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Chapter 12 - Software Operation for Charge Decay File Management

This chapter describes the File Management software which may be accessed:

It is prescribed reading for a new user of the software, so that he may grasp the range of its capability, but need not be learnt, as it is referenced in the index.

Charge Decay Files

There are four types of file associated with the recording of Charge Decay Data:

Charge Decay Results and Graph files are described full in the appendix.

Features of File Management

The features available are here summarised:

Disc drives and drive lists

(main menu selection 3)

This selection of the main menu is provided for operations performed relatively rarely and for recovery from disc and drive problems:

Access to data directories

(main menu selection 2)

This selection of the main menu is provided primarily for the selection of Charge Decay Data files for analysis from existing directories on any drive mentioned in the two drive lists. However it has proved convenient to use this selection to access all aspects of file management that are routinely used when creating new Charge Decay data files in directories on those drives as well as accessing existing ones:

Drive Operations Menu

This menu may be accessed from the main menu, selection 3, but is also automatically accessed when a Charge Decay filing operation fails due to a disc or drive problem. It is shown below (figure 12.1, also at figure 8.1).

It has a status panel, three numbered actions and Quit.

Figure 8.1 Drive Operations Menu

Menu Title

This is replaced by sample identity for the Charge Decay that can't be filed when the menu is accessed automatically.

Status Panel

The status panel is divided into three lines:

Selection 1:
Retry

To be used after following recommended action. Returns to Main Menu Selection 1 (Run).

Selection 2:
Format disc in drive ??

This selection leads to the computer's standard disc formatting program (FORMAT.COM) for the drive mentioned. To access the program, this software uses the COMSPEC variable, and assumes that the DOS operating system's transient commands are to be found there or on the program disc.

The drive mentioned is always the current Data drive. When the data drive is a fixed (internal, hard) disc, this selection is not obtainable.

Selection 3:
Drive Lists ..
(view / change)


This selection leads to the Drive Lists menu described below.

Selection 4:
Quit


This selection returns to the main menu Quit selection.

Drive List Menu

This menu is shown in figure 12.2 below (also in figure 8.2) and is encountered when proceeding from selection 3 of the Drive Operations menu above. It offers a Proceed action, three editable drive related parameters, a Default / Cancel line, and a Quit action.

Figure 12.2 - Drive List Menu

Continue ..

If the Drive Operations menu was called automatically due to failure to save a Decay Data file, this selection returns to repeat the attempt to save.

If the Drive Operations was entered from the Main Menu selection 3, this selection returns to Main Menu selection 1 unless there is still a drive or disc problem, when it returns to Main Menu selection 3

Drive(s) (A..Z)

Reserve Drive(s) (A..Z)

These lists of drives are the Data Drive list and the Reserve Data Drive List. By default the first drive in this Data Drive list will be the Current Data Drive, but any other may be selected, see DATA drive selection below.

Under computer control mode, each time a Charge Decay file is saved, the Current Data Drive is tried, and if unsuccessful, the next drive (with first drive following last drive) in the Data Drive List is made the Current Data Drive, and retried. If unsuccessful when all drives in this list have been tried, the current Data Drive reverts to the first in the Data Drive list, but the drives in the Reserve Drive list below are tried in sequence until the file is successfully saved. This facility reduces or eliminates the necessity to attend computer controlled runs with many Charge Decays.

The distribution of drives between the two lists also affects file management, in that file transfer and copy take place from the data drive in its drive list to the first available drive in the other drive list.

Data Drive

Having set the Drive Lists, the Data Drive may be chosen by use of , keys. If, as a result of removing the Data Driv e from its drive list, the Data Drive is left indicating an invalid drive, this will be corrected to the first drive in the D rive List on leaving this menu.

Default / Cancel

Use this selection for cancelling all changes and / or restoring all defaults. See Chapter 9 ("Menus", §Restoring defaults / cancelling changes), and / or read the instruction line before you press when this line is selected.

Quit

Return to Main Menu selection 5 (QUIT program).

File / Directory Picker

This is a special menu which provides access to data directories and management of the Charge Decay and Setup file contents of those directories. The principal such picker (Data File / Directory Picker) is accessed from the Main Menu, selection 2, and is shown below as figure 12.3. A second picker for setup files only (Setup File / Directory Picker) is accessed indirectly from Main Menu selection 4.

The file / directory picker uses the MS-DOS® filing system to access Charge Decay Data (and Setup) files which have been classified using this system's concept of a hierarchy of directories containing files and sub-directories.

As shown below the file / directory picker comprises:

Figure 12.3 - File / Directory Picker

Picking Files or Directories

One of the three panels will have one of its names selected (highlit). Pressing will move the highlighting selector from one p anel to the next, as indicated in the instruction in the top right corner of each panel; when it arrives in the required panel, the instructions change to indicate which keys can be used to move the selector to the required file or directory.

