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As already noted under About Us on the HOME tab, Dr Ken Noble, the Director of Noble-Soft Systems and the owner of the ANSWER software, will retire at the end of 2018.

The implications during 2018 for ANSWER-TIMES users are as follows:

  • ANSWER-TIMES will continue to be upgraded as new features are added to the ETSAP GAMS TIMES code, and existing ANSWER-TIMES users who are up-to-date with their maintenance will continue to receive support and updates to their system.
  • ANSWER-TIMES will remain available for purchase by new users, primarily for new users who wish to collaborate closely with an existing ANSWER-TIMES user, or use the ANSWER-based TIMES-Starter model.  Otherwise any new user wishing to work with TIMES is encouraged to consider purchasing the VEDA software.
  • Existing ANSWER-TIMES users who are not up-to-date with their maintenance will receive only emergency support in the form of being provided with a new ANSWER-TIMES license file when they move to a new computer or need to replace a hard disk (or the operating system) of their existing computer.

The implications starting in 2019 for all ANSWER-TIMES users are as follows:

  • No further changes will be made to the ANSWER-TIMES software, i.e. the software will become "frozen".
  • ANSWER-TIMES users will receive only emergency support in the form of being provided with a new ANSWER-TIMES license file when they move to a new computer or need to replace a hard disk (or the operating system) of their existing computer.

Considerations and recommendations for those wishing to use the ANSWER-TIMES software during 2018 and onwards into 2019

  • As at March 2018 the ANSWER-TIMES software is performing properly on machines running Windows 7, 8 and 10 and Office 2007 through to Office 2016. But no guarantees can be given that the software will continue to perform properly on future versions of Windows and Microsoft Office, and from March 2018 onwards Noble-Soft will not be able to address such issues.
  • It is recommended that users retain a computer specifically for running ANSWER-TIMES, where updates to the Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office version under which ANSWER-TIMES is currently performing properly are not allowed; or, if updates to Windows and Office versions are allowed, users should ensure that they have the ability to return to an earlier version of Windows and/or Office in the event that an update interferes with the proper functioning of ANSWER-TIMES.
  • It is also recommended that users ensure that they keep safe their own copies of the installation files (setup.exe) needed to install ANSWER-TIMES on a new machine or a machine with a new hard drive (or new operating system), along with any applicable update zip files.  Current users who do not have their own copies of the installation files (setup.exe) and update zip files should contact Ken Noble (ken@noblesoft.com.au) before 30 June 2018 asking for links to download the installation files (setup.exe) and update zip files to be provided.  (Providing such links may not be possible for users with quite old versions of ANSWER-TIMES.)