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Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
06-27-2017, 02:48 PM
Post: #1
Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
I read about this neat-sounding 1-2-3 add-in called @BASE, that essentially makes 1-2-3 a front-end for working with dBase III files:

http://www.palmtoppaper.com/ptphtml/29/pt290031.htm

Trouble is, it's pretty old (no surprise), and I can't seem to track down a copy. Does anyone know where it might be hiding out these days?
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06-27-2017, 05:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(06-27-2017 02:48 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  ... 1-2-3 add-in called @BASE ... anyone know where it might be hiding out these days?

Did the references listed on the bottom of the page (i.e. Contact: Linda Lammi @ Data Watch, Phone: 508-988-9700 ext. 552; Fax: 508-988-2040 for order information, or write to Data Watch, 234 Ballardvale Street, Wilmington, MA 01887, USA.) at this url Thaddeus Computing @Base purchasing prove insufficient or outdated?

BEST!
SlideRule
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06-27-2017, 08:42 PM
Post: #3
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(06-27-2017 05:15 PM)SlideRule Wrote:  
(06-27-2017 02:48 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  ... 1-2-3 add-in called @BASE ... anyone know where it might be hiding out these days?

Did the references listed on the bottom of the page (i.e. Contact: Linda Lammi @ Data Watch, Phone: 508-988-9700 ext. 552; Fax: 508-988-2040 for order information, or write to Data Watch, 234 Ballardvale Street, Wilmington, MA 01887, USA.) at this url Thaddeus Computing @Base purchasing prove insufficient or outdated?

BEST!
SlideRule

Well, there's no web site URL, so it's probably outdated. Wink I'll see if I can hunt down the name Data Watch, though. Thanks.
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06-28-2017, 12:28 AM
Post: #4
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
Here's Datawatch's webpage: http://www.datawatch.com/about-us/

And it's Datawatch without the space. http://www.agreementbase.com/contract-38483/
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06-28-2017, 12:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(06-28-2017 12:28 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Here's Datawatch's webpage: http://www.datawatch.com/about-us/

And it's Datawatch without the space. http://www.agreementbase.com/contract-38483/

Ah ha! No wonder I couldn't find them. Maybe I'll email them later just for kicks and see if anybody working there still knows what the hell I'm talking about. Wink
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08-18-2019, 06:09 PM
Post: #6
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
An update! A copy of @BASE finally popped up on ebay, and I jumped on it. It looks like it's in good condition, with the box and manual, and original 5.25" floppy disk. I'm crossing my fingers that the disk is still error-free (or at least all the essential files are intact)... I can live with a corrupt readme file or installation wizard, as long as all the .adn files are safe. But the copy of Paradox 3.5 that I bought a few weeks ago came with 9 5.25" disks with zero errors, so I'm optimistic.

If I can successfully retrieve the contents of the disk, I'll probably toss it all on archive.org (and my palmtop, naturally). Does anybody have any recommendations for Windows-based scanning software that's particularly well suited for doing manuals?
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08-18-2019, 07:19 PM
Post: #7
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 06:09 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Does anybody have any recommendations for Windows-based scanning software that's particularly well suited for doing manuals?

HI Dave,

I'm a little bit confused with your question. Most manuals are just scanned and then a PDF created from the scan. Most scanners come with software that will scan directly to a pdf. Since a manual may be big, I usually just scan sections (i.e., maybe chapters) to PDF's and then use the professional Adobe program to assemble the finished pdf.

As to actually doing the scan of the manual, that can be quite easy or more difficult depending on whether it's loose leaf or bound. If it's softback, I just take it to Staples, have them slice off the binding. Then I can scan the loose pages. If want to preserve the manual, I just take it back to Staples and have them punch and bind it with a spiral binding.

If the manual is a hard back, then it can be more difficult to scan. It's hard to get it flat enough to not get distortion in the text close to the binding. There are some Laser Book Scanners that are supposed to be able to scan a curved page in a bound book. I've never tried one but would be interested to know how well the lower price ones work.

Not sure if I answered your question.

