Big brother is watching reruns.

If you read nothing else, please read this: The following are the three most important things to keep in mind about using Alchemy Mindworks' support services. They're important because if they get past you, you're cosmically unlikely to get the support you're after.

  1. If you send us a support request, and we reply to it, and you reply to our reply — a phenomenon referred to as a "message thread" — please quote your entire message thread with each reply. In addition, be sure to quote the entire unmodified original message form contents, and do not delete or modify the Subject field of the message thread. Should you fail to quote your message thread, the staff member who you communicate with will not be able to continue your support session. Our support staff do not have access to previous, deleted messages — if you don't quote your message thread, it never happened.

  2. Please explain your support request in clear, precise terms, and in enough detail to allow someone you've never met to reproduce the problem that got you here. Ill-defined support requests, messages with a lot of jargon or abbreviations, messages that refer to third-party products our staff aren't familiar with and other vagaries will delay the resolution of your support issue while we get back to you for clarification.

  3. We ask that you address our support staff in a civil and professional manner. Software can be frustrating at times, but it's a mistake to take it personally. If you're having a problem with our software or some other aspect of what we do, we'd like to work with you to resolve it. This will not happen if you flame our staff; express yourself using profane or abusive language; include derogatory remarks about our products or our company; or otherwise get nasty. Our support staff are not permitted to continue support sessions with users who ignore the foregoing request.

The rest of this document will assist you in making the optimum use of our support facilities, and will help you get your support issue resolved in the most timely manner possible. We urge you to review it prior to submitting a support request.

One more thing... having undertaken a support session, please be careful not to subsequently send us unsolicited advertising, chain letters, putative jokes, requests for charitable contributions, links to web pages you think we might be interested in or other forms of spam. Alchemy Mindworks maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding spam in all its many and loathsome forms, and buying a license for one or more of our products does not buy you a license to e-mail us nonsense.

If you spam us, your e-mail address will be banned by our mail server, and further support will not be forthcoming. Actually, no one here will receive any e-mail from you, support-related or otherwise, for the duration of the ban.

Unsolicited e-mail wastes our time and makes it more difficult for us to provide quick, responsive support to our customers. This is not a situation we're prepared to suffer gladly.



INTRODUCTION

This document will provide you with a brief overview of the support services Alchemy Mindworks provides for users of its products. Perhaps more to the point, it will assist you in using our support services to resolve your software problems in a timely manner.

Unlike many software developers, Alchemy Mindworks does not charge for most software support. We would like to see you fully realize the potential of the software you've bought, and to this end we're here to help you in the event that you run into difficulties. The first question you'll hear if you call us will not be "what's your credit card number?"

Having said this, our resources are finite, and in order to continue to provide no-cost support for our products, we'll need your assistance in addressing your support issues.

We should also point out that, as per the license agreements for all current Alchemy Mindworks products, the cost of registering or licensing our software does not include payment for support. Purchasing a license for Alchemy Mindworks software does not entitle you to support.

The circumstances under which we will decline to provide you with support are fairly extreme — they'll be discussed later in this document.

IMPORTANT: If you have a spam blocker on your e-mail account, please be sure to add the domain mindworkshop.com to your white list or permission list immediately. Our incoming mail filters trap all automatic mail — we will not receive a verification request from your spam blocker, and as such we will not be able to respond to it. If you don't unblock us, you will not receive our reply.

The lawyers made us say this: By using Alchemy Mindworks' support services in any form, you agree to be bound by all the terms and conditions in this document and documents referenced by it. You agree that Alchemy Mindworks makes no warrantee as to the functionality, accuracy, efficacy or suitability of the support to be provided to you. You agree to accept sole and complete responsibility for any loss, damage or expense caused to you or to third parties as a result of your use of the information, advice or instructions provided to you in the course of your support session, and to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Alchemy Mindworks, its principals, employees and suppliers from and against any claims or lawsuits, including attorney's fees, that arise or result from the use of the support. This agreement is governed by the laws of the province of Ontario, Canada. Each of the parties hereto irrevocably attorns to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario and further agrees to commence any litigation which may arise hereunder in the courts located in the Judicial District of York, Province of Ontario.



CONTENTS



BEFORE YOU CONTACT US

If your problem involves your registration code rather than an actual software problem, please see the section of this document which deals with registration codes.

