SpeakUp with Sundial Systems from 08/07/2000

<DCasey VOICE welcomes Randell Flint and Rollin White from Sundial Systems
<vetexpert Before I forget when I was figuring out this "new thing" earliier someone requested the following question since they could not be here: Is there any OS/2 calender that can sync with palm pilot?
<Randell Thanks as always for having us!
<DCasey Randell and rollin join us on the 1st Monday of every-other month
<mandie Even number months
<DCasey It's a regular "thing" that we all look forward to
<DCasey Now, I'll shut up, and let the meeting begin :-)
<Randell First, let me explain a little about out topic (or lack of it) for tonight!
<Randell Believe it or not, we do have a rough plan for what we want to cover topic-wise for our visits here throughout the year...
<Randell But, sometimes, our plans don't quite work out right...
<Randell Our "Plan A" for tonight... set back earlier in the year... got scrapped a while back because...
<Randell as I mentioned a bit before, Randell has been bad and hasn't got all his development work done lately.
<Randell So, on to "Plan B"...
<Randell When we set that up a while back...
<Randell we planned on having a special "guest" joining us tonight that would give focus to the topic...
<Randell That, unfortunately, dragged on out to the point that we never got final confirmation from the guest...
<Randell So, rather than try for "Plan C"...
<Randell We just kinda going with no plan at all...
<DCasey :-)
<vetexpert Randell STOP it already!!
<Randell We've basically just going to open the floor for anything anyone wants to take about any of the Sundial products...
<Randell But first, a bit of news, since out last visit.
<Randell Toward the end of June, we did release a minor release of Junk Spy (1.01) that fixed some small problems and added some special support for Netscape users.
<Randell The other new release, effective today, is DBExpert 2.0.9.
<DCasey Free Upgrade?
<Randell This is another mostly bug-fix release (about 30 bugs) plus a couple of small new features.
<Randell Both updates are available to registered users on our website.
<Randell (Ah there goes the first download now)
<Projects !ask sundial
<VoiceBot [sundial] Sundial Systems http://www.sundialsystems.com/ (mandie)
<Randell Rolliin, did you want to add anything before we open it up?
<rollin No, that's the two important items.
<rollin I think VetExpert had the first question before he was so rudely kicked :) He asked about Palm Pilot support.
<Randell So he did!
<rollin The answer is we're working on it. We're using one of the third party sync managers and writing the necessary code to talk to Relish.
<Projects Do I need both the DBExpert update and the runtime, or just one of them?
<Randell Projects, just one or the other.
<rollin There are some dependencies on Relish 2.3 and visa versa that we're trying to work out the best way to handle.
<Projects heh... guess I should read the release notes then :)
<Randell Projects, if you have the full DBExpert product, only download the "full" update.
<rollin Indeed the first DBE download is complete (according to the logs!)
<Randell Projects, if you have the runtime version (purchased separately) on other workstations, download the runtime update for those.
<DCasey yep .. I've got it :-)
<vetexpert Rollin, what do you mean dependenecies on 2.3?
<Projects Randell: ah, thanks. I don't have the runtime version
<rollin There are some features in 2.3 PreReleases that the Pilot Sync takes advantage of. We're trying to decided if we should wait for 2.3, or figure some different way that will not depend on 2.3
<Randell (2.3 is Randell's problem by the way)
<Randell (So don't blame Rollin for that one)
<mandie ah, a result of that "bad boy syndrome" :)
<Randell I'll give you an example of such a dependency...
<vetexpert What can we blame Rollin for, or is the list too long?
<Randell The Palm address book like things like names to be divided into first, last, etc...
<Randell It also likes phone numbers to be specifically identified...
<Randell Relish stotes things differently than that...
<Randell (Sorry "stores" not "stotes")
<mandie done!
<Randell But 2.3 has a more intelligent import/export module that knows how to deal with such things...
*  Projects is done too!
<Randell So how much we put in the sync module and how much goes in Relish depends on what version of Relish we hook it to...
<Randell And, while that part of 2.3 is working fairly well, other parts aren't ready for prime time yet...
*  Projects wonders if Sundial took into consideration a comment about PMPostnotes /me made a while back...
<Randell And you *all* know how concerned I am (some say too concerned) about product quality!
<rollin There are also some more general Relish<->Palm issues that we're still trying to solve better than current implementations. So, the Pilot integration is important to us, but has several hurdles between it and the finish line.
<mandie I for one admire your concern for product quality!
<Randell Projects, I recall the comment but I don't recall the details off the top of my head...
<Projects Randell: the ability to have more than one popup reminder able to activate at one time. With relish, I have to either defer or complete one before the next will occur
<Randell (For those of you that may be waiting, it doesn't look like any downloads are going on at the moment.)
