Frequently asked questions
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is the current version of MTDATA?
The current version
of MTDATA is version 5.10. All versions of MTDATA show their
version numbers in the Window Title Bar. You can also find extra
information about the version of MTDATA by selecting "About" from the
help menu in any of the GUIs.
are the system requirements for using MTDATA?
Any modern PC should
be able to run MTDATA. There are natively-running versions available
for Windows (GUI and command-line) and UNIX (command-line only at time
of writing). MTDATA should be able to run on any machine that is
capable of running Windows 95 or better - the only effect of lower
specifications will be longer
MTDATA work on Windows
Yes! MTDATA has been
tested on all recent versions of the Windows Operating System, and will
with older versions too. So whether you are still using a very old
Windows 95, or
a modern version such as Windows 7, MTDATA should still work well. At
NPL we run MTDATA
ourselves in Windows XP, so that is the system it is currently
MTDATA work on Mac OS X?
Yes, but not
natively. For the typical user, one possibility to consider should be
virtualisation - consider looking into VirtualBox, or VMWare
Fusion - or else one of the wine ports for Mac - for example Crossover.
If you are serious about wanting to get it running natively on a Mac,
please get in touch.
MTDATA work on Mac OS classic (v9 and earlier)?
Good question. We
have not tested MTDATA on these systems, but we recommend that you
consider (as above)
your options for virtualising. You can always download
the free MTDATA evaluation to take it for a spin - and if
you get anywhere we would love to hear
MTDATA work on Linux (Unix-based) systems?
Yes! We have a native
Unix version available - though as it stands there is no GUI, it is
command-line only. We are looking into the possibility of developing a
GUI for the UNIX version of MTDATA, so if this would be helpful to you,
please do get in touch
and let us know. If having a GUI is an immediate requirement, do
consider using our Windows version under virtualisation, or under wine.
there a portable / web-accessible version of MTDATA?
Not at this time,
however if this would be something you find useful, do get in touch and let us know
as we have been considering this.
there a high precision version of MTDATA?
Yes, although it is
not included as standard in the normal distribution of MTDATA, as
calculation times are much larger due to the improved accuracy demanded
of it. However, if using this product would be helpful to you or your
company, please get in contact
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do I download MTDATA?
Please fill out our online
form and you will be directed to the download page for the
MTDATA evaluation copy. The form simply allows us to keep track of how
many people are downloading MTDATA, where it is being used, and allows
us to contact you about your download if necessary - all information
provided is subject to NPL's Privacy
Policy. The evaluation version does not expire, although it
limited in functionality, and has access to demonstration data only -
please see the question below "What is the difference between the
evaluation version of MTDATA and the full version?" for more details.
If you are a
licence-holder, you can download a copy of MTDATA from here.
do I install MTDATA?
Please ensure you
have downloaded a copy of MTDATA from our site.
Then simply proceed to run the installer from the location it was
Please note that if
MTDATA is to be used by users who do not have administrator privileges
on the machine, then you may need to install MTDATA to a folder where
they will have write-access, or, as an administrator, change the file
permissions of the folder to give them write-access (do this by first
right-clicking on the MTDATA folder, choose "Properties", then the
"Security" tab. Then ensure that either the group "Users" or the
relevant user from the top list is given "Full Control" by checking the
relevant box and clicking "Apply").
There may possibly be
more up-to-date versions of databases supplied as part of an
MTDATA setup installation package. You can check this by looking at the
download page from which you can also
download and install more recent versions.
do I activate MTDATA?
version of MTDATA no longer expires after 30 days, however its
functionality is limited, and has access to trial databases only. To
gain full access to MTDATA or to use any of the full databases you
should obtain a full licence. Please contact
us for more information. If you already have a licence to use
MTDATA you will need to activate it for use on your computer by sending
us your computer id in a file "mtinfo.txt" created by MTDATA (Tools
menu, and select "Show Permit Information" in WinMT).
receive a permit error code when attempting to run MTDATA. What does it
There are four common
permit codes returned by MTDATA to indicate that the permit should be
indicates that the computer is not
registered in the permit
indicates that the version of MTDATA
has not been authorised
indicates that the permit has expired
indicates that the user (i.e. login
name) has not been registered
If you feel that you
a valid permit it may be that you have stored it in the wrong folder
and that MTDATA is picking up an old permit file: please check that
latest permit file is in the MTDATA licence sub-folder, and that all
previous licences have been removed from the MTDATA file system
altogether. Please contact us
if you still have any problems and we will do our best to help.
to MTDATA seems to have expired. How do I update my permit?
Please contact us. If you have a
permanent licence to use MTDATA you will be sent be new permit by
return. If your licence is annual you should already have been invoiced
for the extra year's licence fee.
no longer seems to work. Help?
Firstly please check
version of MTDATA is not already running. If it is please close this
down either from
within the program, or, if necessary, by using the Windows Task
Manager. If there is still
a problem check that
other applications run as normal - if they do not then it is likely
your problem lies elsewhere and we will be unable to help you directly.
Next try restarting your computer, and closing all other applications
that may be running when you try to run MTDATA. Also check whether
anything you have changed recently on your system has affected any
MTDATA files - if there is any chance something has, you can try
reinstalling MTDATA to see if that fixes the problem. However if you
do, please ensure you backup all your files before reinstalling - we
cannot claim liability for loss of data brought on by reinstallation.
