This page allows you to download the dbCindex program
for Windows 95/98, described in the notes on making
your own database of reference material. It also contains a list of
bugs and limitations with current versions of dbCindex,
recent new facilities and fixed bugs, and a wishlist
for upgrades in future versions.
There are two things you might want to do:
At present, when you run dbczip.exe, you may get a warning about the licence
on winzip self-extractor. You can ignore this - the licence problem
is being sorted out.
Install the program on a computer where it hasn't been used before. To
do this, you need to do a full install (which puts some Borland database
utilities onto your computer as well as dbCindex itself). In
this case, click
here. I suggest that you download the program to your c:\temp
directory. Having downloaded it, use Windows Explorer to find the
file dbczip.exe, and double click on the program to run it. It will
unpack itself into numerous files, which by default will go into c:\temp.
Use Explorer to find the file Setup.exe, and run it. That should
install the program. Once you have done this successfully, you can
delete dbczip.exe and the files it put into c:\temp. Note that at present,
this won't give you the vary latest version of dbCindex - so you may want
to go on and do the next thing described as well.
Update the version of dbCindex in use on a computer where an earlier version
has already been installed. In this case, all you need is the latest
version of the file dbCindex.exe; you can get this by clicking
here. Warning: if you do this without first doing a full install,
it probably won't work - unless you already have some database software
supplied by the Borland company on your computer, the program will download
ok but it won't run correctly.
Bugs and limitations
The following bugs are thought to occur in the version of dbCindex compiled
on 29/11/99; they may or may not be present in earlier versions. If you
are suffering other bugs, and have an earlier version, you may want to
download the more recent version, using the information above, in the hope
that I have meanwhile fixed them. I welcome reports of any further
bugs you find.
There are a number of situations in which the program sometimes hangs up
with the error message "cannot perform this operation on a closed data
set". A quick workaround is to go to the File menu and use the Reinitialise
Using the facility for interposing a topic between the current topic and
an upward or downward reference seems to be causing the program to hang
up in the version dated 8/1/99 and possibly in earlier versions.
Using the Explore menu to check the integrity of the data base can miss
situations where a Topic or Paper reference number has been duplicated.
This can only happen as a result of another fault, so it should be rare.
The procedure for closing down dbCindex after 10 minutes' idle time is
currently disabled, so machine crashes could corrupt your database.
Therefore always close dbCindex when you have finished using it.
Occasional unwanted double spaces are inserted in bibliographic output.
Occasionally the wrong Journals holding information is inserted in bibliographic
output (the same, wrong, catalogue number is given for all Papers).
Cure: close dbCindex, reload, and try again - the bug will usually have
Clicking OK after inserting Journals information can cause the information
to be lost (very annoying). Workaround: click the forward and back
arrows ont he journals info screen once each - this makes the information
When using the Update button to enter author information at the Paper Details
screen, the journal title "Sex Roles" is sometimes inserted erroneously.
Cure: change it to the correct title.
New facilities and fixed bugs
The following list includes facilities have been added recently, and bugs
that are now believed to be fixed. If you have any recurrence of the bugs
listed here, you may want to update your version of the program - but if
it persists with a version later than that specified in this list, please
let me know
Journals information tables added 10/99
Reference reader for new version of PsycLit added 10/99
Reference reader for Web of Science added 9/99
Created a "search in details" facility for Papers 5/99
Simple procedure for repairing a database damaged by a machine crash ("conservative
correction" of errors found during a data integrity check) added 5/99.
This will fix some but not all errors.
Introduced a facility to reconstruct all the indexes of a database.
It is hoped this will mend the database if it has been damaged in a hardware
or software crash - though this has not yet been tested in a problem situation.
Incorrect formatting of chapter and book references on output corrected
(publisher was being given before place in both cases). Fixed 31/3/99
Fixed a set of minor bugs arising when 2 versions of bibliographic information
have to be compared. 31/3/99
A simple popup menu has been attached to the right mouse button when the
cursor is over the Topic or Paper grid. Right-clicking a topic or paper
gives basic information about the item, and allows some basic actions (move
to previous or next, delete, rename, link/unlink to current paper or topic,
show details, read references from clipboard and add them to a topic, read
details from clipboard for a Paper, copy Paper reference to clipboard.