*  Projects already got his d/l (and is amazed at the speed)
<Randell Projects, yes, now I recall...
<DCasey Projects you tighten up that string, did you?
<Projects DCasey: dunno what happened. I go away for a week, and all speed breaks loose :-)
<Randell It's on the list for future consideration, but it requires an architectural change that would probably further delay the release of 2.3...
<Randell So it's 95% certain it won't happen for 2.3 (sorry)...
<Projects Randell: understood
<Projects :)
<Randell The basic idea of reminders was, however, that you should defer individual ones that you can't deal with immediately.
<Projects next question... is there a DBExpert mailing list of some kind?
<Projects Randell: you don't know my kids... :-)
<Randell You can then use the Overdue bun to see all the accumulating ones that you have deferred.
<Randell Projects, correct... but I do understand :)
<Projects hehehe
<Randell Rollin, do you want to talk to the main list question?
<os2hq Hello guys'n gals, what's up ?
<Randell (Sorry, I can't type tonight: "mailing" list not "main" list)
<StevenL I do have a Overdue bun wishlist item...
<rollin Sure, we're in the processes of setting up joint newsgroup/mailing list services for all of our products. You should see them soon.
<Randell StevenL, and what is it?
<Projects rollin: great!
<StevenL I would like the option of items past there due date/time to show up in the overdue bun even if you have not deferred them...
<rollin Our goal is to have the newsgroup for the more casual browsing and the mailing list for the more dedicated users. It will be the same traffic though.
<StevenL The idea is you could issue a snooze and use the overdue bun to reschedule...
<StevenL As it is now, you have to defer the item to get it marked overdue.
<rollin You'll probably seem them towards the end of the quarter.
<Projects rollin: fine by me... I don't do newsgroups
<Randell StevenL, but a Snooze doesn't impact, one way or the other, what's displayed in the Overdue bun...
<StevenL It does indirectly. Let me give you an example...
<Randell StevenL, so what you *really* want is a different bun that displays, I don't quite know, everything that is pending being displayed before the end of the snooze???
<StevenL Current time would be sufficient.
<StevenL I'm not sure I am explaining the situation clearly. Am I?
<Randell So a new view (and/or corresponding bun) that displays a summary of all pending reminders (that would have been displayed if things weren't snoozed) would be sufficient to meet your needs?
<StevenL Yes.
<Randell Ok, it's on the list... but I won't make any statement, one way or the other, about getting it into 2.3 at this point.
<StevenL What I am trying to avoid is rescheduling from the Reminder dialog. It's tedious compared to drag and drop.
<StevenL Also, a user level question if I may?
<Randell Yes?
<StevenL Is there a way to do multiple select within a bun?
<Randell No.
<StevenL I did RTFM. :-)
<StevenL There are times it would be handy.
<Sector And you call yourself a user...
<Fuzy|ogic Did I miss the DBE 2.0.9 statement?
<Randell It *might* be in 2.3... it's on the list of possible features but, to be honest, isn't implemened yet.
<Randell Fuzylogic, yes...
<StevenL Sector, sure. I didn't say I understood it.
<Projects Fuzy|ogic an annoucement, yes
<Randell DBExpert 2.0.9 is available effective earlier today... the update is on our website now.
<rollin Fuzy, yes. DBE 2.09 is available :) It includes about 30 bug fixes. You can download it from www.sundialsystems.com/dbexpert
<Fuzy|ogic Cool. Sometimes the install fails from floppy. Can all the files be copied to a dir and installed that way? It worked for Relish...
<Randell Yes, copy all the files from both floppies to a single directory, then run the SETUP program from there...
<Randell However, the updates are merely files you unzip and place in your DBExpert directory... there is not setup/install for those.
<Projects Fuzy|ogic: install is painless :-) I was installed about 10 seconds after the d/l was complete
<Fuzy|ogic Yeah, I had 2.08 on my other box...
<Randell One of the bugs that is fixed in DBExpert 2.0.9 is a particularly nasty memory leak...
<Projects oh, /me was talking about the upgrade...
<Fuzy|ogic =O
<Randell It turns out that if you ran *lots* of UPDATE or INSERT queries...
<Randell The ODBC drivers were not releasing all their resources...
<Randell The problem was not in the ODBC drivers, but in how DBExpert was calling them on multiple threads...
<Randell The leak was so bad for some users that then eventually needed to reboot just to keep running...
<Randell What finally allowed us to track it down was one user who had such a complex UPDATE...
<Randell that was calling a macro... that was calling other UPDATES...
