Off-Line Data Storage

- POSTED ON: May 30, 2011

One of the things I like best about DietPower
is that it is a stand alone software program,
and I don't have to be online to use it.

If, in the future, it changed to an online program,
as much as I love it,
I doubt if I would purchase the online program.,
For certain, I would still choose to use the current off-line DietPower
which I can load from a purchased disk.

DietPower works with Windows, but not with Macintosh.
In order to do videos for DietHobby, I got a Mac as an additional computer.
I installed the parallel program which allows it to run windows programs,
and then installed DietPower. At first it LOOKED like this was operational,
but after entering new data in the DietPower program inside the Mac,
a technical glitch occurs which makes the program non-operational.
In the Mac, DietPower seems fine for viewing, but is non-operational,
because it doesn’t support actual logging use.

There are similar online food journaling programs. One of these is "fit day",
another is "thedailyplate", another is “Lose it”. Some online programs
are free and others charge a monthly fee for continued access.

DietPower works with any kind of food plan.
It has a large data base of its own,
and gives me the ability to add any extra foods (using label information)
and also input recipes of my choice. Every time I make a homemade food,
I add the recipe to my DietPower dictionary, and almost all of my
all-time favorites are now inside the program.

It is important to me to have my personal data available off line.
There are times when I am unable to get online, but when this happens
I still eat, and I want to continue my Habit of logging in my food.
I also like the security that storing my own data gives me,
and a daily back-up only takes a few seconds of my time.

Online programs are managed by the owners of that website.
and my access to my own data there is subject to their whims.
At some sites if I want to retain access to my records,
I must pay an ongoing fee. Deciding against future use
also results in the loss of my past data that I previously entered.
If a web-site shuts down, my data is also lost.

A web-site owner can arbitrarily block my IP address from his site
at any time for any reason. Recently I experienced this
at a weight graphing program called” Physicsdiet” .

I’d been using the program for about a year and a half,
and liked it a great deal. In fact I posted it in DietHobby’s Links section,
and I was planning to feature the program in an article here.

However, two or three months ago a computer glitch occurred,
which caused the program to change the way it handled my file.
The program began automatically logging me out,
and would not allow me to log in.

Every day since that began, when I found myself locked out,
I left a courteous message for the site owner
letting him know the problem and asking him for help and suggestions.
I told him that I liked his program and even informed him of my plan to
recommend it here at DietHobby. He returned none of my messages,
however he was kind enough to log me in himself quite a few times
which allowed me to update my records.

But instead of fixing the problem, or e-mailing a message to me
in response to my many courteous pleas for help,
one morning I found that he had banned my IP address.
I assume that this was his solution to the problem.
However it forever shut off my access to the data I have stored there,
and made it impossible for me to contact him.

My point is that any website owner can choose to take any action
with that site, and therefore the off-line storage of data can sometimes be
very important. Fortunately, I have all my weight and calorie data stored on
my own computer, and this recent action of Physicsdiet was merely

an inconvenience for me.


Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On May 30, 2011 sad wrote:
I agree that as much of your personal information from programs should be kept on you off line areas in case of just such a glitch. I though it amusing to note that your video talks about tranquility while there are sirens off in the background.

On May 30, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Sue, I am so pleased that you picked that up. The background siren during shooting was an unexpected addition, but welcome. I thought it was an excellent example of my point, which was to have inner serenity and tranquility DESPITE the existence of disturbing outside circumstances. I, too, found the occurrence to be a bit amusing.

On May 31, 2011 TexArk wrote:
As you know, I use Diet Power and I also like the offline feature. I have been away from home for 6 months (just got back) and I didn't always have internet access. However, I have had some issues. Two times I could enter the program, but it gave me an error message after I got in. Bill called me back and walked me through restoring (I always back up), but then at the end of March it wouldn't let me even open up under my file. I called and he responded, but I wasn't able to get on line for awhile and I couldn't make the directions he sent work. I just gave up and started a new file under a different name. I have had no problems since, but I am disappointed that I don't have continuing data. from day 1. Customer service has been great; it is just that I was out of pocket for too long to connect with the help the last go round.

On May 31, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk. I agree that DP does have an annoying glitch re stored data. In Windows, thru no fault of my own, sometimes DP corrupts and will not accessmy personal data file, and I have to go into Applications and delete my file and then go back to DP and start a new identical person; After that I can insert my backup of the file via travel bag import, and the file is as good as ever. I back up my main DP personal file every morning and evening, because this has happened to me more than 10 times. This is exactly the same glitch in Mac (parallel windows)..except that it happens EVERY time I close the file after logging in any food data...making DP essentally useless in Mac, except as a "read only" reference resource.