All software problems have identifiable causes. Some of the causes are extremely obscure, and from time to time a few of them appear to originate in alternate universes. Contemporary software is breathtakingly complex, and as such, some of the problems that occur in using it can be difficult to identify.

It's important to keep in mind that three general elements get involved in your using one of our applications:

  1. The Alchemy Mindworks software you're running.
  2. The operating system the software is running on, that is, a version of Windows.
  3. The other software that's installed and possibly running on your system concurrent with the Alchemy Mindworks application in question.

When your software misbehaves, the cause of its bad manners can be a genuine bug in the software, or it can be a problem caused by the operating system that supports it, or other things running on your system.

It's a mistake to assume that all software problems are caused by bugs in the software that appears to be malfunctioning.

Here's one of the most important considerations in our addressing software problems. If we can't reproduce the problem you've encountered, we have less chance of being able to fix it than most bricks have of being elected to public office.

If you encounter a problem with an Alchemy Mindworks application, you should do the following before you contact us for support:

  1. Make sure the problem is reproducible. Windows is rarely entirely stable, and it's not unheard of for it to crash applications running under it, or to cause them to exhibit unexpected behavior. Many such issues are one-time events which don't recur. If you run into a problem, make sure it happens repeatedly before you call in the big guns.

  2. Document the problem in detail. Make a note of exactly what steps you performed to make the problem happen. We'll need to perform those steps in house to recreate your problem so we can determine what caused it.

  3. Read the manual. If your problem is a software crash, skip ahead to the next step. If it's something less serious, make sure you're really encountering a problem, and not just the software behaving in a way that it was designed to, but which you didn't expect. Read the documentation for the functions of the software which are involved with your problem carefully.

  4. Check the numbers. Consider whether the problem you've encountered might be caused by something obvious, such as a lack of system resources. Here's a common example. From time to time we hear from users of our animation software who have attempted to assemble complete feature films with it, very often on computers with less memory than a high-end programmable toaster. In this case, the resultant "memory error" message isn't indicative of a software problem — it means that the computer in question doesn't have enough memory available to store all the image data that's being stuffed into the software running on it.

  5. Check for upgrades. Visit the web page for the Alchemy Mindworks software in question and see if there's a newer version or a newer patch available. You can find the current version and patch level for your installed Alchemy Mindworks software in the About dialog, typically accessed through the Help menu. If there's a newer patch level available, install it and see if your problem persists.

  6. Upgrade Windows. Make sure you have all the available patches, upgrades and services packs installed for your version of Windows. Use the Windows Upgrade function of Windows to access Microsoft's web page. It will determine what needs upgrading, advise you of the required downloads and perform the upgrades for you. Having done so, see if the problem persists.

  7. Check your drivers. If the problem you have encountered involves a peripheral, such as a printer or scanner, visit the web page of its manufacturer to see if there's a newer driver set available for it. Having done so, see if the problem persists.

  8. Read the Q&A. Check the Alchemy Mindworks web page for your software and see if there's a Q&A document available. If there is, read this document and see if the problem you have encountered is described therein.

  9. Lose all other applications. Terminate all other applications running on your computer and see if the problem persists. Make sure you include background tasks, such as shell managers, firewalls and virus checkers. A not insubstantial number of software problems are actually interactions with other programs. Some of these are easy to remedy if you know what the real issue is.

  10. Try another computer. Run the software in question another system if you have access to one, and see if the problem persists.

If you've performed all of the foregoing steps and you still have a problem, you need to get in touch with us. Software support requests should be submitted through the support request form at our web page. The form will collect some basic information we'll need to get started addressing your problem — details about your computer, the version of the software you're using and so on — and it will provide you with space to describe the problem you've encountered.

Alchemy Mindworks provides a voice support line to assist our users, and you're welcome to call us for help if you wish. Be advised, however, that our phone support staff are only able to address fairly elementary support questions — they're really there to help users who don't understand how to operate Alchemy Mindworks software. If your support issue is complex, they'll probably direct you to the aforementioned support request form.



SUBMITTING A SUPPORT REQUEST

Our objective in responding to a software support request is to resolve the problem with your software. If your objective is something other than this, you probably need to read a different web page.

Here are some guidelines to assist you in getting your software problem resolved as effectively as possible.

