Advice to posters seeking help

Use this forum to post Vensim related questions.
tomfid
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Advice to posters seeking help

Postby tomfid » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:20 pm

Hello -

Welcome to the Vensim forum, a great place to get fast advice on modeling challenges. The following are some thoughts intended to help you get the most out of the resources here.

- Search the forum first. There are 7 years of answers here. Many are tagged by keywords at http://www.delicious.com/vensimforum. Old bugs have been fixed and new features have come along, so if you don't find an answer that works for you, ask again: you might get a better one.

- If you're posting a question about a model, give us a little background. What is in the model? What question is it trying to answer? If we know what you're trying to accomplish, we can often suggest new approaches.

- Use the help system and manuals. While you're in Vensim, go to the Help>Vensim Manuals item. Don't see what you're looking for? Try the Index or Search tab. Help is also online at http://www.vensim.com/documentation/ (hint: you have to double-click the chapter headings in the navigation menu on the left side to open them).

- Define units, and check that they balance. This process reveals many conceptual errors, and makes the model clearer to the reader. Experienced modelers instinctively mistrust models without units.

- If you want to be notified of responses to your post, or the forum in general, click the "Subscribe" link (near the bottom left of the post or forum page). Later you can manage your subscribed posts & forums via the User Control Panel (top left).

- If you're having a technical difficulty (bug or error message), tell us what version of Vensim you are using (PLE, Pro, Standard, DSS... ; 5.4, 5.10 ...) and what operating system (Mac, Win7, etc.). Before posting, try upgrading your copy of Vensim to the latest, at http://www.vensim.com/download.html or http://www.vensim.com/buy.html .

- If you're attaching a model that uses a non-English character set, post it in a binary format (.vmf or .vpm).

- Having trouble formulating equations to represent something? Check the sample models that install with Vensim.

- Have a question about system dynamics or modeling in general? Try the SD Society forum: http://www.systemdynamics.org/forum/

- If you are using the Vensim .dll with a programming language like Java or Excel/Visual Basic, you may be better off directing questions about your code to a forum that specializes in the language. We can help with the Vensim function calls, but not necessarily other programming questions.

- Having a hard time? Don't get discouraged. Modeling is intrinsically harder than making a Powerpoint slide or ordering a book online, but also far more rewarding in the end.

- Tom
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Advice to posters (it really helps us to help you)
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