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 Call from Screen    Choreography    Cue sheets    Errors    Inquiries prior to purchasing    Installation    Levels    Music    Other Questions    Printing    Sequences    Snapshots    Upgrading  

Inquiries prior to purchasing 
    Afraid to do anything
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    I have terrible luck with computers and if I click on anything I'll probably wipe out the whole thing (it's happened before). So I'm afraid to touch anything until I know what I'm supposed to do.

    It should not be possible to easily wipe out things in CSDS. CSDS asks for confirmation whenever you try to delete anything of value. In some cases, CSDS will give you a stern warning and ask twice, just to be sure.

    CSDS is meant to be experimented with. Go ahead and try things. If you have a specific question, or have a specific task you'd like to do, send me an e-mail and I'll assist you.

    last modified: 14-January-2020   
    Animation and Timing
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    Do you have any plans to include animation and timing to the Ceder Square Dance System in the near future?

    Dancer Animation and Timing (counting beats per call) will not be added in the near future.

    Animation is a major step, and although many parts have already been worked out (e.g., Implementing animation would involve a lot of work, and would be feasible for perhaps only the standard versions of the calls. It would be very difficult to instruct the program how to animate calls when concepts are applied.

    Timing would be easier to do, but again, would only be feasible to add it to the calls.

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    API or source code
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    Do you provide an API or limited source code access or licensing for personal use. Although I haven't played with your product yet, there are a few things I like about a program that I wrote that I may want to integrate some how. Just curious. Being a programmer myself I always have to ask.

    The CSDS program code isn't yet sophisticated enough to have an API. In the future, I intend to breakup the program into one or more DLLs and possibly into two or more processes. When I get around to doing this, I could use one of the DLLs as an API.

    I do not supply source code at this time. In the past, for special requests, I have supplied a listing or two and definitions for file/database formats. The CSDS program does not use a 'real' database system, but instead uses random access files. One caller wrote a program to 'count beats' for a sequence.

    I keep my CSDS 'to do' list at

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Call from screen #1
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    I call only Mainstream and Plus. Could I benefit from on screen calling in these programs from your choreography data base? Is the choreography database transferrable to the screen? I am mostly a sight caller, but as you know it's nice to have notes for cute get in's and outs. But can that be done without spending alot of time during a dance?

    You can benefit from calling from the screen. When I call Plus, I usually sight-call most of the dance. The CSDS program assists by displaying a list of the Plus calls, some singing call sequences, stir the bucket routines, and other special sequences that I might want to call. CSDS has a search function that allows you to find a particular figure that you've been workshopping so that you can include it in your singing call.

    Sequences from our web-based Choreo Database can be downloaded into CSDS via the 'Import sequences into CSDS' link.

    Call from screen #2
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    I have a question about the screens that allow you to call dances using a notebook computer. I'm trying to envision how you work the computer and call at the same time. Is this difficult to do? Or is it something you get good at with a little bit of practice?

    It's easy to call with a notebook computer using CSDS. Most functions (music play|pause|rewind|etc., timer on/off/increment/decrement, viewing list of calls or sequences, navigating thru sequences) are single keystroke functions. The 'hard' part for a novice CSDS user is setting up the dance. Using the dance is reasonably straightforward.

    last modified: 19-July-2008   
    Check not cleared
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    I sent a check for your CSDS database over a week ago and it hasn't cleared the bank as of yet. I was wondering if you've received it yet. If not, please let me know so that I can stop payment on that one and issue you another check.

    I have received your check.

    I don't cash a check until I've mailed off the installation CD.

    This can take a couple of weeks since I usually wait until either the next release of CSDS, or until I have a couple of orders. For each order, I also have to create the CD, test it, package it, and mail it. Depending upon my schedule, this may also take a few days.

    Cool Edit
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    I have been using mini disc's for the last 7 years. A couple of things I need to know. Is Cool Edit installed with CSDS?

    Cool Edit is a separate program. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. It was purchased by Adobe, and has been enhanced and is now sold as Adobe Audition (for a lot more money!).


    Other possible products:

    last modified: 22-December-2020   
    Cue sheet database
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    Do you include your Cue sheet database with CSDS?

    I've noticed that a good deal of the records that I already have are part of your collection and although I TOTALLY agree with your stance on copyrighted music I don't see anything wrong with distributing the Cue sheets.