The consequences of confirming a selection are indicated in the Return Key instruction line at the bottom right of the screen:

The sole consequence of quitting the picker (bottom left instruction) is to return to the main menu, regardless of which panel contains the highlit selection, leaving the current directory unchanged from when the picker was entered.

File management

The available file management instructions are shown in the bottom border of the sub-directories panel. Each instruction only works if it is shown here. In addition, the instruction may fail if conditions are unsuitable; if this happens a message will be displayed in the file management report screen.

File management involves the concept of source and destination drives. The source drive for any file management action is the drive shown as the first part of the current drive / directory, (top left of picker screen). The source drive must be in one of the drive lists (Data Drives, Reserve Data Drives). The destination drive is the first available drive in the other drive list. Occasionally it may be necessary to edit the drive lists to get the required result.

The file management utilities described below ensure that Charge Decay Result files are kept on the same drive and directory as the associated Charge Decay Data file, and that all setup files in a given directory are available in the all the drives and directories that the data files get copied or transferred to.

The file management possibilities are as follows:

If a copy fails when partially completed, e.g. due to destination disc becoming full, then only two options are offered:

Each of the above actions has a report screen, of which an instance is shown below. The report screen consists of:

Figure 12.4 - Report Screen with a file copy in progress

Drive / Directory Selection Menu

This menu is shown below, figure 12.5. It is accessed:

It offers 3 selectable actions and 4 editable items:

Figure 12.5 - Drive / Directory Selection Menu

Access Directories / Save a Setup

This action leads back to the File / Directory Picker via an intermediate Menu (Save a Setup ..).

Data Drive

Allows selection of the Data drive from the Data drive list and the reserve Data drive list.

Data Directory

The current data directory may be changed by editing this line, which shows the full name as selected by the directory picker. The line will accept up to 7 words of up to 8 characters, separated by backslashes '\; leading and trailing backslashes will be added if not supplied. Existing and new directories may be entered / created, though it is more convenient to get existing directories using the picker.

Setup file

This item may be used to define a name for saving the current set up as a file for later recall. The line will accept up to 6 words of up to 8 characters, separated by backslashes '/'. The last word being taken as the setup file name, and the others as a sub-directory when valid.

Next setup file

This name of up to 8 characters will be used in Computer Controlled mode to automatically load another setup file of this name at the end of a single or repeated Charge Decay Data collection run and automatically start a new run.

Default / Cancel

Use this selection for cancelling all changes and / or restoring all defaults. See Chapter 9 ("Menus", §Restoring defaults / cancelling changes), and / or read the instruction line before you press when this line is selected.

Quit

Returns to main menu.

Save a setup..

This menu is shown below at figure 12.6. It is accessed when leaving the above Drive / Directory menu via its first selection. It offers 4 selections and Quit.

Figure 12.6 - Save a setup .. (Menu)

Selection 1:
File Access / Drive and Directory Selection


Leads to the File / Directory Picker (and thence to Drive / Directory Selection). Normally used when it is not required to save a setup.

Selection 2:
Save in Data Directory

Saves the current values of all the menu settable parameters in the program to a file in the current data directory. Reloading this file (see File Directory Picker above) sets default and current values of all parameters, so that Charge Decay data can be collected and reviewed under the same conditions as previously.

The name under which the file is saved is as set in the Setup File item of the above Drive / Directory selection menu. Only characters following the last backlash ('\') are used, i.e. any sub-directory information is ignored. If there are no such characters, the name "JCISETUP" is used by default. In any case an extension ".155" is appended.

If the save is successful, you are returned to the file / directory picker. If this is the Data File / Directory Picker, then the setup file can be visually confirmed.

If the save is unsuccessful, you are returned directly to the main menu, at selection 3.

Selection 3:
Save in Setup Directory

Saves the current values of all the menu settable parameters in the program to a file in the setup sub-directory. (The setup sub-directory is a sub-directory of the directory containing the program executable file). Reloading this file (see File Directory Picker above) sets default and current values of all parameters, so that Charge Decay data can be collected and reviewed under the same conditions as previously.

The name under which the file is saved is as set in the Setup File item of the above Drive / Directory selection menu. Characters before the last backlash ('\') are used to generate or select further subdirectories within setup. If there are no characters after the last backlash, the name "JCISETUP" is used by default. In any case an extension ".155" is appended.

If the save is successful, you are returned to the file / directory picker. If this is the Setup File / Directory Picker, then the setup file can be visually confirmed.

If the save is unsuccessful, you are returned directly to the main menu, at selection 3.

Selection 4:
Save as Startup

Saves the current values of all the menu settable parameters in the program to a file in the startup directory. (The startup directory is a sub-directory of the directory containing the program execu table file). Starting the program uses this data to set default and current values of all parameters, so that Charge Decay data can be collected and reviewed under the same conditions as previously.

The name under which the file is saved is always "JCISTART.155"

If the save is successful, you are returned to the file / directory picker.

If the save is unsuccessful, you are r eturned directly to the main menu, at selection 3.

Selection 5:
Quit


Returns to the main menu Quit selection.


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