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Support

If you experience problems using Open Contacts or if you have a question regarding its use, you may send Email to Fonlow IT at the following E-mail address:

Please write your questions, comments, requests, and suggestions in details. For example, you may make the subject look like "Open Contacts v5.1.1.566 Questions"  and describe in details. Please use any of the following subject lines:

  • Open Contacts v5.xx Bugs (Replace 5.xx with exact version found in the About box)
  • Open Contacts v5.xx Questions
  • Open Contacts v5.xx Requesting Features
  • Open Contacts v5.xx Suggestions
  • Open Contacts v5.xx Misc

Email:

Email without dedicated subject will be filtered out as spam.

Before sending questions, you may try to find the answers in the user manual, or search the blog and the newsgroup of Open Contacts. In addition, you may subscribe to the blog or the newsgroup via feed or Email in order to automatically get updated information of Open Contacts. In addition, you are welcome to share experiences with others in the newsgroup.

 

Q&A

Q: I'm German and as you know, we use "umlaute" in our language (,,). Entering the data everything seems to be ok, but if I'd like to use the quickview, then I just see strange characters instead of the umlaute.

A: This is something related to the encoding of Internet Explorer. Right click on the data area of the Quick View window. Please right click on the Quick View, and from the popup menu, select encoding Unicode (UTF-8), you will see things all right. Generally you just need to do this once.

Q: May I store both the Open Contracts program and the address book file in a USB memory drive and run the program on the USB memory drive directly?

A: Yes, you can. And do remember to make backup of your address book file regularly. Please refer to the installation manual.

Q: May I share the database file with staffs in the same office?

A: Yes, you can. However, you need to install the database file on a machine  where an instance of Firebird database server is running. For more details, please read the data sharing guide.

Q: We would like to install Open Contacts application in order to use it in the office. Could you, please, let me know how many contacts (records) we can add to be sure the application is still working properly?

A: We had built a database with 30,000 contacts, each of which has many data fields, and the size of the database was around 260 MB. The whole program still performed well. As the program will use a real database server in LAN, so you won't need to worry about heavy speed lost as you could suffer with a file base database.

Q: How can I backup the address book file

A: The address book file is "default.gdb" in the "Data" folder of the program folder by default. Run the Backup command from the Tools menu, you will be prompted with a Save dialog to define a backup file to save. Generally, you should keep the backup of your address book on a external storage such as CD-R, potable harddrive or another computer.

To restore, run the Restore command. You will use the saved backup file to replace current address book file.

Alternatively, you may simply make a copy of "default.gdb" after closing Open Contacts.

Q: I would normally store all my data files in "My Documents", so I can easily backup the whole folder. I see Open Contacts always load the address book file "default.gdb" in the Data folder under the program folder. For some reason, I don't want to install Open Contacts under "My Documents", can you provide a solution?

A: When you look at the program folder, you will find a file named "main.ini". Open it with Notepad, you will see an item "Database=default.gdb". After you change it into "Database=c:\My Documents\Somewhere\default.gdb" and re-launch the program, the program will locate the file under "c:\My Documents\Somewhere\".

Alternatively, you may go to the Options window to change the location of the database file.

Q: We would like to install Open Contacts application in order to use it in the office. Could you, please, let me know how many contacts (records) we can add to be sure the application is still working properly?

A: We had built a database with 30,000 contacts, each of which has many data fields, and the size of the database was around 260 MB. The whole program still performed well. As the program will use a real database server in LAN, so you won't need to worry about heavy speed lost as you could suffer with a file base database.

Q: I see you provide support for Skype, can you provide support for MSN as well? So I will be able to select a Email address and launch a message window.

A: With Windows Messenger 4.7 and lower, Microsoft provided API for other Windows programs to interact. However, with higher versions of Windows Messenger and all version of MSN Messenger, Microsoft did not provide such API. Eventually, the way of interacting with MSN Messenger was blocked.

Q: I want to attach photo to some of my friends, can you support this feature?

A: This feature is there. Just simply add an Image field, and paste the file path of the photo. When you highlight the field and click the button, the default image viewer will be launch to view the photo.

Q: Is your program U3 compliant?

A: We consider U3 is a very good platform/interface of managing portable applications and even some non-portable applications. Open Contacts was designed to be portable. There's nothing can stop you from running Open Contacts from U3 Smart Drive. In addition, there is an alternative solution more flexible with TrueCrypt.

Q: Isn't it good to provide a predefined field Gender with lookup values Male and Female?

A: If gender is a factor of managing your contacts, it might be more handy and flexible to defined a category called Male and another called Female.  Of course you can defined a predefined field Gender, however, it will be very much up to you to use M or Male or F or Female as values, as long as you keep consistent practices. Obviously, if you sometimes use M and the other time use Male, you will give yourself troubles.

Q: I tried to import contacts from MS Outlook but I had to launch Outlook first. And on my home computer, I don't have to, Open Contacts may just talk to Outlook directly. Why?

A: Sometimes MS Outlook can not be launched by Open Contacts, it will be likely the following key of MS Outlook got corrupted by some anti-virus software  HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{0006F03A-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\InprocServer32. Making this key be empty again may solve the problem. If you don't know how to edit Windows' registry, please ask your local IT supports.

Q: I would like to store my passwords in Open Contact. Can you provide encryption to the database for security?

A: Though OC provides flexible containers for storing all sorts of text info, it does not make sense to store highly sensitive info such as login info, banking details etc. If you want a software application to managing such info, you have better to find a password manager and there are a lot in the market. Many of them are free. Please also read the Security chapter of the user manual.

Q: Can the program run on Linux?

A: Apparently yes. Some users had managed to do so. Please refer to this guide. No warranty as usual.