If everything else works as expected and you still can't get
MTDATA to work, or would just like to talk to a friendly helpful
person, please contact Hugh Davies
and provide details about any error message(s) that appear - hopefully
he will be able to help you further.
would like to / have moved MTDATA from my current computer. What do I
need to do?
Please contact us. If you have
support in using MTDATA we will normally be happy to provide you with a
new permit for using MTDATA on your new computer.
is running slowly, is there any way to speed it up?
If you are using
WinMT, please consider using the command-line versions. Due
to limitations in the application compilation process, WinMT
seems to be limited in speed to around the level of a 1GHz
processor, and is unable to make use of hardware beyond this. The
command-line versions of MTDATA and MTDATA Studio and Lanchpad
currently have no such limitations, and
have been known to calculate as much as five times faster than the
equivalent calculations performed in WinMT.
If you are using the
command-line interface within WinMT, please bear in mind
that it is subject to the same limitations as the rest of WinMT, and
that using a native command-line version will
increase your calculation speeds significantly.
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time using MTDATA. Anything I should know?
If this is
time you are using MTDATA, you may find the built-in help menus
is a "Getting Started" article in the help files, with a direct link
from the "Help" menu in WinMT. The standard keyboard shortcut of "F1"
should bring up context sensitive help in many areas of the GUI
applications, or you can browse the entire help file by choosing
"Contents" from the "Help" menu in WinMT. Further information about
using Graphucal User Interface of WinMT can be
found on the appropriate part of the MTDATA
website. Full information
about the command line interface is also available.
and demonstration instructions (alternative
link) also have a few example calculations you can perform in
order to get you started with the application. Finally please also read
the answer to the question "How do I use MTDATA?" below for links to
is the difference between the evaluation version of MTDATA and the full
version no longer expires after 30 days, so the application is no
longer time limited as it used to be.
functionality in the MTDATA evaluation version is limited, for example
it supports up to three components only in your system, with a total of
phases, containing up to 27 species in total. In contrast a standard
licenced version of
MTDATA has limits respectively set at 30, 500 and 1000.
Specialised versions of MTDATA with larger limits may be available on
you have access to trial databases only, which are updated only
infrequently, and have relatively limited ranges of systems. Licenced
MTDATA users, however, can buy access to a wide range of databases, all
maintained and updated regularly by us.
evaluation user, you have no direct support from us. However we have
attempted to make a certain level of help available even to evaluation
users, including this FAQ, help documentation on our secondary site,
and if you contact us
we may be able to answer specific queries.
my ternary system, where is the binary calculation option? / In my binary
system, where is the ternary calculation option?
ternary phase diagram calculation options in WinMT are system-specific. That is, in a system
with three components the option for a ternary phase diagram calculation is available, and
in a system with two components the option for a binary phase diagram calculation is
available, but otherwise they are not available. However the multiphase
calculations and plots are available for all systems.
clicked "Plot" but there's nothing in the graph! What now?
need to click
within the graph to start the calculations - you may have left the option
"Start point from graphics cursor" selected. This is because of how
MTDATA is configured to search for relevant phases. If you do not want
to have to do this every time, there is an option before choosing
"Plot" to allow MTDATA to automatically choose the start point. In
future versions of MTDATA this should become the default value, but for
now you must ensure you specify it before plotting.
have clicked on the diagram (with the left mouse button)
and still see nothing, do not panic, some regions in graphs do not
trigger full-diagram phase-calculations. In some single-phase regions
it may appear that nothing has happened, but a black dot will still
appear where you clicked. Try clicking elsewhere (with the left mouse button) in the diagram if you
really prefer not to start calculations automatically, or try a new
diagram to convince yourself it is working as expected before coming back
to the original diagram. Alternatively you could try to click with the right mouse button which
will display on the diagram the phase (or phases) calculated to be stable at that composition and temperature.
cannot close the graph - help! / What does it mean that it cannot close the
window while a calculation is in progress?
To end the
calculation and close the window, please hold the Control modifier key,
and left click with the mouse anywhere in the plot's window.
'calculation', clicking in the graph using the left mouse button will begin a new set of
calculations. This can be useful in certain circumstances, however the
downside of this is that you must currently tell MTDATA you want to
stop calculating. Ending the calculation means you will be unable to
add further labels, or use any other graphing functionality. Once the
calculation has ended, you are free to close the window. It might be worth noting that a graph
whose calculation has ended is equivalent to a displayed metafile. It may be printed or saved for subsequent use.
does an "Output" window come up when I attempt to perform a calculation using
multiphase for a fixed temperature in WinMT?
that since the temperature is fixed, there is nothing to plot, but
simply sets of single data values. Hence while one could tabulate the
output, it is perhaps cleaner to display it in the usual "Output" window
if you attempt to close the "Output" window and nothing happens - this
is expected! Please read the question "How do I close the 'Output'
window in WinMT?" below for more information.
do I close the "Output" window in WinMT?
- this is
by design. The "Output" window is used for all terminal output from
calculations using MTDATA - remember that at its heart MTDATA uses many
command-line commands to calculate, and so a certain amount of output
will only ever be shown through this window.
while you cannot close the window, you are able to minimize it again,
and in case you had not noticed, that window was actually open the
entire time you were using the application - it is just that it starts
minimised by default!
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to Common Problems
answers get slightly more technically specific towards the end, however
they are still some of the questions that we get asked more frequently.
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13 September 2011