May   2002 Newsletter

In the tradition of comic series' throughout the ages, I'm glad to announce the arrival of the Realms of Wonder Newsletter, Volume II, Issue #1

Long time Realms users will remember that I used to produce a more or less monthly newsletter, last issued in January 2000.  In my defense, lame as it may be, I felt that with the listserv, the newsletter may have been somewhat redundant.  In addition, it was getting more and more difficult to email the newsletter to Realms users without triggering all kinds of spam filters.

Regardless of these nefarious hazards, I have decided to resurrect the newsletter.  I think it can serve as a central repository for organizing common questions and issues.  At the same time, by linking it directly to the Realms web site, I think I can get around the notification issue, at least to some degree.

I've removed the links to the old newsletters.  Much of that material is dated anyway, and does not apply to the latest release.  I'll reprint some of the important topics, updating them as I do.

So, with that as an introduction, this is issue 1 of the "kind of / sort of" monthly Realms of Wonder Newsletter (Volume II).

Realms of Wonder ListServ There is a a Realms of Wonder list serv available.  For those of you that don't know, a list serv is an "online community", where you can send messages to everybody on the list.  It's kind of like the Message Board, except the messages come to you instead of you having to go to the message board.  IMHO, It's the most efficient means of getting info to everybody to Realms users quickly and easily.

If you want to subscribe, you can do so at: 

I'd love to have everybody join.  If you do join, and then decide it's too much hassle to keep up with the messages (there's not really that many), you can unsubscribe at any time.  So, I suggest you give it a try, and see what happnes.

BTW, if you do join, this list is actually open to anybody, so do me a favor and don't post the location of the upgrade files to the list.  If you ever need to know that, please email me directly.

Realms of Wonder suite of applications Many of you already know this, but many do not.  Realms has slowly been growing over time, and has now really become a suite of applications, three as of this point in time.  They are listed below and described in more detail in the rest of this newsletter.
  1. Realms of Wonder (ROW) Comic Tracking Software
  2. That's An Order (TAO) Comic Ordering Software
  3. Value Update Program (searching for a name)
Realms of Wonder
Version 5.2.2 (beta)
Version 5.2.2 is available in beta. I have just a couple of minor fixes to make before it becomes "official", so you can go ahead and download this version if you wish.

If you're at all unsure if you have the latest version, check the About option, on the Help menu

Email me directly if you need the upgrade location. 

That's An Order (TAO) That's An Order (TAO) is an application that automates the process of ordering from the Previews Catalogue each month.  For those of you that order from Previews directly, or order through your comic shop or through a web site or subscription service, you may want to take a look at TAO.   You can create your order and print out the Previews Order form.  You can also create an uploadable data file.  You can also have TAO update ROW with your ordered items.

TAO can be found at

It's updated with the information from the June 2002 Previews Catalog

For What It's Worth (FWIW) For What It's Worth (FWIW - pronounced like Elmer Fudd saying "free"), the monthly value update program, updates your data with the latest values based on the major price guides.  This application contains values for the all the issues that have changed in value since August of 1997 when I started it.  It also contains additional entries submitted each month by the contributers.   Currently, there are over 30,000 entries representing more than 18,000 issues.   This application is available at

It is currently updated through June 2002. 

Re-installing ROW or moving it to a different machine The most common question I get is how to move ROW to another machine, or what to do in case of a system crash.  Basically, they are both the same thing.  You need to install ROW again on the appropriate machine.

It is critical that you make a backup of your data file on a regular basis.  Data is held in the REALMS50.MDB file.  Please be aware that you will have one such file for each collection.   So, if you have multiple collections entered in ROW, be sure to backup all the data files.  If you are not sure where the data file is, look on the Collection Properties window (from the File menu) for the appropriate collection.  The full path to the data file is dsiplayed there.

You should also make a copy of your REALMS50.INI file, as that holds all your settings.

Here's how to install ROW:

1.  Download and install the demo version from

2.  Download and install the latest upgrade file (which removes the issue limit on the demo version).  Email me if you need the location of the upgrade files.

Copy the REALMS50.MDB and REALMS50.INI file into the same directory where you installed ROW.

See you all next time As always, if you ever run into any problems, have any questions, suggestions, etc., please never hesitate to let me know. I'll always try to get back to you the same day. If you do send me an e-mail, and don't here back by 2 days, I probably didn't receive it, so you might want to try again. My email address is

Best wishes to all,