Consultants providing a soil moisture monitoring service take the neutron probe to each farm. Normally the data is uploaded to the consultant's PC, and the consultants PC is used to print graphs, with irrigation recommendations, for each grower.
However, the data can also be put on the grower's PC, and the grower can use the software to view the data. Because the grower does not have a software licence (the 'dongle') they will not be able to make changes to the data, but they can print graphs and reports.
The consultant can load just the data for that farm onto the growers PC. The grower will only see their data, whereas the consultant has access to all the data.
To examine data on their own PC the grower does not need to buy a full software license. However, a software manual and 12 months telephone support can be purchased for $Aus 100.
[Note: Similar notes for Probe for Windows are being prepared].
At the beginning of the season, on the consultants PC, a new data directory is
made ( e.g.
C:\PROBE\91DATA), and a
new farm is created with the Probe software for each grower. Each farm will have a unique
Farm Short Name (e.g.
91ABC), and a data
consultant will see all these farms on the farms screen.
The software is installed on the grower's PC as normal. On each grower's PC
a new directory called
also made, and a new farm created with the same Farm Short Name (
91ABC), and the same data path (
C:\PROBE\91DATA). On the growers PC only that single
farm will be seen. In subsequent seasons the grower will also see a 'farm' for each
After a set of readings have been taken and uploaded to the consultants PC and posted,
the data files for each grower can then be distributed to each grower. The DOS command to
copy all the files for all growers to a floppy in the
COPY C:\PROBE\91DATA\*.* A:\*.*
When the consultant is at the growers PC, the command to copy only that growers data
files (for a grower with Farm Short Name
COPY A:\91ABC*.* C:\PROBE\91DATA\*.*
The grower can now examine all their readings, draw graphs to any scale, and print any report. However, unless they own a licensed copy of the Probe software they will not be able to save any changes to the data.
Note that the file
contains the list of all the consultants farms, is not copied between PC's.
To make the whole system run smoothly, the copy commands could be run from the hard disk menu, or with Windows icons running batch files.
On the growers PC, a menu item
IMPORT PROBE DATA
could be put on the menu or Windows icon to run the COPY command above.
If growers do buy a licensed copy of the software they will be able to enter keydata items and save any changes that are made to the data, but they might wish to continue with the consultant taking all readings with the neutron probe. In this case, the consultant must not update the growers data by simply copying all the data files, or all the previous keydata entry by the grower will be overwritten and lost.
In this case, the consultant can either...
Upload and post on the grower PC immediately after the readings are taken
Upload on the consultants PC, and then copy the post file using a disk to the growers PC.
On the consultants PC the Probe software will accept and post all the data in the post file; but on the growers PC's only the readings for that particular farm will be posted, and all other data will be rejected.
To copy the post file to a floppy...
COPY C:\PROBE\POST.DAT A:\*.*
When the consultant is at the growers PC, the command to copy the post file is...
COPY A:\POST.DAT C:\PROBE\POST.DAT
Again, to make the whole sytem run smoothly, the copy commands should be run from the hard disk menu. On the growers PC, a menu item Copy Post File can be inserted on the hard disk menu, and if chosen it runs the COPY command.
Probe software users can make a new post file each time data is uploaded, both for the purpose of data backup, but also to enable data to be easily distributed to each grower. For example, an upload on 18 September could be put into a post pile called...
A new post filename can be entered each time the data is uploaded, or with PRX and Prwindows the filename can be generated automatically.
To examine data on their own PC the grower does not need to buy a full software license.
However, growers can purchase a software manual and 12 months telephone support for $Aus 100