RATS/CATS Technical Support

Support is not cheap, but we think it is an important part of what you have paid for. This page describe the procedures for obtaining support and the level of support which you can expect from us.

Your Serial Number

If you have a regular license, you have been assigned a serial number. This will be on your invoice, license agreement or CD envelope. If it's not already being displayed in your "About RATS" dialog on the software, you can use the "Preferences" dialog to add it—the field for it is at the top of the dialog. When contacting technical support, please supply your serial number so we can verify that you have a valid license, and so that we know which version of RATS you are using.

If you have a "classroom" or a "trial" version of RATS, (which aren't serialized) please let us know that. With a classroom license, you will need to let us know where you are a student.

"How To?" and Programming Questions

Many of these questions can be answered by checking the index and the table of contents in the manuals carefully. Also, look through the many example programs and procedures included with RATS, as well as those available on the website—you may find an existing procedure that does what you need, or an example program that shows how to handle the task at hand. The RATS forum also is a handy resource. If you include "RATS" in a request to a search engine, it will generally find any examples of ours which might be relevant, as it will search across both our examples and procedures pages and our forum.

If you still have questions, you can e-mail or call our technical support department with your query. The answers to these sorts of questions generally fall into four categories:

  1. Yes, the required information can be found in the RATS manual via the index or table of contents. Please be sure to check these first.
  2. Yes, you can use the instruction ...
  3. Yes, but it takes a little work (a short sequence of instructions).
  4. No, or at least it would be very difficult and require extensive programming.

Many of the suggestions made by users have helped to improve our product, so we try to be as helpful as we can. With types 2 and 3, we will usually tell you exactly how to do it. However, with type 4, we can only give you a general idea of what you have to do if you decide to press on.

Statistical Questions

RATS has many capabilities which may be unfamiliar to some of you. If you decide to explore some new territory, we will be happy to steer you to some good references or to explain how RATS does particular computations. However, while we can help to clear up basic misunderstandings about the use of the RATS instructions, we cannot give involved statistics lessons over the phone. If you are interested in discovering new techniques, watch the newsletter for information regarding workshops.

Error Messages, Bugs and Other Problems

In a program as complex as RATS, there are undoubtedly some bugs remaining (see bug list). In addition, because RATS has many features of a programming language, it is quite possible for you to experience problems due to errors in your own code. The more complex your program, the more likely it is that the latter is true.

If your program is not running correctly, you should do the following:

  • Check your data!
  • Check carefully that you are using the proper syntax on the instruction(s) causing the problem.
  • See the Reference Manual in particular.
  • Try to locate the specific source of the problem. The Show Last Error operation on the Edit menu can often help you find the the instruction which produced an error message. If you are doing extensive operations with loops and COMPUTE instructions, you can put in some debugging statements (DISPLAY and PRINT are the most useful for this) to see where things go wrong.
  • Check your data!

If, after all this, you haven't resolved the problem, contact Technical Support. The more specific you can be, the more likely it is that we can provide a quick resolution to the problem.

If you have not been able to isolate the problem, we will almost certainly have to ask you to send us the input file and data and as much other information as you can supply.