Beaverlog Tips:  Volume 44 - April 28, 2009

Upgrading to Windows Vista

More and more we are hearing from customers who have upgraded to a new computer that is running Windows Vista. Sometimes, when they try to install The THERAPIST, they are having problems and most of the time, it is because they were installing from an old CD with a version that came out before the program was aware of and could work around Vista's many quirks.

Full Vista compatibility was added in the following versions:

  • 2.5.024   The THERAPIST Pro
  • 2.5.017   The THERAPIST EZ

If you install from an older version, here is a short list of problems you are likely to encounter:

  • The THERAPIST won't be able to find its data,
  • Access codes and other codes won't work,
  • The THERAPIST won't save screen sizes and positions,

To make matters worse, it doesn't help to just download an update to a newer version of The THERAPIST. Some things have to be done right initially and the update installations can't make those changes.

The solution is to get a CD with the most recent version and install from that. If you are running version 2.5 of either Pro or EZ, it's only $20 for a maintenance update CD. If you are running an earlier version, see www.beaverlog.com/therapist/pricelist.htm for the current upgrade prices.

64-Bit Windows

The original IBM PC, the computer that really caused personal computers to show up on people's desktops used an 8-bit processor and an 8-bit operating system: DOS. What this means is that information was processed in chunks 8 bits at a time. A bit is a 1 or a 0 and eight of them together make what is called a "byte." A byte can have a value from 0 to 255. Text characters, the original ASCII character set, could readily be represented as one byte per character allowing 256 characters. In practice, the first 31 were used for special characters such as the tab (ASCII 9), carriage return (ASCII 13), line feed (ASCII 10), and other "Control" characters. The first viewable character is the space character (ASCII 32) followed by a seris of symbols, most appearing above the row of numbers at the top of your keyboard. The capital letter A is represented by number 64 and the lower case letter a by number 96, interestingly separated by 32, the value of the space.

Over the years processors have gotten faster and able to handle more information at a time. However, 32-bit processors have been around now for many years and have become the standard for software programs.

You can now purchase computers based on 64-bit processors running 64-bit versions of Windows but we don't recommend them. The supposed performance improvements are deceptive and are realized only with programs written and optimized to run in 64-bits. The THERAPIST, like almost all other programs for Windows, is a 32-bit program. Running a 32-bit programs on a 64-bit computer requires some additional overhead so most programs actually run slower when run on 64-bit computers. Also, support for 32-bit programs on 64-bit Windows is still too unreliable, in our estimation. So, for now, stick with 32-bit processors.

Most of the computers on the market are still 32-bit and are running Windows XP or Windows Vista so you should have little difficulty finding them.

QuickBooks Export: RIP

It's not gone yet but the QuickBooks export feature in The THERAPIST Pro will be going away in version 3.0. It was a difficult decision but we had to choose between making it a significantly more robust feature or doing away with it entirely. With all the other changes we are planning (no, we cannot tell you about them yet), QuickBooks just didn't survive the culling.

If you currently use this feature, we suggest using the Income Accounting report to generate the equivalent information that you can manually enter into QuickBooks or any other accounting program.