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  • PBDLL 6.0 Manual in PDF Format?

    Is the program manual for PBDLL 6.0 availabel in PDF format?

    I have the PBDLL 5.0 manual in PDF but would love to have
    the 6.0 manual.

    ------------------
    Thanks,

    Doug Gamble
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Sorry, but we no longer supply documentation in PDF format due to an excessive number of people with problems using Adobe Reader (we ended up spending too much time supporting someone elses product!)

    The documentation is available in printed form for US$29 + Shipping. Contact mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A> to order it.


    ------------------
    Lance
    PowerBASIC Support
    mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
    Lance
    mailto:[email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      Doug,

      If you email me at [email protected], I can provide you
      with a HLP2RTF converter, which is very simple to print out.

      If I remember right the program does cost $30 to $50.00 bucks though,
      but drop me an email tomorrow at work and I'll see what I can do
      about finding the name of that program for ya.

      Thanks

      ------------------
      -Greg
      -Greg
      [email protected]
      MCP,MCSA,MCSE,MCSD

      Comment


      • #4
        I hope you are not suggesting piracy here...!

        The last (unregistered/demo) edition of HLP2RTF I saw embedded SHAREWARE notices every few lines in the RTF document, making it unreadable and vastly longer than the original text.

        Also note that is it a breach of Copyright to redistribute the help file in any manner.

        For US$29 + shipping, you get a genuine bound PowerBASIC book with slightly more up-to-date information than the current help file... the most ethical choice seems obvious to me!


        ------------------
        Lance
        PowerBASIC Support
        mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
        Lance
        mailto:[email protected]

        Comment


        • #5
          The lastest version of Acrobat Reader (4.05) is vastly superior to the version that shipped with PB/DLL 5.0
          I have distributed hundreds of files in the lastest version and I have had zero problems with my users.

          Just print the file to the Acrobat Distiller from MS Word (or any Win32 Word Processor) and the result is great.
          When you use MS Word you can get setup the document so that a Table of Contents (or Bookmarks in PDF Speak) will be generated automatically.
          Also, URL's and jumps to WebPages are now supported.

          The folks at PowerBasic may want to look again at Acrobat.

          Joe Murphy

          ------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            Very interesting...

            While I cannot speak on behalf of PB Management with regards to reversing the decision to abandon PDF, can you tell us the relative size of your user-base that have had no problems? Also, are you _sure_ that problems were just not reported to you? Many applicaation users never read documentation, whereas programmers may even have the online doc's in their STARTUP folder

            One of the biggest issues I've _personally_ come across with AR is installing two or more different versions of AR on the same PC... it breaks all kind of (seemingly) unrelated applications. I have some Sony software that just cannot coexist on the same PC because of conflicts between disparate versions of AR.

            In the end, we are talking *many thousands* of copies to distribute with PowerBASC... if even 1% of these people have a problem with a 3rd-party app like this, PB Tech Support gets unnecessarily flooded! I know, as that was what happened before. (Once bitten...!)

            Out of curiousity, how big is the 4.05 distribution? How much space does it require to install? Minimum memory requirements? Installed size on disk?



            ------------------
            Lance
            PowerBASIC Support
            mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
            Lance
            mailto:[email protected]

            Comment


            • #7
              I have also distributed manuals in PDF format to a current user
              base of 648 retail store owners (and these are nearly ALL
              non-computer type people) and have not had any problems with
              the reader. We are also shipping v4.0 of the reader and use
              Word 97 to convert the file directly to PDF (Word 2000 doesn't
              work correctly).

              Although I would like to have the actual manual (book or PDF) I
              would settle for a help file that actually covers all the
              commands in the product. Even if InputBox$ is the only missing
              topic users should be able to expect complete instructions
              included with the product (as you advertise). I may ultimately
              purchase a book for $29 but I should not have to. Dave said
              in a post last December there would be an update soon. Is it
              available and I'm just missing it? If so could you point me to
              it.

              Thanks



              ------------------
              Thanks,

              Doug Gamble
              [email protected]

              Comment


              • #8
                Lance

                > I hope you are not suggesting piracy here
                > ..
                > Also note that is it a breach of Copyright to redistribute the help file in any manner.

                Notice I said:

                >> If I remember right the program does cost $30 to $50.00 bucks though,
                >> but drop me an email tomorrow at work and I'll see what I can do
                >> about finding the name of that program for ya.

