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Essential Reading

There are many nice books out there, but a few of them contain such wisdom that I just must mention them here:

Jun '13

TPS to CSV Howto

Running a Java commandline tool is not the most intuitive way of doing things so on this page I have gathered some notes on how to get tps-to-csv working if you're not familiar with the command prompt and Java.

Opening a command prompt

Tps-to-csv is a command line only tool, so you need to open a command prompt to use it. On windows this is most easily done by pressing the windows key and simultaneously pressing the R key. This will open the 'Run' box. In it you can enter the name of a program you want to execute. In this case its the cmd program. Enter cmd and press enter. A black window should open.

Checking and Installing Java

Tps-to-csv has a dependency on the Java Virtual Machine version 1.6 or higher. You can verify the presence of the Java Virtual Machine by entering:

> java -version

on the command prompt. It should read something like:

java version "1.6.0_37"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_37-b06)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.12-b01, mixed mode)

If you do not have Java installed, you can download it from https://www.java.com/en/ or use an operating system specific way of installing it. After installing, disable the Java Browser plugin if you don't need it.

Running the TPS-to-CSV tool

Make sure you put your downloaded tps-to-csv.jar in the same folder the command prompt is in. Alternatively use the 'cd' command to navigate to the download folder. Also make sure your TPS files are present.

After that you can run the tool from the command prompt like:

> java -jar tps-to-csv.jar -s input.tps -t output.csv

input.tps is your TPS input file and output.csv the output file which will be written. Press enter. If all goes well there are no errors and your CSV file should have appeared. If there are errors read on.

Common Errors and their Solutions

This lists some of the more common errors that may occur when running TPS-to-CSV.

  • Could not find or load main class tps-to-csv.jar - You forgot to enter the -jar option.
  • OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space - TPS-to-CSV ran out of memory. Give Java some more using the -Xmx1024M command line option and/or use 64 bit Java and/or use the -direct option.
  • File doesn't start with 0x00000000 - its not a TopSpeed file or it may be 'encrypted' - If you know the password use -password option to specify it.
  • I am working in a Dutch locale and Excel garbles my CSV file - Dutch has an alternative definition of CSV. Use -sep ; to make Dutch compliant 'CSV'.