Q&A forum: General and Website Queries

All relevant questions concerning the CalQlata suite of programs will be posted here along with our answers for everyone to view. Please forward your questions to info@calqlata.com or visit our Contact Us page.

... Just wish you had put units after your default data =)

The default values in all our calculators are meaningless to users other than a means of loading data giving viable calculation results without faling foul of the error messages.
For those users that would like to know, unless otherwise stated, the units of the default data in all our calculator are metric:

kilograms, Coulombs, metres and seconds.

Sorry, that is NO help. I assume the use of standard SI unit as inputs, but still don’t know for sure what the output units are. Whether I input garbage in or not, the output is still garbage without units. What are the output units for torque and pressure? (w/inputs being in pressure=Pascals, length=meters, density=kilogram/cubic meter, Temps=deg Kelvin, speed=rpm, angles=degrees). I assume torque is Newton-meters and pressure is Pascals. Note there are NO force=Newton inputs, so your input units do not automatically correspond to output units. This calculator is useless without units shown.

You must bear in mind that there are only four fundamental measurements in all systems of units; length, time, mass and electrical charge.
E.g. Newtons are a combination of kg.m/s² (mass multiplied by distance divided by time squared)

This is an example of SI units:
metres for units of length
seconds for units of time
kilograms for units of mass
Coulombs for units of electrical charge.
You could change them to:
inches for units of length
seconds for units of time
pounds for units of mass
Coulombs for units of electrical charge.
millimetres for units of length
seconds for units of time
grams for units of mass
Coulombs for units of electrical charge.

The only thing you need to remember is to make sure that you use the same fundamental units.
Where specific units are asked for or given (degrees instead of radians, cubic feet per minute instead of cubic metres per second) they are stated in the calculator's help.

In the Help>Technical menu page, there is help on example SI and Imperial units to use in Fans.
Our calculators have been created this way for 12-years to enable users to use any units they like, even if they wish to mix them up, which you can do as long as you are consistent.

We have recently had a customer claiming that one of our calculators registered a virus during installation.

CalQlata cannot stress strongly enough that none of our calculators have viruses.

After receiving this allegation, we immediately downloaded the calculator concerned and installed it on two of our machines. It worked perfectly on both machines with no virus issues.

Our calculators are bomb-proof. In 10-years there has never been a single incident when a calculator has failed to install when done so on the correct machine, see minimum system requirements.

If your machine is experiencing problems with installation on the correct machine, it will only be due to its virus settings having been set too rigidly.
Virus detection software is rarely accurate, when blocking the installation of unrecognised software, it will automatically guess, declaring a virus problem that does not exist.
Please open up the restrictions in your virus protection software before installing any third-party program.

We have recently had a disgruntled customer that mistakenly purchased the wrong calculator and immediately demanded a refund on the grounds that the calculator was incorrect and that CalQlata's website is misleading concerning its capabilities.

Given that our contributors provide their expertise in the form of free website information, and calculators which are sold (to help individuals - not companies) at prices that almost pay for the running of this website, we are quire rightly constrained by our contributors not to refund money unless it can be demonstrated that CalQlata has misled its customers or unless the calculator purchased in incorrect.

On two occasions in the last 7 years, errors were identified by customers and on both of these occasions the calculator was corrected and the customers concerned were offered an additional calculator free of charge.

Please note that CalQlata recommends that you read the relevant calculator description and technical help pages carefully together with minimum system requirements before you purchase, because once you have received a copy of the calculator, we are not permitted to refund the purchase price other than for the reasons stated above.

Decimal Points & Thousand Seperators

If your calculator uses commas for decimal points and full-stops for thousand separators, you will need to reverse them for further processing.

We received an email that was a little too rude to repeat here, but it appeared to be about the difficulty in using our earlier (version 1.0) calculators

There are only a few things to remember when using these calculators:

1) All operational instructions can be found on our How They Work webpage, in the calculator's own help menus and in its technical help webpage

2) If there is anything you don't understand please Contact Us and we will respond as soon as practical (usually within an hour)

3) To find out which parts of the window are active, simply wave your cursor over the window. If your cursor appears as hand then click your mouse button. Something will happen

4) Click on the three icons at the top of the window to access the data-listing, images or context help

5) Menu item 'Help>Symbols' will switch between symbols and descriptions

6) If no units are specified there are no limitations in the calculator. You will get out whatever you put in.