  • As noted above, we usually need to be able to reproduce problems in house to address them. For this to happen, you'll need to provide us with a comprehensible, detailed, specific description of the problem you've encountered. "Graphic Workshop doesn't work" won't cut it. Tell us exactly what you did to initiate the problem you're requesting assistance with, and exactly what happened.

  • Please avoid the use of jargon, abbreviations and other aspects of cyberspeak which we're unlikely to be able to understand.

  • If you encounter an error message, tell us exactly what it said — not just that you saw a message.

  • We ask that you submit your problem report in a coherent and readable form. Don't type all in upper case, huge text, tiny text, pink text, weird fonts or other special effects.

  • When Windows software crashes, Windows usually displays a dialog with a lot of register values that look as if they'd be helpful to a programmer. They're not. Please don't quote these things as a substitute for a detailed problem report.

  • If you contact us and we reply, and then you reply to our reply — a phenomenon referred to as a "message thread" — please be certain to quote the complete message thread with each successive reply. This is the only way we'll be able to keep track of the conversation. Our support staff typically deals with hundreds of messages each day. If you don't quote your previous messages, we will not be able to continue your support session.

    In addition to quoting your message thread, please be certain not to remove or modify the Subject field of our message back to you — this is part of our spam filtering system — and do not delete or modify the signature of the staff member you have been communicating with, typically a dash followed by two or three letters.

    Finally... at least as far as message threads go... please send no more than one reply if you get back to us. Multiple messages sent in reply to a message thread will usually not be delivered by our support mail system.

  • Please don't phone our support desk and refer to an e-mail support session. You'll just confuse our phone support people.

  • Don't send us example graphic files unless we ask for them.

  • Please provide us with a written description of the issue you need support for. We regret that we are unable to accept videos, recorded audio, Presentation Wizard documents, PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, Egyptian hieroglyphics or other forms of multimedia communication in lieu of a written description.

  • Don't send us EXE files unless we specifically request them — our firewall typically deletes them on the way in. If you need to send us a Screen Saver Construction Set screen saver, send the SCR file, not an EXE installer that contains it.

  • Please be polite. We ask that you keep in mind you're addressing a real live human being when you enter into a software support session. Failing this, we ask that you keep in mind that you're addressing a real live human being with a mail reader that includes a Delete button. Alchemy Mindworks support staff are not permitted to continue support sessions with users who become rude, abusive, nasty, obscene or incoherent.

  • Please submit your support requests exclusively in English. We are aware that there are lots of other really popular languages around, and our insistence on English probably smacks of linguistic elitism. All of this not withstanding, English is the only language everyone who works here knows how to speak.

Software support requests are typically addressed within one business day, and usually within a few hours. Business days do not include weekends or Canadian holidays. We have been known to let this lofty standard slip from time to time when we get swamped, or when we're confronted by support issues that turn out to be real head-scratchers.



COMMON SOFTWARE PROBLEMS WE CAN'T FIX

Some software support issues don't really involve software bugs per se. They're caused by interactions with other things on your computer, disagreements between what you think our software should do and what we designed it to do and unfortunate physical laws of the universe which we've petitioned the universe to change, but which it insists on keeping as is. Here are a few of the ones to watch out for.

  1. Incompatible system libraries. Grab something solid — this will get a bit technical. From the perspective of a program, Windows is a sort of enormous tool-box which the program in question can use to perform common tasks. If a program needs to open a window on your screen, play music, obtain the square root of a number, draw a three-dimensional sphere with realistic lighting — and buckets of other things too numerous to mention here — it can ask Windows for help.

    Not all the buckets of the things Windows knows how to do are part of the main core of Windows itself — what programmers call its "kernel." A lot of its functions are provided by ancillary blocks of intelligence call "system libraries." Programmers call these libraries "DLLs."

    Sometimes — for reasons which defy easy understanding — third-party software will use non-standard versions of these libraries. These non-standard libraries typically work correctly for the software that requires them, but often break other applications which expect to be able to call the real libraries installed by Windows.

    In some cases, third-party software that relies on non-standard libraries uses "private" versions of the libraries in question. This means that if the misbehaving software is running, the non-standard library it requires will be loaded into memory. As only one copy of a library can be in memory at one time, any other software which wants to call the library will wind up calling the non-standard one, often with unpredictable results. Closing the misbehaving software will remove its non-standard library from memory. Other applications which need access to this library will then be free to call the original one installed with Windows, and the problem will appear to go away.

