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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Chapter V - MINFILE Utilities

 

 

A: Reset Total Deposits
B: Import/Export Search File
C: Import/Export Updates
D: Append/Delete Data
E: Parcel/Archive Functions
F: Pack/Reindex Database
G: Alter Coordinate Area
H: System Configuration

 

MINFILE/pc has a number of functions related to database and file management which are grouped together under the heading of Utilities. To access these features and functions, select Utilities from the MINFILE Deposits section of the Main System Menu. The screen looks like this:

 

MINFILE Utilities screen.

 

Each of the 9 available utilities will be discussed in the following sections.

 

A.

Reset Total Deposits

 

This utility has already briefly been discussed in the section entitled Between MINFILE Searches.

When you search the MINFILE database, you will notice that the "Deposits: ___" display at the bottom right corner of your screen shows a smaller number after each search is completed (generally). This is because MINFILE/pc essentially ignores all occurrences which do not meet your search criteria as you proceed through your search. When you want to do a new search, you may want to include all the occurrences in your database. The Reset total deposits utility does this.

When you select this option from the MINFILE Utilities Menu, your screen will not change, it will flash or flicker once, and the message:

"Deposits have been reset! Select Utility"

will appear at the bottom left of your screen. At the same time, your "Deposits: ___" display will revert to whatever number it showed before you began your search (your total database).

At this point, you are ready to use another utility, or to return to the Main System Menu to search and/or report again. If you would like to use another utility, select that option now. If you would like to search the database, press the spacebar or 'X' or 'Esc' key once, and you will return to the Main System Menu. The dataset can also be reset under the MINFILE Search Menu.

 

B.

Import/Export Search File

 

The export function saves a file containing a limited amount of data on the occurrences which you have isolated using the search system. The import function allows you to load the file back into MINFILE/pc and search or manipulate this search result again.

Note that not all the occurrence data are exported or imported, only a very small portion of the data (first-level data) are included in these files. This means that this is NOT the way to export or import occurrence data (see the Parcel/Archive option). This is simply meant as a way to preserve searches and export locational information in a variety of formats. The exported files can be used in other database management programs or plotted using mapping programs.

When you select this option, you will see the following screen:

 

Import/Export Search File screen.

 

HINT: When you have exported or imported a file with this utility, you will automatically be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu. Otherwise you can press the 'Esc' key up to two times as required.

 

1. Import Search File:  ASCII format

This option allows you to import files which you previously exported (see the section called Export MINFILE No.'s File below). To use this function, type '1' in the Choice blank, and enter the drive, path and filename of the file you would like to retrieve. Then press 'Enter', and MINFILE/pc will load that file (if possible). This function defaults to the .MIN file extension, so if there are 2 files with the same name and one is a .MIN and the other .SDF, the .MIN will be imported unless .SDF is specified.

While the screen you see states that "drive and/or directory are optional . . .", this is true only if the file you want to import is located in the same directory (and drive) from which you started MINFILE/pc. The reason for this is that, unless you specify otherwise, MINFILE/pc will only search the directory from which it was launched. For example, if your DOS prompt when you started MINFILE/pc read "A:\>", then MINFILE/pc will look only in the root directory of drive A for your files. If the file you are looking for is stored under the "D:\SEARCH\" directory, MINFILE/pc will not find it and you will get a message that reads: "File does not exist" at the bottom left of your screen.

 

HINT: It is recommended that you note where your saved search files are located so that you will be able to easily retrieve them using the Import search file command. Alternately, you could make a habit of always starting MINFILE/pc from a special directory which you have created specifically for receiving and storing MINFILE data (including reports sent to file, search files, updates, and so on. If you do this, then you will only need to remember the file name, and not the directory under which it is stored as well.

 

When you have imported the search file, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Imported search file: filename! Select Utility" will appear in the lower left-hand portion of your screen. You can now search this data or generate reports.

 

NOTE: The number of deposits in the "Deposits: ___" field should equal the number of occurrences in your imported file.

