Logbook Basics

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Using the System

Once the system is running press the F1 key for Help.

See The Essentials for information on backing up your data.

Some things to note:

Changing Your Environment

You can also change the way the system behaves for you when you run it. To change the appearance, password, etc., from the Control Panel Screen press the Customizer button. The customizer screen will open to allow you to set:
password: to change your password type the new password into the field that says Enter new password and re-type it in the field that says Re-enter new password. The two entries must be the same, the change will take effect when you press the Set button. If the entries are not identical you will receive an error message and your password will not be changed. 

Print Output, Local Temporary File This is the file on your workstation that the system uses to "print". In the Local temporary file field enter the complete name of the file up to but not including an extension. The extension will be supplied by the system depending on the type of file being output. For example, if you enter C:/temp/logbook then any html output will be written to C:/temp/logbook.html, any Excel output to C:/temp/logbook.xls.
When you print, the information is formatted and written to this local temporary file and then the appropriate application is told to open this file on your local disc. If the template is an html file then the browser will open it in a new window. If it is some other from of output, e.g. to a .exe file, then the system will try to launch the application associated with this type of file.
If you do not enter a file name, the system is set up to default to C:\<template name> where <template name> is the name of the template selected in the Format with choice. The change will take effect when you press the Set button. Note that in more recent versions of windows if you do not enter a file name and the system tries to write to the root directory C: you will receive an error message as Windows does not allow access to the root.

Process Names As a convenience, the system can automatically start another process on your PC when appropriate, for example, starting your spreadsheet process when you export data. In order to be able to do this the system must know what the process is and do tell it you must configure the system with this information.
Note this is not required with Java 1.7 unless you want to override your system defaults.


There are four processes that can be configured in the
Customizer form. The Process Names section allows you to set:

  1. Browser - set this to the browser you want to use to open html files. For example on a Windows system to have the system run Firefox you would enter something like:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

    on a Linux system to run Firefox you would enter something like:

    /usr/bin/firefox or if /usr/bin is in you path just firefox depending upon where the executable file firefox resides.

  2. E-mail - set the full path and executable file name for the  process that you want to have the system run to send e-mails to other members. For example on a Windows system to have the system run Outlook you would enter something like:

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Outlook.exe

    on a Linux system to run Evolution you would enter something like:

    /usr/bin/evolution or if /usr/bin is in you path just evolution depending upon where the executable file evolution resides.

    You can check you have the correct entry by typing the entry at a system prompt. If it is correct the specified mail process will start.


  3. Spreadsheet - set the full path and executable file name for the  process that you want to have the system run to open spreadsheet files. For example on a Windows system to have the system run Excel you would enter something like:

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe depending upon where the executable file Excel.exe resides.

    On a Linux system to run Libre Office you would enter something like:

    /usr/bin/loffice or if /usr/bin is in you path just loffice depending upon where the executable file loffice resides.

    You can check you have the correct entry by typing the entry at a system prompt. If it is correct the specified spreadsheet process will start.


  4. Word Processing - reserved for future use
These may be set by typing the name of the program file to be run for the specified process. Alternatively you can click on the label (or right click on the field itself) to bring up a File Chooser Dialog box. You can then use the File Chooser to navigate to the program file that is to be used for the specified process and select it to have it entered into the field without having to type it.

Appearance  The standard screens have a gray background with black lettering. You can change this to whatever you fancy by changing the foreground and background colours in the Appearance section of the Customizer window. Fiddle and fool with these until you are happy, the Preview box shows you what it will look like.  The "Look and Feel" is also modifiable. The several standard Look and feel settings are Windows, Metal and Motif. The Windows setting is for machines running a Microsoft OS, Metal for Macs and Motif for Unix or Linux. For some versions of Windows XP on the "classic" works well.
The changes will be entered when you press the Set button and take effect the next time you connect.

Java Web Start

The installation of the JVM includes a module called Java Web Start that will include a Java Web Start icon on your desktop.

Once the system  has been installed Java Web Start then takes care of maintaining the system. The system is installed locally on your hard disc for fast loading but Java Web Start always checks that it has the latest version. If there is a software update on the server Java Web Start automatically downloads and checks the latest version - you never have to worry about it.

There are some features of interest in Java Web Start that are worth learning about. It is a straight forward application that is launched with a click or double click on the icon on the desk top and then has standard drop down menus and dialog boxes to accomplish various tasks. Two features of interest are:

 
  • managing short cuts - once the system has been run and automatically installed, it appears in the list of Downloaded Applications in the Java Web Start main window.
Downloaded Apps
When the system is installed, it instructs Java Web Start to put a shortcut on the desktop and in the start menu. You can remove them in the Java Web Start main window click on the application name and go Applications -> Remove Shortcuts). You can create them whenever you decide: in Java Web Start click on the application name and go Applications -> Create Shortcuts . You will be prompted to create shortcuts on the desktop and/or in the Start Menu.
  • displaying  the Java Console - when the Logbook System runs some output is displayed in the Java Console. This is usually informational and can give you some insight into what is happening in the background as you run the system but it is also just possible to encounter a bug in the Logbook System. In this case the program with the error will "throw an exception" and the exception will be displayed in the console. The content of the message is invaluable to the developer to determine where in the code the problem occurred. All this is to say that it is generally a good idea to have the Java console available when running the system. To enable the Java console in Java Web Start, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced and check the Show Java Console box:
Console setting


 
Prepared: March 7, 2007
Modified July 11, 2018
Copyright Johnson Computer Software Team Limited. 2007, 2018
Contact the author at virtualdrj@gmail.com