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Logbook Pro & Airline Pilot's Daily Aviation Logbook News: Click here to read prior newsletters
Welcome to 2010
Happy 2010 to everyone!  I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful holiday and a joyous new years!  I am excited about 2010 as our economy shows signs of recovery and the tech industry has an exciting year ahead.  Microsoft is releasing its next edition of developer tools (Visual Studio 2010) and the next generation of Microsoft Office - Office System 2010.  Apple just unveiled the new iPad and we are excited to support both the iPad and iPhone as the year progresses.  And as you may have read in our October newsletter, we are hard at work on the next generation electronic logbook software - Logbook Pro 2010 - slated for a Q3 release.  We'll be working on so many exciting things including the new line of PDA software after Logbook Pro 2010 releases, our online software and mobile web editions as well.

Many of you have been with us since we started selling our software in 1998.  We've grown immensely since and we appreciate the great feedback and suggestions from all of our customers that communicate with us day to day.  Over the years we've put systems in place to help you get answers fast such as our help desk, or community forums, and our updated online store.  We extend our sales opportunities to all of you with our free affiliate program where you can earn money on your referrals.  We've been thankful to be partnered with the world's leading aviation superstore - Sportys pilot shop.  We have great third party support and friendships at Cirrus Elite (Matt & Brandon), the provider of our binder products, and FlightCentral (Jeff) who provides the Route Browser add-in for Logbook Pro.  Logbook Pro received registered trademark status, no simple feat, and we continue to grow our business day to day, day by day.  We could not do this without your support!

Thank you all for being a valuable part of the Logbook Pro team.  I wish everyone a great 2010 ahead!

Neal Culiner
President, NC Software, Inc.
Major network upgrades complete
In our last newsletter we mentioned that in January we would be performing major network upgrades to our data center infrastructure to prepare for our upcoming software releases and online services.  We also mentioned there would most likely be some downtime involved.  And there was!

On January 20th we proceeded with the upgrades which include adding RAM to all servers (in most cases doubling it or better), adding new servers, another 10 Terabytes of storage capability in a new storage area network system, our second, and installing Microsoft's latest operating system Windows Server 2008 R2 to all of our servers (except the Linux servers).  We updated our switch infrastructure and our firewall hardware.  Major work to say the least.  It is now complete and the performance is well beyond expectations.  Our servers are screaming, they're all x64 including our database servers, and we are excited that our infrastructure is rock solid and ready for years to come with our new service oriented applications, online services, and simply an overall outstanding web experience for our customers.  We hope you enjoy your visit to NC Software and our web based services.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during our down time and working the wrinkles out of the reconfigurations.
Printing in depth

One of the most important aspects of using an electronic/software logbook is not only data in but also data out.  It's one thing to keep an electronic logbook but if you can't get your data printed in the way you need then it is not serving you very well.  In this article we're going to discuss printing out your flight log using Logbook Pro 1.10.42, the current version as of this writing.

Throughout the years Logbook Pro has evolved in the reporting capabilities continuously improving over time.  We ended up creating a great reporting system in the "Split Reports" menu area of Logbook Pro.  The split-reports is named as such because it segments out the "lefts" from the "rights" and also offers a "combined" area where they are interleaved, i.e. a complete printing solution.  The segmentation of lefts and rights allow you to print a front/back "duplex" solution without the need of a duplex printer.  In the past we suggested using a third party software named "Fineprint" but that is no longer required with the split-reports system.  Printers have really come down in price these days, even laser printers.  Duplex (front/back) printing has become much more common even in inkjet printers so let's assume you have a duplex capable printer in this example.

Start by clicking the menu as shown above:  Reports...Flight Log...Split Reports.  Within this sub-menu are several options depending on the binder series.  The Commander/Full Size series is for the larger print format and then there is the smaller layout for the Premier/Old World/Sport series binders.  The steps remain the same regardless of your choice.  We'll leave the custom report template discussion for another newsletter.  You will be presented with a date filter dialog as shown below.  Click ALL DATA as we don't want a date filter to be used, we want our entire flight log to be printed, or at least print previewed, we can select pages to print later.