On May 31, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I had a similar experience with physicsdiet and do not use them anymore. I have a Mac, so DP is not an option currently for me. So I have hobbled together Fitday, where in the journal section I keep a daily record of weight change, weight, cal, carb (net in grams). Then I summarize why I think I am seeing the trends I do, action items, if needed, and other thoughts or goals I want to pursue. I also have 3 apps- Nutition Menu has my weight going back to Oct 6, 2009. Loseit has a part of my cal/carb data until I found myfitnesspal which has more recent on going data. What does all of this mean for me? It isn't perfect. However, it isn't time consuming either. It took more time typing this than recording in this fashion each morning. It mostly keeps me accountable for my weight. At times, I sit down, mine my data over 6 months or so, and see my trends. If I need to find out what my cal/carb counts were 18 months ago, I can. Not easily but I can. If I want to know what my cal/carbs need to be to continue to maintain, this is very easy to know doing it this way. I just pull up summary on myfitnesspal or fitday, coupled with a calculator and pencil. Why do I do any of this? Because it has given me success and knowledge that has alluded me in the past.

On May 31, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, interesting that you also had difficulties with physicsdiet. The situation is really too bad because that site has some graphing features that I really like. Years ago I started an Excel chart with my DietPower daily weights and calories, so I wouldn't lose that data even if something happened to DietPower, and this also helps me summarize the information in a different way. All of my charting and food logging takes a very brief time each day, and this has become a valuable Habit and personal Resource for me in my Maintenance.

On May 31, 2011 TexArk wrote:
My FitDay records go back to 02/20/2003. I don't record my food there very often as I find DP much quicker, but I still keep the weight records and I occasionally use the journal feature. I do not find our behavior odd or phobic or time consuming. I need to do this for all the reasons we have stated. I can see from past data that when I quit recording, I gained weight.

On May 31, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, I find that in order to get myself to make acceptable food choices I must record all of my food, and I like using DP to do that.

On Jun 03, 2011 Bill Davis wrote:
Phyllis: As you know DietPower is a Windows application and as such is not designed for or tested on the Mac. Having said that we do have a number of users currently successfully using the program on Mac computers using various PC emulator environments, both Parallels & VM Fusion among them. You don't say what version of Windows you're running within Parallels, but I would suggest downloading & reinstalling the Windows 2005 c++ runtime libraries from: and see if that corrects your problem. The "glitch" you refer to has been a thorn under my saddle for quite some time ... not because it happens to me (it doesn't, ... and you know I personally consistently & extensively use the program, on multiple machines employed constantly in a "heavy use environment", and have for years), but because it doesn't. It appears to impact a small percentage of users, possibly contingent on local installed software configuration, ... and is not something we've been able to consistently duplicate here despite numerous attempts to do so. Something that occurs randomly & can't be duplicated in the development environment is extremely difficult for a programmer to fix. Your best defense ... especially if you have a demonstrable history of these "glitch" events ... is to maintain regular backups of your user records. Bill Davis DietPower Support

On Jun 03, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks Bill for your thoughtful reply, your DietPower technical service is the BEST!!! I will try your suggestion re Parellels. However, I do have the problem frequently in my ongoing Windows program *** (which on my WINDOWS computer seems to happen at random AFTER a recipe entry OR I've seen it happen several times when I've erroneously clicked the DP icon twice which causes more than one copy of DP to load, but on my MAC under PARALLELS happens EVERY time I reopen DP after I've logged in a new food entry and then closed DP.)*** I keep a memory stick plugged into my windows computer and use the travel bag feature to make a back up of my primary user every morning and evening, and I still have ALL of my data from 9/20/2004 when I first began using DietPower.

On Jun 03, 2011 Bill Davis wrote:
"... I've seen it happen several times when I've erroneously clicked the DP icon twice which causes more than one copy of DP to load, ..." ... Similar to the doctor's reply to the patient complaining: "It hurts when I do this ..." ... Don't do that. Doing so causes to copies of the program to try to simultaneously update the same dataset, with somewhat predictable results (think two cars trying to both cross the same one-lane bridge simultaneously). -- Bill

On Jun 03, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             ****"Don't do that".**** Thanks Bill, doing my best not to repeat that particular error.

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