 

2. Export MINFILE No.'s File:  ASCII format

This command saves a file containing a list of all the MINFILE numbers which are currently part of your selected dataset. If you look at a this file with a text editor, you will see a simple list of MINFILE numbers.

If your "Deposits: ___" display indicates that you have 15 occurrences, and you use this command, a file which contains 15 MINFILE numbers will be generated. You may then retrieve this file (using the Import search file command discussed above) at any time to further manipulate the data.

To use this command, enter '2' in the "Choice" blank, and then enter the (up to) 8-character name you would like to call your search file. You do not need to specify the extension; it will be added automatically. The file (with a .MIN extension) will be saved to whatever directory was open when you started MINFILE/pc.

If you would like the file saved to a different directory, then you must specify the drive and directory. For example, assume that you have isolated all of the past producers of gold in your database, and would like to save this subset of occurrences for future reference. Return to the Main System Menu (by pressing 'X' from the MINFILE Searches Menu) and then select MINFILE Utilities. From here select Import/Export Search Files. If you would like a MINFILE number file saved to the "\U\SEARCH" directory on drive D, enter '2', and then type: d:\u\search\pastgold and press 'Enter'. MINFILE/pc will save the occurrences in a file called "pastgold.min" in the specified directory.

When your file has been saved, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Exported search file: filename! Select utility" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are done exporting and/or importing files, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key to return to the Main System Menu.

 

3. Export standard data file (ASCII)

This option allows you to save a search file, which includes each occurrence's MINFILE number, primary MINFILE name, up to 8 commodities, mining division, status and location (UTM's plus Lat/Long). This creates files with a .SDF extension.

Since files generated by this option are more detailed than the MINFILE number files (.MIN), they take longer to generate. If you intend to use a file for later searches of the database, you should save a MINFILE Number file (Option 2). If, however, you would like to use the search file you have generated in another program (such as plotting programs), then the .SDF (Standard Data File) is more appropriate.

To save an .SDF, enter '3' in the "Choice" blank, and then enter the filename you would like to use. You must bear in mind the same "rules" and limitations when using this procedure as when exporting a MINFILE number search file (see previous section). If the file generation was unsuccessful (because, for example, the directory you specified does not exist), the message line at the bottom left of your screen will go blank, and your cursor will reappear in the "Choice" blank. If this is the case, simply re-enter your choice and the filename which you would like to create, ensuring that the directory path you enter is correct.

When your file has been saved, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Exported standard file: filename! Select utility" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are done exporting and/or importing files, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key to return to the Main System Menu.

 

4. Export standard data file (dBASE)

This option is similar to the previous one except that it generates a file (containing the same information as the .SDF file) which is specifically intended to be used in the dBASE software or any application that requires dBASE format files. Any files generated using this option will have a ".dbf" extension attached to the file name.

To generate a standard data file in dBASE format, enter '4' in the Choice blank, and a file name (following the same procedure as you would for exporting other search files). When your file has been saved, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Exported dBase file: filename! Select utility" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are done exporting and/or importing files, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key to return to the Main System Menu.

 

NOTE: See Appendix L1 for the structure of the INTRFACE.DBF file, which is the template used for exporting the .SDF and .DBF Standard Data Format file containing MINFILE information.

 

5. Export standard data file (spreadsheets)

This option is the same as the previous one except that it generates a spreadsheet file (containing the same information as the .SDF and .DBF files) which is may be used in any application supporting basic spreadsheets. Files generated using this option will have a ".wks" extension attached to the file name.

To generate a standard data file in spreadsheet format, enter "5" in the choice blank and follow the same procedure as with option 4.  When you are finished, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Exported spreadsheet file: filename! Select utility" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are done exporting and/or importing files, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key to return to the Main System Menu.

 

6. Export QUIKMap file for deposits (dBase)

This option creates a dBASE file that is compatible with the QUIKMap application. This file contains spatial coordinates, initial database information, and labels for MINFILE occurrences and anomalies.

