Readerware Newsletter - October 2016

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Readerware 3.53 Released

Welcome to the Readerware Newsletter We focused on your requests in this release and closed a lot of issues in our database.

Readerware 3.53 is now available for Windows, Mac, (including macOS Sierra) and Linux. We are still putting the final touches on Readerware Mobile 3.53, this will follow in a couple of weeks.

If you run Readerware on another OS we have a new distribution for you. From our download page choose Other Desktop Platforms.

Readerware 3.53 includes:

A number of new preference settings you asked for to help you configure Readerware just the way you want.

Support for the PostgreSQL database was added and Access database support works again.

We fixed a number of issues related to the three database modes, read only, checkout and full access. In some cases inappropriate operations were allowed. For example you could drag & drop an item in read only mode.

In theory an ISBN search should only return one result, each edition of a book has a different ISBN. Some sites however can return multiple results. Readerware auto-catalog now tracks this and alerts you with a new status code so that you can double check the results and make sure Readerware cataloged the correct item.

We have had some issues recently with Readerware getting the wrong format, i.e. it cataloged a paperback edition instead of a hardcover edition. This was due to the way searches now work at Amazon and has been resolved.

A full list of the changes included in Readerware 3.53 is available in the release notes. You can also access the release notes from Readerware itself, select the Help->Release notes menu item.

We recommend that everyone upgrade to Readerware 3.53.

Download Readerware 3.53

 


 

New Preferences

New Preferences We added a number of new preference settings in this release. All are off by default so Readerware will continue to operate unchanged.

You can review these new settings here and then turn them on in the product if you wish to activate the changes.

General Preferences - There is a new setting in the Startup Preferences section, Start in Edit Mode. You can toggle the Readerware table view between navigation mode and edit mode. In navigation mode many columns are displayed as links and you can click on them to refine your search. In Edit mode you can edit the contents of a cell, click in the cell and enter a new value. You can toggle modes by clicking on the Edit Mode toolbar button. By default Readerware starts in navigation mode. Check this setting and Readerware will start in edit mode.

Database->Access - Two new Database Access preferences. You can set the default database access mode, choose from Read Only, Checkout and Full Access. Users asked for the option to restrict access to preferences in read only and checkout modes. Check the Disable preferences in checkout and read only mode to turn this option on. Now when Readerware is running in read only mode or checkout mode access to preferences will be disabled. To change preferences you must select the Edit->Request Update Access menu item and supply the password.

If you have multiple databases you can easily switch between them by selecting from the File->Open Recent menu item. You can now set the number of databases that Readerware should remember. The current setting is for Readerware to remember the last 6 databases and that remains the default. You can now set it to between 2 and 25.

Auto-Catalog - This new preference applies to Readerware 3 (Music) only. Readerware 3 (Music) maintains the artist at the album and the track level. Many sites provide both and Readerware gets both. With sites that only provide the album artist, Readerware can now set the track artist for you.

Auto-Catalog and secure sites

Auto-Catalog and secure sites You may have noticed browsing the web that a lot of sites now require a secure connection. It used to be that secure connections were only used for checking out to ensure that sensitive information like your credit card number was transmitted securely and cannot be seen by eavesdroppers.

Today many sites now require a secure connection for all activity. Google is a good example. It used to be that you could type "http://www.google.com" into your browser to search the web. Now you will find that you are automatically redirected to "https://www.google.com" and the padlock icon appears in your browser to indicate you have a secure connection. This encrypts your data and only you and Google know what you are searching for.

Amazon and The Library of Congress are two auto-catalog sites that now require secure connections. This is no problem as Readerware fully supports secure connections. Most of you using these sites probably never even realized that this change had taken place. Readerware automatically establishes a secure connection.

We did encounter some problems initially which were traced back to an anti-virus product, Kaspersky Anti-Virus. Anti-Virus products tend to eavesdrop on web traffic so that they can monitor the data a web site is sending you to protect your computer from a malicious attack. If the connection is secure and the data encrypted they cannot monitor web site traffic. Or can they? In turns out they can by using the same techniques hackers use to intercept communications. Unfortunately these kinds of tricks can break some programs. Readerware is one of them. As Readerware ensures that any certificate used for secure communications is issued by a known certificate authority, a secure connection intercepted by an anti-virus program will fail.

If you find that you are having problems cataloging from secure sites, check your anti-virus program. If using Kaspersky Anti-Virus you must disable the encrypted connection scan. There are instructions in this knowledge base article.

