MLAN for Windows Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is MLAN for Windows year 2000 compliant?
CMLAN for Windows is year 2000 compliant however there is one item that may appear to be slightly confusing. When generating a report and you are entering the start and stop date, the field for the year allows for only 2 digits. If you are entering 2000 for example you would enter "00" in the year field. When you move out of the field the two digits change to the 4 digit equivalent making up the year. As it has currently been released any two digit number entered into the year field will be prefixed with "19" making it appear to be 1900. During the actually report generation the year 2000 is being used and not 1900. Any 2 digit year entered as a number between 00 and 90 is considered between 2000 and 2090. Any 2 digit year entered as a number between 91 and 99 is considered between 1991 and 1999. Even though Microsoft's© Visual Basic, the language MLAN is written in, does not properly handle 2k numbers MLAN does not use the prefixed two digits (19,20). This problem has no effect on the actual reports in any way and the reports themselves display the years 2000 and beyond as they should.

Also read this for more information on Y2K.
I downloaded and installed MLAN 2.0 to run as a demo. When I tried to start the program, it said I need an updated version of C:windowssystemmscomm.vbx.
What does this mean?
This problem is apparently due to a more recent version of mscomm.vbx being distributed which is not completely backward compatible with earlier versions of mscomm.vbx. The recommended solution is to backup to another directory or diskette the existing file mscomm.vbx which is located in the windowssystem directory. Then copy the downloadable file mscomm.vbx into the windowssystem directory. MLAN for Windows should work after that. Now the fact that mscomm.vbx was replaced by an earlier version might cause another problem with whatever was using the newer file. If this is the case and you do not want use this computer as a dedicated MLAN machine you can replace the file with the new file (the one you backed up) in which case it will revert MLAN back to it's original state.

Download: mscomm.vbx
What is the purpose of the "No Settings" in the download screen?
Selecting "No Settings" on the download screen of MLAN for Windows will cause settings NOT to be downloaded with the recipe. The purpose of not sending settings in the download screen is to prevent the thumbwheels on the controller to be disabled. When settings are sent to the controller from MLAN software the thumbwheels are locked out and disabled to prevent confusion. The thumbwheels are a physical device which are always set to "something". When setting are sent to the controller the thumbwheels must be disabled in order for the controller to acknowledge the new downloaded settings.

In the setup screen you may use defaults for the settings during a download. They are: Always send settings, Default to send settings, Always ask user, Default to not send settings, Never send settings.
I can't download a recipe to the controller on one of my 100 series blenders . I can scan the controller and retrieve information without a problem. The error message is "Error downloading recipe number to WSB ID # 82 ( 10, 38)".
If you are you selecting "No Settings" during the download, your controller version may not support the "No Setting" Feature in the download screen. We are working on getting a time-line of when MLAN commands were introduced into controller versions. To find out the version of your controller turn the controller off and on, when it powers up it will display a version number (e.g. WS80620). If your controller does not support a feature you wish to use you may need to update the chip or the chip and motherboard within the controller. For more information on updating your controller please proceed to the next question.
After I install MLAN for Windows and attempt to run it in Windows I get the following message:
"Could not open primary language data base"
This message is due to a missing or corrupted file "lang0.mdb" in the MLAN program. The file "lang0.mdb" is the primary language database file. If you receive this message it is recommended that you reinstall MLAN for Windows. If after reinstallation you still receive this message you may either download a new copy of MLAN for Windows 2.0 or if you do not have access to the internet you may request a new copy of MLAN be sent to you by calling Tech support at Maguire Product at 610-459-4300.
What must I know to run Windows NT and Windows 2000?
A vital part of MLAN when used with one or more blenders is what is called the hardware key. The hardware key, also referred to as a security key, is connected to the parallel port of the PC. In some cases the security key requires System Drivers to be installed in order for the key to be detected by the MLAN software. The only time that it is absolutely necessary to use the System Drivers (also called Portable Drivers), is when you are using Windows NT. Windows NT has a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that intercepts any direct I/O communication. Without the system drivers loaded, the application would not be able to communicate with the key. For more information regarding the security key you can visit the manufacturer of the security key, Rainbow Technologies. The System Driver required to use the security key under Windows NT is available for download here in our download area as well as from Rainbow Technologies. The file "rainbow.exe" is an installation program that will detect and install the Sentinel System Driver version 5.39.

Windows 2000 operates much in the same way that Windows NT does in that the security key requires System Drivers to be installed in order for the key to be detected by the MLAN software. The NT System Drivers for the security key provided by Rainbow Technologies will allow MLAN to detect the security key.

