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Thread: No manual?

  1. #1
    John Toalson
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    Default No manual?

    After 8 years of our office using Alpha 4, I ordered Alpha 5 v4.5. I ordered the upgrade, and chose the "packaged version". It arrived today in a simple cardboard envelope, obviously with no manual. I'm expecting a steep learning curve as many here have talked about, and can't imagine learning A5 strictly from online documentation. There is nothing on the web site that indicates it doesn't come with a manual, and in fact the graphic shows a boxed version of Alpha 5. Very misleading.

    I haven't yet opened the package in case I choose to send it back. So... is all the documentation in pdf files or some other format on the disk? If so, how many pages? What do most of you do, print out the pdfs? Does the non-upgrade version come with an actual book? Or is it going to be more intuitive than I expect, coming from A4?

    Kind of a disappointing way to start my A5 experience. I’d appreciate any input.

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    William Hanigsberg
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    4,018

    Default RE: No manual?

    John,

    The documentation on the CD is in both PDF and MS Word. The install recommends copying the PDF version to disk and printing from the Word version. Most would concur. Having the PDF version installed is useful since you can search it.

    As for the learning curve:
    -obtain and study the two books by Peter Wayne;
    -check out the articles at learnalpha.com;
    -post your questions to this board.

    The learning curve is justified by the fact that when you've finished you will be able to do more than you were able to do with Alpha Four.

    Bill

  3. #3
    John Toalson
    Guest

    Default RE: No manual?

    Thanks Bill, I appreciate your response. I dove in, and am in the process of importing our old A4 dbf and dbt files. I suspect I'll be refining things for months. Right off the bat, I see things that I think are great, and things that rub against the grain of years of A4. But I’m sure many of you have gone through that. Thanks again. I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of questions from me.

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    Ken Herrold
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    1,081

    Default RE: No manual?

    John:

    I too am an old Alpha4 guy - many years - I've purchased every version of A5 since the first one but only in the last 4-5 months have been 'learning'A5. I was equally dissapointed in the absence of a manual; bought the Learnalpha books; and struggle.

    I'm really catching on now and the real 'manual' has been the help I've received from the msg board. These guys are the most accomodating, unselfish, and tirelessly helpful people you could ask for. Actually, John, it's been kind of a joy learning in this way.

    Best of luck to you and remember Alpha is still the easiest one around - with or without a hard-paper manual.

    Ken the newbie.

  5. #5
    Jean-P. Bédard
    Guest

    Default RE: No manual?

    John,

    From another old A4 user.

    What I did, I printed all manuals. It takes time and paper and ink, but it is handy and sometimes more practical than the disc.

    But make sure you use the Word version for printing.

    You may have to play around with the printer setting before you obtain the desired result.

    Good luck

    P.S.: This board worths 1000 books.

    JP

  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Finian Lennon
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,805

    Default RE: No manual?

    John:

    We just paid approx. $500 for the full professional edition of Visual Basic 6.0 from Microsoft. The package arrived containing 4 CD's and two very slim paper-bound "Getting Started" booklets which can't be described in any way shape or form as "manuals".

    When the company which sets the standards against which all other software companies are measured considers this "normal practice", as MS now does, it's time for people to realize that the days of nice printed manuals coming with your software are over.

    Finian

  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic
    Real Name
    William Hanigsberg
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    4,018

    Default RE: No manual?

    When you print from word, be sure to go to the table of contents and refresh it (a simple keystroke combination which I apologize for forgetting). Otherwise, the pagination will not reflect the page breaks generated by your particular printer.

    Bill

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