<Randell that the single query would run the system out of resources!
<Randell Well, it turned out to be a one line fix! But what a fix!
<Projects sounds like Communicator :-)
<vetexpert I want to personally thank Sundial for fixing the"leak" over and over!
<Randell vetexpert out here on the chat was one of the folks that tested the fix... and perhaps he can comment.
<Randell (Well, I can now see he already did)
<vetexpert I just did, the next step would be to kiss your feet for fixing it!!
<Projects ewww!
<Randell Well, we don't need to go *that* far!
<Randell (The download queue looks to be empty again if anyone else was still waiting.)
<Randell Next question/comment?
<vetexpert The fix made a huge difference in the "flow" at our front desk - it was a major improvement.
<Fuzy|ogic Sundial: Have you been approached about inclusion of any of your apps with eCS?
<vetexpert What is eCS
<Projects any accounting apps in the works? :-)))
<Randell I knew that was going to come up!
<Sector EComStation
<rollin Projects, no that's one of the areas we're staying away from. We have one or two tools you can use to build your own though!
<Randell (My refererence was to eCS, not accounting apps)
<Projects rollin: been mucking with Mesa to do it, but my REXX leaves much to be desired :)
<rollin Sounds like you need to find a partner to help with that part.
*  Projects looks at Swanee
<Projects oh, forgot... happy hour
*  Swanee feels someone staring... "Who is it!"
<Projects hehehe
<Randell As for eCS, I'm not quite sure how to put it, but the bottom line is that it doesn't make sense for us to *give away* our apps with eCS.
<Fuzy|ogic I just meant demo versions and install rexx.cmd files...
<Fuzy|ogic I would never assume you would give away your apps.. I paid money, so should everyone else :)
<vetexpert Randell - Has anyone created and accounting app with DBExpert?
<os2hq Rollin & Randell, I just want to commend you guys for being doggedly determined to make a living with native OS/2 apps, and finding a business structure that lets you do it. Bravo!!
<warspite Good morning all. Finally made it.
<madodel0 It was the Frequent Flyer version of Mesa that reeled me in.
<os2hq whois warspite
<Swanee Good morning warspite!
<Projects vetexpert: there's a few Mesa macros that look promising, but I haven't found any DBExpert ones
<warspite Good morning.
<Randell Fuzylogic, the folks at Serenity (eCS) have been a Sundial OEM for a long time... they offered most of our products on Wise Manager and thus have everything they think they need to run them on eCS.
<Projects is eCS any good?
<Fuzy|ogic Well, then people should just let it be... Demo version of Mesa on CD4 or whatever?
*  os2hq is working on some mini-apps... but needs a good GUI-based dev environment.
<Randell None of us here at Sundial have seen a copy of eCS so we can't comment.
<Randell FuzyLogic, that's up to them
<os2hq Randell, what does your app development toolbox -- your development system -- look like?
<Projects ok, is fp14 any good? :-)
<rollin Projects, we haven't touched it either :)
<Projects rollin: :-)
<warspite I've downloaded FP14 using the .dk method
<Randell os2hq, each of us here at Sundial has a different set of development tools...
*  Projects didn't bother with fp13 'cause of all the negative comments
<warspite ....and found it OK so far.
<rollin We tend to be pretty conservative about that stuff unless we have specific customer complaints/requirements.
<Randell os2hq, partly that's becasue the "heritage" of each each product is different and each of us likes different programming tools as well...
<warspite I got one, a Trap E....
<warspite but I think I was pushing AB pretty hard.
<Projects warspite: so you had to use that "fix"?
<Projects AB?
<warspite No. rebooted back again OK, thank gooodness.
<Randell os2hg, as for my box personally, I handle the builds for Relish and DBExpert. That takes VA C++ (version 3) plus DB2 and some other things for testing.
<warspite AB sound fle...recording old LP's to CD's.
<Randell os2hg, editor-wise, I'm and EPM fan (since before it was EPM) and use that for most everything I do.
<Randell os2hq, does that cover it?
<rollin I use VA C++ version 3 & 4 depending on the project. Qedit/TSE is my editor of choice.
*  Projects ^5's rollin
<Randell (os2hg, oh, by the way, *all* our GUIs are straight PM/GPI/WPS code -- we don't use any User Interface libraries/classes other than our own)
<Projects TSE was a great editor in my dos days... wish it was native OS/2
<rollin There is a 16bit native OS/2 version. It works very well. I don't know if you can still buy it though.
<Projects rollin: seriously? I was on the TSE beta team, and way back then, it was dos only
<Projects I know there's an OS/2 version of Qedit, but TSE beats Qedit by miles...
