Addsum web site and general info

Postings here will focus mainly on Advanced Accounting software updates, tips, and related topics. They will also include general comments relating to troubleshooting PC/Windows/network problems and may also include reference to our other software products and projects including any of our various utilities, or to the TAS Premier programming language. We considered setting up separate blogs for different topics so that users/others could subscribe to topics mostly aligned with their interests, but decided that it would be better to keep things simple since some topics cross over into others. We would nonethelss welcome your feedback/input in this regard. Our web site URL is www.addsuminc.com. Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain www.advancedaccounting.us so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Will Advanced Accounting 5.1 run under Windows 10?

As long as you use the 32-bit version of Windows 10, yes, it will.   


An Adv 5.1 system running under Windows 10.  Screen shot taken on July 20, 2016.
( Company name changed to preserve end user confidentiality.)

Will we support this 1996 version of the software running like this?   Of course!

For newer versions of Advanced Accounting and Windows 10, see:

Windows 10 and Advanced Accounting 7i software


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Windows 10 default printer woes

Starting with an automatic update in November of 2015,  Microsoft made a change that has perplexed end users with multiple installed printers:  by default, the last printer you choose becomes your new default printer.

Logical?  No.  In most cases with multiple printers/devices and their drivers installed this preference setting makes no sense and nullifies the definition of a "default printer."  Further it defies the standard default printer logic that has existed since Windows 95. 
  
If the new setting preference was by default set to "Off" then at least it would not have created end user confusion; but that would have defeated Microsoft's reason for even having implemented this setting preference (i.e. apparently for end users who found setting their default printer to be too difficult).

This is an example of the "dumbing down" trend in PC's and mobile devices of all kinds that worsens, not enhances, the end user "experience" as so many like to refer to it these days.

Once you know why your default printer keeps changing without your having changed it in Windows 10, you can turn this setting preference off.

The hardest part about doing this is getting to the Windows 10 Settings section itself.    This should be something intuitive and obvious; yet it isn't. 

To get to Windows 10 settings:

(1)  The easiest say is to simply press and hold the Windows key and then the letter I, i.e:  Win-I.  (Intuitive? No.)

The Windows key (there are actually two of them on standard desktop keyboards) is both to the left and right of the space bar on the outside of each Alt key.  We tend to forget about them since they are essentially never used in touch typing and normally are meaningless. The symbol design on the key and its color varies from keyboard to keyboard, but its essential design is that of a gently waving flag:

Dell keyboard Windows key

Logitech keyboard Windows key

(2)  The next easiest method is to search for the Settings section by right clicking on the "Start" button (which however no long says Start) that is usually at the lower left on Win 10 desktops.  Then click on search and type settings.   Several options will be displayed in the menu above, any one of which will ultimately get you there (Start Settings, System Settings, etc.) but which may still require a few more clicks back and forth to get you to the main Settings page.  


From Windows Settings choose Devices.





Then choose Printers and scanners.   On the Printers and scanners page, scroll down until you see the option:

"Let Windows manage my default printer."


By default it will be On.



Click to the left of the On-Off switch so that it reads Off.   (An intuitive object? Not exactly.)





Now your  PC's default printer handling will again work the way it is supposed to.

































Thursday, June 30, 2016

Settting up customer discounts for early payments

This is easy to accomplish in Advanced Accounting,

You can always allow a discount on a customer payment  in AR (accounts receivable) option C where customer payments are processed regardless of the circumstances (for example:  you receive the payment on the 11th day following the invoice date and the discount period for the invoice was 10 days; you may still choose to let the customer take that discount even if the system doesn't automatically compute it).

To setup a specific terms number that allows the software to calculate the discount,  you would proceed to  SY (system maintenance) option B (Enter/Chg Terms Info).   Press Insert on your keyboard or click on the Insert button  to add a new terms number which will default to the next available number, or you can specify the number.   Alternatively you can edit an existing terms number to have discount characteristics (or to remove them).

If adding a new terms number:

Input an appropriate description such as 2%/10 NET 30.

In the discount column input:   2  (for a 2% discount).

In the type column input:    %
(to indicate that it is a percent type discount)

In the days column input:  10  (the discount period)

Max days: 30     (i.e., the desired number of days until due)

Use:   R  meaning this terms number is only for customers and you aren't going to use these same terms for accounts payable or purchase orders (or for all, just enter A).


