PGdebt technical bulletin 8

Using PGdebt6 on laptop computers

PGdebt clients each have their own file so this must be moved back and forth...also one vital configuration file must be identical on both computers.

Firstly, the PGdebt system must be installed on both computers and it must be identical on each computer. The simplest way to do this is to designate one computer to be the 'main' computer (it is best to choose the desktop computer for this) and to use the built in synchronise facility to keep the laptop synchronised with the main machine. Note that it is only the PGdebt system files which are synchronised...the client files are completely separate.

Synchronising the laptop
Make all changes to the statistics codes , standard letters etc, on the main computer. Whenever any changes have been made, synchronise the laptop by making a PGdebt 'synch' disc on the desktop and carrying this to the laptop and synchronising it. There is only one file which it is absolutely vital to synchronise and the synch disc will do this for you. Whenever this file changes, PGdebt will warn you that you should make a system backup. There is a built in way of doing this, but the need for a system backup is a vital prompt that you need to synchronise the laptop as well...the system has changed so both a backup and a synchronise (for laptop users) are required. The method of making and using the synch disc is covered fully in the manual chapter on "Using PGdebt on several computers".

Moving the client files
Every PGdebt case has its own separate client file. These are stored in the data directory and always have the file extension '.pga' for active files or .pgd' for dormant ones. To use an existing file stored on the desktop computer, first copy it from the data directory to a floppy disc and take that disc to the laptop. Ensure that the data directory on the laptop is set to A:\ and you will be able to read the file on the laptop as normal. Make any changes, save the file, and then copy the file back from the floppy to the desktop. The changed file will overwrite the old one on the desktop. If you start a new case on the laptop, with the laptop data directory set to A:\, you will be able to save the file straight onto the floppy disc...take the disc to the desktop computer and copy it into the data directory. In this case, with a new file, take great care that you give the file a name that will not clash with an existing file on the desktop. Copy the files using Windows explorer or File Manager. Make sure you understand what will happen if Windows warns you that a file of that name already will overwrite the existing one if you continue...make sure it is the same client before you overwrite it !

Tips to reduce problems l

Finally...It is not too difficult to use the two computers in this way, but it is not totally foolproof either ! Understand what you are doing and be disciplined about it, and it will work well.