    The entire 'cue sheet database' can be downloaded from the web at

    This is a text file that can be 'imported' into the CSDS Music Database. For each song in the cue sheet file, the CSDS program searches it's Music Database for corresponding record_label and label_number. If a match is found, it generates the corresponding cue sheet (in HTML format), and updates the Music Database.

    Cue sheets
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    I saw that you offer a lot of cue sheets on your homepage. It takes a while to download them, so my second question is: Could I get these cue sheets from you on a CD when I buy your program? That would really save a lot of time for me...

    The cue sheet database is included as part of CSDS on the installation CD. The database currently holds over 9000 square dance cue sheets.

    Downloading cue sheets from our site isn't that difficult, and doesn't take that long. See

    Lyrics are not included on the installation CD, but can also be downloaded from our site.

    last modified: 19-July-2008   
    Cue sheets - scanning
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    Do you scan cue sheets to use in CSDS?

    No, but you can. It's inefficient to do so. It is better to type them into a document (i.e., RTF, HTML, TXT, or even DOC).

    Our web site currently contains over 9000 square dance cue sheets. Therefore, the most efficient and preferable way to add cue sheets to CSDS is to download them from our website and have CSDS 'import' them. See

    If some of your cue sheets are not found on our site, please send us the necessary information, and we will add it to our web-based database.

    You can similarly download and import lyrics into CSDS. See

    There's a lot of information about CSDS and cue sheets at

    last modified: 19-July-2008   
    Cue sheets and music player
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    How much of the screen is used when displaying singing call and round dance cue sheets? Can I select a playlist and have a pause between records? (Unlike the other players).

    1. The majority of the screen can be used to display the cue sheet.
    2. CSDS does not yet implement 'play lists' (it will within a few weeks). Currently, you select a piece of music via the CSDS music database, the CSDS quick list (a pre-selected subset of the CSDS music database), the CSDS music history list (the 50 most recently played selections), or browsing for a music selection from disk.

    CSDS uses single key-stroke functions to hide/show the music player and to navigate to the cue sheet.

    You can find a (very old) screen shot of the CSDS 'Call from Screen' window at

    An old screen shot of the CSDS music player can be found at

    last modified: 08-June-2006   
    Dancer positioning
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    The thing that I really feel would be of benefit to me that CSDS allows you to enter calls and then move the formation to whatever you feel it should be. How flexible is that feature?

    Dancers can be positioned at 1/2 matrix spots (e.g., 1/2 Press Ahead, Back, Right, Left).

    This feature is very flexible and should be able to do practically anything you want.

    It does have a few limitations:

    • Maximum matrix size is 16 x 16.
    • Although dancers may be facing at 45 degree angles, you may not have some dancers facing at 45 degree angles from other dancers (e.g., all dancers must be at 45 degree angles, or all must be at normal angles).

    Dell laptop
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    I recently purchased Cool Edit 2000 for converting my records to mp3. Do you see any problem using your system with my Dell laptop Inspiron 8100?

    I see no problem. I use a 'Dell Latitude C800'. My old laptop Was a 'Dell Inspiron 3200' -- it still works fine (I use it for my recording, and for taking to places like Europe).

    DEMO version - limitations
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    Can you tell me the limitations of the Demo program, and if I'll be able to figure out how to use the real thing by using it?

    The DEMO version of CSDS has the following limitations:

    • A dance may not contain more than 20 sequences.

    Definitions of Calls and Concepts
    • No access to this section.

    Getin | Getout Databases
    • Getin and getout databases may not be sorted.

    • The music database may not contain more than 10 records.

    • A sequence database may not contain more than 20 sequences.
    • Sequences are not internally compressed.
    • Sequences may not be imported or moved.
    • Sequences may not be saved as text files.
    • Find possible calls from current position stops searching after 20 matches.

    Snapshot Database
    • The snapshot database may not be sorted.

    Other Restrictions
    • Changes made to 'Settings...' are not saved when CSDS exits.
    • The levels, list, and parse databases may not be edited.

    So, basically, you can try out and do almost everything, but you will find it a pain if you seriously wish to use the program.

    Displaying both a cue sheet and a sequence
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    I guess that you can display both a cuesheet and a sequence from a dance program (or toggle between with a key), so you have the lyrics and alternative singing choreo at your hand. Is this true??

