Beaverlog Tips:  Volume 47 - January 27, 2010

Customize Your Main Screen

Just as you can have a photo of your kids, dog, or spouse in your office, you can customize the main screen in The THERAPIST or Aeris by selecting a digital photograph or other image file and setting it as the programs "Wallpaper."  Actually making this change, while not difficult, is somewhat convoluted and not at all obvious. The easy part is editing a small text file. The convoluted part is finding it.

Close The THERAPIST or Aeris before starting because the images are displayed only when the program starts. Go do the Windows Start button and select Programs and look for a submenu for your program (The THERAPIST or Aeris Basic). This submenu may be directly on the Programs menu or it could be inside a Beaver Creek Software submenu. Once you have found it, look for a selection called "Support Information."  This useful program will not only show you the correct location on your computer to find the text file but will even let you open up a file explorer window.

When the Support Information program opens, look for an entry labeled "Common Path."  This is where the program stores a few files it needs to access. For Aeris basic, you have to first look for a folder named "Config" and find the file within that folder. The file is a Windows Configuration file and the name is specific to the program you are running:








Aeris Basic


Depending on your version of Windows and the settings in Explorer, you may or may not see the .ini filename extension.

Once you have identified the target file, you should be able to edit it by double-clicking on the file's icon image. If click on the file name and are too slow on your double-click, you might instead change to editing the file name rather than the file itself. If this happens, just press the Esc key on your keyboard and try again or right-click the file and choose Edit from the popup menu.

You should now be in the Notepad program with the desired file read for editing. The file is divided into sections with each section beginning with a word or phrase in square brackets. Look for one called [Wallpaper]. You may need to page down to find it. If there is no [Wallpaper] section anywhere in the file, just go to the end of the file, add a new line by pressing Enter and type the section name exactly.

Normally, the [Wallpaper] section has some instructions on how to use it. Instructions or comments always start with a semi-colon. Following the instructions are two lines that actually control your wallpaper image. These lines start with semi-colons so you would need to delete the semi-colons to make the lines active.

The first line starts with "Filename=" (without the quotes) and should be the fill path and name of the graphic file you want to display. You are limited to image files with the following filename extensions:  BMP, .GIF, .ICO, .JPG, .PCX, or .WMF.

The next line starts with "Alignment=" and should have one of three words following the equal sign:  CENTERED, TILED, or STRETCHED. In the unlikely event thatthe image is the exact size of the available area in The THERAPIST or Aeris, it doesn't matter which of these you choose. However, if the image is smaller, you can choose to center it on the screen, stretch it to fit, or fill the screen with you image multiple times. You can try each one until you get what you like.

Once you have edited these two lines, go to File > Save to save your changes then open either The THERAPIST or Aeris Basic to see your new wallpaper.

Backups, the Good, the Bad, and the Secure

Quick backups are great because they are fast. On the other hand, Quick Backups are usually stored on your local hard drive (I'll tell you how to change this below) so if the hard drive crashes not only do you lose the original copy of your data, you lose the Quick Backup files as well. In other words, do not rely completely on Quick Backups stored on the same hard drive as your data. Tech support has had several phone calls lately about computers that have crashed or had to be reformatted (i.e. wiped clean) due to a virus or other malicious software. In far too many cases, the customer indicated that the only backups they had were Quick Backups that were lost along with the data. The best we can offer in these situations is our condolences.

In The THERAPIST, you can control the location where the Quick Backup and Offline Backup files are kept.  These settings are in Setup > Preferences > Backup Options. If you have a network, storing the files on a server or on another network computer is much better from a data-integrity standpoint.

In Aeris Basic, you can set the quick backup path in the Aeris.ini file.  See the above article on customizing your main screen for information on editing this file.  Once you are there, look for a section starting with [Backup] and change the entry for "QuickBackup" appropriately.

Offline Backups are inherently safer, especially if you store them in a different building (taking them home is good). Don't neglect to make Offline Backups often and don't use the same disk or flash drive each time; rotate between several. It will help you sleep better at night.  How often should you make Offline Backups?  Just answer the question, "How much data can I afford to lose?" and you will have your answer.