allows you to create custom tailored extract files from your collection
and download them to your computer as tab delimited text files.
You can then load these files to your PDA, import them to word processing,
spreadsheet or other local application, or email them to other parties.
Like the reporting function, you can specify which records to include,
the sort sequence desired, and the data fields to be contained in
your extract files.
There are two
types of download specifications - Predefined and Custom.
Download specifications come with your subscription to TrackMyTrains.com.
These are general downloads specifications that have been pre-programmed
to request data extracts that collectors might want to download
to another computer application or PDA and as examples for creating
download specifications of your own.
predefined downloads include:
Roster File by Railroad
Rolling Stock Roster File by Railroad
Download specifications are those download specifications
that you have created and saved. You can create your own custom
download specifications by cloning predefined download specifications
and modifying them to your own preference. You can also create
a custom download specification from scratch or by cloning other
custom download specifications. These specifications can be used
to generate a download file one time or saved on your database
for future use. This process is completely analogous to the Report
generation and specification process, only more simple.
Download Extract Files
a download extract file, click on either Predefined Download or
Custom Download, depending on where the specification for the extract
file you want to create and download is stored.
Choose the download
that you want to generate as the "currently selected"
download record by clicking on the row selection arrow of the Download
Display Table. If you don't find the one you want, you can create
a new specification as explained a little later in this section.
Then click on
which is found on the top right side of this page. A window will
pop up asking you to wait while your download request is processed.
After your request is processed, another window will open up with
the downloaded information. The information may not appear to be
aligned in this window because the web page that pops up is not
meant to be the final presentation of the extracted data.
In order to
prepare this information for your PDA or other application, you
will need to do the following:
- Click on
View in your browser's menu bar.
- Then click
on Source. This will open up a text document with the downloaded
information formatted with each field separated by a tab.
- Save this
text document on your computer. Click on "File" in the
text editor application (e.g. Notepad) containing the downloaded
extract and then select "Save As". In the "Save
In" box, choose a folder in which save the file. In the "File
Name" box, type in a name for the file. In the
"Save as type" box, select "Text Documents."
Be sure to remember where you save the file and what you name
it for later reference.
download the information into your PDA, you will need to get a database
application for your device. One we like is MobileDBLite, which
you can download for free at www.handmark.com,
but many others can also be used.
Once you choose
a database application for your PDA, follow the application's instructions
for importing tab-delimited text data into a database. You will
probably need to import the text file that you saved earlier into
your Palm OS database program and set up the file to be transferred
to your PDA the next time you synchronize devices.
To import a
downloaded file into MS Excel, open up the Excel application. Click
on "File" and then on "Open". A dialog box will
pop up. In the "Files of type" box, select "Text
Files". Look for the name of your downloaded file in the folder
where you saved it. Select it and click "Open", and follow
the instructions for the text file import wizard. In the first step
of the text import wizard, be sure to select "Delimited"
as the original data type. In step 2, choose "tab" as
the delimiter, and then follow the rest of the instructions to load
the spreadsheet the way you want it.
Your Own Custom Download Extract Files
Defining a Download
Specification is just like defining a report specification, except
there is less to specify. First decide whether you want to start
from scratch or clone an existing download specification.
To clone a predefined download, choose predefined download from
the left menu bar, highlight the download you want to select, and
To start from
scratch or to clone an existing custom download, choose Custom Download
from the left menu bar. Next, if you are cloning and existing download,
make it the currently selected download using the arrow to the left
of the row in the display table. You will see these five buttons
on the right side of the screen.