Family Software Newsletter #33 - March 20, 2008

Drag Racing Computers and Software - www.iFamilySoftware.com

Topics

1. The Problem - Windows XP USB Com Port Over Assignment
2. New Products

--The Problem - Windows XP USB Com Port Over Assignment --
Windows XP and Vista can assign a new Com Port number to the same device whenever you plug it into a different USB port on your computer. This includes additional ports in a USB Hub that you may be using! In no time, your computer is overloaded with Com Port assignments and your device either will no longer be recognized by Windows, or it may become inoperative.

By default, the Windows Device Manager hides devices that have been assigned, but are not present, so you cant see how many Com Ports have been used up. These ports may have been created at some time by an application, or hardware device, that is no longer present, but Windows is holding the Com Port assignments as valid, but hidden.

Device Manager displays only non-Plug and Play devices, drivers, and printers even when you click Show hidden devices on the View menu. Devices that you install that are not connected to the computer (such as a Prolific USB to Serial Adapter) are not displayed in Device Manager, even when you click Show hidden devices! While Windows XP offers up to 128 Com Port assignments, even the Windows own Comm Control can only accept Com Port numbers up to 16. This is obviously, an oversight by Microsoft.

Therefore, you have no way to identify the problem and no way to un-assign these "ghost" or "phantom" devices. The only solution is to rid your XP or Vista system of the phantom Com Ports.

If you are a developer, or power user, and you want to be able to view devices that are not connected to your computer, you can set a Windows environment variable globally, that will allow you to view all devices that have been assigned a Com Port, whether they are present or not. In this manner, you can delete Com Port assignments that are no longer used by Uninstalling the phantom device.

1. Right Click on My Computer and select Properties
2. Click on the Advanced Tab
3. Click on the Environment Variables BUTTON
4. In the lower window titled System variables, Click on New
5. In the window New System Variable, enter the variable name exactly as seen below:

devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices

6. Under Variable value, enter the number:

1

and Click on OK

7. You must then reboot the computer for this change to take effect.

From now on, when you open the Device Manager, to see all the devices that have been assigned a Com Port, but are not present:

1. Click on the menu item, View and click on Show Hidden Devices.
2. Click on the "+" in front of Ports Com & LPT
3. All the devices that are assigned, but not present, will be grayed out.
4. Right Click on any of these non-present devices and select Uninstall.

Be careful to only uninstall devices that you recognize. For example, Prolific USB to Serial Port may be assigned to many Com Ports that you don't use. Don't delete the devices assigned to the Com Ports that you want to use. If you remove all the instances of that device, then you'll have to re-install the driver for that device the next time you plug it in.

-- New Products --

-- RaceLog Pro 6 Plus --
RaceLog Pro 6 Plus is the Weather and Paging System enabled version of our RaceLog Pro 6 Lite software. You don't need a trailer station or paging system to use RaceLog Pro Plus, but if you do, it supports Davis Vantage Pro, Altronics PAPC, and Lacrosse weather stations plus our unique Xlite Paging System. So, you can add a weather station or paging system at any time. RaceLog Pro Plus is the software we package with every Weather Station/Paging Package that we offer. With a supported Weather Station, the new weather can be automatically entered into the program for you every 10 seconds! We currently support:

Davis Weather Monitor II
Davis Vantage Pro (all models)
Davis Vantage Pro 2 (all models)
LaCrosse Professional Weather Center (Model WS-2010, WS-2210, WS-2510, WS-7015 only)
Altronics (PAPC) Performaire PC - Our Paging System also works with the Performaire PC

RaceLog Pro Plus is the ultimate Drag Racing Logbook, and ET Prediction system for your personal computer. It supports an unlimited number of databases each having an unlimited number of records. RaceLog Pro automatically tracks weather conditions, run information, weather corrected run segments, vehicle settings, component runs, track conditions, expenses, points, winnings, and more. Weather correction calculations support both gasoline and methanol fuel. Any run can be located immediately by Run #, Track, Event, or Date. A Form-view allows the user to see and edit all the data on just one screen. An exclusive dual Table-view allows comparison of multiple runs within a database, or between databases. Records and reports can be printed instantly. RaceLog Pro Plus interfaces with many trailer stations and weather stations to automatically input the air conditions and do its computations without any help from the user. It will also interface with Family Softwares Weather Paging system to send your predicted ET, throttle stop prediction and all weather conditions directly to the racer in the staging lanes.