The report will be generated and you'll see a screen that has three tabs along the bottom, as shown below.  The combined tab is the one we'll want to work in as we're going to print with a printer that can print both front and backs automatically.

You can use the buttons on the toolbar to navigate through the pages or go directly to the last page to review your totals and compare to the Analyzer if needed, etc.  Before we print we have one more very important step.  In the current configuration if we print then you'll see the first page on screen as the top of your first page and then page two, or the continuation of your flight log entry will print on the back.  This is NOT how we want our logbok presented.  Just like when you view a traditional (paper) logbook it's an "open faced" view.  The date column is on the left side and the flight log transitions to the right page so you can read your single flight log entry entirely from left to right.  To do this we need to cause the report to transition by one page and we do this by inserting a "cover page."  The cover page also allows us to later run that blank page through our printer and print on it with anything you create such as with Microsoft Word.  You can use graphics, text, whatever you want, the cover page is blank and entirely up to you to design.  So let's continue.  On the toolbar of the combined area is a button labeled "Insert Blank Start Page & Binder Transitions" as shown below.

This button does two things for us:  Shifts the report by one page by inserting a blank page on the front which will allow us to get the "open faced" reading style as discussed above.  The second thing this toolbar button does is allow you to break your print job into multiple binders.  Depending on the binder style you're using you may have too much information to print that will need to be spread across multiple binders, the binder transition system will take care of this for you by inserting blank pages at preset intervals.  If your binder style requires a transition Logbook Pro will prompt you and provide instructions on what to do.  Click the toolbar button and the report will regenerate inserting the cover page and process binder transitions, however, you will be prompted as to whether you want to swap margins for duplex printing.  Answer YES.

After clicking YES to the prompt above, the report will complete the regeneration.  You are now ready to print.  Before printing on your Cirrus Elite paper stock use draft paper and set a print range of just a few pages such as 1-5 for the print range to verify the margins.  You can then reset the page range or choose ALL for the print range.

Printing can certainly be a challenging aspect of any software and every printer seems to be different.  We use primarily HP printers but we have one Dell multi-function printer and it is quite different than the HP's.  Experiment with your printer and take notes if needed. 

Printing has been a subject of discussion over the years.  There are videos on it, newsletter articles, you can search our web site or search using google using a search term such as: printing reports  but don't forget to review the documentation as your first stop.  We try to put as much into the documentation as possible to help you.  Review it and it will help you become more acquainted with the process and will be less overwhelming.  As always, if you need help contact us or if you want us to handle your printing needs for you, we do offer a turn-key printing service.

Happy Printing!
Are you using the latest version?
As a software developer, I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your software up-to-date, especially when updates are free.  I know some people like to leave "well enough alone" otherwise phrased "if it ain't broke don't fix it" but there are reasons for updates.  The main reason is fixing flaws but also added functionality is a benefit as well.  We do have a notification system built into our PC software to notify you of updates, however, this is in our more recent versions and is not the case for our PDA products.  In older PC edition versions we used a service from InstallShield to handle software update notifications and decided it was not a good fit for us so we created our own.  The problem here is that if you're on the older versions you're not going to be notified of a newer version and if you manually perform a check for updates you are not going to be notified of the availability either.

We have a web page specifically designed to be a quick reference check of all of our software products showing the version information and the product name is linked to download the software immediately.  You can visit this web page by clicking here.  Backup your data prior to updating and then uninstall the old version prior to installing the new version.  Uninstalling does not affect your current data or activations, it only affects the program itself which is isolated from your data.

As we take pride in our software and knowing you have the best possible software for your use we do not charge for updates within the same major version.  For example, all version 1.x updates are free, all 6.x updates for APDL are free for those that purchased a 6.x license.  We've kept Logbook Pro at 1.x for nearly 12 years now not charging for an update to date.  We could have changed the version number to 2.x after a year, 3.x after another year and certainly made a lot more money charging you for upgrade fees, but we decided producing the highest quality software would pay its own dividends, and it has.  Thank you for helping us to continue to grow.
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Logbook Pro is a registered trademark of NC Software, Inc.
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