Calc how:  A



To make this terms number the default for sales orders for a given established or new customer, input this new terms # as the default in the customer's AR-A maintenance screen. 

Most importantly:  when  creating sales orders, i.e. input the desired discount terms number to trigger the automatic calculation when later recording payments.   This value will be initially assigned to the customer's default terms value as established in AR-A.













Monday, May 23, 2016

Control whether your PC upgrades to Windows 10

We have long advocated controlling the installation of Windows updates and not having any updates  "install automatically" which is the normal Microsoft default.  In addition, the normal setting for "recommend updates" is to behave the same as "important" updates.    Earlier this year Microsoft changed the status of the Windows 10 update to "recommended" which means that now suddenly Windows 7 and Windows 8 users are suddenly finding their PC's having upgraded themselves to Windows 10 without any advance notification*.    This is because of the default Windows update settings.  You can however prevent this from occurring automatically and without your specifically choosing to update.

(*If you find that your PC has automatically updated to Windows 10, you may be able to revert to your prior version provided that you act quickly, i.e. within 30 days.   Review your Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to see if you can go back to your earlier version.)

To control your Windows updates, in Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel  > System and Security > Windows Update.   On the left side, click on Change Settings.







Then look for the Recommended updates check box (see below).  At an absolute minimum, make sure the recommend update setting is unchecked.   You will need to click on OK to make the change but before doing that, consider also changing the behavior of "important updates" to not simply install automatically.  (Never update is our favorite option which renders the recommended update option moot, but at least give yourself control over when the important updates occur.)









In Windows 8.1, a similar procedure is available or via the PC Settings "app" you can go to Settings > Update and recovery > Windows update and then make the changes.  Again at the very least, uncheck the Recommended updates check box, and then be sure to apply those changes.

Once this is done you can also right click on any downloaded Windows 10 update and choose to hide it so that it is not accidentally installed.

There are other ways to accomplish the foregoing which include Computer configuration as well as the Windows registry.  See:

How to manage Windows 10 notification and upgrade options KB3080351

Since the free update to Windows 10 for Win 7 and 8 users will end in July, this issue will to some degree then go away; however, we would still strongly recommend that end users take control of how and when their PC's are updated.  

And, we greatly hope that Microsoft will provide that ability ultimately in Windows 10 as well, which is one of its biggest drawbacks.   Automatic updates potentially create all sorts of system stability and usability issues that can only be properly managed and monitored by the end user.  No operating system update should ever be forced.

The above is not meant to indicate that our accounting software does not work with Windows 10; in fact it does and with no known issues, see:

http://addsuminc.blogspot.com/2016/05/windows-10-and-advanced-accounting.html

This does not necessarily mean that no Windows related configuration issues might have to be dealt with.  An operating system change is a major update, and the Windows 10 update in some cases may make temporarily undesirable changes on its own.


























Monday, May 9, 2016

Windows folder or file padlock icon removal

If the ownership of a folder is SYSTEM, starting with Windows 7, newly added files will be "locked"  and the padlock or file lock icon will appear until those files are specifically shared with "Everyone" or some desired group of individual users or until the folder is shared differently in terms of its ownership on multi-user systems.


Note the padlock (also commonly referred to as a file lock) icon



Until the file is shared or the ownership of the folder is changed, the newly added file will be accessible/readable by the PC on which it was installed but not by other users that connect to that PC.


If SYSTEM is  listed first (in the above example, it is listed second) , then newly added files may be  be "locked" until they are specifically shared, or until a Users or Everyone group is added. Click on the Advanced button to view, in this case, the folder's owner.




Here is a helpful Microsoft technet article to help with on changing file or folder ownership:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753659(v=ws.11).aspx

(Take Ownership of a File or Folder, applies to Windows 7, WIndows Server 2008 R2)

As indicated via the MS article, you resolve by opening Windows Explorer, then locate the file or folder you want to take ownership of, right click on either the file or the folder, choose properties and then click on the security tab.  Under Advanced click on the Owner tab (in Windows 10 click on the clickable Change label  to the right of Owner).

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Windows 10 and Advanced Accounting 7i software


While previously we advised caution in moving immediately to Windows 10, many users have now done so, and with no more problems or issues than traditionally have been the case when migrating to new computers with new operating systems.