Bill
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Smithville, NJ
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08-18-2019, 08:12 PM
Post: #8
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 07:19 PM)Bill (Smithville NJ) Wrote:  
(08-18-2019 06:09 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Does anybody have any recommendations for Windows-based scanning software that's particularly well suited for doing manuals?

HI Dave,

I'm a little bit confused with your question. Most manuals are just scanned and then a PDF created from the scan. Most scanners come with software that will scan directly to a pdf. Since a manual may be big, I usually just scan sections (i.e., maybe chapters) to PDF's and then use the professional Adobe program to assemble the finished pdf.

As to actually doing the scan of the manual, that can be quite easy or more difficult depending on whether it's loose leaf or bound. If it's softback, I just take it to Staples, have them slice off the binding. Then I can scan the loose pages. If want to preserve the manual, I just take it back to Staples and have them punch and bind it with a spiral binding.

If the manual is a hard back, then it can be more difficult to scan. It's hard to get it flat enough to not get distortion in the text close to the binding. There are some Laser Book Scanners that are supposed to be able to scan a curved page in a bound book. I've never tried one but would be interested to know how well the lower price ones work.

Not sure if I answered your question.

Bill
WD9EQD
Smithville, NJ

Thanks Bill, mostly I'm just wondering if there's software to streamline the process - stick a page on the scanner, click a button, stick the next page on the scanner, click a button, etc. then get a PDF at the end of the process, with consistent page sizes. The default Windows Fax and Scan seems optimized for photos or short documents.

I'm glad you mentioned binding removal, though, because I hadn't through of that. The photos in the listing show some kind of wire binding for the manual, so I'll see if it's something easily removed. My scanner (a small HP OfficeJet MFP) has a sheet feeder, though I don't know if it's double-sided. If it's not, maybe the big MFP at the office would be able to tackle it; I know that thing can send scan results by email as PDF files.
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08-18-2019, 08:58 PM
Post: #9
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 08:12 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Thanks Bill, mostly I'm just wondering if there's software to streamline the process - stick a page on the scanner, click a button, stick the next page on the scanner, click a button, etc. then get a PDF at the end of the process, with consistent page sizes. The default Windows Fax and Scan seems optimized for photos or short documents.

I'm glad you mentioned binding removal, though, because I hadn't through of that. The photos in the listing show some kind of wire binding for the manual, so I'll see if it's something easily removed. My scanner (a small HP OfficeJet MFP) has a sheet feeder, though I don't know if it's double-sided. If it's not, maybe the big MFP at the office would be able to tackle it; I know that thing can send scan results by email as PDF files.

If it has the wire binding, you should be able to straighten the end and then twist the wire out. Then you can scan and then re-twist the wire back on the manual.

The best document scanners have straight thru paper feeders. The one I use is the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. Fantastic scanner that does both sides at once.

If you wish, I could scan it for you. Just let me know.

If you do scan it using a sheet feeder, I recommend using the highest quality which should result in a slower pass through the feed mechanism. A slower pass is less likely to jam or tear the paper you are scanning. Especially if the sheets are thin or have some repaired tears in them. Slower pass through the feed is better. And straight thru feeder is better than a curved paper pass. And of course both sides at one scan - stay away from scanners that does one side then pulls the page back in to scan the second side. These will definitely jam sooner or later and tear the original.

Also, if the sheets have holes in them, then feed the straight edge in first with the holes last. That way the mechanism has a full edge to grip and pull the sheet into the feeder. Many times, the edge with the holes have tears at the holes.

Set the scan software up to scan to PDF and to NOT auto rotate the scans. Most software will either auto-crop to the scanned edges or you can set it a fixed sheet size. I usually use the auto-crop feature. If you scan to a fixed sheet size, sometime you will get discoloration around the edges of the scans. Auto-crop may result in slightly smaller, odd-ball size sheet (8.45" x 10.98" instead of exactly 8.5 x 11), but for PDF it really doesn't matter what the actual sheet size it.

You will need to use a PDF program to combine the various pdf files and possibly rotate pages after the scanning.