    A more serious aspect of library incompatibility occurs when third-party software actually overwrites some of Windows' system libraries with non-standard versions. In this case, all applications which depend on the overwritten libraries will call the non-standard ones, and get into trouble as a result. This second group of library issues are very hard to track down, as it's usually impossible to know which applications have performed so vile a deed as this, and which libraries they overwrote. It's also not easy to fix, as having overwritten a library, the original one is usually history.

    Recent versions of Windows have been designed to prevent the latter behavior, but some third-party software circumvents this protection.

    For practical purposes, it's impossible for us — or any other software developer — to create applications which will run reliably when the operating system they're running on has been damaged or modified. In some cases we'll be able to provide work-arounds for library compatibility issues. In a few others, you're sunk.

  2. Windows codecs. When Windows wishes to compress or decompress audio or video in Windows media files — such as WAV or AVI files — it calls for a block of code called a "codec." Different compression schemes require different codecs. In the case of digital video, for example, there are codecs available to produce movies with moderate compression and no image degradation, codecs to handle the MPEG compression strategy supported by various sorts of digital cameras, codecs to squeeze movies down into very small file sizes with significant image degradation and so on.

    If an AVI or WAV file is created with a codec which isn't available when it comes time to view, play or otherwise read the file in question, nothing useful will happen.

    Unfortunately, Windows manages its codecs in a somewhat unpredictable manner. It allows applications to use "private" codecs — such that AVI and WAV files created by said applications can't be read by other software. It also provides several pools of public codecs. Various third-party applications use varying strategies for locating and implementing codecs.

    Alchemy Mindworks' software which reads and writes Windows media files uses a codec management strategy which has been designed to reliably access the standard installed Windows codecs under all versions of Windows. This means that it will always perform functions which rely on Windows' codecs correctly — but in some cases, it won't locate all the codecs on your system. Under some versions of Windows, for example, Windows Media Player will have access to codecs that other applications don't.

    The fact that media player can play files that Alchemy Mindworks' software can't open can be confusing.

    You can address the issue of codecs in several ways. The most effective is to configure your applications which create Windows media files — the software for your digital camera, for example — to use a standard installed Windows codec. If you'll be creating AVI files that you intend to convert into GIF or MNG animations or import into Presentation Wizard, creating them with no compression at all is better still.

    Installing the Media Player Codec Pack resolves a surprising number of AVI compatibility issues, by adding lots of new codecs to Windows. Please note that the Media Player Codec Pack is not our product, and we have not reviewed it in detail.

    Needless to say, we're working on an improved strategy to deal with these contentious little beasts — at the moment, we've sprung for a codec management structure which is as reliable as possible, as opposed to one that works well under some versions of Windows, and poorly under others.

  3. Permission issues. Some versions of Windows — most notably Windows Vista and Windows 7— can be configured for multiple users. This means that, for example, each member of a family could log into a single computer under his or her name, and have access only to those files which he or she installed or created. In addition to these regular users, such a computer has an Administrator account, which has access to all files.

    Regular user accounts on these systems have specific limitations to prevent them from compromising the internal workings of the system and to keep the files of other users private. One oftentimes troubling limitation is that regular users can't write to the \WINDOWS directory, the folder where Windows keeps its working components. In that regular users can't write to the \WINDOWS directory, neither can software which has been installed by regular users.

    There are all sorts of problems which arise out of permission issues. You might find that some perfectly valid files can't be accessed, or can be opened but not deleted or modified, because they belong to another user. It's not always obvious why these problems arise, especially if you're not accustomed to a multiple user environment.

    Here's another common problem. Most of Alchemy Mindworks' applications store their configuration data in the \WINDOWS directory. If you're logged into a multiple user system as a regular user when you install one of our applications, that application won't be able to write its configuration data to your hard drive. Among other things, this configuration data is where Alchemy Mindworks software stores its registration codes. Software installed this way will keep forgetting that it has been registered.

    This latter problem is easily solved by uninstalling the affected software, logging in under the Administrator account and reinstalling the software.

  4. File sizes. Most image files are compressed. Most image file compression structures are only able to provide a finite amount of compression. This means that, given a specific volume of image information, for example, it can be squeezed down just so far, and no further.

