by Steve Lopez

ChessBase Magazine (CBM for short) subscribers have by now received the latest issue: #81. This issue comes on two CDs; the second CD is an updated Player Encyclopedia for ChessBase 8 users. Aside from some updated information, the advantage to replacing your old Players Encyclopedia (PE) with the new version is that the PE now uses JPG files instead of BMP files for the player images and photos. JPGs are much smaller than BMPs, so the PE will take less space on your hard drive. (By the way, individual issues of ChessBase Magazine are available for purchase by non-subscribers; contact your national ChessBase distributor for details and prices).

In the December 24, 2000 issue of ETN, we saw how to load the original PE found on the ChessBase 8 CD. The procedure for the CBM 81 version is similar but, instead of pointing the CB8 program to the file playbase.plh in the Playbase folder on the ChessBase 8 CD, you'll point it to the same file on the CBM 81 Player's Encyclopedia CD. Rather than repeat the information, I'll just refer you back to that issue of ETN. Note that the file playbase.plh is not located in a folder on the CBM 81 PE CD; it's just hanging out there loose (in the root directory of the CD).

However, there are a couple of things of which you should be aware. You'll want to manually delete your old PE from your hard drive before installing the new version. Allow me to quote from the December 24, 2000 ETN article:

The first step in installing the PE is to create a folder for it. This isn't (strictly speaking) necessary but I personally think it's a good idea. You can certainly install the PE to an existing folder but I just found it better (from a hard drive management perspective) to create a new Playbase subfolder within my ChessBase 8 folder. As always, your mileage may vary.

And now we see why I made that suggestion -- I anticipated an upgraded PE for some future time. If you installed the PE to its own folder (and I'm making the assumption that you know what folder you installed it into), all you need to do is delete that folder (either by highlighting it in Windows Explorer or dragging and dropping the folder from the My Computer display over to the Recycle Bin on your Desktop -- as always, I'm not here to give basic Windows instruction; consult your Windows documentation). Once that folder is gone, you can just create a new folder (even one with the same name and in the same hard drive location) and install the new PE to that folder.

Installing the PE is a somewhat time consuming process. Of course, the exact amount of time depends on your hardware: processor, hard drive access speed, and CD-ROM drive speed. My computer is fairly state of the art and the process took about ten minutes. For older computers, particularly those with slower 2x or 4x CD drives, this can be a lot longer. We're not talking about an overnight process here, but I just want you to be aware that the copying process isn't instantaneous, even on a very fast computer.

When you start the process, you'll see the words "Preparing to copy". This will appear to do nothing for a minute or longer. Your computer is not locked up -- exercise a bit of patience here. It's reading the CD and creating subfolders on your hard drive in which to store the PE info.

Then you'll see the "Copy" popup, which will show you that the PE is indeed being copied. This is the time consuming part of the process, as the PE contains over 12,000 files. Once the copying process is finished, you'll see "Removing write protection" appear in the information bar at the bottom of the CB8 screen. After a few moments, you'll see "Done" appear in the bar. That's it -- you're finished.

So the process is pretty straightforward: delete the old PE, follow the steps in ETN for December 24, 2000 to point CB8 to the new playbase.plh file (keeping in mind that it's not on the CB8 CD but in the root directory of the CBM 81 Player Encyclopedia CD), and wait for the process to complete. You'll wind up with the new PE, with updated player info and a total file size about two-thirds the size of the original PE (about 412 MB compared to about 650 MB for the original).

And for info on how to use the Player Encyclopedia once you have it installed, see the ETN issues for December 24, 2000 and January 7, 2001.

Until next week, have fun!

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