Using Transana in a Computer Lab
If you are using Transana's computer lab version, it's because you are using a computer where you should not store your personal data, probably for confidentiality reasons and because many computer labs prohibit permanent data storage on lab computers.
Thus, when you use Transana in a public computer lab, you need to start by letting Transana know where to look for your media files and where to find and store your analytic data in the Transana database.
In this situation, you need to have your own storage device, such as an external hard drive, a large flash disk, or a network storage location you can access from the lab, where you will keep your media files and your analytic data. You need to connect your drive to the lab computer and make sure you know how to access it prior to starting Transana. It might be the "H:" drive on Windows, or it might be called "MyDrive" on OS X. I recommend creating two directories on the drive you will be working from, one called "Video" where you will store your media files and one named Database where Transana will store the files necessary for saving your analytic data and transcripts.
When you start the computer-lab version of Transana, the following dialog is the first to appear:
The video root directory setting tells Transana where to find your media files. Assuming you have attached a Drive "H:" or a "MyDrive" volume as described earlier, you might browse to "H:\Video" on Windows or "/Volumes/MyDrive/Video" on the Mac. This setting will likely be different for everyone.
The waveform directory setting tells Transana where to store your extracted audio files, used for creating the waveform diagrams. You should not store these files on a public computer, as this could compromise the confidentiality of your subjects. When you specify a Video Root directory, Transana automatically assumes it should store the waveform files in a subdirectory called waveforms. This automatic setting is appropriate for most users, but you are able to change it if you would like to.
The database directory setting is where Transana will look for the files that contain the analytic data you have created in Transana. Browse to "H:\database" or "/Volumes/MyDrive/database".
Once you have entered the directory information, the computer-lab version of Transana prompts you to select a database.
Unlike other versions of Transana, Transana in a computer lab will not remember the names of databases that have been accessed. Therefore, you will need to remember your database name and type it in exactly the same way every time.
If you start Transana in a computer lab but do not see the existing data from your last session, there are several possibile causes.
- First, you may not have specified your database directory correctly. I recommend always using the "Browse" button to select the database directory, and you need to remember that you browse to the database directory, not the directory named after your database. (i.e., "H:\database", not "H:\database\MyDatabaseName".
- Second, you may have specified your database name slightly differently. I recommend using simple database names that you can easily remember.
- Third, sometimes volume names change on Mac OS X. If your volume was called "MyDrive" in the past, it's possible it will be connected as "MyDrive-1" or "MyDrive-2" (etc.) this time. The usual cause for this proble (the incrementation of the drive name) is when you try to start Transana without having plugged in your drive. OS X, in trying to find a drive that isn't there, ends up creating a phantom drive of the same name, which forces incrementation of the name when the drive is later connected. This can be avoided by making sure your drive is always plugged in before starting Transana, and by always using the Browse button in setting directories.
One final warning: The computer lab version is not a substitute for the multi-user version. NEVER attempt to connect more than one copy of Transana for computer labs to the same set of database files at the same time. Doing so will likely result in data loss, and could cause database corruption, leading to the loss of ALL of your data. The computer lab version of Transana is strictly for single users.