6-12: Emergencies


Database Corruption

Electric is a vast system with many facilities. Although the individual pieces work correctly, it is possible, through improper usage or system fault, for the database to become corrupted. If Electric acts strangely, try the Redo Network Numbering subcommand of the Network command of the Tools menu to regenerate network information.

A more thorough check may be done with the Check and Repair Libraries command of the Info menu. Note that this command clears the history list so no undo can be made after the check. When in doubt, save your work first.

Running out of Memory

Another problem that can arise, particularly on a pre-System-10 Macintosh, is that Electric may run out of memory. As this situation approaches, you will be given warning messages, and finally you will be unable to work on new circuitry. Sadly, it is not generally possible to recover memory by deleting unwanted circuitry. The wise move is to save your library and exit Electric. Then make more memory available and run it again.

Crash Recovery

On some operating systems (Windows and UNIX/X11) Electric keeps a log of every keystroke and mouse action. If a crash occurs, you can replay the log and recreate the lost work.

The log file is called "electric.log" (on UNIX, it is called ".electric.log"). When Electric exits, it renames the file to "electriclast.log". If Electric starts up and finds a file called "electric.log", it presumes that this file is from a crash, and offers to replay it. You can force a log file to be replayed by using the Playback Log File... subcommand of the User Interface command of the Info menu.

When playing back a log file, cursor motion is used to advance the playback. Therefore, to playback the entire file, simply keep moving the cursor back and forth. At any time, you can abort the playback by clicking the mouse.

Be warned that the new log file that is created as a result of playing back an old log file is not necessarily correct.

Note also that in order to make a replayable log file, you cannot partially save your work. If, for example, you are editing two libraries and you save only one of them, then the state of the world cannot be recreated after a crash. Also, if you have changed options, then when you save your libraries, you should also save the options. Electric will prompt you to save any unsaved information in order to keep the session logging current. If you choose to make only a partial save, session logging will be disabled.

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