The following is from a message sent to all DCMS Users on February 11, 2011
You have probably noticed that there has not been an update to the DCMS order form in 7 months. Furthermore, there have been no updates to the actual program in over two years. This is largely a result of changes to Windows, and an incompatibility of the DCMS to run in the new versions of Windows 7.
To put it simply, Microsoft has continually developed Windows 7 to address a number of factors in the changing world of computing, such as:
The cynic in me would add the motivation that, newer versions of Windows require people to buy updates for their Microsoft programs, which otherwise would be just fine, thank you very much. After all, why would anyone need a new word processor or spreadsheet, unless the old one didn't work in Windows any longer?As a result, Windows has become much more robust and complicated. In previously updated versions of Windows, there was always an ability to run programs written for earlier versions, by making a provision for backwards compatibility within the new Windows. Not so with the latest Windows 7.
Therefore, a complete re-write of the DCMS is required for it to go forward.
I actually started that re-write of the program in 2010 with the introduction of Windows Vista - where these problems first appeared. Vista was so badly-conceived and full of bugs that it was almost immediately replaced with Windows 7. So after six months of re-writing for Windows Vista, when Windows 7 was introduced, I had to start over because of changes/fixes to Windows, that made the new "DCMS Plus", as I was calling it, again incompatible with the new version.
Windows 7 came in two flavours. There was a 32 bit version and a 64 bit version. The main difference between the two are that the the 64 bit version can access more computer memory, which has become easily and cheaply available. The 32 bit version of Windows contains the backwards compatibility which allows older programs, like the DCMS, to be run. However, the 64 bit version, which is much more prevalent, has abandoned older programs, including older Microsoft Windows programs. I first found that out when I tried to run Microsoft Outlook in Windows 7. It was the core of my email routine, and guess what? It doesn't run in Windows 7. Go figure.
So I started re-writing DCMS Plus again, amid pressure from my users who were unable to buy anything but Windows 7 computers (increasingly more of which were 64-bit versions.) I was well on the way with that second re-write when there came and automatic update to Windows 7, which ostensibly was a "security update" (meant to close a loophole which hackers were exploiting to attack Windows users.) That update made much of my new re-write inoperable, and also changed the way characters were treated in the database, so special characters, such as accented vowels (like or é ) or characters like the Euro symbol (€) showed up as ? or # in data.
This was in May 2011, and I was back to the drawing board. The next month, I lost my last computer which ran Windows XP, in which I was running and writing the DCMS Plus. That put me in the same boat as all my users who were stuck with no alternative but having a Windows 7 computer. I turned my efforts into trying to get my version of the old DCMS working in Windows 7. I found a way, but it was excruciatingly slow, and there was no way of transferring data from a Windows 7 computer to a non-Windows 7 computer. To do so completely jumbled the data on the older computer.
For this reason, I have been unable to provide Order Sheet updates since June 2011. Although I could provide them, they would completely foul up your data. I made the decision to suspend selling new copies of the program and not process new update subscription renewals until I got these things sorted out.
I took some time off to organize my wife's Fall Retreat, which was a very big endeavour that year, and just as I was going to start back at another re-write, Microsoft announced that it was working on Windows 8, to be more compatible with smart phones and tablets.
The DCMS has been around for about 30 years. In fact, if you count the very first version, which was written for myself on my Commodore 64, the DCMS is 35 years old. I have completely written and re-written the DCMS four times. The DCMS is now almost one million lines of computer code. It is an enormous program. Re-writing the program is time-consuming (well over a thousand hours) and requires total concentration. The last two re-writes nearly cost me my relationship.
The bottom line is that I am not the 30-something guy who wrote and re-wrote the original program. I turned 60 this year and have a full life with 3 active grand-children, lots of travel and a wife whose successful business and busy life demands a great deal of my time. To be truthful, her career was the reason the program was written in the first place. When I first wrote the DCMS, there was nothing else out there. Most households didn't have a computer, and those that did had computers that operated DOS. Windows was still years away. There was no Mary Kay on-line community.
All that has changed. There is very little need for the DCMS now. I know that my users love the program, as do I. It is that loyalty that has kept the program going this far. However, most of what the DCMS does is now available on-line.
It has been a good 30 year run. I can't think of any program which was around in 1980 and still exists today. The DCMS innovated a number of things that have been included in my competitors' programs and I am proud of what it has become. But it's time to retire and hang up my keyboard. The prospect of another DCMS rewrite in the face of still another version of Windows is not a challenge that I feel I am up to.
Therefore, I have disabled the DCMS sales site, but will continue to offer the Re-installation Program for those of you who still have computers which can run the DCMS, but I will not be able to offer program updates.
Finally, I would like to apologize for not communicating this to you sooner. I really did not want to make this decision and I have been avoiding it for over 7 months. I continued to believe that if I read one more manuals or tried one more "trick", I would find a way to make it all work. I have had my nose into books, web sites and discussion boards, trying to get the information I needed to turn this around. It was at Leadership Conference in Atlanta that I finally decided that the problem was bigger than my ability to overcome it. I had heard about the upcoming Windows 8 during the drive to Atlanta and it was the straw which broke the camel's back.
I want to sincerely thank my users for your support and encouragement in the past 30+ years. I hope I was able to make things easier for my users, especially in the days when nothing else existed.
Installing the Re-Installation Update
Instructions for Downloading
You may want to print this page and use it as a guide as you go.