<rollin True, this is Qedit I'm using, not TSE. TSE didn't sit well with me for some reason.
<Randell Showing my age, I was on the "Personal Editor" beta team -- the "E"-type (as in EPM) editor for DOS 1.0!
<Projects DCasey: ok, it's actually $29.95 though
<Projects rollin: I love TSE... much better than Qedit IMHO
<Randell Enough on editors... did we miss anybody's question back there along the way?
<rollin Back to Sundial products - does anyone have an interesting use of the Real-time feed they wouldn't mind sharing?
<warspite Randell..I know I came in late but, any updates for DBExpert?
<rollin dejavu all over again.
<Randell warspite, yes, visit www.sundialsystems.com/dbexpert for 2.0.9 out today
<warspite You beauty! will do.
<vetexpert Randell, A question earlier: Has anyone created any accounting apps with DBExpert that you know, an a new one - could the real time feed feature of Mesa be useful to such an app?
<Randell I asked for one question, not two!
<Randell Seriously...
<Randell I don't know of anyone having tried to create an accounting app in DBExpert....
<vetexpert Why not? It should be a breeze..
<rollin We have a volunteer!
<Randell Certainly, DBExpert, like any good database, would be good for keeping track of the transaction data...
<StevenL As one who builds accounting apps, when forced to, I beg to differ. :-)
<Randell But, for whatever reason, accounting apps just aren't all that easy to develop (even though it seems like they should be)...
<warspite Randell, Rollin, I've gone part way there. I use DBExpert to access Telephone Banking
<StevenL It's easy to build an accounting app that fits one user's needs...
<Randell I think that's why there just aren't all that many good ones out there on any platform...
<StevenL It's much harder to build one that suits a large class of users...
<StevenL There are several good accounting apps for OS/2...
<Projects warspite: seriously? Hope YOU'RE planning on joining those Sundail mailing lists... :-)
<Fuzy|ogic If I could do so much as keep my checkbook balanced, I would right one, but I don't know much about accounting.
<warspite How do I go about it?
<StevenL InCharge, MoneyDance etc.
<Projects StevenL: name one
<Projects Moneydance doesn't do businesses, InCharge doesn't do them well...
<Randell I agree with StevenL, building *any* app to fit a large class of users is hard... any the way people do accounting is particularly constraining by how they use accounting in there business, etc
<StevenL InCharge is OK for small service businesses...
<StevenL I've complained enough to Bruce so perhaps it will get a bit better for businesses that sell goods...
<StevenL MoneyDance is just getting started...
<StevenL If the internal structure is good, adding business features is not impossible.
<warspite Randell: The stuff I sent you. If that helps anyone, (besides the data), they're welcome to it.
<StevenL Other than basic debits and credits each business class almost has a different set of rules for doing accounting.
<Randell Over the years, several folks/companies have brought us partially or fully developed accounting "programs" that they thought we should turn into Sundial products...
<Projects StevenL: cool... I kinda liked the moneydance interface, but the lack of business functions deterred me
<Randell But none of them seemed to be a genernally "good enough" solution for us to run even our own relatively modest bookkeeping needs...
<StevenL The thing I like about Moneydance, as much as anything else, is that it shows the potential for Java apps to perform well.
<os2hq Thanks for the rundown on the development suites. Cool.
<Randell So we've basically stayed out of that business and prefer, for now at least, to let the specialists in that area develop their own products...
<Projects Randell: do you mind me asking... what do you use for your "modest bookkeeping needs"?
<rollin match sticks
<Randell I don't think we would *ever* attempt it without cooperation from someone with significant accouting expertise.
<Randell Projects, I'd rather not say if you don't mind.
<Projects Randell: np... me too :-)
<StevenL Sounds like my in-house systems. :-)
<vetexpert I started my veterinary practice with set of "dual entry" accounting ledgers, simple debit and credit entries and when I switched to computer accounting that was the end of my understanding my business...
<StevenL Vetexpert, you are typical...
<vetexpert I think an app in DBExpert could easily duplicate the elegant simplicity that the monks came up with way back when...
<Projects Abacus? :-)
<StevenL What I find in small to medium businesses is that the manangement/owners have a couple of key items they watch. That's the only report they want and if your system..
<vetexpert I tried that;-)
<StevenL Doesn't do that, they don't want it...
<StevenL Sometimes the things they watch make sense to me, other times I wonder...
<Randell We do use a commercial accounting product... and we've changed products over time... but we really aren't entirely happy with what we are using but we also haven't really given the competition fare shake... so it's better if we just don't comment.
<StevenL However, they understand their business and these keys seem to work for them.
<vetexpert StevenL - I could watch it all with my old set of books.