These popup menus can also be reached from two new main menu items, Edit
Papers and Edit Topics. Added 28/12/98, expanded 31/3/99.
After 10 minutes of idle time, the program now closes down the current
data base and reverts to the opening screen. This has been added
because if the program is active during a machine crash, the database can
be damaged. The number of minutes before cutout can be modified using
a new Tools menu (select item Options). Added 29/3/99 but disabled
The program now checks when it is started to make sure it was correctly
closed down when last used, and queries the user if it was not. The main
purpose of this is to reduce the risk of accidentally starting two versions
of the program at once, which could damage your database. If you get a
warning, check that the program is not already running, and if it is not,
proceed with caution. Added 8/1/99.
On starting the program, and attempting to move to the directory where
your database resides, you could not move to drives other than the one
where the program file resides. This is fixed in the version of 28/12/98
On starting the program, and attempting to move to the directory where
your database resides, when you selected the root directory of that drive,
the program would sometimes hang up (sometimes it would return from this
condition after a few seconds). This is believed to be fixed in the version
Buttons for moving to the previous or next paper have been added to the
Paper Details screen. Added 28/12/98.
The Renaming procedure for items and topics has been tidied up. The changes
the user sees are slight, but they required some fairly radical internal
changes, so beware of a risk of new bugs in this area. Added 28/12/98.
The main screen caption now specifies the directory where the data base
in use resides. Added 28/12/98.
The link button on the main screen will now unlink the current topic and
paper if they are already linked. Added 28/12/98.
The following is a list of ideas for improvements (over and above
correcting actual bugs), some originating with me and some sent in by users.
Where relevant I've added comments (in italics) which might help
other users who are feeling the same need. I remove items from this
list if I get round to implementing them. Please feel free to send me additional
ideas, or to comment on how important any of these are:
The most urgent task is to update the Help files, to take account of new
facilities and bugfixes since March 1998. I would very much welcome reports
of situations where Help wasn't much help to you.
double-clicking a reference and getting its details directly, bypassing
the show details button. Good idea, but it turns out to be irritatingly
difficult to implement... the new popup menus on right-clicking fulfil
something of the same need.
Information about a paper's "Source of Reference" (this would indicate
whether the reference was downloaded from APA, PsycLit or BIDS, useful
info for managing where it came from).
There is a number in the lower left-hand corner of the Details window which
is different for each reference that is shown. What does this stand
for? And if it is important it might be a good idea to title it (i.e. tell
the viewer what it means). It's the ID number of the item (Paper
or Topic) used by the relational database technology that underlies dbCindex.
You might need it if your database gets damaged, e.g. in a machine crash,
and you have to mend it using an external database manager. The easiest
way to document it would be to put something in Help.
Making a way in which users could specify new input and output formats
for reading and writing bibliographies, so new databases or journal standards
could be accommodated without waiting for an upgrade of the program. This
would obviously be a major improvement, but it could be a big job
Setting up a way of printing directly from the program instead of having
to write to a file and print from there. Look, you already know
that I don't approve of printing... but it would be logical to do this.
Unfortunately it turns out to be a surprising amount of work, so I keep
putting it off.
Creating some extra fields in the database, that users could give their
own names to.
Adding topic references to the full-detail output of bibliographies.
Some way of listing all the topics that are directly or indirectly the
current topic in the semantic hierarchy, and all the papers they (plus
the current topic) refer to.
A more comprehensive facility for reconstructing the database indexes is
urgently needed: if the computer fails while dbCindex is running, these
indexes are sometimes left in an unstable state, which can cause the program
to malfunction when restarted. In the version of 29/11/99, there
is a submenu entry for conservative reconstruction on the data integrity
part of the Explore menu, but it does not fix all errors.
Multiple invocations of the program on the same machine could be allowed
so long as they were using databases in different directories. This
is a low priority item.
The memo box used to display bibliographies should be improved to allow
italic display of journal titles etc.
University of Exeter
School of Psychology
Washington Singer Laboratories
Exeter EX4 4QG
Tel +44 1392 264626
Fax +44 1392 264623
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School administrator or to the
author of this page
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(access count since 28th November 1998).
Document revised 8th December 1999