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The CAPPER Programs

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The site attempts to improve wildland and natural resource management by providing information, concepts, ideas, and software for students, practicioners, and landowners.

There are over 250 BASIC Capper programs on the major aspects of faunal resource system management. (There are also 61 programs supporting a text book in population estimation called Convergence: Practical Wild Animal Abundance Estimation with Programs, not yet fully operational). They were named to reflect their use in a capstone course, to suggest their ability to cap-off other types of education, and to encourage users toward developing computer-aided prescription systems for wildlife resource areas. The Capper programs have been designed primarily as educational and self-learning aids and to expand the content and meaning of the book Forest Faunal Systems and other units now on this Web site. They are a group of programs for educators and working resource specialists, ecologists, and ecosystem designers. They are programs which I wish I had had when I was working as a wildlifer in a state agency.

The programs are designed to expand and clarify topics in the text. They allow readers and students to explore relationships, to test their understanding, and, very importantly, they can become working tools for the natural resource manager. In some cases, a first-time user will have data ...but usually not. It is best to try to make realistic use of the programs and not to be frustrated with not having data. First-time users ask "Where do I get information to enter?" The answer is: experiment; make it up; test possibilities; use the programs as small simulators. For example, CAP105 allows you to make temperature conversions. Enter the estimated temperature for the day and see what is its equivalent in three other units of measure. Better done with a hand calculator? Perhaps. When 10 to 20 conversions are needed the program will pay off.

Hypothetical situations can be created or imagined, then the program can be run and evaluated for later use--either to master a concept, note a new relationship, or to decide whether it can be used when data become available. In many cases, representative values are suggested within a program. Deviating very far from these may cause the program to exceed reasonable limits. If this occurs, re-run the program. Checks for errors and mis-typed entries have not been built into many of the programs because of costs and the space used.

Programs were designed to run on an IBM-PC (or compatible) with color graphics and were created with DOS 2.1 or later versions. No efforts have been made to make the disks compatible for use with other computers, but several computers can be used. Many of the programs have been run on computers with monochrome monitor. Color contrast may be a problem (which is corrected by changing a few statements) and in a few places the SCREEN and other commands causes difficulties, but these can be revised to meet the characteristics of individual machines.

There are few large programs included. The working hypothesis has been that large computer programs such as simulations are project or site specific and have little extended usefulness. Related working hypotheses have been that BASIC, the simplest of languages used in many grade schools, can and will be used to revise the programs and that the programs can and will be merged in unique ways to serve resource managers. Ready availability of certain programs such as linear regression has seemed important for field workers.

When you link to Capper and enter a password (temporarily "best", for test purposes) all of the programs will be loaded automatically into your hard drive. There are only 2.35 MB of space needed for the 353 files. The programs will remain in residence there for your use until you make changes. When you link to Capper, you will immediately see an introduction, then proceed to a general menu. Select a major topic, enter its number, and a sub-menu on that topic will be displayed. Select the listed number, enter it, and the program should immediately appear. You may make entries. Capper only works within the DOS framework, not Windows.

The procedures to download the CAPPER to the student's PC are as follows:

  1. Create a new file folder called CAPPER in your PC. Do this before logging on to Giles' web site. Remember where it is located (such as with C:).
  2. Log on to Giles's web page at
  3. Click onto the List of Contents of the Site.
  4. Go to the Capper introduction (click onto it).
  5. Click on to the word Capper when you are ready to access the program source.
  6. The "Save as" sub-window shows up to let you download the program.
  7. Study the top line of this "Save In" bax and using the arror, find the place where Capper is stored (e.g., the C: location). This is called browsing.
  8. Browse within your directories to locate your CAPPER folder. Highlight it.
  9. Click "Save" within this box (lower right) to start downloading. You will see a gray box with a bar indicating the speed and percentage of the programs loaded. Depending on time of the day, etc. It may take 3-6 minutes.
  10. After downloading you'll find one CAPPER.exe file in your Capper folder. One easy way to find it is to click on My Computer. Find your new Capper folder. Scroll down until you see the CAPPER.EXE program. (Its icon seems to be in a vice). Double click on it. You will get 2 grey boxes. Click OK on the first. The next one will show WINDOWS or other words in a box. Tap the BROWSE button until you locate the the Capper folder. I shows up in the box.
  11. Click on UNZIP in the upper right.
  12. You next see more folders. Find your Capper folder. Highlight it or open it, then click OK.
  13. Then you finally get to use the password "best".
  14. There will be 353 files (about 2.4 MB) in your CAPPER folder. Done!

Suggestion: Make a conventional "shortcut" to these programs. When you click onto the shortcut, the computer will drop out of windows and place you into DOS. Type RUN"CAPPER" including the quote marks, and tap Enter. If typing RUN "CAPPER" does not work, type RUN "CAP02". After that, use the menus displayed. I shall prepare a list of the programs in sequence soon but I have not yet done this. When you wish to get out of the programs and return to Windows or elsewhere or to shut down, type SYSTEM and tap the Enter key. Then click the exit X in the upper corner of the screen. This will put you back into Windows. Please let me know of difficulties that you encounter via email.

The programs are available for unlimited use to improve management of the faunal resource system. I urge that they be copied, used, revised, and combined. A simple acknowledgement will be appreciated.

It is smart to make a backup and keep it in a safe place away from your computer.

The instructions present a menu. You may select from it. If ever you are lost or "stuck" among the programs, type 2 keys on the keyboard, the Ctrl and Break, then type RUN "Capper" . You will get the main menu and you can start again. You select the number from the menu that you want, enter it, the system finds it, and loads it into its working space. You do the rest.

There are 2 ways the system takes in numbers and letters. These may be confusing at first. You may be asked to tap a key. You may do so and nothing happens. You need to tap the ENTER key or broken arrow key at mid-right center of the keyboard. Otherwise, action usually takes place on the screen.

If you are in a program and have made mistakes, etc., and do not want to continue, tap Ctrl (left) and Break (on some key boards the scroll lock key). This stops the program. To start from the beginning, just tap the F2 key or type RUN and Enter. When you are working within a program, to start at some line in a program, e.g., 1213, type RUN 1213. There are no provisions for creating files and saving data for later use. When an entry mistake is discovered, regrettably, you usually need to start the program again by tapping the F2 key. Commercial programs are recommended for extensive data analysis.

Enter most numbers without a comma (e.g., enter 12,345 as 12345).

If you ever want to see the code (perhaps to look at an equation) tap Ctrl and Break, then the F1 key. This key automatically types LIST. Then tap ENTER. This will list the entire program.

You can list 10 lines after some line, say line 1200, by entering LIST 1200-1300.

There are no automatic printing provisions within any of the programs. Printer-computer relations are very complex and I have avoided printing throughout. Most programs are for immediate, brief use with simple note-taking. To print what shows up on a screen start the program, then hit Ctrl and PrtSc or Print Screen and continue using the program. Graphs can only be printed on some machines. For public display of results of a program, I have found 2x2 slides of the monitor very effective and inexpensive (relative to other superior display hardware now available).

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This Web site is maintained by R. H. Giles, Jr.
Last revision January 17, 2000.