    This is true even if you really, really need your file to be smaller, and your future happiness and that of your two dozen cats depends on it.

    The inability of Alchemy Mindworks software to make files smaller than physical laws allow isn't a software bug.

    In some cases, this can be confusing. For example, if you convert an image from a JPG file to a GIF file — or build a GIF animation from JPG source files — the GIF files will very likely be a lot larger than the original JPG files. This happens because GIF files use an antiquated, ineffective compression structure that dates back to the mid-1980s, and which doesn't compress images as effectively as JPEG compression. None the less, we're all stuck with it.

    We'll be happy to explain why your file size issues aren't likely to get any better, but in most cases we won't be able to fix them.

  5. Drivers. Peripheral devices, such as printers, scanners, monitors, CD-ROM drives and so on — are interfaced to Windows through special libraries called "drivers." Drivers are required because each model of printer works differently, and only its driver knows how to make it do whatever it was made to do. In a very simple sense, then, if Windows wants to print something to a printer, it uses that printer's driver to translate Windows' internal commands for printing into whatever the printer supported by that driver expects.

    Like all software, printer drivers can embody software bugs, or things which their authors haven't implemented correctly. These issues are often very hard for us to address, as we have access to a limited number of printers, scanners, monitors and so on in house. If you're having trouble with one of our applications and, for example, a printer we don't own, tracking down the problem can be fairly time-consuming. In some cases, we'll be unable to resolve these issues.

    For this reason, you should take advantage of the availability of evaluation copies of Alchemy Mindworks software before you register it. You should also be sure to update your printer and scanner drivers if you experience problems with these devices.

  6. Corrupt or misnamed files. The inability of Alchemy Mindworks software to open or process specific files can be caused by genuine software problems. It can also be caused by your having versions of a specific file format which we've never heard of, and as such which we have not created software to address. For example, files in the TIFF format periodically turn up in variations which we've hitherto not encountered. However, the vast majority of file access problems have to do file misnamed files.

    Most Alchemy Mindworks applications which open third-party files do so under the assumption that file extension — the three letters after the final period in the file name — are correct. For example, if our software encounters a file called PICTURE.JPG, it assumes that this file really contains JPEG image data. If you were to rename a file called PICTURE.GIF to PICTURE.JPG, it would not be readable by one of our applications, even though it would be a valid image file.

    This can be doubly confusing because web browsers don't exhibit this behavior — they'll usually open image files which have been misnamed as was described in the preceding paragraph.

    Misnamed files like this are common on the Internet.

    The Alchemy Mindworks Graphic Workshop Professional software includes a feature call Mystery File Identifier which can peek inside misnamed files, figure out what they really are and correctly rename them.

    It's also worth noting that Graphic Workshop Professional's image import filters are a lot better at handling mutant variations of some files than the import filters of most other Alchemy Mindworks software. Using Graphic Workshop to convert from an unreadable file format variation to a more conventional file, so other software can read it, is a useful work-around for a lot of image compatibility issues.

    There are a few pathologically strange situations wherein badly-structured graphic files can't be read by Alchemy Mindworks software because, were we to modify our applications to accommodate them, our software would no longer be able to read correctly formed files in the formats in question. This seems to occur most often with TIFF files.

  7. System resources. Your computer has a finite amount of system memory. System memory is also referred to as "RAM." This memory is where Windows stores parts of itself, where running programs are stored and where programs store the data they're working in. Your computer also has a finite amount of hard drive space, where files are stored. The two are not interchangeable.

    If a program requires more memory than is currently available, Windows will attempt to honor its request by a process referred to as "spooling." It will see if there are any programs currently in memory which aren't doing anything at the moment. If it finds some, it will write them to temporary disk files and free up the memory they occupied. If it can't find enough free memory by spooling actual programs, it might start spooling lesser-used parts of itself.

    In some extreme cases, this strategy can sneak up on Windows and bite it somewhere embarrassing. It might spool an important part of itself, realize it needs that part a few seconds later, recover the spooled part, spool it again and so on. Windows can appear to have locked up if this happens on a large enough scale.

    This will typically become an issue if you attempt to run a lot of programs or work with large amounts of data on a machine with limited available memory. See the reference to building extremely large files with our animation software earlier in this document.