Today alone we assisted two different end users, one of whom was replacing an XP Pro PC that had crashed with a PC running Windows 10 which we successfully connected to a Windows 2003 Server (that the user wanted to continue to use, for now), along with another user that had just replaced six of their XP Pro PC's with PC's running Windows 10 Pro, and with one of the Windows 10 Pro PC's acting as "the server" or gateway PC.  We installed the accounting software on the Windows 10 "gateway" computer which went very smoothly, and then we converted all of the the user's Adv 5.1 data to the Adv 7i version, which was also completed successfully.

With any identifying information removed, here is a screen shot of the Advanced Accounting software running on one of the Windows 10 computers:




In general, we have been pleased to date with end user experiences using Windows 10 and Advanced Accounting 7i.

Whether your Windows 10 update installs completely smoothly or not is a different question, and is completely unrelated to Advanced Accounting.   Windows 10 has been known to make changes on its own: it may remove existing program icons or even change folder permissions.   So we would not recommend simply allowing this update to be installed on its own without supervision, and without also testing and especially with respect to any PC that is serving as the "server" or gateway PC where the software is actually installed, since the update may change user permissions and/or the folder's existing sharing characteristics.   Losing installed print drivers has been another problem that some users have experienced which then creates problems in viewing/printing accounting software generated reports.  So, it is not a good idea generally to let the Windows 10 update install itself when you may be unprepared to address other issues that may arise such as re-installing print drivers that may be required in order for your printers to work properly under Windows 10.

With respect to controlling updates on older PC's, see:

http://addsuminc.blogspot.com/2016/05/control-whether-your-pc-upgrades-to.html

Default printer and other settings you may need to adjust with respect to Windows:

Windows 10 default printer woes


See also:

Will Advanced Accounting 5.1 run under Windows 10?


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DOS/4G error 2001 exception 0Dh

Users of legacy software that were designed to use the DOS/4G from Rational Systems, Inc. (later Tenberry Software) may experience a  general protection fault response such as the following:



This might happen on a system where the legacy package was previously working, or may be triggered when moving the software to a different/new computer.

The DOS/4G extender was designed to help allow programs access memory above 640K in the pre-Windows era.   Many different programs used the extender ranging from database applications and accounting systems to games.   With the advent of Windows memory handling, its utility largely became moot and fortunately it is normally ignored when programs are run under more modern Windows 32-bit operating systems.   Programs that were designed to use the extender however will require the presence of the DOS/4G executable (usually dos4g.exe or dos4gw.exe) or they will not load.

The issue relates to the Windows PATH that the DOS/4G extender was designed to handle.   It has a limit of 250 characters (some sources indicate 255 or 260).    

This issue is also unrelated to the specific operating system in use.  Once the path environment variable exceeds the maximum, the DOS/4G extender error 2001 will occur.   As programs are installed on, for example, an XP Pro PC, your path environment variable may start to become quite lengthy.   Or on newer PC's with pre-installed programs, the PATH length may already be lengthy to start with.    To see your current path, at a CMD line simply type:

PATH

If you want to determine its length, redirect the output to a text file, e.g.:

PATH > mypath.txt

Then retrieve the file, in this case mypath.txt, in NOTEPAD (uncheck Word wrap under Format and check on Status bar on view and you will then get a a line and column count in the status bar).

Another way to inspect your path would be under Advanced System Settings (how you get there depends on the operating system) and then Advanced and Environmental Variables.  Changing/shortening your path here however may have adverse impacts when running other programs. 

There are various potential solutions to the problem.  The simplest perhaps is to simply edit the batch file (using a line editor such as NOTEPAD or if available EDIT) that starts the application (assuming one already exists) and simply add this line before the line that calls your application:

SET PATH=

(with nothing after the equal sign). 

If your application does not use a batch file then create one with the SET PATH= statement followed by the name of your application (see your icon's properties).    There are other solutions as well..

You may find that your application requires support from other folders and if so you may have to add a path or two to SET PATH= if that is the case:

SET PATH=C:\windows\system32;c:\someotherpath


Starting the application from the CMD prompt will initially help in troubleshooting  errors.



More information:

Tenberry DOS/4G and DOS/4GW FAQ