Generations v8 U.K. editions

Revised: 5 August 2001

Tip version 56.3

Applicable versions: Generations Grande Suite v8 U.K. Generations Starter's Kit v8 U.K.

The Generations v8 U.K. editions were based on the Generations v8 U.S. releases and have been modified by the Sierra/Havas U.K. programmers. These releases have different databases than those in the U.S. releases, with a substitution of various U.K. and European databases and maps in place of the U.S. databases.


1) The U.K. releases need to be installed on your C: drive for proper operation. Actually, you can install part of the software on other drives, but so many of the files must be on the C: drive that it makes no effective difference. There is no such restriction on the U.S. releases and my own opinion is that this is due to some instances of "hard-coding" the C: drive location into the graphical interface shell program linking the various components of the packages together.

2) Some users have reported problems when the software is installed on Windows ME. Specifically, some parts of the program integration (such as going from Easytree to Easychart) do not work properly in these instances. The Sierra/Havas U.K. statement on this is that the Generations v8 U.K. releases are not supported on the Windows ME operating system. I have not had sufficient feedback from users of the v8 U.K. packages to be able to judge if these problems always occur with Windows ME.

3) There appears to be a somewhat higher incidence of general failures during installation with the v8 U.K. packages than with the v8 U.S. packages.

4) Not really a bug, but a way to save some space. The Generations Starter's Kit v8 U.K. edition includes two iCollect libraries for Family Tree Art CDs which are not included with this package. Each file is about 12 Mb in size, so you will reclaim ca 24 Mb by deleting these two files ("Family Tree Art CD1.nfi" and "Family Tree Art CD2.nfi" in the C:\Sierra\GSK8 directory).


The v8.5.1 patches developed for the v8 U.S. packages may be successfully applied to the v8 U.K. packages. These patches are available from the Sierra website at Click on the Genealogy Software link on this page, then click on Technical Support on the next page. Press "Get Patches" and select Generations 8 from the list of products.

Generations Grande Suite v8 U.K.: - Get the ggs851patch.exe file

Generations Starter's Kit v8 U.K.: - Get the gbe851patch.exe file

Note that there have been fewer problems with the California download site than with the New York download site.


Both editions.

Rename or otherwise save a copy of the existing "Readme.txt" file found in your v8 U.K. edition releases before running the patch file. The patch file will overwrite any existing Readme.txt file in the program directory. The v8.5.1 Readme.txt file does not contain the U.K. specific details of those editions.

The v8.5.1 patch file will replace the graphical shell program (Gen8.exe) with the U.S. version. This means that you will only see the U.S. databases and links. So before applying the patch to this version, save a copy of the existing Gen8.exe file found in the program directory, then replace the new Gen8.exe file with the old one after applying the patch.

[Note: My own experiments had shown that this was only necessary for the Generations Starter Kit release. The reports of other users say it is necessary for both releases. I don't know why my experiences were different but it clearly isn't the case with at least some other users. So go ahead and save a copy of the original Gen8.exe file, delete the new copy, then rename the copied file back to Gen8.exe in the original directory].

The patched software offers all of the performance enhancements, additions, and bug fixes as mentioned in the v8.5 features and bug patches message [Available in the Generations Tips subfolder on the Sierra Genealogy message board.]

The user who reported the problem with program integration under Windows ME reports that the v8.5.1 patched program has solved this problem. These patches were developed for the U.S. editions rather than the U.K. editions, so Sierra/Havas U.K. may or may not provide support for the U.K. editions patched to the v8.5.1 release level.

My limited testing [note that qualification!] of the patched versions of the Easytree and Easychart programs has shown no problems with the v8 U.K. releases due to the v8.5.1 patch. I would appreciate getting feedback from users who discover any such problems.

Remember that you must start with the U.K. specific "MyTree.uds" family file template to make use of the U.K. features (date formats, default events and views, etc.). Consult the Generations v8 U.K. edition manual supplement for further details.

Support: Remember that the Generations v8 U.K. editions were modified by the Sierra/Havas U.K. programmers. The Sierra U.S. Generations team is not in a position to provide support for the U.K. releases.

The most recent information I have on the U.K. contact address is (from the U.K. "Readme" file):

"Havas Interactive offers a 24-hour Automated Technical Support line with recorded answers to the most frequently asked technical questions. To access this service, call (0118) 920-9111, and follow the recorded instructions to find your specific topic and resolve the issue. If this fails to solve your problem, you may still write, or fax us with your questions, or contact us via our Internet or CompuServe sites."

Havas Interactive,2 Beacontree Plaza, Gillette Way, Reading, Berkshire RG2 0BS, United Kingdom

Main: (0118) 920-9111 Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Fax: (0118) 987-5603

We have created a "Questions related to Generations U.K. edition" subfolder on the Sierra Genealogy message board. We will do what we can to answer user's questions but we normally use the U.S. versions of the programs. Feedback/help/tips from users of the U.K. editions is appreciated! Users should also remember that Mike Hobart and Don Weymouth are not Sierra employees.

Regards, Mike Hobart

Copyright © 1999-2001 Michael A. Hobart, commercial reuse restricted.

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