place in 'compatibility mode' of XP or Windows 95 will not solve this problem even though the problem does not occur in those environments.

When installing under Vista you will need to run the setup program using administrative rights, which is to be expected.  You may also need administrative rights to copy the license file into the database file location.

Another additional step that will be needed for Vista users will be installing winhelp for Vista.  This is easily done by following the link the in the message displayed the first time help is activated.  Because winhelp for vista is easily obtained we do not regard this as an issue. 

How do I create my own picture sets for rows and event types?

For 16 bit users and 32 bit users prior to 2.0.25

The file events.bmp contains the images for the event types and the file general.bmp contains the images for the row labels. These are contained in the data directory. There are several other bmp files each containing images for a particular category of user such as recreation, religious, education, etc. When the data setup coach is run the selected version is copied into general.bmp and events.bmp.

These are standard windows bitmap files and can be edited using Windows Paint or any other similar tool. The standard versions were created using 16 colors for greatest compatibility. You can create your replacements in 256 colors but they may not look the same on all systems.

Do not change the size of the bitmap, the number of pictures, or their arrangement. The pictures must be 16 pixels square in a grid 8 across and two high.

Once you save the new version of the files (backing up the old ones would be a very good idea) they will not take effect until Time and Place is exited and restarted.

For 32 bit users of 2.0.25 or greater

There are individual bitmaps, each 16 by 16 pixels, held in the database directory. The bitmaps for the row labels have names beginning with the letter G and the bitmaps for the event types begin with the letter E and are numbered consecutively (i.e. E1.BMP, E2.BMP, E3.BMP...). The bitmaps all use the pale blue (cyan) color as the transparent color (see the existing bitmaps for examples). You may edit these bitmaps or create additional ones. When Time and Place reads these files at program startup it begins at 1 and increases until a file is not found, at which point it stops. therefore there can be no missing numbers in the sequence.

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What can I do to improve performance on an older system?

Unless you are dealing with a very old computer the only factor that is likely to make a currently supportable computer run slow would be a HUGE backlog of old reservations in the database.  Back up your old database and use the database utilities to remove events beyond your need to report on ever.

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How do I create my own reports?

Two main avenues exist to create your own reports.

  1. All of the "CR" reports in Time and Place were created using Crystal Reports. Users with Crystal Reports version 5.0 can modify or create their own reports. The system looks in the data directory for any file ending in the .RPT extension and displays it in the list of the reports to execute. There is already in the version 2.0.9 database a useful query called ReservationReport that includes the key joins that are needed between the tables.. Any Crystal Reports to be executed from Time and Place must include the the calculated field StartDateTime and EndDateTime which, in most cases will be DTSToDateTime({ReservationReport.Start}) and DTSToDateTime({ReservationReport.End})
    Support for Crystal Reports within Time and Place is planned to be dropped in a future release. When this is done you may continue to run your custom Crystal Reports using Crystal.
  2. All of the data in the program is contained in the single file T&P.MDB. This is a standard Microsoft Access version 2.0 database. Any tool that can read an MDB file (including, of course, Microsoft Access) can get at and report on the data contained in it. When doing so do not add queries or reports to the T&P.MDB file. These are almost certain to be overwritten when future updates are installed. Instead attach the tables from a second MDB file and write the reports from there. The format of the MDB file is intended to be very straightforward. However two things may need to be pointed out. The first is that the Asset field in the reservation table points to the AssetID field in the Asset table, which then contains the remainder of the information about the asset. Similarly the Reservation field of the Notes table is linked to the Reservation ID field of the Reservation Table. With these things in mind (which are nothing more than obvious application of relational database design) creating your own reports from Time and Place should be easy.

    For reasons of backward compatibility with older customers the T&P.MDB is shipped in Access 97 format.  Newer versions of Access will still be able to link tables in an Access 97 databases.  Since linking to the tables is recommended practice you can feel free to create your reports on whatever version of Access you have.  If for any reason you need to temporarily convert T&P.MDB to a newer format file be sure to convert it back to access 97 format before opening T&P.  This is easily done within Access.
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Users occasionally get "Table is locked by user Admin on Machine..." errors. Why?

Time and Place uses the Microsoft Jet Database Engine. (The same engine used in Microsoft Access) This engine is considered appropriate for applications of this scale and does not require administrative overhead or runtime fees like 'enterprise level' database systems.

Microsoft Access uses a page locking method to prevent data conflicts in multi-user environments. A page consists of 2K of data and two users cannot write to the same page at once. Unfortunately new records are always written to the last page. Therefore the most likely circumstances of this error occurring are when two users add a reservation at the same time. Time and Place version 2.0 is designed to lock the table for the minimum necessary time. However such conflicts still can occur. When this happens each user is given a "Abort, Retry, or Ignore" message. Checking Ignore will cause the reservation to not complete but otherwise leave the system ready to try to make the reservation again. Although it is hard to coordinate such things if one user selects "Ignore" the other can select "Retry" and have their reservation complete.

When this error occurs immediately on launching the program it can be an indication that the system is not allowing multi-user access to the database.  This can be as a result of the data folder not being shared on the network to allowed shared access, it can indicate that some users do not have sufficient rights to the data folder, or some problem with the T&P.LDB file, which contains the locking information.

We have observed that locking occurs less frequently when using the 32-bit Access 97 format databases (this will require that all users be using the 32 bit version of Time and Place). In addition the 32 bit versions 2.0.44 and greater were designed to have fewer conflicts in the Session Module.

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What causes "Database is Corrupt" Messages?

