Packing the database

The Literary Machine uses a Paradox database which connects to an intermediate system known as the Borland Database Engine (see below). Like most database systems, it will not automatically regain the space deleted items had occupied. This can be a problem when you work with sounds or pictures, because they contain a lot of data.
Furthermore, performance and startup time may increase when the database is used. Run these utilities to speed up!

LM contains no utility to "pack" or "compact" the database — that is, to reclaim the vacant space left by deleted items; you must use an external (3rd-party) tool. In addition, you can use such a tool to check the integrity of the system's database files and repair them, if necessary. Here are some we have used:

Each has advantages. For example, we have found that Tutil32 is more reliable at detecting and fixing damaged database files than PdxRbld. But PdxRbld tries to fix more problems. It is also is faster and easier to use, because it can do the whole batch of database files in a folder, instead of doing them one at a time. Database Desktop has many features and allows you to view database files. For information on ChimneySweep, visit the Web site.

"TUtil32" is the short name for "32-bit Table Utility." The download package contains two files: "Tutil32.exe" and "Tutil32.dll". Just put these two files in a folder (e.g., "C:\Program Files\tutil32") and run TUtil32 by double-clicking the EXE-file or a shortcut to it.

(If you have a version of LM that runs without installation ("portable folder"), make sure that Tutil32.exe and Tutil32.dll is placed in the same directory as LM.exe.)

"PdxRbld" is short for "Paradox Rebuilder." The name of this program's EXE-file is "pdxfix.exe" (short for "Paradox Fixer"). It may require a BDE-version setting in PdxRbld's INI-file. See Krejci's documentation in PdxRbld's "Readme.rtf" file for exact details. Basically, it means that you may need to change the top of PdxRbld's INI-file to something like this...


Database Desktop provides a Getting Started Guide and a Help file, but to get the Help file, you must install the Corel WordPerfect Suite with the option to include additional help files. See your Corel documentation for how to add these files to an existing installation. Being freeware, TUtil32 and Pdxrbld do not provide much help for inexperienced users. So here are some basic tips.

Close LM before running this other program on its database files.

Verifying a database file/table checks it for errors. Normally, rebuilding a database file/table both repairs it (if necessary) and packs it. In PdxRbld, however, be sure to check the "Pack" option.

Choose the database files to check, repair, or pack "by Directory" (rather than "by alias"). Do this by pressing the "by Directory" or "Browse" button to navigate the folder LM keeps its database (DB-files) in. LM 2000 keeps them in the program directory.

In PdxRbld, if you do not select a particular file (i.e., table), the utility runs on the whole batch of DB-files in the selected folder. In TUtil32 you get the following dialog box.

Selecting a database file to check, repair, or pack in TUtil32.

On the left, you get a list of all the DB-files in the folder you open on the right. Select one file on the left and press the OK button to close this dialog box. Then run TUtil32 to either verify or rebuild (and pack) this file. Repeat the procedure as often as necessary to verify or rebuild all the files in the list.

The Literary Machine homepage

Fixing Damaged or Invalid Data

All items must contain some text and at least one keyword. An item lacking either is invalid, and its presence halts the program to prevent damage to other data. If LM thus halts, you will see a STOP sign on the Tool Bar and get a warning message. LM includes a Find-Damaged-Items utility to search for incomplete or damaged items so you can fix or delete them.

To run LM's Find Damaged Items utility:

  1. Choose Utilities > Find Damaged Items.
  2. Fix any items left on the desktop. (They will lack text and/or a keyword.)
  3. Choose Utilities > Find Damaged Items again and again till no items are left on desktop afterwards.

The Find-Damaged-Items utility solves most problems. So, it is always the first step in troubleshooting problems with the database.

Managing the Borland Database Engine

LM manages its Paradox database through Borland Database Engine (BDE). Here are some links to help you manage or update the BDE yourself. Though problems with it are rare, if you suspect corruption in the BDE, do the following:

First, eliminate other possibilities in the following order:

  1. Run Find Damaged Items. (See above.)
  2. Run a database maintenance and repair program (such as those listed above.)
  3. Refresh your Literary Machine installation by uninstalling and reinstalling.

Still have problems? Convinced it's the database engine? Then, refreshing or updating the BDE installation might solve your problem. To do so:

  1. delete the ..\Borland\Common Files\BDE\.. directory
  2. run a registry cleaning program
  3. reinstall the BDE by reinstalling LM2000 (or LM Pro).

For a more information about the BDE, see the uninstall page. Make sure that you do not have several BDE folders, this could happen if other systems install the BDE incorrectly.

Question: Can you get the BDE directly from Borland? No, Borland offers updates to an existing installation only. So, you get an initial installation of the BDE only by installing some program that provides it — such as LM 2000 (freeware) or LM Pro. Then you could go to for an update.

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