US visitors please come HERE

We recommend that you read this “Getting Started” document prior to using AlpaFarm—you will find these step-by-step instructions and screenshots a useful starting point.

(If you are entering data into Trialware Edition, your data remain intact for as long as you care to leave them on your computer, even when the program times out—please read the What is Free Trialware? article on this website for more information.)

If you have records stored in other applications you wish to import, please contact us.

The beauty of a relational database like AlpaFarm is that you only enter common data once—they need never be typed in again. So may we suggest you dedicate some quiet time, dig out your favourite album, put the kettle on, and follow this plan for optimatisation and efficiency:

How to Download and Install AlpaFarm from the Optimate Website
Getting Started
Registration
Support

How to Download and Install AlpaFarm from the Optimate Website

Please refer to the How to Download and Install AlpaFarm from the Optimate Website document on this website for detailed instructions, including screenshots.

Getting Started

1. Begin by creating a (more or less) complete file of Herd Prefixes used by you.
  1. With AlpaFarm open, select References : Herd Prefixes from the AlpaFarm menu. A “Browse the Herd Prefix File” Browse window will appear with some sample data.
    Browse the Herd Prefix File
  2. To add a Herd Prefix, click the Insert a new Record “Insert a new Record” button.
  3. An “Adding a Herd Prefix Record” Form window will appear.
    Adding a Herd Prefix Record
  4. Enter the first Herd Prefix and corresponding Herd Code in the appropriate fields. The Herd Code will automatically enter in uppercase, independent of the CAPS LOCK key.
    The “Stud Name” field is optional—you may wish to use this to note the official name (for instance, is it XYZ Alpacas or XYZ Alpaca Stud?), or if the Stud / Farm Name differs from the Herd Prefix (yes, this does happen!).
  5. Click OK to enter and save the data. The Form window will disappear, and your newly entered data will appear in the Browse window.
  6. Repeat Steps b to e for as many Herd Prefixes as you wish to record. You can always come back and add more Herd Prefixes later on.
  7. Click the Help “Help” button at any time for context-sensitive help.
  8. You can easily edit your data at any time, when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Edit This Record “Edit This Record” button.
  9. You can easily delete data at any time (including the sample data provided), when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Delete This Record “Delete This Record” button.
2. Next, enter all your alpacas into the Alpacas File (Alpaca Master File).
  1. With AlpaFarm open, select Alpacas : Alpacas from the AlpaFarm menu. A “Browse the Alpaca File” Browse window will appear with some sample data.
    Browse the Alpaca File
  2. To add an alpaca, click the Insert a new Record “Insert a new Record” button.
  3. An “Adding an Alpaca Record” Form window will appear.
    Adding an Alpaca Record
  4. Enter as much or as little data as you like in the appropriate fields, but always specify the Herd Prefix (even for wethers) and animal name.
  5. Click OK to enter and save the data. The Form window will disappear, and your newly entered data will appear in the Browse window.
  6. Repeat Steps b to e for as many alpacas as you wish to record. You can always come back and add more alpacas later on.
  7. Click the Help “Help” button at any time for context-sensitive help.
  8. You can easily edit your data at any time, when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Edit This Record “Edit This Record” button.
  9. You can easily delete data at any time (including the sample data provided), when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Delete This Record “Delete This Record” button.
3. Now create a Paddock Master File.
  1. With AlpaFarm open, select Paddocks : Paddocks from the AlpaFarm menu. A “Browse the Paddock File” Browse window will appear with some sample data.
    Not all animals are necessarily physically with you, and the four sample “paddocks” that come with AlpaFarm represent the flexibility you have in assigning locations for your herd. While “Front” could be a physical location on your property, you may agist with other studs, or your stud male may be on lease interstate. We added “ABC Alpacas”, “South Australia” and “Vet hospital” to the list as examples of the different and creative ways you can define so-called “logical” Paddock Names.
    Browse the Paddock File
  2. To add a paddock, click the Insert a new Record “Insert a new Record” button.
  3. An “Adding a Paddock Record” Form window will appear.
    Adding a Paddock Record
  4. Add your own paddock name with as little or as much data as you see fit.
  5. Click OK to enter and save the data. The Form window will disappear, and your newly entered paddock will appear in the Browse window.
  6. Repeat Steps b to e for as many paddocks as you wish to record, both pyhsical and logical. You can always come back and add more paddocks later on.
  7. Click the Help “Help” button at any time for context-sensitive help.
  8. You can easily edit your data at any time, when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Edit This Record “Edit This Record” button.
  9. You can easily delete data at any time (including the sample data provided), when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Delete This Record “Delete This Record” button.
4. Give your alpacas a location.

