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Window XP - Detailed Instructions for Downloading, Extracting, and Using STONEPICS.EXE

This page is for computer users who want a detailed description of how to download, extract and use stonepics.exe on a computer operating under Windows XP.

  1. Click on the filename stonepics.exe to download the self-extracting zip file.

  2. A small window labeled "File Download" will pop open and ask, "Would you like to open the file or save it to your computer?" Click on the SAVE button.

  3. A window labeled "Save As" will open. Click on the "DESKTOP" icon on the left side of that window, then click on the SAVE button in the lower right corner of the window.

  4. A new window will open to show the status of the download process. If you have a slow dial-up internet connection, it may take several minutes for this process to complete. When the download is complete close the window by clicking on the CLOSE button.

  5. Now close or minimize all applications that are open so that you will have an unobstructed view of your computer desktop. Look for an icon named "stonepics.exe" and double-click to open it.

    (Note: A Windows error message stating that this is, "Not a valid Win32 application" is generated when the download process terminated prematurely and the entire file was not successfully downloaded. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, the problem may be that you are using either Internet Explorer or your service provider is AOL. If you are using Microsoft Internet explorer, it has probably cached the incomplete file. Go to TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS... > GENERAL and DELETE FILES. Next check the box to DELETE ALL OFF-LINE CONTENT. If you are using AOL with a slow dial-up connection, the problem may be that AOL is terminating your connection during the download process which they consider to be a period of inactivity. To combat the AOL design defect, you should occasionally check your e-mail until the download is complete so that AOL doesn't treat your connection as inactive. Also you might try downloading in the middle of the night or some other time when internet traffic is relative quiet.)

  6. A small window labeled "WinZip Self-Extractor [STONEPIC.EXE]" will open. Now click on the UNZIP button.

  7. In a second smaller window that opens click on the button labeled OK. After it closes, click on the CLOSE button on the previous window. At this point the downloaded StonePics files are stored on your C-drive in a folder called "stonepics".

  8. To use the new StonePics files you just created, look for the "My Computer" icon on your computer desktop. Double-click on it to open a window labeled "My Computer" which will show the list of disk drives and CD-ROM drives on your computer. The C-drive may have a long name like MAIN (C:) or HARD DISK (C:), but is easily recognized because it ends with "(C:)".   Double-click on the C-drive to open it.

  9. A window labeled C:\ will open to display a list of the yellow folders saved on the C-drive. (The list may also contain some individual filenames as well.) Locate a yellow folder icon named "stonepics". If it is not visible use the scroll bar on the right side of the window to scroll down to it. Double-click on the "stonepics" folder to see its contents.

  10. Inside the "stonepics" folder you will find the four files created during the download and extraction process: bignames.txt, bn_help.htm, dig.exe, and dig_help.htm. Depending on how your computer is set up for viewing file names, you may or may not see the .txt, .htm or .exe filename extension amended to the filenames. Here is a description of each file in the c:\stonepics folder:

    • bignames.txt - a text file containing over 221,000 cemetery records which can be searched visually or with dig.exe.

    • bn_help.htm - an HTML file containing information helpful for interpreting records in bignames.txt. It's identical to one of the web pages at this website.

    • dig.exe - an application designed for searching bignames.txt.

    • dig_help.htm - an HTML help file containing instructions and examples for dig.exe. It's identical to one of the web pages at this website.

  11. If you have a fast computer with lots of memory you can double-click on the bignames file to have a look at the huge number of names and dates in it. (If you have an old/slow computer it is best to view a portion of it from the StonePics web page called "Preview Part of the Database" else your computer may bog down to a halt.) Opening the bignames file is a cumbersome and inefficient way to search for a record, so after looking around, close the file and use the search utility to extract the records you want. (At StonePics we seldom open the bignames file as you just did. The risk of inadvertently editing/changing it is too great. We use the search utility dig.exe.)

  12. Now try out the dig utility to extract records of interest from bignames. Start "digging" by double-clicking on the file named dig. A window labeled "dig" will open showing some examples of how to request various kinds of searches. Briefly look at the examples shown. Items being search for are typically enclosed in square [ ] or curly { } brackets unless you are deciphering town codes/names.

  13. Try this example to learn the basic technique:   Suppose you want to search for a man who went by the name of "Charles Batstone". "Charles" may have been his given or middle name, but you don't know for sure. Break the name into two parts and enclose each part separately in brackets like this: [charles][batstone]   Press Enter on the keyboard to start the search. A list of all records will be displayed that contain all items in your search request. Notice that one of the records found shows "Charles" for a middle name:

    NF046 : ENH02   BATSTONE, James Charles (1958) - 1 photo

    From the information in this record you can determine that there is one photo on CD number NF046 and that the cemetery code is ENH02. To quickly determine which town is represented by ENH, just enter the town code ENH without brackets, and the full name of the town will be displayed:

    ENH - English Harbour

    If you wanted driving directions to cemetery ENH02 where he is buried, go back to the StonePics web page for "Towns/Cemeteries Completed", look for English Harbour, and click on the CD number English Harbour NF046. Look through the list of the cemeteries on that CD and click on the one labeled ENH02. Another window will open to display the cemetery's location including the exact latitude and longitude.

  14. Remember the window you opened a few minutes ago where you found the four download files bignames, dig, etc.? Look again at that window and you will find a new file created to save the results of the search you just completed. The filename should be:

    Search Results - [batstone] [charles].txt

    Double-click on this file to have a look at it. It contains your search results, and is especially useful if your search found a lot of matching records and they all scrolled by too quickly for you to see the ones at the top. You can edit, modify, and rename this file however you want without causing any problems. The search results files are relatively small, but occasionally you should delete unwanted files so they don't waste room on your hard drive.

  15. If you use dig frequently for your Newfoundland research, you might find it handy to create a "shortcut" on your desktop that allows you to launch it quickly without having to search for it with "My Computer". To create a short-cut, use the other mouse button to right-click on the dig icon. Select Create Shortcut. A new icon will appear in the stonepics folder labeled Shortcut to dig. Use your mouse to drag it onto your desktop. Double-click on the shortcut whenever you want to perform a quick search.

  16. One of the four files you downloaded is called dig_help. Look through it to find many more examples of interesting searches you can perform with dig.

  17. One last thing you might want to do is remove the stonepics.exe file from your desktop that was downloaded from the StonePics website. You may choose to delete it, but it would be better to drag it into the stonepics folder and keep it with the other files. That way if you accidentally delete the database file bignames, you can quickly regenerate it by double-clicking on stonepics.exe to re-run the installation without having to download it again.