Readerware Mobile 3.53 coming soon

Readerware Mobile Rather than trying to release the latest version of Readerware on all platforms at once, both computer and mobile, with this release we have decided to break apart the product releases. Readerware Mobile 3.53 will follow Readerware 3.53.

There is one new feature in Readerware Mobile 3.53 that we wanted to talk about now.

We have received a couple of e-mails along the lines of "My computer had a virus and had to be completely reset and I lost everything Readerware and my data and of course I had not been backing up my database. I do however have Readerware on my mobile is there any way I can recover my database from my mobile device."

The answer is that there is now a way to recover your database from your mobile device. The first thing you have to understand is that when we sync your database to your mobile device we are not taking a complete copy of your database. When setting up the sync options, you decide which fields to transfer and whether or not to set a character limit on any field. Obviously we can only recover the data you sent to your mobile device so fields will be missing. When we transfer images they are scaled to the mobile device so images are not recovered. So the amount of data you can recover from your mobile device is limited but when you are in a desperate situation, every little bit helps.

Once you have your mobile database on your computer you can then use Readerware auto-update to add to the database, fetch new images, fetch fields that your did not sync etc. We have been through this process with users and in a short time we can recover a lot of your data. The reason we wanted to let you know about this feature now is that although it is not yet in the shipping product we do have this capability now and can help you if you are in this situation. Contact support for assistance.

A quick reminder. Readerware Mobile is not a backup tool, don't depend on it. It is a last resort only. Take this opportunity to backup your database now and save the backup file to a safe location, a server, an external drive of some kind, to a DVD or to the cloud.

Look for Readerware 3.53 mobile coming soon.

Searching your database

Searching your database This was going to be a section for Mac users. As we prepared to test the new macOS Sierra with Readerware we discovered that Apple would not let us install macOS Sierra on any of our existing Macs, so we had to go out and purchase another Mac for testing. I think they call it planned obsolescence.

We decided to put our new Mac into our main testing area and while setting it up we noticed that a couple of small but key features used in searching your database were not working. This was nothing to do with the new macOS Sierra, they had been broken for a while and made it a lot more difficult to search a Readerware database by a contributor, an author, artist, actor etc. Even though these problems were not present on other platforms, I think everyone will benefit from this article.

We are going to use Readerware 3 (Music) as we go through how to search for albums by a given artist.

All the list fields like Artist have type ahead, as you start typing in a name Readerware jumps to the first matching entry in the list. As soon as you reach the name that you want you can hit Enter to begin the search. Rather than have to type in the full name you only type as much as you need.

If what you type matches an artist in the list when you hit Enter Readerware searches for an exact match on that artist. Optionally you can make it a wild card search, select the Preferences menu item, then Contributor.

If what you type does not match any artist in the list when you hit Enter, Readerware searches for any artist name that contains the text you entered.

In our test on our new Mac we were searching for albums by the artist "Miss Tess", we decided to just type in Tess and hit enter. As we started to type Readerware started selecting artists from the list. Here is what was selected as we began to type:

T - "Tammi Terrell"
Te - "Teddy Wilson"
Tes - No match
Tess - No match

So if we type T and then Enter, Readerware would have searched for "Tammi Terrell", if we typed Te and Enter it would search for "Teddy Wilson". As we typed Tess followed by Enter, Readerware will do a wildcard search for Tess and find our albums.

At least that is what should have happened, that is what did happen on Windows. But on the Mac the Teddy Wilson entry was still selected and Readerware searched on that instead. This has now been fixed as you continue typing and no entry is found in the list we now close the list and deselect the entry. So this search will now also work on the Mac.

Another problem we found on our new Mac. If you have a number of artists with the same first name it can be tiresome to have to type the full first name so that you can move on to the second name and find your artist. Readerware makes that easy too, you can use the cursor down key to move down an entry in the list and quickly find the artist you are looking for.

In this case we were looking for "Suzanne Vega". We typed in Suz and the first Suzanne in our database was selected. It turned out in our database we had 4 with Suzanne Vega being the last. on Windows we simply typed Suz and then used the down arrow to select the correct entry. On our Mac the down key did not scroll the list. This has now been fixed, the down and up arrows now work to scroll a list on a Mac.

The type ahead feature can make finding and selecting an artist much easier. The reason we wrote this article is that we found that key elements of this were broken on a Mac but they were never reported. Probably because users were not sure what to expect. These issues did make it harder to find artists on a Mac. The issues are fixed and hopefully you have a good idea of how to use this feature to select and search for an artist.
 

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