The file maintenance consists of four routines which allow the calculix fields to be maintained. Normally the File check routine will not be needed but may be useful if the computer file system has been corrupted and spurious data has been created.
Secondary indices provide alternative lists of primary data specially prepared for a secondary purpose. For instance, Elements are listed under the room data but there is also a summary of "elements used" which includes the number of times each element has occurred. The Secondary index links the two lists and ensures that any change in one list will be matched by a corresponding change in the Secondary list, without the need to recalculate each time. The system normally checks the secondary indices but if data is deleted from a file, for instance, by using the UNIX utilities, then the secondary indices may be affected and they should be re-built. The process simply re-builds the secondary list from the beginning.
There are two groups of secondary indices in the calculix system:
The re-build secondary indices program should be run whenever Room Data or Descriptions are copied from one contract to another. (Copying within a contract automatically maintains and updates the Secondary indices).
The binary format of the calculix files can be checked for consistency using these routines. The process will report any corrupt data. If a file has become corrupt it should be deleted and replaced with the latest back-up file.
The Checkout Files routine should be run if there is any suspicion that some Calculix data may have been corrupted. This would usually be indicated by a FATAL ERROR message.
When records are deleted from calculix files the data is not erased but merely flagged with a marker indicating that it has been deleted. This is a standard programming procedure which produces more efficient software because no accuracy is lost, no significant processing time is wasted if some records are left in the file and deletion of several records would be slow if each deletion required the whole file to be re-organised separately. It is therefore left to the operator to manually select the re-organisation process if he wishes to tidy up his files. He can do so at the end of a series of deletions or at any other convenient time.
It is not necessary to re-organise all the files - only those which may contain a substantial number of deleted records.
Re-organisation will not correct any data errors and failure to re-organise will not give rise to any processing errors. Files that haven't been re-organised will take longer to process if they contain deleted records.
Because the Re-organisation process effectively re-writes the file into a new contiguous structure it is often the case that data corruption can be cured be Re-organising the files. If a file fails to pass the File Check Process it is worth Re-organising it to see if that will flush out the corruption.
This option allows a Contract to be permanently removed from the system. The procedure will ask for the code of the contract to be removed and will ask for confirmation to avoid accidental erasure. Make sure that the contract has been archived to floppy disc before deleting if a record is required to be kept.
Computers are pedantic devices and the mis-reading of just one binary digit could lead to all kinds of difficulties.
Modern computer software therefore performs a number of unseen checking operations in an attempt to ensure that data is not corrupted. If any of these checks fail it will usually repeat the process in the hope that the same problem will not be repeated.
If the software is unable to rectify the problem itself it will usually produce a REPORT indicating the nature of the problem.
In more obscure cases Calculix has "FATAL ERROR" messages built in which draw the operator's attention to the problem by halting the active process and displaying an appropriate FATAL ERROR message code. The computer can be reset by pressing <RETURN> c but the operator should note the message code and if the cause is not known HIGHBRAVE LTD. should be notified of the incident.
In very rare cases your computer may CRASH. This will probably be nothing to do with Calculix, although Calculix may have been running at the time. Your computer manual will explain the correct recovery procedure. This will normally involve resetting the computer by either using a RESET button or turning the computer OFF and ON again. If you have any difficulties you should contact your Hardware Maintenance Contractor.
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