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John Dow Utilities

Q&A Utilities

Over the years various software add-ons have been written by people, outside of Symantec Corporation, to enhance Q&A.

There are two main stables from which these utilities originate:

John T. Dow, Pittsburgh, USA.

John Dow's first utility was DTFSPECS. This is a programmer's utility which offers comprehensive analysis and documentation of the programming and other customisation of a Q&A database. This was followed by programs such as DTFDOCTOR which can repair corrupted databases, DTFDATA which extracts data and DTFADMIN which makes security documentation and changes easy. John has recently turned his attention to the world of Q&A for Windows, and his utility DTFWIN adds much extra functionality to Q&A Windows database.

Marble Publications, California, USA.

Tom Marcellus, the editor of The Quick Answer, has written a number of Q&A add-ons and distributes several more. These include ready-to-use database applications and utilities which major on linking Q&A with external Windows programs such as Microsoft Word. WinClip is such an example.


Q&A & Modern PCs

Problems will be experienced ("Divide by zero" errors) if you run Q&A v5  on a PC with a Pentium processor running at over 200MHz.

A patch has been developed by PFP Software which corrects this problem.  After installing Q&A v5 you should run the patch program SPEEDFIX.  This is supplied on the Q&A Definitive edition CD in the UTILS folder.

SPEEDFIX modifies the main Q&A executable file and Q&A v5 will then run on any speed PC.  There is a readme file with the patch which explains all.

There is no need to patch Q&A v4, the problem is confined to QA5.

Hard Disk Size

Q&A, like many older programs, will not run reliably if the program or data or temp file directory is on a hard disk volume greater than 2GB.  You will need to either partition the hard disk so that Q&A only sees partitions smaller than 2GB, or use LESSPACE.

Installing Q&A v4    The  Q&A v4 INSTALL program will not work if the hard disk is greater than 2 GB.  If required we will supply on the CD, a copy of a full Q&A v4 installation which will overcome this installation problem.  Once installed Q&A v4 also requires a hard disk less than 2 GB in order to run reliably, and the advice given above applies.

Alternately, you can use a patch called LESSPACE which is a small TSR utility supplied on the Definitive Edition CD, or downloadable from the 2 websites mentioned above. When Q&A asks the system how much free disk space there is, LESSPACE reports a much smaller figure enabling Q&A to run smoothly.  Lesspace is the simpler solution because it solves the problem for both the data volume and the program volume in one.

Bob Buckland's Date Patch

Some of the date formats in Q&A v5 appear incorrectly. This is of particular concern to UK users as one of the ones affected, #10, is a popular year-2000-compatible European format.

Bob Buckland, from California, has written a small program which corrects this.

This patch also can be obtained through the Quick Answer web site.

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