                I'm definetly not about piracy I actually didn't know that the name of the
                program was HLP2RTF. I was just guessing.

                Distributing a PDF to other users would be illegal, and I would
                never consider that.

                Thank you



                ------------------
                -Greg
                -Greg
                [email protected]
                MCP,MCSA,MCSE,MCSD

                Comment


                • #9
                  Doug,
                  I also cannot understand what the 'big deal' is about having
                  a PB staff member making adjustments as required to PB's help
                  file and placing it on the ftp site for all users to access.

                  All they would have to do is date it, and a user could decide if
                  it was newer than the file they had.

                  It isn't rocket science. And it certainly not Top Secret. And it's not like
                  users haven't paid for a product with a decent help file.

                  --Bob


                  ------------------
                  "It was too lonely at the top".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't knock PDF files. We are using them to send fully made-up
                    advertisements to newspapers all around Australia.
                    The latest version of Adobe Acrobat is quite fantastic.
                    We receive PDF files produced from various software, principally
                    QuarkXpress, Pagemaker, Microst Word, etc and open them in
                    Acrobat, then export them as EPS (encapsulated postscript) files
                    which will include embedded fonts in postscript and true type.
                    For the newspaper industry, the latest Adobe Acrobat is the
                    greatest invention since typesetting with computers started.


                    ------------------
                    Brian.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I vote for HTML docs, not the new HTML Help, but just plain old H T M L - all you need is a browser and away you go!

                      Regards,

                      ------------------
                      Kev G Peel
                      KGP Software, Bridgwater, UK.
                      www.go.to/kgpsoftware
                      kgpsoftware.com | Slam DBMS | PrpT Control | Other Downloads | Contact Me

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Unfortunately, the aforementioned update to the compiler and the online help is not yet available, but each day brings us closer to the day they will become available! I've not verified exactly what Dave said, but on the basis of your quote, it would seems that his comments were probably a little premature. No offence, Dave... hindsight is always 20-20 (as they say!).

                        It is fairly unlikely that PowerBASIC doc's will ever be freely available via FTP (this has been discussed at management level before). While it makes it a little easier for genuine customers, it also makes it easier for "pirates" to continue using unlicensed copies of our products - we actively protect our intellectual property as is fair and just

                        That said, registered (legitimate) PowerBASIC customers will always be able (when such updates become available) to contact PowerBASIC Sales Dept to request the latest version of the item, just as can be done for compiler updates _today_.

                        It is also worth mentioning that thus far, PowerBASIC Inc. have only ever released doc updates with compiler *upgrades*. As it stands right now, the (optional) printed books for PB/CC 2.0 and PB/DLL 6.0 are slightly more up-to-date than the online-help.

                        Anyone requesting a compiler update will not receive an updated online help file (see SUPPORT web page www.powerbasic.com/support for current compiler versions to see if you need one).

                        I'm hoping that this situation will change soon, so that updates to the help file can be offered much more frequently. However, I'm only able to offer suggestions to PB management - I'm not able to actually *make* the necessary policy decisions!

                        We are definitely making progress on documentation issues... PowerBASIC rarely (if ever) publically posted errata issues... now you can find them in the FAQ forum, and these are updated as soon as issues with the current documentation come to light.

                        Finally, I can disclose that both the R&D Dept and the Documentation Dept are working flat out... please stay tuned! We have some very exciting things in store!!!


                        ------------------
                        Lance
                        PowerBASIC Support
                        mailto:[email protected][email protected]basic.com</A>
                        Lance
                        mailto:[email protected]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Lance...Working for a software manufacture I understand
                          the difficulties associated with getting help files written and
                          distributed. Is there any ETA on the release of the updated
                          help file?

                          ------------------
                          Thanks,

                          Doug Gamble
                          [email protected]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lance,

                            Acrobat Reader 4.05 Info
                            Download File name is RS405ENG.EXE 6.5MB
                            The documents say that it takes 10MB, it took 9.2MB on my Win98SE PC

                            User base questions:
                            As far as I know Acrobat Reader is free and may be freely distributed, so we put the file on a CD (with many other Freely Distributed Stuff) and wrote instructions on how to install Acrobat Reader.
                            We told our users to follw Adobe's instruction to un-install any previous version (and re-booting) before installing the new version.
                            We have about 200 users.
                            Our Users run the gamut, but all can read, listen and speak English. Most are above average computer users, but a few are novices.
                            Our Client Reprensentatives do visit the users, but they do not tell me if they had to install any software for them.

