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An open letter to Alpha Software

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  • #31
    RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

    paul-
    i can not answer your question, but Alpha advertized that Alpha4v7 will work with XP and other ops systems. Keep in mind that A4v7 will not print in the typeset mode on most windows systems; it will only print in the standard mode. A4v7 & A4v6 will print in both typeset & standard modes if you use DOS printer drivers. The problem is that increasingly new printers will not accept DOS print drivers, only Windows drivers. good luck! bill salter

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    • #32
      RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

      Paul,

      It's possible to build modal forms in Alpha Five that approximate the Alpha Four interface. However, it's often not wise to do so. The effort required is high, and, at least to my way of thinking, it's kind of like trying to go against a rising tide. The Alpha Four approach does not follow Windows conventions, does not take advantage of the GUI, and will be 'foreign' to Windows users who have no history with Alpha Four.

      I understand that version 5 (yet to be released) will make it easier to build modal forms. Whether this will help replicate the Alpha Four interface seems likely, but I have not yet attempted it.

      Alpha Four was optimized for the DOS interface. Alpha Five seems to have been built for the Windows interface. The two are different.

      It's possible to drive a car on railroad tracks, if it's suitably equipped. However, you wouldn't want to swap your car for a train if you needed to go to the grocery. This is not meant to imply that trains are not useful. They are. In fact, in some situations they're essential. But cars are not trains, even though they can be made to travel on railroad tracks. I suspect that by the time you 'equip' Alpha Five to behave like Alpha Four you will discover that it's not the same, no matter how hard you try.

      -- tom

      Comment


      • #33
        RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

        All I'm really looking for is a database that, in its generic form, is so simple to use that I can build a simple repository for data of some kind in about 15 minutes, spend 5 minutes instructing someone else with no background in how to enter data & let them go at it. Then I'd like to be able to get simple, meaningful reports with another 5 minutes work & be done. I'm not looking to do fancy forms & interfaces. Alpha 4 does that with the interface it has used but Alpha seems disinterested in supporting this concept. Are there any competitors?

        Comment


        • #34
          RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

          All I'm really looking for is a database that, in its generic form, is so simple to use that I can build a simple repository for data of some kind in about 15 minutes, spend 5 minutes instructing someone else with no background in how to enter data & let them go at it. Then I'd like to be able to get simple, meaningful reports with another 5 minutes work & be done. I'm not looking to do fancy forms & interfaces. Alpha 4 does that with the interface it has used but Alpha seems disinterested in supporting this concept. Are there any competitors?

          Comment


          • #35
            RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

            you can look at a copy of FileMaker Pro, currently the best selling "easy to use" database for both Windows and Mac, Lotus Approach ships with Lotus SmartSuite which can be picked up for very little from a variety of sources and offers reasonable power and ease of use. With either of these products compared to A5, you give up a fair amount of power and I'm not sure they're that much easier to use.

            It sounds like what you want is a nice DOS database, and you already have the best one around. The rest of the world is just leaving DOS behind...

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            • #36
              RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

              Paul,

              I agree with what's been said thus far. Access is not what you're after. Matter of fact, I doubt any database software will get you up and running in 15 minutes if you're not familiar with it.

              If you decide to go with A5, it would be well worth the money to buy this book. I don't think there is another database that offers such a transtition. Check out....

              http://www.libertymanuals.com/book.htm

              kenn
              TYVM :) kenn

              Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

              Comment


              • #37
                RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

                What an excellent idea. I too have A5 but am staying with A4V7 because the manual seems to in no way match what is displayed on the screen. I am frustrated.

                Comment


                • #38
                  RE: An open letter to Alpha Software


                  Paul,

                  You seem to know a great deal about alpha 5. I haven't spent that much time with it. Seems like alot of others got frustrated with it just like I did. When I finally did get something working it wasn't user freindly.
                  I have been using Alpha 4 since 1994, and I'm a machine tool programmer that also ended up setting up alpha4 to run our business with it works great and I'm so very happy with it.
                  I have explored Access and have taken alot schooling on it to most advanced level I can it still can't make it do what I can do with Alpha4 seems funny to me.
                  I will explore Alpha5 some more just because I like to keep an open mind about things.
                  Thanks Bill

                  Paul French wrote:
                  -------------------------------
                  "It sure looks (at least on the surface) we will still have to learn X-basic to know what is going on."

                  Gentlemen, virtually anything that can be done in A4 can be done in A5 W*I*T*H*O*U*T knowing a shred of XBasic.

                  Instead of menus to run your keystroke macros like in A4, you create a form and populate it with buttons, one for each task that would have had it's own A4 menu entry. For simple tasks, A5 has a "button genie" that will attach the proper action to the button for you -- you just select from a list.

                  If you need something more complex, A5 offers "action scripts" where you can select a series of actions from lists of choices.

                  If you can't find what you want in the button genie or action scripting, turn on the script recorder which will record your actions as you work through the steps you want, and you can attach that to a button.

                  All of this without knowing ANY XBasic.

                  I sympathise with the attitudes toward A4. I agree with most of them. But so....

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

                    I WAS HARD against A5 TOO but have been checking it out the past 30 days. Ver. 4.5 that is for Ver. 5 IS OVER PRICED for no more new than what it will do and so many patches. May get it after they have all the bugs worked out in a year or two. I have changed my opinion about a5 completely. The only thing I have not been able to do YET is make it PRESS ENTER 15 times to ADVANCE the cursor where I want it and enter a T OR F in fields and auto advance after the SYSTEM DATE is entered. It enters the DATE but does NOT Advance to the next fields like it should. I am sure there is a way to do this but will take time get the hang of it. I was SCARED of X-BASIC at first and stayed away from A5 bacause of it, but I have typed ONLY A FEW COMMANDS and that was JUST editing to add a command to a button. Take a trial run of ver 4.5 it is free on the Alpha web site. Click on the RED Button FREE TRIAL. It has FULL manuals included. Run the getting stated and the X-BASIC pages 18-33. That tells you what you need to know top get started. The rest is on the MESSAGE Board. I wish I had changed a long time ago. I had the trial version but never even thought of a training being in X-basic. It was not in the A4 manuals so I never even looked at the manual. At least download the trial and take a look at it. I shows you how to attach all the commands to a Button.

                    Ken

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                    • #40
                      RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

                      Just read your message as I was looking for something else and noted you mentioned A4 not being able to run on Windows XP - I was using A4 Version 4 for years until I had to upgrade my computer this month and upgraded to A4-V7. I am running fine under windows XP after making the necessary configuration adjustments for printer drivers etc.

                      You may have already obtained this information since posting your message but I just thought I would mention just incase.

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                      • #41
                        RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

                        Just read your message as I was looking for something else and noted you mentioned A4 not being able to run on Windows XP - I was using A4 Version 4 for years until I had to upgrade my computer this month and upgraded to A4-V7. I am running fine under windows XP after making the necessary configuration adjustments for printer drivers etc.

                        You may have already obtained this information since posting your message but I just thought I would mention just incase.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          RE: An open letter to Alpha Software

                          To Bill Salter:

                          "What is the one thing that Alpha 5 can do that Alpha 4 can't?

                          Are you ready......

                          "A5 will More probably continue to work in future Windows Operating systems abominations conceived and executed by the Gates people. A4, more probably WON'T"

                          ken

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