No attempt has been made to optimize the appearance of the plotting attributes. Symbol types are based on the occurrence status, labels are the MINFILE name, and symbol and label sizes are defaulted to 5. All the symbol and label options can be edited in QUIKMap, dBASE or FoxPro. Refer to the QUIKMap manual for instructions on how to run QUIKMap.

 

HINT: Before this export is run, symbol types can be changed by modifying the appropriate field in the status code table under Code Table Maintenance (see Chapter XI).

 

To produce a QUIKMap file, select "Export QUIKMap data file for deposits" and enter the name and/or drive location for your output file. The file will be created as a dBASE III compatible .DBF file in the directory which you indicate. If you do not enter a drive/directory, the file will be created in your default or start-up directory.

When you press 'Enter' the relevant data for the selected occurrences will be extracted and put into the dBASE file. As this is happening, the MINFILE occurrence number and a list of the commodities being extracted are displayed at the bottom of the screen. When your file has been generated and saved, you will be returned to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and the message "Exported QUIKMap file: filename! Select utility" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are done exporting and/or importing files, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key to return to the Main System Menu.

 

NOTE: See Appendix L1 for the structure of the QUICKMAP.DBF file, which is the template used for plotting MINFILE data in QUIKMap.

 

7. Extract Mineral Data BC files (ASCII)

This option extracts three comma delimited ASCII files intended for use with Mineral Data BC (currently a government-use, networked desktop mapping and data retrieval system used to integrate data sets). The files can also be used in other software programs, such as dBASE, Excel, or Geographical Information Systems. The three files generated are MINERAL.MBC (mineral occurrence data); RESERVE.MBC (inventory data); and PRODUCT.MBC, (total production data).

To generate the extract files, select "Extract mineral data B.C. files". The files will be written to the default \MINFILE\WORK directory, unless otherwise specified. Press 'Enter' to accept the default directory. To leave this menu press 'Esc' twice.

 

8. Extract Mineral Data BC files (dBase)

This option extracts the same three mineral data BC files as the previous function, but in a dBASE format for use with custom database management software such as Microsoft Excel.

 

9. Extract Mineral Data BC files (spreadsheet)

This option extracts the files MINERAL.MBC, PRODUCT.MBC, and RESERVE.MBC in a spreadsheet format for use with programs such as Microsoft Works, Lotus, Excel, and any other application supporting basic spreadsheets.

HINT: See Appendix L2 for structure of the MINERAL.DBF, RESERVE.DBF AND PRODUCT.DBF files, which are the dBASE templates used for extracting the comma delimited .MBC files. This appendix also explains how to capture these dBASE files from the \MINFILE\DATA directory.

 

C. Import/Export Updates

 

Every time a MINFILE occurrence is updated using the Data Entry System the MINFILE number is tracked by MINFILE/pc. Once the user has updated an occurrence (or group of occurrences) to their satisfaction they may then export copies of these occurrences to a floppy disk and forward this disk to another user for review and incorporation into their database.

If you select this option from the MINFILE Utilities Menu, the following appears:

 

Import/Export Updates screen.

 

This option allows the user to Export their updates and allows another user to Import these updates into their database. The option works in conjunction with the Data Entry/Edit/Compare Option which runs a compare routine on the existing data for an occurrence against the proposed updates to that occurrence allowing the user to either post the new information to the database or retain the existing information in the database.

 

NOTE: The Import/Export Updates option is slow and clumsy. Our staff recommends that the comparison be done instead by reviewing the two occurrences on paper.

 

Although this function may be used to transfer data from one computer to another, updates are better transferred by the Utilities Parcel/Archive and Append/Delete Data options.

 

D. Append/Delete Data

 

This is the option you use to load MINFILE data when you first install MINFILE/pc. It is also used if you would like to delete data, or if you would like to add new data (available from Crown Publications Inc.). When you select this option, the following screen will appear:

 

Append/Delete Data screen.