Please let us know if you have any recommendations to improve the calculators' useability and we will consider them.

Having problems with purchase or installation of CalQlata programs?

You can find answers to the common problems (seven) our customers find with purchase and installation on our Products>Help Page

How do you download to android. Where are the directions

I am afraid I wouldn't know. Our calculators are designed for Windows PCs as it states in our 'Minimum System Requirements'

We have frequently asked whether or not our customers would like them useable on Tablets and nobody has come forward.

9 months ago it was claimed that all Windows programs would soon be able to run on Android tables, so that may well be the case today. If this is so, all you have to do is copy your CalQlata 'zip' folder (00064.zip) onto the tablet and install it in exactly the same way you did on your PC

Google's instruction for downloading files is as follows:
"Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable. On your device, pull down your notification drawer by swiping down from the top of the screen. Touch the USB for... notification and then Transfer files (MTP). Use the Android File Transfer window that pops up on your computer to drag and drop files."

Please let me know if you manage to do it?

The menu item 'Print>Data Listing' on some of our calculators does not work.

This issue has been corrected in all of those calculators that were affected.

As it has only just been brought to our attention, we assume that this facility is of no great importance to most of our customers.
However, if you would like a corrected copy of your affected calculator(s), please notify us by email and we will send a copy to you.

Please note: Some of the more aggressive email servers reject emails with attachments of this type so it would help if you can issue us with a friendly email address for this facility.

Please advise how I can move this software to a new computer.

You can install it on any PC to which you have full administration rights (registry access). You use the same registration key in names.

This is of course proving you comply with our License Agreement

We have seen your Website and are interested in purchasing your Catenary and Centenary+

Please can you send any details of how we can make this purchase please.

Can it be downloaded on our comouter ?

Yes they both can

The procedure is as follows:
1) Go to [the bottom of the URL page] https://www.calqlata.com/proddetail.asp?prod=00003 and you will see a button that says "Add to cart". You click this button
2) Go to [the bottom of the URL page] https://www.calqlata.com/proddetail.asp?prod=00040 and you will see the same button (“Add to cart”). You click this button
3) Go to the top of this page where you will see another button ("Checkout"). You click this button
4) You then follow the instructions to pay with your credit card
5) You will automatically receive four emails:
   a. Order Confirmation & License for Catenary Calculator v1
   b. Order Confirmation & License for Catenary Calculator - Applied Load v1
   c. Order at your store
   d. Payment received from [your email address]
6) If you didn’t download the program at the time of purchase, the email titled "Order at your store" provides the instructions for you to ‘Late Download’
7) During installation, you will need to input the security information included in the emails titled “Order Confirmation & License for ..."

Should you have any problems with the download after payment (which shouldn’t occur), you send us an email and we will send you copies of the programs by email.

I have come across your website today and am keen to use your products, they look interesting. I am a chartered structural engineer.

I bought “catenary” today but when I went to install it my security package tells me that your file is a threat and has removed it from my system. D you have any comments?

Yes, your computer virus settings have been set to a very high level deleting any programs not included in its list of acceptable programs.
You should look for the list of acceptable programs and add the catenary program to the list or reduce the virus acceptance level.

I can assure you that none of our programs are a threat in any way whatsoever
We have sold thousands of them, none of which have presented such a threat to any of our customers

Could you please let me know if you give discounts on your calculators.

We are frequently asked for discounts on our calculators.
I am afraid it is not CalQlata's policy to discount our calculators for the following reasons:

1) CalQlata is a philanthropic organisation. None of its contributors or its operators are paid for their work.

2) Income from sales is used to pay for external services, which is currently greater than our income.

3) Access to our website is free to anybody and everybody.