    It's important to keep in mind that what constituted a lot of memory a few years ago can be little more than small change to contemporary software. Later versions of Windows require significantly more memory exclusively for their own use — often leaving the software you actually want to run a bit short of real estate.

    Some applications are serious memory pigs, and may tie up the bulk of your available memory. Chief among these are web browsers — if you encounter problems which seem as if they might be memory related, close everything else on your system, starting with your web browser.

    Here's another common system resource issue. Inexpensive ink-jet printers are usually inexpensive because they don't include any meaningful amount of printer memory. When you have Windows print to one, all the work of arranging the pixels to be printed is done in your computer's memory, and then stored in temporary spooling files on your hard drive. High resolution color ink jet printers can require several tens of megabytes of memory to render a page, and at least this much hard drive space to spool it. If you print multiple pages, all the pages will have to be spooled before they're printed.

    Should you have insufficient hard drive space to print all the pages in question to be spooled, your print job may fail. This one nails users of our Calendar Wizard software from time to time.

    There are work-arounds for this latter issue, but they involve some meaningful trade-offs. Contact us if you need assistance.

  8. First-release installations of Windows. The installation of Windows that came with your computer, or which you bought in a box, is probably out of date. Like all software, Windows typically develops a few bugs and compatibility issues as it ages. Microsoft addresses these with downloadable patches and service packs. These can be automatically applied to your system over the Internet through the Window Update function.

    It's truly amazing how many formerly insurmountable problems go away when you update Windows.

    Note that if you aren't prepared to keep your installation of Windows up to date — and in so doing eliminate known Windows problems in attempting to resolve issues with Alchemy Mindworks software — we probably won't be able to assist you with software support if we determine that the problem you've encountered might be caused by Windows issues.



COMMON SUPPORT ISSUES AND MISCONCEPTIONS

When they behave themselves, contemporary computers will let you get a great deal done without ever having to understand what's really happening down where the chips and connectors live. This is unquestionably as it should be. It's worth noting, however, that many users of said computers develop important misunderstandings about how their systems work as a result.

The persistence of some of these misunderstandings, delusions and urban myths may get involved in your support request. We'd like to take this opportunity to address some of the common ones.

  • All my other software works, so the problem with my Alchemy Mindworks software must be a bug. This reasoning has several potential holes in it. The most notable is that not all applications use all the functions of Windows. If, for example, a library compatibility issue, as described earlier in this document, exists on your system, only those applications which attempt to use the affected library will encounter problems.

  • My software was working last week, but now it's stopped — there must be a bug in it. Unlike cheese, cars and potted plants, software doesn't deteriorate of its own accord. If your formerly working Alchemy Mindworks application works no longer, something has changed. You need to consider whether you have changed any system settings, or added or removed hardware or software in the interval.

  • I bought my computer from a well-known manufacturer, and I had a professional technician install my software, so there's no way my system's the cause of my problems. Not to put too fine a point on it, it doesn't work this way. A knowledgeable technician can go a long way toward ensuring that your system is properly configured, but only God or one of Her immediate subordinates can fathom all the potential software and hardware interaction issues in a modern personal computer.



REGISTRATION CODE ISSUES

Alchemy Mindworks software is activated and personalized through the use of registration codes. A registration code consists of a registration name and a group of numbers in the form:

01234-56-78901-23

The name and the code must match — a registration code includes a complex checksum of the characters in the name it was issued to.

If you have lost your registration code, please visit the Lost Registration Code Robot to request a replacement. Read the Lost Registration Code Robot page carefully before you submit a replacement code request. Note that the Alchemy Mindworks software support staff will not be able to assist you in recovering your lost code.

If you attempt to register your software and you're told that your name and registration code do not match, please check the following before you request help with your code.

  • Are you using the correct registration name for your code? Your order confirmation message or purchase receipt will include a line which states "your registration name for use in these applications is," followed by your registration name. This may differ from the name to in the shipping address area of your order.

  • Are you entering your registration name exactly as it appears on your order confirmation message or purchase receipt? Case and punctuation matter. Registration names are usually all in upper case.

  • If you are registering an Alchemy Mindworks application which is also registerable as bookware, are you using the Shareware tab? You will see four fields for your registration code if you have selected the correct tab.

  • Are you sure you're attempting to register the correct application? Registration codes only work for the specific application you paid for.