 

1. Append Data (Deposits & Entities)

If you would like to install new data (adding more occurrences to those which are already in your database) select Append Data (Deposits & Entities) and follow the same procedure you used to install the initial dataset (see Installing MINFILE Data, Chapter I, Section B-5). Data that can be appended will reside in a file called MAPSHEET.ZIP. The Entities or code tables (ENTITIES.ZIP) will also be replaced if the date is more recent than your system date.

 

NOTE: If you try to append a dataset that has an occurrence with the same MINFILE number as one already installed, the entire new dataset will fail to be appended. If you wish to append the new data, you will first have to delete the occurrences with the same MINFILE numbers from your database. You may do this either through the Delete Data routines, described in this section, or from the Delete a Deposit command in the MINFILE Data Entry (Chapter VI, Section A-6).

 

2. Delete Data by MINFILE Number

If you would like to remove data from your database, select Delete Data by MINFILE Number. You may enter as many as 9 digits or as few as 1. The program assumes that every digit which you do not enter is a wild card. In other words, if you enter an entire nine digit MINFILE number, only the occurrence with that number will be deleted. If you enter '092', every occurrence which starts with those digits will be deleted. If you enter just '0', every occurrence which starts with that digit will be deleted (this means all the occurrences from map sheets 082, 083, 092, 093, 094). A "rule of thumb" is that the more digits you enter, the fewer occurrences will be deleted -- enter 9 digits, 1 occurrence will be deleted, enter 1 digit, many occurrences will be deleted.

 

When you select this menu choice the following screen appears:

 

Delete Data by MINFILE Number.

 

When you have entered the occurrence prefix number which you would like deleted, press 'Enter'. If you do not have any occurrences in your database which match the prefix which you have entered, you will see the message "No occurrences matched. Select function". If MINFILE/pc does find occurrences (it will tell you how many occurrences it found) which match your criteria, you will be asked "Do you want to delete (number found) occurrences? Y or N __". If you wish to delete the occurrences press 'y', if not press 'n'. If you press 'y', you will see a series of occurrence numbers flash at the bottom of your screen as they are deleted. When the process is complete, you will see the message "Successfully deleted! Select function". If you selected 'n', however, you will see the following message: "Canceled: No occurrences have been deleted. Select function".

 

WARNING: The delete data (MINFILE) command is very powerful. Take extra care when using it so that you do not delete more occurrences than you had originally intended -- once they are gone, they are gone, and you will have to re-install them to get them back.

 

If, at this point, you wish to delete more map sheets, enter the appropriate number. If not, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key, and you will return to the MINFILE Utilities Menu.

 

3. Delete Data (All Deposits)

This option allows you to quickly delete ALL the data in your MINFILE database so use with CAUTION. When complete "Deposits:______" will be zero.

 

4. Batch Delete Occurrences

This function allows you to delete all the occurrences in a previously prepared list. To do this, complete a search to isolate the occurrences you want to delete, then export the occurrence numbers to a file and finally use the batch delete function.

After doing your search, select the MINFILE Utilities Menu and select the Batch Delete Occurrences option. The following screen will appear:

Enter the name of the file you exported previously. When entering a valid filename (.MIN or .SDF) the system will prompt you to confirm the delete as follows:

 

Delete # occurrences (Y,N) ?

The # represents the number of occurrences in the named file which will be deleted from the database. If you press 'Y' those occurrences will be deleted. Pressing 'N' will return you to the previous menu.

 

5. Batch Append to Bibliography

This option allows you to add a Bibliographic reference to each Bibliography for a group of occurrences. This option is mainly for internal GSB use.

Enter the name of the .MIN file (created previously) containing the list of occurrences you wish to append the bibliographic data to. You can also leave this field blank and MINFILE/pc will assume that you want to add the data to all the occurrences in your active dataset. Then enter the name of the file, include the extension, (also created previously using a text editor) that contains the bibliography text. You can abort the operation by pressing the 'Esc' key or leaving the last field blank.

 

When this option is selected the following screen appears:

 

Batch Append to Bibliography.

