Did the program crash? Could you get it to run?
Are you confused by the results?
How do I… ?
We are currently constructing a training page with eLearning courses to help you learn to use our software. Please register as a user of our software and subscribe to one of our email lists or listservs to be notified when the training page is available.
If you are stuck, please try the following steps to resolve your question.
- Confirm that you’re using the most recent version (check our Downloads page to be sure). Uninstall all old versions before installing the latest version.
- Look through the FAQ section on this page.
- Read the manual carefully. Look through technical documents or examples if available. All of these items can be found on the Downloads page.
- Check the listserv archive to see if the question has already been asked. You can find info on the listserv in the Community section of this page.
- Document the question in detail (see below for items to include) and submit it to the community via the appropriate listserv. Several of our tools have active and experienced user communities, and many of these expert users kindly provide answers to questions posted on our listservs.
- What operating system version are you using? Example: Windows 10
- Which version of the SCTI software are you using? Example: Vortex version 10.3.3.0
- Specific details of what you are trying to do (section of the software being used, feature on that section, characteristics of the data in question, etc.).
- Screenshots with examples of what you are doing and of any error messages.
- Input files you’re using. Make sure to mention if it’s a specific individual or piece of the input file that’s associated with the question.
- If you don’t get an answer from the community, contact SCTI with your documented question (email@example.com). Please be aware that SCTI is a very small group and we receive many more questions than we’re able to respond to. Your chance of getting a response is much better if your question is thoroughly documented and you’ve already tried the previous steps listed above.
If you encounter a problem in the software that you believe might be due to a bug, please follow the steps below. We cannot guarantee that we will have the time or ability to respond to all bug reports, but we appreciate being notified of problems.
- Confirm that you are using the latest version of the program. (The bug might already have been fixed!)
- Document to the extent possible the conditions that triggered the bug. (What were you doing when it happened?)
- If possible, save a screen capture of the program display that shows the problem or the error message that was triggered.
- Save a copy of the input file with project settings that shows the problem.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your name (Your name and email address will be used confidentially only if we need to contact you for more information about the problem)
- Software and version where the problem was encountered (Vortex, Vortex AdaptiveManager, Outbreak, MetaModelManager, or PMx)
- Version number can be found on the splash screen
- Operating System (Windows7, Windows8, Windows10, other?)
- Description of the problem (Please be as specific as possible)
- Insert any screen shots (program displays or error messages) that show the problem
- Add any attachments that would help to document the problem, including project files
Results don’t make sense or aren’t as expected?
Something is wrong or missing in the user interface?
You’re getting an error message and the program crashes?
- If you have previously been able to open and use the software, it’s possible the file that tracks your recent projects has been corrupted. You can try deleting this file and allowing the software to regenerate it. The recents.txt file is usually found at C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Species Conservation Toolkit Initiative\[ProgramName]\recent.txt
- Make sure your project path, including filename, doesn’t exceed Microsoft’s limit for path length (about 255 characters). Example path: C:\Users\YourName\VortexProjectsFolder\VOutput\ProjectName_ScenarioName_PopulationName.dat.
- Try running the software as an administrator. Right-click on the software icon and select ‘Run as Administrator’.
First of all, there is an excellent user manual for Vortex located here: https://scti.tools/manuals/Vortex10Manual.pdf
A good place to start is reading the Simulation Input section of the manual (starting page 19), which will help you to think about the information you will need to build a model in Vortex for your species.
To help you to think about the kinds of questions that the models can help answer, and the potential outputs that you will be able to produce, you can find reports from previous modeling projects on the IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group’s website: http://cpsg.org/document-repository. You can filter your search by region or taxonomic group to help you find models that are relevant to your project.
We also have a list of scientific publications using Vortex available on this website: https://scti.tools/downloads/#Publications
PMx (and PMxLite) Version 1.6.2. 2020052 now offers a menu option to customize the features and options that appear when you open PMx (or PMxLite) on your computer. This can be useful for creating a version of the user interface that is specific to your needs as a population manager, researcher, teacher, or student. A user guide on how to use the Customize PMx option is available on our Downloads page!
Yes, you can open previously saved PMx project in the streamlined PMxLite user interface. Any advanced settings or options that were applied when the project was saved in PMx will be retained when the project is opened in PMxLite.
For example, assume you created and saved a PMx project with age classes specified as months rather than years (an advanced option hidden in PMxLite). This project will open in PMxLite with age classes still specified as months, but the advanced option to adjust age class length will be hidden in the PMxLite user interface.
Yes, the default location for saved PMx and PMxLite projects is in your “PMxProjects” folder unless you specify a different location while saving. The “PMxProjects” folder is created automatically during installation (usually in C:\PMxProjects). Uninstalling and reinstalling PMx will not remove your existing saved projects.
Yes, PMxLite is included with the PMx installation package (Version 220.127.116.1100613 or newer).
PMxLite is included with the PMx installation package (Version 18.104.22.16800613 or newer). If you have an older PMx version installed, uninstall the prior version before reinstalling. Download and run the PMxInstallation.msi from https://scti.tools/downloads/#SoftwareAndManuals. PMx can be installed in the default location (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Species Conservation Toolkit Initiative\PMx) or in any location on your hard disk. Once installed, PMx and PMxLite shortcuts will appear on your desktop.
Many people around the world use SCTI tools to help guide conservation assessment and wildlife management. Although the manuals provides background material and an explanation of data entry, technical details and discussion of how to interpret results are not readily available. SCTI has established email discussion groups (listservs) to provides a forum for our users to ask questions of colleagues, provide answers, describe interesting applications of the tools, or raise issues.
These listservs are unmoderated and open to anyone who wishes to participate. The list administrator will permanently block from the list any subscribers who send offensive messages, extraneous messages that would obviously be of no interest to SCTI tool users, or advertisements for products (other than perhaps add-ons and upgrades such as R packages designed to be used with SCTI tool output).
The following links are for training resources developed and provided by SCTI contributors. Downloadable educational materials (training videos) and technical documentation (manuals and how-to guides for particular features of the software) produced by SCTI can be found on our Downloads page.
If your organization produces training materials for any SCTI software and you’d like us to link to them from our site, please send an email to email@example.com.