If you successfully enter your registration name and code but you find that your application subsequently reverts to an unregistered state, you should check the following:

  • Are you sure you've used the code that corresponds to the application you're attempting to register? For example, a registration code for Graphic Workshop Professional may be accepted by GIF Construction Set Professional under some circumstances, but it will be rejected the next time the software runs.

  • Are you running under a version of Windows which might have permission issues? See the discussion of permissions earlier in this document.

If you are attempting to register an Alchemy Mindworks application as bookware and the application refuses to accept your registration code word, you chould check the following:

  • Are you using the correct book for the application you're attempting to register?

  • If you're attempting to register Pagan Daybook II, are you using the Jam Ink edition of Coven? There exists a much older edition by Ballantine Books, which will not provide the correct code words to register this software.

  • Are you using the Bookware registration tab? The Bookware tab includes an Accept button to the right of the Name field.

  • Try another name. If all else fails, try using a variation of your name, such as your name with a middle initial, to cause the registration logic to choose a different word reference.

Should your registration code problem persist after you've tried the foregoing, please get in touch with us. In submitting a software support request for assistance with a registration code issue, please be sure to include the following information:

  1. The name of the Alchemy Mindworks software you're attempting to register.
  2. The exact registration name you're entering.
  3. The exact registration code you're entering — or reference word, in the case of bookware registrations.
  4. Whether you're entering your name and code in a downloaded installer, a CD-ROM installer or a previously-installed evaluation copy.
  5. The exact file name of the downloaded installer if you're using one, for example, gcsp20.exe for GIF Construction Set Professional.
  6. The exact error message you've encountered, or a description of the problem if your code isn't being retained by the software.

The year you registered the software in question, and the name and address under which it was registered, will also be of help in sorting your registration code problems.



REASONS WE WILL NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH SUPPORT

We encounter extremely few situations in which we are unable to assist our users. The world seems a surprisingly agreeable place — there are times when we could almost persuade ourselves that all the disconcerting news that appears on CNN is actually a fabrication by extraterrestrials intended to soften earthlings up for an invasion. Just in case we're wrong in this respect, however, you might want to keep the following deal-breakers in mind.

  • Alchemy Mindworks software support is not a talking manual. If you need help with something which is explained in the documentation for your software, we'll refer you to the documentation. This will be true even if you're in a massive hurry, if you claim to violently dislike the manual page color scheme or if you believe that the button used to access the manual in most Alchemy Mindworks applications is a tool of unclean spirits.

  • We will only provide limited support for unregistered users. If you have not paid for the software for which you need support, we will at our discretion assist you to the extent we feel is required to permit you to evaluate the software.

  • We will not provide support to unregistered users who, in our opinion, do not intend to register Alchemy Mindworks software. Call us unrepentant capitalists.

  • We will not support users who have spammed us in the past, or who appear to be associated with organizations which have done so. Bad acts have consequences.

  • Be polite. We will not continue to provide software support to users who are in our opinion rude, abusive or generally disagreeable.

  • We will not provide support to users who haven't read and followed the earlier portions of this document, or who in our opinion are not willing to assist in the support process. Unlike cars and toasters, resolving software issues involves more than handing the problem to someone else and collecting a fix the following day.

  • No deadbeats. We will not provide support to users who have paid for Alchemy Mindworks software with a credit card which was later disputed or dishonored, with a check which was declined by the bank or with some other form of payment which bounced.

  • We will not provide support to users who have threatened to hack, reverse engineer, crack or otherwise modify or compromise the security of our applications. Software thieves — and parties aspiring to the title — are an embarrassment to their species, whatever that turns out to be.

  • Cretins, hackers, adult-entertainment czars and patent trolls need not apply. We will not provide support to users who are associated with businesses or other organizations which we believe to be manifestly unethical, or engaged in illegal undertakings.

It's unlikely that any of the foregoing applies to you.

All the information at this page is as accurate as we can make it. Neither Alchemy Mindworks nor the author of this page accepts any responsibility for any loss, damage or expense caused by your use of these pages, however it happens. If you can figure out a way for any of this to cause you loss, damage or expense you have a sneakier mind than any of us. This page and all dependent pages are copyright © 1994 — 2017 Alchemy Mindworks. No portion of this page may be reproduced in any form without the explicit written permission of the author and copyright holder.