Bill
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Smithville, NJ
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08-18-2019, 09:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 08:58 PM)Bill (Smithville NJ) Wrote:  [quote='Dave Britten' pid='119918' dateline='1566159134']

You will need to use a PDF program to combine the various pdf files and possibly rotate pages after the scanning.

Scan Tailor is an excellent tool to post process your scans and obtain the best possible looking PDF.
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08-18-2019, 09:23 PM
Post: #11
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
Thanks for all the tips, guys (particularly your advice on the mechanics of the process, Bill). The book has a wire binding, but it doesn't appear to be the coiled sort, so it might take more effort to remove non-destructively.

It looks like Foxit's PhantomPDF has a good workflow for this sort of thing, so I'll probably try the 14-day trial on this manual to see if it (and my scanner) will be up to the task.
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08-18-2019, 10:26 PM
Post: #12
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 09:23 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Thanks for all the tips, guys (particularly your advice on the mechanics of the process, Bill). The book has a wire binding, but it doesn't appear to be the coiled sort, so it might take more effort to remove non-destructively.

Dave,

If it's the double wire through each hole type binding, then you can take it apart and put it back together. Open the back page up and you can see where the double wires loop back on themselves. Using your thumb, just gently warp the loop wire out a little bit. Do that for all the holes. You can then slide the pages off the wire. After scanning, just slide them back on the wire and then warp curve the wire back into place. I've done it on many manuals.

Bill
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08-21-2019, 03:28 PM
Post: #13
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
Success!!! The package arrived today, and the floppy disk is 100% error free! The contents of the disk are attached. There's a batch file that installs the 1-2-3 add-in manager, but none of that is needed for the 100LX/200LX, since 2.4 has the add-in manager functionality built in. Just copy @BASE.ADN, @BASE.TXT, and @BASEFUN.ADN to C:\_DAT.

I've only done a few minutes of testing, but it appears to be working fine on my 200LX. I opened up some of the example files and played with browse, edit, and crosstab. There's one very minor catch: it assumes an 80x25 screen, so some of the displays might run off the edges of the screen if you don't zoom out (Fn-Space) before invoking the various @BASE screens (like the browser or editor). I'm assuming this means it's not fully usable on a 95LX.

The manual is spiral-bound, though it's not a coiled type that I could just thread out and back in. I would need some sort of spreading tool to easily unbind it. But I may be able to just slap it on my flatbed scanner and get good results. It's about 200 pages, so I'll have to find some time to experiment with that.


.zip  @BASE.zip (Size: 93.12 KB / Downloads: 3)
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08-21-2019, 06:42 PM
Post: #14
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-18-2019 06:09 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Does anybody have any recommendations for Windows-based scanning software that's particularly well suited for doing manuals?

Not Windows-based, but possibly the easiest to use, the Portable PLUS Service Manual was scanned with a smartphone app. Looks pretty good to me.

http://www.jeffcalc.hp41.eu/hpplus/files...manual.pdf
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08-21-2019, 08:32 PM
Post: #15
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
(08-21-2019 06:42 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  
(08-18-2019 06:09 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Does anybody have any recommendations for Windows-based scanning software that's particularly well suited for doing manuals?

Not Windows-based, but possibly the easiest to use, the Portable PLUS Service Manual was scanned with a smartphone app. Looks pretty good to me.

http://www.jeffcalc.hp41.eu/hpplus/files...manual.pdf

Hey, that turned out pretty good.

I was able to remove the binding, and I'm coming along well enough with the sheet feeder on my scanner. I'm doing about a dozen pages at a time, and I'll stitch everything together and OCR/post process once it's done. I don't think the results are going to win any awards, but so far it's all perfectly readable.
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08-21-2019, 10:29 PM
Post: #16
RE: Anybody know where to find @BASE for Lotus?
Enjoy!

https://archive.org/details/atbase-personics

The manual has an OCR layer, some bookmarks for the chapters, and correct page numbers.

I haven't dived into the program much yet, but it looks like it adds some pretty cool data management functionality to 1-2-3.
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