 

6. Assign Deposits to a Region

This option allows you to assign deposits to a specific geographical region (for example, Alberta). To add deposits to a region, select this function from the main utilities menu. The following screen will appear:

 

Assign Deposits to a Region.

 

In the drop-down menu, highlight the region you want to assign the deposit(s) to, and press "ENTER".  The screen will display the message: "Inserting deposits in region. . ."  To cancel the process, simply press "ESC" to return to the Location menu.

 

7. Remove Deposits from a Region

This function removes selected deposits from a specified geographical region.  In the drop-down menu, highlight the region from which you wish to delete the deposits and press "ENTER".  The screen will display the message:  "Removing deposits from region. . ."  To cancel the process, simply press "ESC" to return to the Location menu.

 

NOTE:  The Remove Deposits function is extremely powerful.  Use caution, as it will remove all selected deposits from a region, even if it is the last region assignment for the deposit.

 

E. Parcel/Archive Functions

 

When you parcel data, you create the same "MAPSHEET.ZIP" and "ENTITIES.ZIP" files that you will find on any MINFILE data diskette that you purchased. When the staff at the Geological Survey Branch prepares the datasets which are distributed to users of MINFILE/pc, they simply isolate all of the occurrences from a given map sheet (using a Search Database command) and then select the Parcel/Archive option from the MINFILE Utilities Menu -- when this is done, the files are manually copied onto a data diskette.

The Parcel MINFILE Data command is particularly useful to users of MINFILE/pc for making backups of their data, and for moving MINFILE data from one computer to another. Data which has been parceled can be reinstalled easily by simply appending the data using the Append/Delete Data Option.

To parcel your data, you must first isolate the data you want. Then go to the MINFILE Utilities Menu and select the Parcel/Archive functions. You will be presented with the following screen:

 

Parcel/Archive Functions.

 

1. Parcel MINFILE Data

If you select Parcel MINFILE Data, the selected occurrences will be parceled into a file called (MAPSHEET.ZIP). The parceling utility will prompt you with:

 

Include Anomalies (Y,N; X=Exit)?

 

If you respond to this query with 'Y', the parcel function will include anomalies. Otherwise, only MINFILE occurrences will be included. You are then prompted to confirm that you wish to continue with the parcel as follows:

Are you sure (Y,N; X=Exit) ?

Entering a 'Y' response will initiate the parceling. The system will create ASCII copies of all the files and compress them into the single MAPSHEET.ZIP file. The file will be placed in your current default directory.

 

2. Parcel Entities

If you select Parcel Entities, you are prompted with:

Are you sure (Y,N; X=Exit) ?

Entering a 'Y' response will initiate the parcel. The system will create ASCII copies of all the code tables and compress them into the single ENTITIES.ZIP file. This file will be placed in your current default directory.

 

F. Pack/Reindex Database

 

This utility is the "universal MINFILE/pc fixer". Many of the problems that might arise in using the program can be remedied by packing and reindexing the database. This is a fairly lengthy procedure depending on the size of the database, but can often save you frustration when trying to fix a recurring error message.

To understand the Pack/Reindex feature, it helps to understand how MINFILE/pc functions. The program was written in FoxBASE, which uses ".dbf" files. If you delete anything from MINFILE/pc, it appears to be deleted, but is in fact simply flagged for deletion. Until the database is packed, the data remain in the files and things can get a bit cluttered after you have deleted a few occurrences. Many of the searches, reports and utilities use indexes created from these .dbf files and they can sometimes get "out-of-sync" with each other when you have done lots of data manipulation. This can lead to errors in searches, reporting, and so on.

When you run the Pack/Reindex routine, MINFILE/pc goes through all of the ".dbf" files and looks for "locked out" data (previously "deleted" through MINFILE/pc). Any such data that the system finds is then removed (really removed this time) from the file, which makes the database that much smaller. The associated indexes are also regenerated to bring them up to date and into "sync" with the .dbf files.

