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What's New -  January  2017

Sesame 2.6 Has Been Released

Sesame Database Manager is currently at version 2.6. The Lantica Software team have been working hard for some time now on Sesame version 3, which will incorporate stunning new technologies for use across a broad range of platforms and devices. No release date on version 3 has as yet been announced, but this page will let you know when it has.

OLDER NEWS ITEMS

The BIG news is the announcement that a new product for current Q&A users is under development.  A group of people from the Q&A community have formed a new company, LANTICA Software LLC, to develop and market this product which is scheduled for release next year. The product will be a thoroughly modern, and completely new 32-bit Windows application and not be subject to hardware / operating system sensitivities.  The aim is to create an up-to-date product which will broadly have the feature set Q&A users like and will be user-friendly.  Data and more will be able to be converted to the new product from Q&A.

Also announced is another Q&A bash!  Or, more formally  "The International Q&A Users Conference" which will be held in the Atrium Hotel in Southern California in January.  The venue is extremely comfortable and within 15 miles of attractions such as Disneyland and the stylish resort of Newport Beach and so affords an opportunity of a mid-winter long weekend in the balmy climate of palm-treed Southern California.  Full details can be found at the Quick Answer website  www.quickanswer.com.

Q&A v4 Installation program won't work if target drive is larger than 2GB

It has long been known that Q&A for DOS will not work reliably on drives over 2GB.  This is covered elsewhere on this web site.  The solution is to use Partition Magic or the utility LESSPACE, authored by Michael Kennedy.  What has only recently become apparent is that the Q&A v4 (DOS) install program will not work at all if the destination drive is too big - and using Lesspace is no solution.

The advice is to either:

Create a partition under 2GB (If on a network this needs to be done on both the server where the data is stored and each workstation where the program may be run from and where the temporary files are stored)

or:

Copy the files onto the PC from another source.  For example, on a network find a PC with a smaller hard disk; load Q&A there and copy the files via the network.

Some users, however, have been really stuck.  These typically are home users, club secretaries and the like with a standalone PC.  They have just upgraded their PC to a new one with a large / very large / ridiculously large (How else can you describe a 500GB hard disk??!!)  They don't have another means to get the files onto their PC, and they find their QA4 install disks don't work.

What we have done in these cases is supply them with a CD with a fully-installed copy of Q&A v4 supplied in the form of a self-extracting WinZip file.  They benefit not only from the convenience of an install that takes literally seconds (15 if you're counting!), but also by getting a fully-patched, optimised copy of Q&A complete with the LESSPACE option.  This means that the Y2K fix patch has been applied (so post-2000 dates show correctly in Q&A's file lists) and automatic execution is on, and defaults for margins, paper size etc are sensible British units.  Lesspace (shareware version) is also loaded, and the batch file to run it set up.  Two optimised icons are supplied, one using Lesspace, one not.  We make a modest charge for supplying this CD to existing QA4 users (after confirming that they legitimately own Q&A).

This fully-installed Q&A4 is now on the Q&A Definitive Edition CD.  Before the end of November we will have the same fully-patched Q&A v5 on the CD also.

Way found to disable Intelligent Assistant

For years we've sought a way to knock out Q&A's Intelligent Assistant.  Now at last Gordon Meigs, of PCTA, Pennsylvania, has discovered how to do it.  The truth is, it's been staring us in the face for years! In the Q&A manual it states that once security is applied to a database, only users with Administrator rights can teach the assistant. So, if you don't want the IA, apply security to the database and give the day-to-day users rights excluding Admin rights (to set passwords).

Why disable the IA?

Good question.  For several reasons:

To use the Intelligent Assistant you have to teach the Intelligent Assistant.  You are prompted to do this before using the IA for the first time.  Once this is done, a new layer of indexing is added to Q&A, and this has to be maintained thereafter. So every time you add data, or say change a field type, the IA index is updated, which slows performance.

This indexing increases the size of the .IDX file, and thus the total size of files to be backed up etc.

Anything added to the Q&A database not only slows performance but offers extra vulnerability to corruption.  You want your database "Lean".

Reliance on the IA stops users developing basic Q&A skills which they should acquire.


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