RaceLog Pro Plus will install on all Windows platforms 9x, XP, and Vista and requires at least an 800x600 VGA or higher display. It comes completely setup to page up to three (3) different cars and/or Right Lane/Left Lane ET Predictions simultaneously. The installation program gives the user an option to place shortcuts on the desktop during installation and this is recommended.

If you are using a supported weather station with RaceLog Pro Plus, it isn't necessary to enter the weather data to a new record manually. Racelog Pro Plus maintains a separate Date/Time indexed weather database while it is running. When adding, editing, or inserting a new run, if weather data is available, a Data Control appears allowing you to select the weather according to the Date and Time on your time slip and is entered automatically into the database record.

RaceLog Pro Plus uses TrueWind ET Prediction, another innovation from Family Software. TrueWind is the actual amount of wind force that is capable of affecting your car's performance. TrueWind values are used in accurately predicting variations in elapsed time due to changes occurring in wind speed and wind direction. Regardless of the wind direction and total wind speed, using TrueWind, a trailer-mounted weather station can also be used to measure the actual head or tail wind occurring on the race track! The built-in ET Predictor Pro uses the TrueWind values from your Base Run, the current TrueWind values, and a Wind Factor specific to your car, to produce a TrueWind adjusted ET, and sends it directly to your pager in the staging lanes. If you are manually entering your weather data, you can still use a hand held wind meter with TrueWind ET Prediction.

RaceLog Pro Plus has a special ET Predictor screen for eighth mile racers. If you enter a zero (0) in the fields for 1000 foot ET and 1320 foot ET of the logbook run record, the ET Predictor knows this is an eighth mile run. When you open the ET Predictor, it will automatically display the 1/8-Mile Mode.

Pager messages received have a Pager Identity P1, P2, P3, P4, or P5. By adding the Pager ID to each message, it is easy to match a paging message with the instance of RaceLog Pro Plus that sent it. Therefore, if you only have one pager, you can now send simultaneous messages for different cars, or right lane and left lane ET predictions to the same pager. Here is an example Page:

P1- ET:8.862 TS:1.379 B:30.03 T:67 RH:49 G:47 V.326 HC:1.0166 AD:97.96 DA:701 DP:47 W:3.0

Our pager units are the best in the industry, are brand new, (not refurbished like our competitors), and use the latest technology. Our pager has the only LCD display in the industry that will show up to 8 lines of text. This means that you can see all your data on just one (1) screen and not have to scroll back and forth. Our competitors use pagers that cannot compare in features, quality, or value, yet they charge you more for each pager!

RaceLog Pro Plus uses Family Software's proprietary Horsepower Correction formulas for ET Prediction, the only completely scientific formulas in the industry. Our ET Prediction is based on the amount of horsepower being produced based on the RELATIVE OXYGEN in the air and a COMPUTER MODEL of your particular cars performance. We DO NOT average weather data, run data, or use outdated (and inaccurate!) Density Altitude calculations for ET Prediction. Our original formulas are perfectly accurate and have never needed changing.

RaceLog Pro has always used Vapor Pressure and is the only ET Prediction software to handle humidity calculations correctly. You won't find any "fudge factors" in our software. Here are some of the calculations provided:

Horsepower Correction Factor
Air Density Index
Density Altitude
Vapor Pressure
Water Grains per Pound
Dew Point Temperature
Horsepower Corrected Weight

Standard Pressure ET Correction
Predicted 60' ET
Predicted 330' ET
Predicted 660' ET
Predicted 1000' ET
Predicted 1320' ET
Throttle Stop Prediction
Run Completion ET
TrueWind 660' Prediction
TrueWind 1000' Prediction
TrueWind 1320' Prediction

And our exclusive Run Segment Analysis feature to compare and graph runs to see as little as .001 of a second difference at different points on the race track. Differences that are not due to weather change. This is a feature that Family Software developed and copyrighted, no one else. We are the original ET Prediction software developer and an innovator in this industry! Remember, often imitated, but never duplicated, we have been "The ET Prediction Experts" since 1986.

-- RaceLog Pro 6 Lite --
RaceLog Pro 6 Lite is a less featured version of our RaceLog Pro 6 Plus software. It does not support a paging system or automatic data entry from a weather/trailer station. Weather data is entered manually from your weather station or gauges. Other than that, RaceLog Pro 6 Lite is the same as our RaceLog Pro 6 Plus software that we include with every Weather Station Paging Package that we offer.