As the title above suggests, the following are detailed instructions to take you through the process of downloading and installing the Demo Version of the Director and Consultant Management System. In advance, I want to apologize if I seem to be describing way too much. I am assuming that the reader knows very little about computers. Please note also that there are several terms for mouse clicks and they are different. When I just say "click", it's meant to mean click once with the left mouse button (your normal mouse action). When I say "right-click", I mean to use the right button. This usually brings up a menu. Finally, when I say "Double-click" I mean click twice in rapid succession (and note that some Windows setups do not require a double click - but that just makes things interesting doesn't it?)
Please note as well that the Demo Installation routine is not meant to run directly from the Internet. It has to be downloaded to your hard drive and then installed as separate actions.
Step 1 Create a DCMSINST Folder to Hold the Downloaded Update (if it doesn't already exist)
The following Installation Instructions below make certain assumptions and one is that you are going to have a folder in which to download the Demo, from which you will install the program - and that folder will be called DCMSINST. We should create it now.
First, click on the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your computer screen, which will bring up the Windows Start Menu. Choose "My Computer" from the options by clicking on it. That will open a window which displays, among other things, the various disk drives you have on your computer. Double click on your Drive C: (local disk C:) That should open a window that shows the files and folders on drive C:. Examine the folders and see if you see one there called DCMSINST. You do not have to look any further than the main window of Drive C:, if the DCMSINST folder isn't there, you don't have to go looking for it.
If the DCMSINST folder is not visible, right-click (note: use the right-most mouse button) on an empty space in the C: drive window. You should see a pop-up menu appear and one of the options will be "New..." Choose the "New.." option and a sub-menu will appear. On that menu will be the option "Folder". Choose folder from the sub-menu and a new folder will appear with the name "New Folder"
Right-click (again, use the right-most mouse button) on the new folder and choose the "Rename" option from the pop-up menu. Rename the new folder to DCMSINST and then press the <Enter> key to continue.
Step 2 Download the Demo
Downloading the Demo is started simply by clicking the "Download the Demo" link below, or the link on the previous page. The results are identical for both.
The file you are downloading is called DCMSDEMO.EXE. You will probably be asked if you want to Save or Run (or Execute) the download. You will always want to "Save" the download - and you will want to save the program to the DCMSINST folder that we created in step one.
When you choose to save the download, you will be given a screen that allows you to choose the location on your disk to save it to (such as the one pictured here). Near the top of the screen, you will see a "Save In" label, and to the right of it, you will see a "Location Field" (underlined). To the right of that Location Field, you will see a group of icons. One of these icons (circled) is called an "UpFolder" button, and looks like a folder with an arrow pointed "Up". Click that folder until the Location Field says "Desktop". Then, look below the Location Field and you will see icons representing files, folders and drives. In this case, find the one that says "My Computer" and double-click on it. "My Computer" should then appear in the Location Field and the icons below it should change. Among those icons, you should find something like "Local Disk C:" Double-click on that icon and the screen will change again. Finally, find the folder icon that is called "DCMSINST" and double-click on that. The Location Field should then state "DCMSINST".
If that is the case, click the "Save" button in the lower right corner. The Demo Program will be downloaded and saved in the DCMSINST folder of your C: drive. The length of time it takes to download will vary on your internet connection, from 4 minutes for a high speed connection to 45 minutes for a dial-up connection. When the download is complete, close your Browser, and return to a blank Windows Desktop (the Windows screen with your icons on it)
If you are ready
and want to download now, click this link... Download the
Step 3 Install the Downloaded Demo Program
Now that the demo has been downloaded, we have to Install it to your computer. This will give you the very latest version of the DCMS to try for 4 weeks.
To install the program, double-click on "My Computer". If My Computer doesn't exist as an icon on your desktop, click on the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your Windows Desktop. A menu will appear and "My Computer" should appear as an option on that menu. Choose it.
Either way, you should see a window appear, which has, among other things, an icon for (something like) "Local Drive C:". Double-click on that icon to "log on" to drive C:. In the drive C: Window which will then appear, you should see a number of folder icons (as in the illustration above). One of those folder icons should be labeled "DCMSINST". Double-click on that icon to open a window showing the files in that folder.
If we did everything right, there should be a file called "DCMSDEMO.EXE" (although you might not see the ".EXE", depending on how your computer is set up). That is the Demo we downloaded in step 3.
Double-click on the DCMSDEMO icon to start the installation process, and follow the prompts. Do not change the location of the installed program, unless you really know what you are doing.
Step 4 Creating a Desktop Icon to Start the DCMS - (optional)
When you finish installing the program, you are left with an open window with an emerald star icon labeled DCMS for Windows on it. You can have a copy of this icon to your desktop if you wish, so you can start the DCMS from your desktop.
To do this, right-click the icon once to bring up a pop-up menu (use your right mouse button for this). From the menu, choose "Copy". Then close the window with the emerald star icon. Choose an empty spot on your Windows desktop and right-click again, bringing up a similar pop-up menu. This time, choose "Paste" from the menu and a copy of the emerald star icon will appear on your desktop.
To start the DCMS from now on, all you need to do is double-click this icon.
Step 5 Configuring the DCMS (the first time)
When you start the program for the first time, you will be given a series of questions to help you configure it for your country and Mary Kay level. The program works differently in Canada than it does in the United Kingdom, Australia or the USA. It is important that you take a few minutes, especially to enter your tax rate information (except in the UK). The more info you give the DCMS about your business, the better it will tailor itself to your needs. If you want to configure the program even more, you are invited to visit the "Configure the DCMS" option of the Utility menu once you are in the program.
Hope that helps.
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