                            We have also provided custom written (using ARCFOUR) encryption software to some, with very few questions.

                            Joe Murphy

                            ------------------

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Doug, as has been mentioned several times recently, PowerBASIC staff are not permitted to pre-announce any product update or upgrade until it is ready for shipping (it is our "no vaporware" policy). On that basis, I'm not able to comment further.

                              Thanks for the info on AR folks, it is duely noted and I'll discuss this with the Documentation department and PB management. We'll have to see what eventuates now. Thanks again!


                              ------------------
                              Lance
                              PowerBASIC Support
                              mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
                              Lance
                              mailto:[email protected]

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                IMHO - NO NO NO to HTML docs in any shape or form.

                                Case in point is WinLift. Don't get me wrong, alot of hard work went into that product, and I love it, but the help is lacking. My biggest gripe? no keyword searching. I find that a doing a keyword search 90% finds what I'm was looking for.

                                HTML docs (such as those shipped with linux, etc) normally don't supply keyword searches. PDF and HLP does. Also HLP allows annotations (not sure of PDF). I love to add my own comments when the help is not quite suited to my interpretation.

                                Just my $.02!

                                OH! BTW...

                                Lance Said...
                                It is fairly unlikely that PowerBASIC doc's will ever be freely available via FTP (this has been discussed at management level before). While it makes it a little easier for genuine customers, it also makes it easier for "pirates" to continue using unlicensed copies of our products - we actively protect our intellectual property as is fair and just
                                It is also fair and just for the "paying" customers to have up-to-date files of what they purchased. At minimum, PB should consider emailing updates out on a per-customer request. Searching the Errata doesn't make much sense to me when I'm working on a train 2 hours to work and 2 hours back every day.

                                Not everyone has the internet handy 24/7

                                P.S. please take the comments as light hearted, they are not meant as insults, but just my opinions

                                ------------------
                                George W. Bleck
                                Senior System Engineer
                                KeySpan Corporation

                                [This message has been edited by George Bleck (edited September 22, 2000).]
                                <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                                <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree that if PowerBASIC feels so strongly about not
                                  distributing the documentation to prevent piracy, then
                                  they MUST provide documentation and help updates to
                                  the real customers. To me the proper handling of
                                  updates is the best reason to buy real copies of any
                                  software. Right now I can go to several news groups
                                  and find pirated copies of PowerBASIC products. The
                                  people downloading those products get about the same
                                  amount of support as I do, and I paid for my copies!

                                  When I started this thread all I wanted to know was if
                                  the manual was in PDF format and if not when PowerBASIC
                                  was going to update the PBDLL 6.0 help files (since they
                                  are incomplete). If the best solution to a paying customer
                                  to get complete documentation for a product is to BUY a
                                  manual then there is a problem.

                                  ------------------
                                  Thanks,

                                  Doug Gamble
                                  [email protected]

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As Lance noted, an updated help file is not yet available. We're not holding back on you out of spite, guys, let's be serious! We just don't have an update yet.

                                    No, pirates don't get the same amount of support as paying customers. They have no access to tech support or updates.

                                    If you know of piracy taking place, please report it to [email protected]

                                    ------------------
                                    Tom Hanlin
                                    PowerBASIC Staff

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't mean to sound like I'm suggesting you (PowerBASIC) is
                                      holding back, but if there are no updates available, and I have
                                      to pay for phone support, then pirates are receiving the same
                                      level of included product support as I am.

                                      Dont' get me wrong, I love the product and have no intention of
                                      not using it. I just have an issue when software vendors talk
                                      about how great their product support is and how much they hate
                                      piracy when they just are not scoring high in either area.



                                      ------------------
                                      Thanks,

                                      Doug Gamble
                                      [email protected]

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Our telephone support is typically free to our customers, as long as it's a genuine tech support issue. We can't afford to provide free consulting services, obviously.

                                        Anyway, this thread seems to have wandered far from its origins. Let's close it up.

                                        ------------------
                                        Tom Hanlin
                                        PowerBASIC Staff

                                        Comment

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