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 nonetheless 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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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Running Advanced Accounting from a Mac (or iPad)

Advanced Accounting is designed to natively run from Microsoft operating systems.  We normally only provide support therefore for the software running on a Microsoft server or workstation/desktop operating system.

For quite some time now, a Mac or iPad could still though access the software using a remote desktkop equivalent application (or app in the case of an iPad).

With the recent introduction of  OS X Mavericks there are now more options.

An Advanced Accounting 7i user recently tested running the accounting software with Parallels 9 running Windows 8.1 and OS X Mavericks and has reported that it works flawlessly.

The Advanced Accounting software in this case exists on a Windows-based server.  Parallels was installed on a Mac Book Pro which then allows you to install Windows 8.1 as a virtual machine.   One desktop can then be run with OS X Mavericks and a second with Windows 8.1 simultaneously.    In the Windows 8.1 desktop,  Pervasive engine can be installed, and Advanced Accounting 7i ran apparently just as efficiently as if run on a Windows client in this configuration.    There is also a Coherence mode that can run Windows programs directly on the Mac desktop, and this also reportedly ran perfectly.

(Thanks to Andrew Sawitoski for providing this information.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Frequently we are asked this question.   Either one is fine.   If you are using a legacy version, however,  see the "special considerations for legacy versions" section below.

Most importantly, make sure that you obtain at least the "Professional" version of these operating systems and preferably nothing lower (i.e. for business/networking purposes you want to normally void "Basic" and "Home" versions).

Ideally all PC's would simply come with the so-called "professional" versions.

Because of the touch screen interface and the fact that even with the program menu having returned in Windows 8, corporate users are still commonly choosing Windows 7 over Windows 8, and for most users, that remains a reasonable/safe/efficient choice.

Despite some its awkward tile and other interface issues, Windows 8 does seem to be very solid in terms of reliability and memory handling.    A number of our users are using Windows 2012 Server which  uses the "Windows 8" interface.   Heavy desktop users will still likely prefer Windows 7.

Special considerations for legacy versions:  

If you are using a 16-bit legacy version such as Advanced Accounting 5.1 or prior, or software based on TAS Professional 5.1 or prior then you need to be aware that unless you have the 32-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 pre-installed (instead the 64-bit version will likely be pre-installed), you will not be able to run the software without going through extra hoops and may also have networking limitations if you plan to use your legacy version in a multi-user or multi-device (shared resources) environment.

Your system type (32-bit or 64-bit) can be determined by checking your system information properties.

Even if you have a 64-bit system type, it is still possible to run 16-bit legacy program.

Windows 7 Professional and higher:  install the the XP mode. See Install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.

Home versions (64-bit Vista, Win 7 or Win 8):  One option would be to run the legacy programs under a virtual machine such as http://www.vmware.com/products/player/.

With Windows 8 Pro or higher, the included Hyper-V is available to run via a virtual machine.  See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/hyper-v-run-virtual-machines.

A few more references for legacy users:

64-bit versions of Windows do not support 16-bit components

Windows 8 Program Compatibility Assistant

Normally the best answer for legacy accounting software users is to upgrade their 16-bit version to the latest version of Advanced Accounting, and we will install and convert all of your data (everything moves forward and nothing is lost) for you remotely at no additional cost beyond the cost of the software update.








Thursday, February 13, 2014

Network path not found

Recently one of our accounting software users suddenly could not run Advanced Accounting 7i from a local, shared path and received this message.  The details of the Windows error message indicated the error code 0x80070035.

The user was running Windows 7 Home (and had another Windows 7 PC on their network).  The software had been working the previous day when we were also on their system.   And it was not a Monday . . .

(A disproportionate number of computer problems happen on Monday mornings, probably due to weekend operating system updates, or networks not having been fully or properly shutdown, or power problems caused by storms, etc.; we otherwise like to blame them on sunspots which are for some reason more prevalent on Mondays!  The best strategy for dealing with these is to turn off everything that won't be used before leaving your office, and especially on Fridays.)

A UNC path was being used to reference the folder name in the format:

\\PCName\Adv\

Where Adv was the share name (in this case Adv61).    We verified the computer name was indeed the same name as the "PCName" (not the actual name) in the UNC path.   The folder was still shared.  The desktop icon properties were correct.  The INI file used by the executable and default registry entries were also correct.

And the operating system's network settings were seemingly all correct as well.   Network discovery for example was enabled (for a discussion of that setting, see Microsoft's enable or disable network discovery topic).

The causes of the "network path not found" error can be many but in this case it turned out to be Windows services that had been turned off.  We found for example that the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service (and some others) had been stopped.  This isn't something that the end user had done so what caused these services to stop wasn't apparent.

Modern computer networks typically do not use NetBIOS (formerly referred to as NetBEUI).   It is a protocol that when using, for example, the Pervasive SQL engine is turned off (along with IPX/SPX) to enhance performance.   It can however still be used in simple file and print sharing networks (and the unfortunate "home" versions released by Microsoft)  and provide name resolution services as apparently was the case here.  

Other things that have been reported to cause this error include Windows firewall settings, anti-virus software, network name issues, UAC (may need to disable),  date/time clocks that are out-of-synch, and network card properties.   Services besides TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service to check to see if they are running include Computer Browser, Server, Workstation and if working remotely, Remote Registry Service and Remote Procedure Call.   (And we found also some of these services that were not running in this case.)  Power outages and power management settings could also be factors to consider.

PC networking has really not become simpler over the years.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OpLockSet utility updated

Our OpLockSet utility was updated in late January to recognize additional operating systems and some screen (form) interface enhancements were also made to also better accomodate resizing and graphics of some newer operating systems.   Some additional Microsoft technical links were also added.