If an animal has a Locator record, it is in the Herdbook (and the Master File).
Otherwise, it is in the Master File (only).

  • Select Alpacas : Locator. A “Browse Locator” multi-paned window will appear with some sample data as well as the alpacas you added and the paddocks you added.
    Browse Locator
  • To add a single Locator record at a time, click the Insert a new Record “Insert a new Record” button.
    Adding a Locator record will put the animal into the Herdbook.
    (To add more than one record at a time, click the Insert Many Records “Insert Many” button.)
  • An “Adding a Location Record” Form window will appear.
    Adding a Locator Record
  • Select your paddock and alpaca from the lists. People with Trialware Edition will only be able to choose from the four sample “paddocks” provided. People with higher Editions will be able to select from as many (physical or logical) paddocks as they entered in Part 3.
  • Click OK to enter and save the data. The Form window will disappear, and your newly entered location will appear in the Browse window.
  • Repeat Steps b to e for as many alpaca locations you wish to record. You can always come back and add more locations later on.
  • Click the Help “Help” button at any time for context-sensitive help.
  • You can easily edit your data at any time, when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking either the Edit This Record “Edit This Record” button.
  • You can easily delete data at any time (including the sample data provided), when the Browse window is open and the record is highlighted, by clicking the Delete This Record “Delete This Record” button.
    Deleting a Locator record will move the animal out of the Herdbook—it will not delete the animal.
  • You can move animals from one location to another by:
    1. clicking (or CTRL-clicking) on the animal(s) in the left-hand pane
    2. clicking on the location in the right-hand pane
    3. clicking on the arrow (->) button between the two panes
    Clicking on the arrow button will move the highlighted animal(s) to the highlighted location (after asking you for the date of the move, for the animal movement history Alpacas : Locator History).
  • You now have the beginnings of a sound database. As you explore and use the rest of AlpaFarm, you'll soon find that all these data will automatically appear when you need them, making this time well spent.

    You can delete the sample data at any time.

    Registration

    Any Edition of AlpaFarm other than Trialware requires an Unlock Code, which you can purchase right here. Without an Unlock Code, AlpaFarm is unregistered and will run as Trialware Edition.

    You may purchase AlpaFarm online at www.alpafarm.com/prices.html. (Please read our Privacy Policy.) We accept Visa and MasterCard.

    Provide your name(s) and stud / farm name exactly as you want them to appear, using uppercase and/or lowercase letters as desired. This is very important, as an unlocked/upgraded Edition of AlpaFarm will display this information in the Titlebar and Status bar of your program as well as in all Reports you generate with AlpaFarm.

    Once payment has been processed, we will generate a unique code with which you can unlock your program.

    Once you receive your unique code from Optimate, open the Enter Unlock Code menu item (Registration : Enter Unlock Code).

    Enter the Unlock Code

    Type in your details exactly as they appear on your Registration Certificate (or copy and paste from the email we send), click OK, and your program will automatically upgrade to the Edition you requested. The name of the Edition will display in the Titlebar, and the name of your stud / farm will show in both the Titlebar and the Status bar.

    Stud details

    To see how your name and stud / farm name will appear on Reports when in Trialware mode, type “trialware” in the “Unlock Code” field of Registration : Unlock Code!

    Trialware Alpaca Report

    Support

    We offer free support, even for Trialware.

    Mind you, AlpaFarm is so intuitive and easy to learn that we hardly ever receive requests for support. Nonetheless, though we make every effort to make AlpaFarm as user-friendly as possible, we realise that people may still encounter difficulties.

    AlpaFarm comes with an extensive HTML Help system (Help : Contents), with full Index and Search facilities to simplify the search for answers. You can read HTML Help like a book from beginning to end, or move around with the hyperlinks.

    AlpaFarm Help, available from the main menu via Help : Contents

    AlpaFarm Help

    If, however, you cannot solve your problem with the documentation, fear not!

    We offer free support, even for Trialware.

    You can even email Optimate Computer Systems from within AlpaFarm itself (Help : Email Technical Support). No need to look for an email address, or to “remember to contact Optimate later”—the hard stuff is done for you. All you need do is type in your question(s) and send. If you’re not online at the time, simply save the email ready to send when next you are online (in Outlook Express, this is File : Send Later). Alternatively, fax your question(s) to us on +61 2 4227 5975.