4) All our programs cost our contributors a great deal in time and effort and much of their work is unique ; i.e. many, to our knowledge, cannot be found elsewhere (e.g. Friction, Pressure Vessels, Flexible Beams, UniQon, Mode Shapes, Plastic Stress, Lift Rigging and many more)

5) CalQlata provides calculators for individuals that require assistance with specific and particular subj ects; not Companies that can afford more expensive proprietary software

6) CalQlata's contributors define the sale price of their calculators and CalQlata is reluctant to approac h its contributors to ask permission to reduce their recommended price knowing the time and effort they have spent (months in some cases) to produce a calculator that cannot be found elsewhere, especially when it costs less than £10

We urge you to buy only what you need and make the best use of our website, which is free to all.

Could you please advise if the software payment is a single payment or a subscription.

CalQlata operates the site free to all (in accordance with our terms and conditions of use), i.e. no subscriptions or fees are required for its use, irrespective of whether or not the user has bought a program

The programs are a one off payment only for the program concerned

Important Note

You should receive two automated emails, that provide the security key and instructions on downloading your program, from CalQlata with each purchase.

We occasionally experience intermittent problems with our email service provider (or PayPal), and during such circumstances our 'Contact Us' messaging facility may not work.

If you are experiencing problems with our service, please take a look at the Q&A webpage for the program associated with your enquiry or our facebook page. We may have posted a message for you if we have not been able to contact you directly via your email address or your telephone number.
Contact us by 'Contact Us' message, facebook or email (info@calqlata.com) and and we will respond manually as soon as we can.

Can CalQlata software be used on an iPhone 6Plus, and also on an AppleMac computer?

I am afraid that the programs are written for techies, who almost always use Windows based PC operating systems.

Many moons ago, I posted a request for customers who were interested in different operating systems for the CalQlata programs and we didn't get a single request. You are, to-date, the first and only!

One of the reasons why our calculators are so cheap is that they are tailored for the PC systems only.

If, however, we find that sufficient interest is out there we will consider it.

CalQlata received the following recent enquiry:

"Can you tell what software runs your calculators? I cannot see anywhere in your information about what drives your application. Is it Excel or an independent executable file? Can it be run without an internet connection I.e. Is it "standalone"? If so, then do you offer the complete suite of calculators at a discounted price? Thank you."

Unfortunately, the enquirer's email address rejects all attempts to respond, therefore CalQlata has included its response here, just in case he accesses the site again:

All our calculators are stand-alone, compiled programs designed to work on Microsoft Windows operating systems from XP to 8. You may find some useful information on our general help page: www.CalQlata.com/technical-help-general.html, and their operational features in our web page; www.CalQlata.com/calqlata-how-they-work.html

They require no additional software (other than the computer’s operating system) nor do they need access to the internet to function fully. However, via the help menu in each calculator or directly through your internet browser, you can access the dedicated technical help page for each calculator, which, along with all of the information on our website is free for anyone to use.

With regard to a discount, CalQlata is a non-profit organisation that does not yet cover its running costs from its sales. All the contributors provide their time, experience and knowledge free of charge (nobody in the organisation receives any payment for their services) except for specials and modifications. Most of these calculators cost a great deal in terms of time and resources and are sold for a token sum simply to cover internet and programming costs.

It is therefore difficult for me to offer a discount on programs that cost virtually nothing (individually).

That said; if any client wishes to purchase a copy of every program on the site, I am prepared to ask the contributors if they would be willing to accept a discounted price and if so, what they would suggest.

Thanking you for your kind interest, even if you decide not to purchase any of our calculators, please feel free to use our website as much as you like.

Why does CalQlata take an age to download emails and software after purchase? CalQlata's delevery system is automatically initiated after PayPal has notified CalQlata that it has received payment for the sofwtare.
Unfortunately, PayPal has been known to take up to 15 minutes to process payment with CalQata delaying this delivery.
If you experience excessive delays having paid for your software (i.e. your notification of payment from PayPal has been instant) please email us a copy of your payment notification and we will send you the software and security keys manually.
Why does a CalQlata program declare that the wrong 'Key' has been installed immediately after installation? This problem will arise if the Security (or License) Key has not been entered during the installation procedure.

Your Security Key is a unique Hexadecimal Coded array of 24 numbers that looks like this:
and will arrive in an email from CalQlata (subject: Order Confirmation & License for Program Name) at the time of purchase.