System Driver Download
How do I run MLAN in demo mode?
MLAN can be run in demo mode one of two ways. One way is to remove the hardware key from the parallel port on the computer. This will cause MLAN to automatically start in demo mode. The second way is to add " /demo" to the command line of the MLAN program.
How do I add command line arguments to MLAN? In Win 3.1? In Win95?
  1. Windows 3.1:
    1. High-light the WINWSB icon (single-click).
    2. Under file select properties. (Or press ALT-ENTER)
    3. Add to the end of the command line: " /demo" or what ever command line you wish to use (please see section VII. Command line Parameters of the MLAN for Windows Manual.) (make sure to add a space between the command line and /demo)
    4. Click OK.

      For more information download the MLAN For Windows Manual
  2. Windows 95:
    1. Go to the start menu, choose settings, choose Taskbar.
    2. Click on the Start Menu Programs tab.
    3. Click advance and find the shortcut to MLAN for Windows. The installation's default folder is Programs, Weigh Scale Blender. The shortcut you will edit is called Weigh Scale Blender which is within the Weigh Scale Blender folder.
    4. Once you have located the shortcut, with the mouse right-click on the shortcut. Choose properties.
    5. In the "Target" field add to the end of the command line:
      " /demo" or what ever command line you wish to use (please see section VII. Command line Parameters of the MLAN for Windows Manual.) Be sure to add a space between the closing quote at the end of the command line and /demo

      For example:
      "C:Program FilesMaguire ProductsWeigh Scale BlenderWINWSB.EXE" /demo
    6. Click OK.
For more information download the MLAN For Windows Manual.
When I run a report limited to one particular material the report gives me additional materials. How can I limit the report to just one material?
To limit a report to just one material you will have to add an additional material to your materials database. Give this additional material the name of "zzzzzzzzzz" (all lower case). This material will show up at the end of the material list. Do Not use this material in any recipes. Now when you want to limit a report to a single material, select the material you wish to run the report on AND select the material "zzzzzzzzzz". This will allow you to run a report based on a single material.

This is a known bug in the MLAN 2.0.X software. The instructions above are a work around method to allow reports on a subset of materials to be generated.
The protocol manual has a command to clear totals, I am unable to get it to work. Why?
Clear Totals command:

The totals are not erased until the end of the current cycle. If the blender is idle, the totals will be cleared at the end of the next cycle. Since the totals are cleared at the end of a cycle, the cycle's totals are then added back. So the totals never actually go to zero.

There is a 2nd command called "Clear Totals Immediately".

This command clears the totals immediately.
Can MLAN for Windows be used over a LAN?
MLAN for windows on a LAN? No.

Problem: While MLAN is running the files are locked.

Partial Workaround: Exit MLAN every so often and copy the datafiles to one, two, or more other locations. The remote clients on the LAN could then access the copies of the files to run reports.

Monitoring of blenders can not be done over a LAN using MLAN for Windows.

New MLAN software (known as G2) will be able to work over LAN's including the internet. The new G2 software is due out during the 1st quarter of 2000.
Can MLAN databases be converted to G2 databases?
Yes, but the data must manually be rearranged to a G2 format.

You must first export the MLAN database using MS Access to any one of the following formats, csv, quoted csv, fixed, or tab delimited

Format the database to match the new g2 database format. This can be done with excel, and usually just requires rearranging the columns. The formats of the g2 databases are explained in the manual.

Import the formatted databases to g2 using the import screen.
When I attempt to run a report I get the error message "Invalid use of Null" and MLAN exits. What is the problem?
Examine your Retrieval Times. If you see one or more entries of "0: PM" or "0: AM", then the problem lies in your Retrieval Times database. It is unknown how that invalid time is entered but it may be a bug in earlier versions of the MS Access databases which MLAN uses. These entries are what is causing the Invalid use of Null error message. Because these entries can not be removed though MLAN, the Retrieval Times database must be re-initialized. This is done from the menu under Utilities / Initialize / Retrieval Times File. Re-initializing should fix the problem by recreating this database. Re-initializing also removes all of the retrieval times so the retrieval times will need to be re-entered.
I have installed MLAN for Windows on a computer with the Windows ME operating system. It appears that when MLAN is scanning the WSBs the Windows ME operating system clock loses time. Why?
Tests with the Windows ME operating system have demonstrated that this can be the result during the scanning process. Tests with all other Windows operating systems have not shown this loss of time to occur. It is not known exactly why this happens. In all likelihood, there is a problem/bug with the Windows ME operating system. For this reason we recommend that Windows ME not be used in conjunction with MLAN for Windows.

If you have a question that needs to be answered you can use our convenient question form. Also welcomed are any questions (and answers) that you may have asked in the past that you feel may be helpful if they were listed here on our FAQ page. Again just simply use our question form to make us aware of any area that you feel should be expanded upon. We here at Maguire Products believe that customer support is one of the most important aspects of doing business with you, the customer.