STUREC© and Local Area Networks

Stanwood Campsmith, Network Administrator, MicroData Systems, Ltd.

STUREC© -- and, indeed our entire line of *RECord keeping software -- will run perfectly safe and reliably in a properly configured MS-Windows and Novell® environment.

What do I mean by a properly configured environment ? Well, there are three general issues to consider when determining if a particular computer/network is "properly configured":

  1. System stability
  2. Data Integrity
  3. Data Security
NOTE: The discussions that follow apply to any computer running any version of MS-Windows®.

System Stability

Let's face it, we've all been occasional victims of the "Blue Screen of Death" (BSoD), and its less catastrophic cousins (i.e. General Protection Fault, Illegal Operation, etc.). In a healthy, properly configured computer, BSoD's and other such messages are few and very far between -- and the cause can usually be instantly identified and fixed. However, "buggy" hardware/drivers, or software version conflicts, or even buggy Windows application programs can cause frequent -- even predictable -- errors and system crashes. To put it simply, frequent system errors (i.e. Illegal Operation, BSoD, mysterious "system freezes") -- more than once every few months -- indicate a severely mis-configured computing environment, that will result in data loss/corruption.

Here's some tips to keep your system running smooth:

Data Integrity

Freshly installed, all versions of MS-Windows® (9x/NT/2000/XP) are optimized for optimal "System Responsiveness", sacrificing the safety and integrity of your data. For the casual (home) user of a stand-alone computer, these defaults are generally fine. However, in a professional, multi-user, networked setting -- like a school administrative office -- computer workstations should be optimized accordingly (see your Windows / Novell docs for details):

A quick and easy way to test for and 'fix' mis-configured networking settings is to download and run a freeware utility program called REDRTEST.EXE

Data Security

Setting aside the legal and privacy issues for a moment, Data Security involves more than simple theft prevention. When applied to database systems like STUREC©, Data Security involves the following:

Without proper Data Security practices, you can never truly be confident of the accuracy, privacy, and overall integrity of the data/information contained in the database.