For your information...
The ID and Password supplied in CalQlata's email subject: "Order at your store" are used only for access to CalQlata's website 'Late DownLoad' facility. They have nothing to do with program installation procedure.
I had a problem downloading a program when trying to download it more than 3 days after buying it?
What should I do if this happens again?
For security reasons, CalQlata has limited the 'Late-Download' facility to 3 days.
If you find yourself in such a position, you should contact CalQlata by email and you will be sent a zipped copy of the installation file.
However, given the very low price of our programs, which does not include personnel time for personal attention, CalQlata may impose a small charge for this facility.
We would like to know if units can be changed from metric to US ?
(CalQlata note: The above question was asked of Catenary, but applies equally well to all of our calculators)
There are no units in Catenary or Catenary+. Whatever units you put in, those are the units you get out
This is the case with most of our calculators except in the few where the imposition of units is necessary, and in such cases there is always an automatic conversion provided.
What should I do if I get a message identifying "unkown Publisher" during installation? Re. installation message: "Do you want a program from an unknown publisher ......"
We too have experienced this on some machines. You should simply click the 'Yes' button
The programs are perfectly safe
I'm having problems with installation 'access permissions' during installation
What can I do to overcome this?
First: You must make sure that you have Administrator rights
Second: You must make sure you clear the programs for use in your anti-virus software settings
I have a few comments on your math section.
1. In the section about max/min problems, you say that when dy/dx = 0, the function has a max or a min. However, there are functions that satisfy y'(x) = 0 but x is not a max or a min. For example, y = x^3 at x = 0.
2. On a similar note, there are functions where y''(x) = 0 but x is not an inflection point. For example, y = x^4 at x = 0.
3. In the section on algebra formulas, you write a^(1/x) = Sqrt[a], when you mean to write the x^th root of a. I suspect this is a typo, but I wanted to point it out anyway.
Re. Points 1 & 2: You are of course correct. The text concerning this subject was devised simply to explain with minimum complexity to those with little or no understanding of the subject; how to find maximum and minimum values for y in non-linear relationships with x. But your valid point has now been addressed by a footnote.
Re. point 3. This was indeed a typo and has now been corrected.
Thank you for your comments. All of which are welcome

The following proposition for a program was put forward by Patrick Gray (USA):

By the way, I am working on a bridge design and I would like to see a calculator that helps to estimate the safety of a curved steel structural tube as it holds up bridge components.

My thought would be for you to create a Part one called Curve Creator

In this Part One would be the ability to choose a curve type (catenary or parabola), choose the units, choose the maximum x value for the curve and the maximum y value for the curve, and the start of the curve would always be at x=0, y=0. The user would also specify the location of the end of the curve with the requirement that the end of the curve must be in a location where its x value is greater than one half of the max x value specified, and the same would apply to the y value of the end of the curve (it must be greater than one half of the max y value specified). The program would then show values for the variables that specify the curve and the user would change these values until the displayed curve was as best as an approximation of the user’s actual curve as the user could get. The purpose of this Part One would be to give the program a curve to work with that has an exact mathematical specification for the variables that make up the curve.

In Part Two called Curve Forces Evaluator, the user would specify loading forces to be placed on the curve (up to 10 different forces). The user would specify the x value for the location of these forces and the program would determine a y value that would locate that force on the curve at the x value specified. The user would type in the force of gravity, and the direction of the gravity force by using a 0-360 degree wheel type display. The program would be constrained that the curve is planar and the curve exists in the x and y plane only, that gravity pulls on the curve with the force and direction as specified, and that all entered forces pushing on the curve, will push with the force amount specified and all forces will also push in the same direction as is specified for gravity. The user would enter properties for the tube including the outside diameter and the wall thickness of the tube, and strength and elasticity values for the steel type that makes up the tube. The form of the tube would be specified by the program specifically that at all centerline points along the length of the tube, these centerline points will be located along the curve, and that the diameter and thickness of the steel tube does not change over the length of the tube.

The program will calculate the values for the change of the location of the centerline of the tube under the effect of the forces applied in both the x axis of the tube and the y axis of the tube. It will also calculate the length of straight tube needed to create the curved tube of the program, the weight of the curved tube, and the forces generated by the two ends of the tube (these forces would be how much each end of the tube is pushing in the direction of gravity, and how much each of the two ends of the tube were pushing in a direction at 90 degrees to the force of gravity, and how much each end of the tube is pushing in the direction of the axis of the tube at its two ends.