RaceLog Pro Lite is a Drag Racing Logbook, and ET Prediction system for your personal computer. It supports an unlimited number of databases each having an unlimited number of records. It tracks weather conditions, run information, weather corrected run segments, vehicle settings, component runs, track conditions, expenses, points, winnings, and more. Weather correction calculations support both gasoline and methanol fuel. Any run can be located immediately by Run #, Track, Event, or Date. A Form-view allows the user to see and edit all the data on just one screen. An exclusive dual Table-view allows comparison of multiple runs within a database, or between databases. Records and reports can be printed instantly.

RaceLog Pro Lite will install on all Windows platforms including Windows Vista and requires at least an 800x600 VGA or larger display.

RaceLog Pro Lite includes TrueWind ET Prediction, an innovation from Family Software, and has a special ET Predictor screen for eighth mile racers.

RaceLog Pro Lite uses our proprietary Horsepower Correction formulas for ET Prediction, the only completely scientific formulas in the industry. Our ET Prediction is based on the amount of RELATIVE OXYGEN in the air and a COMPUTER MODEL of your particular cars performance. We DO NOT average weather data, run data, or use outdated (and inaccurate) Density Altitude calculations for ET Prediction. Our original formulas are perfectly accurate and have never needed changing.

RaceLog Pro has always used Vapor Pressure and is the only ET Prediction software to handle humidity calculations correctly. You won't find any "fudge factors" in our software. Here are some of the calculations provided:

Horsepower Correction Factor
Air Density Index
Density Altitude
Vapor Pressure
Water Grains per Pound
Dew Point Temperature
Horsepower Corrected Weight

Standard Pressure ET Correction
Predicted 60' ET
Predicted 330' ET
Predicted 660' ET
Predicted 1000' ET
Predicted 1320' ET
Throttle Stop Prediction
Run Completion ET
TrueWind 660' Prediction
TrueWind 1000' Prediction
TrueWind 1320' Prediction

And our exclusive Run Segment Analysis feature to compare and graph runs to see as little as .001 of a second difference at different points on the race track. Differences that are not due to weather change. This is a feature that Family Software developed and copyrighted, no one else. We are the original ET Prediction software developer and an innovator in this industry! Remember, often imitated, but never duplicated, we have been "The ET Prediction Experts" since 1986.

-- ET Predictor Pro 6 --
The ET Predictor Pro 6 is our entry level ET Prediction software. While you can store an unlimited number of runs, it does not have a full searchable database like our RaceLog Pro software. Weather data must be entered manually from your weather station or gauges.

ET Predictor Pro 6 is an ET Prediction system for your personal computer. It supports an unlimited number of run files. It tracks weather conditions and run information. Weather correction calculations support both gasoline and methanol fuel.

ET Predictor Pro 6 will install on all Windows platforms including Windows Vista and includes TrueWind ET Prediction, an innovation from Family Software, and has a separate ET Predictor mode for eighth mile racers.

ET Predictor Pro 6 uses our proprietary Horsepower Correction formulas for ET Prediction, the only completely scientific formulas in the industry. Our ET Prediction is based on the amount of RELATIVE OXYGEN in the air and a COMPUTER MODEL of your particular cars performance. We DO NOT average weather data, run data, or use outdated (and inaccurate) Density Altitude calculations for ET Prediction. Our original formulas are perfectly accurate and have never needed changing.

Our ET Predictor software has always used Vapor Pressure and is the only ET Prediction software to handle humidity calculations correctly. You won't find any "fudge factors" in our software. Here are some of the calculations provided:

Horsepower Correction Factor
Air Density Index
Density Altitude
Vapor Pressure
Water Grains per Pound
Dew Point Temperature
Horsepower Corrected Weight

Standard Pressure ET Correction
Predicted 60' ET
Predicted 330' ET
Predicted 660' ET
Predicted 1000' ET
Predicted 1320' ET
Throttle Stop Prediction
Run Completion ET
TrueWind 660' Prediction
TrueWind 1000' Prediction
TrueWind 1320' Prediction

We are the original ET Prediction software developer and an innovator in this industry! Remember, often imitated, but never duplicated, we have been "The ET Prediction Experts" since 1986

-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere on the planet. Why? Because, we design and/or use all of the products that we sell. All of my 40+ years of on-track racing experience and knowledge is available to you. Try to find that kind of information at any one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. We also want you to get the most value for your hard earned dollars.

-- Toll Free Ordering --
We also have a Toll Free Order line to save you even more money! If you're placing an order by phone, call 877-497-0992. If you need information or technical help, call 610-497-5561.

-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy and it is posted on the web site. Our company is registered with the Public Eye for safe, secure ordering.

Bob Kodadek
SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)


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