<StevenL I usually recomment InCharge to home users...
<StevenL The trick is to ignore the interface oddities.
*  DCasey would be tickled pink with an OS/2 version of the old DOS QuickBooks
<DCasey All those damn windows popping up jeut get in the way
<madodel0 Like that would ever happen
<StevenL Someone's got to fund the R&D...
*  Projects has NO comment about the evil quickbooks
<Randell Ok, enough of the "accounting nightmares"... back to any Sundial questions...
<StevenL For that to happen they have to believe their will be a return.
<StevenL OK.
<vetexpert I agree about quickbooks - i called it cookbooks
<StevenL But, you've already heard all my wishlist requests at least twice.
<warspite Projects: I have a DBExpert "system" for incoming/outgoing finances + telephone banking, if this helps.
<madodel0 I basically use InCharge for my checking/savings accounts, and Mesa 2 for my Invoicing and income/expenses. though InCharges new online banking features are getting nice.
<Projects warspite : seeing as I'm going to get into DBExpert as much as I possibly can, that would help :-)
<Projects InCharge totally screwed up my books earlier this year (one of the updates)... Unfortunately I had to go a win accounting app
<StevenL Did you talk to Bruce about your problem?
<warspite No problems...it's a bit rough,.....
<vetexpert Randell - you never did answer the sec
<vetexpert ond question
<warspite I'm not good at IRC, how do I contact you afterwards?
<Projects StevenL: I found that Bruce doesn't listen that well... I had another problem that never got fixed that I asked about.. he said "send my your account files". I did, the problem still occurs
<Randell vetexpert, The one about using Mesa Real Time Feed?
<vetexpert yes
<Projects warspite : email treasurer@os2voice.org or plazenby@yellowhead16.net
<Randell vetexpert, I guess I didn't ahve a real good answer... I'm not sure what using the RTF functions in an accounting application would buy you since I can't envision what the source of the feed would be.
<vetexpert Before I forget I tried to join VOICE online and got the error "DNS entry not found" - The same when trying top email.
<warspite Thans..notes and sent. Mine is: nlysaght@one.net.au
<Sector Hopefully those problems will be fixed soon
<vetexpert OK - I don't understand real time feed anyway
<Projects vetexpert: try again :( It's a problem that's been far too frequent
<vetexpert I will try again
<Randell vetexpert, I think we are going to have a presentation of the Mesa Real Time Feed at Warpstock if you are going to be there...
<vetexpert Okey Dokey
<Projects vetexpert: or as an alternative, you could use the snail mail route... those seem to get here faster than the net these days...
<vetexpert will do
<raysun Randell: Could real time feed be an RS232 feed from a GPS?
<Randell I've gotta run in about 5 minutes... and I'm not entirely sure what Rollin's schedule is tonight... so it's about time for a "last call" on questions.
<Randell raysun, absolutely yes!
<rollin I'm getting hungry, that's my schedule :)
<vetexpert Thanks for the chat - I don't keep a confusor at home so I need to run along now since I am hungry to!
<rollin Raysun, there are a couple of REXX libraries for grabbing data off of the serial port, which you could then easily transfer to the RTF.
<Randell raysun, you would need to create "something" to read the RS232 data (such as a REXX program using a COMM library)but you would then feed the data into Mesa using the RTF calls in REXX.
<raysun Thanks Randell: I'm looking forward to seeing your demo at Warpstock.
*  Projects is really looking forward to the Sundial mailing lists
<Randell raysun, see you there.
<Randell vetexpert, see you whereever and know I'll be getting mail from you...
<mandie Once again, VOICE thanks Randell and Rollin for taking time out of their busy schedules to provide support to the OS/2 community!
<rollin It's our pleasure!
<Projects no, it's ours! :)
<madodel0 Next Saturday VOICE will be hosting yet another Speakup session. This time with the Warpstock 2000 Event Team. The time is 4PM, the place #voice of course. ;-)
<madodel0 That's 4PM EDT (8PM GMT)
*  Projects doesn't think he'll be able to make that one... daughter's birthday
<Randell Don't forget that our web server is just waiting to receive your connections and download requests... cycles are standing by right now!
<madodel0 Projects you seem to have a birthday party every other week
<Randell And we'll be back the first Monday in October... hopefully with a planned "topic" (if Randell keeps his nose to the grindstone)
<Projects madodel0: yeah, that's the problem with these large families :)
<Sector ARRGGHHHHHH it would have to be Saturday...
<rollin See everyone soon! Have a good evening.
<mandie nytol :)
<Randell Thanks again for having us... good night...
<raysun Likewise!
<Projects Randell: anytime!