When the Microsoft Jet (Microsoft Access) database engine opens a database it compares all of the page locks in the database with the users who have the database open. If there are page locks that are not associated with a user the "Database is Corrupt" message is displayed. There is most likely no loss of data and other users already in Time and Place may in fact be having no trouble at all using the "corrupt" database. The database is corrupt message is always a downstream symptom of some user exiting the database without being able to release their locks. This is the real problem. It can occur because of a user shutting down their computer without closing the application, sudden network outages, or windows errors that shut down the software abruptly. In each case the solution is to find out what caused the program to be exited abruptly, not why the next user entering the program gets the database is corrupt message.

In certain relatively rare cases the database will require both a repair and a compact in order to function correctly. Both of these are available in the database cleanout utility.

In extremely rare cases a database corruption will need you to convert the T&P.MDB file to your more current version of Access and then save it back as Access97.  We don't know why this works, only that it sometimes works where ordinary methods do not.

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What is causing a particular error message?

Sometimes the end application gets all the blame. Really. It is a bit like the user who puts the number 23 in their spreadsheet cell E7 when their whole system crashes who says "Wow, I'll never put 23 in cell E7 again, why would Microsoft make a spreadsheet where you can't even put 23 in cell E7".

Windows, like all modern operating systems, is a collection of many different programs all referencing the functions contained in the others. Most applications are also constructed from many different libraries from different vendors. These both reference each other and all of the Windows files as well.. In the case of Time and Place version 2. this includes the Microsoft Visual Basic 5 runtime engine, the Microsoft Access Database Engine, the Crystal Reports Engine, and various control runtimes (OCXs and VBXs). With all of these files loaded and referencing each other all of the time tight protections are needed to prevent them from stepping outside of their bounds. These are the Unexpected Application Errors and General Protection Faults. They can happen from something as simple as one function calling another with the wrong number or type of arguments. Unfortunately two low level libraries can interfere with each other and it is the top-level program such as Time and Place which crashes and gets all of the blame.

In general there is a hierarchy of error types which you may find when running Time and Place version 2.

  1. Trapped Visual Basic errors from within Time and Place. These will give you a descriptive message of the error that occurred and a description of the module, procedure, and task where the error occurred (Write them down, including the circumstances which were occurring.). The dialog will offer Abort, Retry, or Ignore options. Abort will usually end the program. If you select ignore further error messages may appear. Remember that it is the first one that is important.
  2. Untapped Visual Basic errors are errors that occurred in a portion of the code where we did not expect errors to be happening. They will give a similar error message to the trapped errors but will only allow an OK button. Clicking the OK button will cause the program to exit. Record the text of the message and what was occurring.
  3. Errors from other applications which pop-up while you are running Time and Place. These might be a result of the interaction between Time and Place and the other program or could just be bad timing that they occurred while you were using Time and Place.
  4. Windows Faults, also called Unexplained Application Errors or General Protection Faults. These may be announced with a broad white banner (Messages about saving your work in a new file apply to document centered applications, not Time and Place). They may also be announced with the Windows 95 message box with Close and Details options. Apart from which modules encountered the conflict the information in the details section is of little use. These errors often seem very random in their occurrence, which makes them particularly hard to solve. When encountering these types of errors the following suggestions are useful
  • Exit and restart windows. In general these faults indicate that one library is confused about its own or another file's use of memory or the and will continue to do so. These program libraries are not unloaded from memory when a program ends because they can be shared by other programs. Restarting just the program will still use the confused copy of the program library in memory.
  • If a particular DLL, or OCX file seems to be the culprit check if there are multiple copies of them on the disk. Some programs, particularly shareware, place these files in their program directories instead of the Windows\System directory. If an older version was first loaded from one of these program directories they can be a source of conflicts.
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Can the Installation Disks be Copied on a Network Hard Disk and Run?

CD-ROM

Yes, you can copy the entire CD to a shared directory. However to save space you may wish to copy just the TP2325.EXE file (Time and Place setup) and/or the TPEX2325.EXE file (Time and Place Extended)

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Can I copy the grid properties from one computer to another or Force all Users to have the Same settings? 

The settings in the Grid Properties dialog are stored in the Registry in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/VB and VBA Program Settings/T&P. The Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) allows you to export specific branches of the registry tree, such as this one, to a separate .REG file that can be copied to and executed on another system to copy the registry settings.  Newer versions of Windows may block this action without administrative rights. (Note that you DO NOT copy the entire registry to another computer in this manner. It contains many things that are extremely specific to each computer) The one caution with copying the settings in this manner is the Database setting in the Files section. This contains the path to the directory containing the database. If it is different between the two systems (for example if one is mapped to the G: drive and the other is mapped to the H: drive) then this setting will need to be edited to use a UNC pathname.

While this can be used to give two computers the same settings to start with each user can still change them later if they wish.

If you want to have two user or computers to always begin with the same settings you can put the save the .reg file and then create a batch file that loads the .reg file and then launches T&P.

Another means of forcing certain settings is to use a T&P.INI file.  The use of .INI files was deprecated with Windows 95 but Time and Place still checks for them before going to the Registry as it can be used to solve certain problems.  Note that if the user changes a setting in the grid

How can I Move the Time and Place Database to a different hard disk

If the data files are already in a separate directory from the program files then the entire data directory should be moved to the new hard disk. If the program files and data files are in the same directory (such as the default 32 bit location C:\Program Files\T&P or the default 16 bit location C:\T&P)and you wish to move only the data then all files with the following extensions should be moved: *.MDB, *.BMP, *.RPT, *.RPX (if any) and T&P.LIC. Time and Place will need to be closed in order to move many of these files.

For the 32 bit version you must use the Registry Editor REGEDIT.EXE in the windows directory to change HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\T&P\Files\Database to point to the new directory.  Note that UNC path names are valid for this setting

Computers with the Admin version of Time and Place have a small utility called SETPATH that will change it.  Setpath has the limitation of requiring that the data path begin with a drive letter.

 
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Last modified: August 20, 2009