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Datadisc Pt and networks

Running Datadisc Pt Over a Network

Datadisc is not designed to be run by being launched over a network. If you want to run Datadisc on a network, make sure that each system has its own copy of Windows and Datadisc installed on the hard drive.

Network set-ups vary according to the needs of the school, the version of Windows running on the server and the versions employed at workstations. There cannot therefore be one Datadisc Pt network setup. Also Datadisc, because it has to communicate with hardware and offers a wide variety of options to suit users from KS1 teaching up to Scholarship level, cannot be a simple "install and run" application.

To allow for the above variations, Datadisc uses a file that is stored in the same directory as the "Datadisc executable" (exe file) to tell it how to use the network resources. this file is initially set up to suit a stand-alone computer.

There is now an Installation information editor built in to the Preferences feature of Datadisc - contact your supplier for information on accessing this (which we do not want to make freely available). The principles in editing it this way are still as below. You will need to have administrator rights on your system and a password we will issue to use this.

The settings are all about deciding where Datadisc will store various parameters including the user keys that allow you to use Datadisc according to your licence.

Settings storage

There are three groups of parameters that may each be stored in either the Registry or in a file somewhere on the network. Files on the network will not necessarily be readable or writable by particular users and the registry "changes" according to the user in ways that are part of the network configuration.

The most important group of settings are the "Program key storage" settings that allow Datadisc to know what licence is in use and hence whether to allow a user to record data and save files.

The other groups of settings are:

Hardware settings, which are used to store things like the serial ports to be used and so should relate to the computer currently in use.

User settings, which are the sort of things that individual users might like to change, such as the graphing style, or you may wish only certain privileged users to change.

First you must choose whether the registry or a file will be used to store the settings. For networks prior to Windows XP / Windows server 2003 a file is usually the best choice.
If the registry is chosen then you have a further choice between HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. ie the user's own part of the registry or that specific to the PC that is running Datadisc.
If files are chosen than you must choose a location for the file (Datadisc will create the file but NOT the path to it) which has read and write privileges for YOU and has at least read privileges for any user. Whether you chose a location with write privileges for particular users will depend on whether you want those users to be able to make changes to the settings.

For keys  it is probably best to select the location of Datadisc itself. (This will be set up by default but, if you wish to return to it, just enter "%APP%").

This is fine as long as the keys are set up by someone with the right to make changes in this directory !

For the User settings you can select the user's "My documents" location by clicking the button. It is possible to add directories below this location.
Note that Datadisc will NOT create paths you enter, make sure to click Validate if you type a path in. Alternatively use the Browse button to find the path you want.
Other locations
These paths set the defaults for some significant storage.
Global Utilities menu password
Use these buttons to set a password for access to the Utilities menu globally (ie for all users running this installation of Datadisc). This will over-ride any passwords that may have already been set locally by users.

Datadisc Explore and GraphPad

Note that these programs are all affected equally by the settings made as above in Datadisc itself.
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Installation problems
Message "Cannot load frmMain (7)" There is not enough available memory to load Datadisc.
It is not possible to be specific about the amount or RAM required and we certainly know that Datadisc can run on computers with 64 Mb RAM.

However whether it will actually be able to run will depend on what other processes are running and your virtual memory settings.

Windows XP reports "Available virtual memory" in the "System Information" program (Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\System Tools\System Information) and this figure should be at least 100 Mb.

When I run Datadisc after installing it, the Windows Installer system starts and says it needs to access a Microsoft Office disc. This problem occurs whenever anyone tries to run a variety of programs (not just Datadisc) on a workstation which is on a Windows 2000 server network which has Microsoft Office installed.

The problem arises if a new user has logged on and has not run any Office programs (such as Word).

When the new user does run say Word then the Windows Installer will start up for a while and finish gracefully allowing Word to run. After this Datadisc will run normally.

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High numbered serial ports
In recent versions of Datadisc it has been possible to edit the name of the last two serial ports scanned so that higher numbers can be accommodated. It has now come to our notice that this does not work for serial ports COM10 and higher. Datadisc Pt version 2.3.33 (now available for download) fixes this problem.
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