To pack/reindex your database, simply select this option and wait for the message "Do you really want to pack the database?" to appear. Press 'y', and relax -- this procedure takes about ten minutes to complete. When the database is completely packed and reindexed, the following message will appear at the bottom of your screen: "Database successfully packed."

 

G. Renumber MINFILE Occurrence

Select this option and you will see a screen that looks like this:

 

Renumber MINFILE Occurrence.

 

This utility allows you to assign a new MINFILE number to an existing occurrence in your database or duplicate an existing occurrence.

 

1. Change MINFILE Number

Select Change MINFILE number and the following screen appears:

 

Change MINFILE Number.

 

The limitations in the use of this option are that you cannot renumber an occurrence that is not presently in your database, and you must renumber MINFILE occurrences one-at-a-time, first entering the current MINFILE Number (in its entirety), and then entering the new MINFILE number you would like to assign to the occurrence. Remember to follow the rules for assigning MINFILE numbers.

If you attempt to change a MINFILE number that does not exist in your current database, you will receive the following message: "(minfile number) does not exist! Select Utility". If this happens, select this option again, and re-enter the number you would like to change.

If the MINFILE number you have entered in the current occurrence number field exists in your database, the message "Scanning ____" will appear at the bottom of your screen. When the number change has been completed, this message will change to read "Successfully changed! Select Utility". You may now select any utility choice, or press 'X' to return to the Main System Menu.

 

2. Duplicate MINFILE Occurrence

The same constraints exist for this option, regarding MINFILE numbers, as for the Change MINFILE Number option.

You enter the MINFILE number of the occurrence that you want to duplicate and then you enter the number you want assigned to the duplicated occurrence. For example, to duplicate the Eskay Creek deposit you type in 104B 008 in the first blank field followed by the number that you want the duplicated deposit to have, e.g. 104B 400, in the second blank field.

 

When you select this option the Duplicate an Occurrence Number screen will be displayed:

 

Duplicate MINFILE Occurrence.

 

This option is intended to be used to assist in creating occurrences that are similar to existing occurrences (e.g. a new deposit in the Iskut area similar to the Eskay Creek deposit). Duplicating an occurrence helps to quickly enter data into the fields. The fields can then be edited to accurately describe the new occurrence.

 

H. Alter Coordinate Area

 

Choosing this option will bring up the following screen:

 

Alter Coordinate Area.

 

This utility allows you to alter the latitude and longitude coordinates allowed by MINFILE/pc. These coordinates set the area in which occurrences may be entered.  The Edit Check looks at the coordinates entered for each new occurrence to make sure that they fall within the coordinate area displayed on this screen.  

If you wish to enter an occurrence outside the default coordinate area, you have two options: disabling the edit check or altering the coordinate area to include the new occurrence. Disabling the edit check prevents the computer from checking the occurrence coordinates, and lets you enter the occurrence in the database without altering the coordinate area.  To disable the edit check, simply enter "N" in the choice box beside it.  This solution is best used when you are entering occurrences outside your normal coordinate area (for example, if you usually look at occurrences in B.C., but wish to enter one or two others from Russia or South America), and do not wish to change your default coordinates.

If you will be entering most or all of your occurrences outside of the default area, you should change the coordinates to fit your needs. To do this, enter the coordinates of the extreme northeast and southwest corners of the region in which your occurrences will fall (for example, B.C. is 60 N, 140 W, and 48 N, 114 W).  Once you have made your changes, choose "Submit or "Undo" in the Edit menu to save or discard them.

 

NOTE:  The APPEND, BROWSE, DELETE, and SELECT commands in the Edit menu of this screen are not relevant to this MINFILE function. You will not be able to highlight or use them.

 

I. System Configuration

 

This option is exactly the same as in the Report Generation system. See the section of this manual entitled System Configuration (Chapter II, Section F-3). In order to exit this screen and return to the MINFILE Utilities Menu, press the 'X' or 'Esc' key. When you select this option, you will see the following screen :

 

System Configuration.