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Custom Tests- Keyboard - Testing with your own word processing files

Custom Tests - Keypad - Testing with your own data processing files

Custom Configurations - Keyboard - Special keyboarding options

Custom Configurations - Keypad - Special ten-key options

System requirements - Selecting the version for your computer


Common support questions...


The program starts over again from the beginning instead of continuing.

Check to see that a name has been entered. This name will appear in the top-right corner of all screens. If not, the program will not save a history file. Also check to make sure this is not a demo version of the program. The demo version will not save history files.

The program only records progress when a lesson, drill, or other task is completed. If a student works on a particular lesson and does not advance to the next key before exiting, the program will restart at the beginning of the current lesson.


The keyboard or keypad lessons are advancing to new keys too quickly or too slowly.

The program detects each person's skill level and adjusts accordingly. If a person already knows how to type, the program will go into review mode automatically and move very quickly through all the keys. In this case, we suggest using the Prescription Drills instead of the lessons.

Similarly, the program will detect a student with limited dexterity and will advance much more slowly. You may want to suggest the Type-OH! game or the Number-Cruncher! game as an alternate and more interesting way to practice the keys that have been learned so far.


Wrong name on the screen when the program starts.

In a single-computer setup, make sure the student is logged into the proper directory. The "Remove Name" option will delete the current history file with the old name and allow a person to enter a new name. Enter a new name, exit the program, and restart. The new name should appear at the top of the screen. If so, the history file is being stored correctly. If the new name does not appear, check the network routing.


The program can't read the history file when it starts.

If the program can't access the file, the individual may not have both read and write access to the directory where the file is stored. Check your network assignments.

If the program can't read the file, the file may have been changed since it was saved. The most probable causes are student who has tried to modify the file or a disk read error. If the program sees a different file from the one that was saved, the software detects this and prints an error message when the program starts.

Media errors can occur anywhere a file is stored. If you are saving history files on Drive A, for example, any errors in writing to or reading from the disk will cause the program to reject the history file. Errors on disks used in Drive A are fairly common. Errors on a hard disk are more difficult to detect. In some cases, we have had to move to a new area of the hard disk in order to save and read a file accurately. One way to do this is to add a "new" student and create a different directory location for storing the history file

Attempts to modify the history file by intentionally changing the name, test scores, or other data will fail. The more experienced hackers will save a copy of the file before trying to modify it -- and can later simply restore the original file when these attempts don't work. . (If you are a student who is attempting to alter a history file to improve a test score or change a name, check out the Happy Hackers Page instead.)

Even viewing the history file in a word processor, for example, and then saving it again in word processor format will cause problems. Saving the file again as ASCII TEXT may solve this. If all else fails, you may have to simply restart the student from the beginning. The Jump Option, if enabled, will allow the student to use the F3 key to advance quickly through the keys that have been learned.


Word Processing Tests not correct in Keyboard Trainer.

The file used to create the test probably contains a typo or two -- or else it is a mess. First, determine which of the eight files is causing the problem. These files are numbered one through eight, depending on their sequence in the menu. The file names are TEST1.WP through TEST8.WP.

When you know which of these files is the culprit, read the file in the Windows Notepad and see what the bare file looks like. If there is a typo or two, you can correct it easily in Notepad. If it contains weird ASCII characters and miscellaneous garbage, it's a sure bet that someone saved this file in a word processor, using the standard "save file" command on exit. This must be saved in ASCII TEXT format.

The first line in the file is read by the program and stripped off. This line will appear as the menu title. The rest of the file should appear in Notepad just as it will in the program. (Select word wrap in Notepad to view the entire text.) The word wrap in our software is set by the program to match the screen width.

The tab in our program is set at five spaces, and cannot be changed. We convert "tab" characters to five spaces in the copy. If the test contains lots of tabs, this could cause a problem. Try creating the test in Courier or other mono-spaced font, using spaces instead of tab characters, remembering that our program always tabs five spaces.

If all else fails, restore the original test file that came with the program by replacing it or by installing the program again. Or create your own quick test in Notepad, save it as one of the eight test file names, and replace our test. This should give you a check on the correct procedure.


The screen is black and your program did it!

Believe it or not, I actually had a call with this specific complaint. Not only did the computer running our program die suddenly; the entire network went down with all the screens black. As it turned out, the room lights were not working either. I got off the hook this time by convincing the caller that it was one of those "hardware problems."

If our program ever does crash and take your network with it, by all means call. But please check the fuse and maybe the local power company first.


None of the above

If these suggestions don't work and you are reasonably sure that yours is not a hardware problem, by all means give us a call. If it is a hardware problem, by the way, you may need to substitute a different version of our program.

A computer that's running near the edge of its capabilities with limited memory or speed can easily cause problems with our software and not with other programs. This is because our programs are computationally intense. Our software does an enormous amount of calculation in the background while a person is typing, and this can cause a computer with limited or marginal capabilities to act strangely for no apparent reason.

We support earlier versions of our keyboarding software and can provide alternates that are much less demanding than our Version 4. Version 3, for example, runs on almost any computer that can support Windows. Version 3 is still available and can be run quite nicely on Windows or DOS computers with no mouse, no color, little memory, and not much speed. If you have a network or site license, we are happy to meet your license agreement with whatever versions of our software are required in your application. We suggest starting at the top, and then, if necessary, substituting a less demanding program that doesn't overtax your older machines. 1-608-924-9234© 2014 Ainsworth & Partners,