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Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:59 am
by Michael Pizzolla
Hi Wizards,

We’re pleased to announce the release of Black Magic Version 1.03.

This update deals mainly with data and database issues making BLAM more stable and less affected by the occasional bit of errant data we get.

There’s a very cool Data Utility program that’s installed with 1.03. Although it’s a bit technical, bear with me. Sometimes we get some errant data in the files. Many times, we can solve it on the Post Time end by re-processing those files. Then all you’d need to do is delete the old files, download the re-processed files, and we’re back on track.

Unfortunately, sometimes some of the errant data finds its way into the BLAM Database. That can’t be gotten rid of just by deleting the data files. For some users, this errant data was causing BLAM to act funny or to shut down.

Now, with the Data Utility program, you can navigate to the date that’s causing some issues, and delete those database entries. It’s a very simple interface with a calendar for date, and then a list of tracks.

I even downloaded some data that I knew was corrupt, to force BLAM to shut down.
Then I went to the Data Utility, deleted the data from that date and track from the database, re-downloaded the file, and it worked like a charm.

This may not sound like much, but believe me, you’ll realize its value when you’re able to be back in business in seconds.

A big shout out to X for all the work on this.

Here’s what’s new in BLAM 1.03:

Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™ version 1.0.3 addresses the following issues:

Added a new Data Utility program which allows users to delete problematic data files and database entries, one card at a time. The utility can be accessed from the Windows Start | Programs | Black Magic menu.

Reimporting result charts now overwrites any existing results data for that card. This should help alleviate problems when a bad chart is imported and a corrected chart becomes available at a later point.
Several improvements to the overall stability of the program; this should reduce the number of exceptions and crashes which are sometimes seen. It should also help in reducing possible corruption of the BLAM internal database.

In the event of a program exception or crash, there should now be better error feedback. Any existing problems yet unfixed should be easier to address going forward.
Post times should now be listed correctly in areas which do not observe Daylight Saving Time (e.g., Arizona).

The month of March wasn't being displayed in the past performances under Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7, this has been corrected.

Now, just so we’re all clear. Those who came to the Seminar should ALSO update as well. Those at the Seminar got a pre-release version of 1.03, and this current version will iron out some of the wrinkles we found, such as the Bet Entry issue.

Those who came to the Seminar got their green USB devices reprogrammed with some features that were explained at the Seminar. Those are NOT included with this 1.03 update. Again, without the background and explanation, the additional features will only seem like some lines on a screen. Those additional features will be released with the Seminar DVDs, so you can have the 12 hours of explanation and context behind Stack Tech™. Brian is working feverishly to get these accomplished. We’re hoping for a January release.

Don’t want any of you Wizards who couldn’t make it to the Seminar to feel left out: The additional features help to focus on the horses above the random line and to recognize patterns in those ‘clusters’ of horses. The bottom line still remains to keep your work simple, look for those races that seem obvious and clear.

When you start BLAM, you’ll see the update doing its magic. If you don’t see that, make sure you have the Update Utility Installed. You’ll know if it’s installed if you go to the Help Menu in Black Magic and there’s an option that says ‘Check for Software Updates’.

If there’s not, then go to this thread: ... f=69&t=343 and get the update utility. There’s a video on there to help as well.