The program would display a line going from x= 0 to x= max of x, and would display the x deviation of the tube due to the forces on the tube. It would also display the variations of the y value of the tube, it would also display the axial load on the tube at each x location. The user could choose to display the deviations as actual numbers or as a percentage of the max value of x that the curve attained.

It would also display the same values for a line that stretches from y=0 to y= max of y

The point of this calculator would be a method that one could create a curved tubular structural steel element to act as a support member for a bridge, one could then ask this program to create a mathematically "pure" version of this curved element with the user using control of the mathematical description of the "pure" curve to get the best fit that the user could get for the curve he or she wants to use. Then the user could apply the forces onto this curved element that would be applied by the bridge and then the user could evaluate the curved tubular steel element to see if it were strong enough or not, with deformation of shape being the determinant of adequacy of strength.

I am happy to describe this more if it interests you, and if you want to create it, please do, and you do not need to mention that I had any contribution to it. I would love to use it if it existed. It is very difficult to establish without paying large amounts of money for very specialized programs whether a curved tubular steel support element is reasonable or not for its proposed purpose of supporting the weight (or a portion of the weight) of a bridge.

Firstly may I thank you for your calculator suggestions "Curve Generator" and "Curve Forces Evaluator", which is very interesting. We shall of course consider them and if we decide to go ahead you will be credited with the idea and provided with a free copy.
However, I should point out that...
CalQlata is a non-profit organisation that uses specialist contributors to generate its program procedures. The people we use are not cheap, and because of the prices we charge for our calculators we need to select subjects that appeal to a very wide market in order to generate sufficient funds to enable us to commission new ones.

Our calculators may look simple, as is our intention; they are however anything but simple inside. Many of our calculators (e.g. Friction, Mode Shapes, Combined Stress, Beams+, Catenary+, Buoyancy, to name but a few) include mathematical processes and information you will not find in any reference book as they are generated by the engineers themselves. Our unit converter (UniQon) that you purchased is one of our two favourite calculators (Elements being the other). It occupied an engineer for 2 months generating the conversion factors from scratch to at least 13 significant figures for the greatest possible accuracy and its ‘Constants’ have been recreated using the original formulas together with up-to-date nuclear properties (where appropriate). Elements, with its interactive periodic table, was similarly expensive for us to produce due to the level of accuracy we wanted.

From time to time we are asked to generate specialist programs for our customers but they are very expensive and unique. They are made available only to the customer concerned. But this is not what CalQlata is about. Our aim is to make easily accessible calculators for as many people as we can in order to generate interest in technical subjects. We try to avoid specialist subjects that appeal to very few users and are admirably catered for by other providers.

That said, I shall pass on your suggestion to a couple of our contributors for an opinion. If we feel that we can generate a sufficiently wide appeal (and financial return), we shall add it to the list of "programs to follow" and let you know when we plan to release it.

At 13:45 hours on Thursday the 5th of February 2015, we had a message posted on our facebook page claiming that CalQlata is a Scam from a customer that apparently did not receive his security code emails.

Firstly, I would like to state quite strongly that CalQlata is not a scam. We are a non-profit organisation providing free information on our website and selling programs at a tiny fraction of their compilation cost.

CalQlata responded by email to the customer concerned (13:29 hours) within 4 minutes of receiving notification from the customer (13:25 hours) that the emails had not been sent but received no further communication from the customer. Immediately after placing the 'scam' message on our facebook page, a CalQlata member tried twice to call the customer to find out why he was not responding to our emails. We could not get the customer to answer his telephone.

I should like to point out that when purchasing a CalQlata program, it is essential that you are able receive our emails. Therefore can you please do one or more of the following things prior to placing your order:
Add info@calqlata.com to your safe-sender's list
Check your Junk or Spam email box
Make sure that your email service provider does not automatically block emails from unknown senders

Should you still receive no emails from us immediately after purchase, please send us a message via our facebook page. If you have supplied a telephone number with your order details we will call you to sort out any problems you may be having.