    While calling from the screen, you can simultaneously display all of the following:

    • 10 piles of unused sequences;
    • 1 pile for used (called) sequences;
    • 3 documents;
    • 1 cue sheet;
    • 1 lyrics file.

    For a sample picture (from a much older version of CSDS), see

    A large portion of the window is used for the 'primary' frame. The 'secondary' frames are located on the right-hand side. The 'Call from Screen' windows of CSDS uses single-keystrokes to switch which frame is the 'primary' frame. For instance, while you are calling, press 'C' to view the cuesheet, then press 'F3' to view the third sequence frame. Or press 'L' to view the lyrics, 'M' to display the music player, 'P' to play the music, etc.

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Displaying lyrics synchronized with the music
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    When displaying choreographic sequence notes, will CSDS keep the display of notes in time sequence with the music? Are there timing flags embedded with the music data, such as SMPTE Time Code could provide, that are used to scroll the patter notes or singing call verses.

    I'm looking for a music data base management system, but need to have this question answered before I purchase yours.

    The answer to your question is 'no'. CSDS does not do timing data. The closest that CSDS comes in this regard is that when a singing call is loaded in the music player, CSDS displays an approximation to the 7 sections (opener, seq1, seq2, middle-break, seq3, seq4, closer) immediately below the music position bar.

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Displaying multiple windows
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    Can CSDS play music (MP3 Files) and display some Get Outs, Modules or Singing Call at the same time? How does this work out with the different windows? I have a laptop computer with a 14" TFT Display. Will I be able to open and operate all the windows (music and e.g. get outs) at the same time?

    In the 'Call from Screen' portion of the program, CSDS can play music, while displaying up to 10 frames of sequences, 3 documents, a cue sheet file, and a lyrics file.

    A sample screen shot is located at which shows the 'Call from Screen' section of CSDS. A single keystroke brings a different frame to the foreground.

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Foreign Payment
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    Is it possible for you to give me the data of your Bank so I can transfer the $200? Or what is the best way from Germany? I do not want to put cash money in a letter.

    When you have the money, do you send me the CD or can I download the program?

    Payment possibilities:
    1. Send an International Money Order
    2. Send Traveler's Checks in U.S. currency
    3. Electronic transfer to my bank account:
      Montecito Bank & Trust
      bank #: 90-3478/1222 (122234783)
      account: 191362152
    4. Credit card

    Upon receipt of payment, I will (postal) mail you an installation CD and also E-mail you instructions on how to download CSDS from our website.

    Hard disk space
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    How much hard drive space does CSDS use with music, cue sheets etc loaded on a notebook. What do you recommend?

    Although I don't have exact numbers with me, an installation of CSDS with it's all data files is probably between 30 and 40 MB.

    Music files will eat up your hard disk space more than CSDS or more than cue sheets.

    A mono MP3 file for a typical square dance tune of 3 to 4 minutes is about 2MB or so. A stereo file is twice that much.

    I currently have 3648 (mostly mono) MP3 files in a folder on my laptop. These files take up 6.2 GB of space. Hence a GB will hold about 588 MP3 files.

    I recommend that you get a laptop with a hardrive of at least 20 GB.

    See also

    I need a user key
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    Could I please get a user key for your CSDS software that I downloaded from your internet page.

    To obtain a user key, you must purchase either the demo version ($25) or the full version ($200).

    last modified: 26-March-2007   
    Isolated formations
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    Another program I have used does not find single isolated formations very easily. E.G. in assymetrical setups it won't find things like a nearside diamond however many different ways you try to explain that diamond. If there is a left handed tandem based triangle of girls you are trying to tell it to find it won't find it ( I've tried things like 'ignore the # 4 girl, the other girls triangle circulate' and other ploys to try to get it to understand, and it is still no use).

    CSDS can do Near/Far <formation>/<N> (you can say things like 'Near Diamond Flip The Diamond', 'Near 2 Hinge', 'Far 6 Circulate', etc.) Other asymmetric terms such as 'Those Facing The Caller' and 'Couple #1 and #2' can be used.

    CSDS can not locate things such as left-hand tandem based triangles (this may change in the future). However, a record for the given instance of a call can always be added (e.g., if you say left-hand tandem-based triangles reshape, CSDS may say 'I do not know how to do this, show me how to do this' at which point the mouse can be used to drag the dancers to their ending positions, and the program will remember this instance of the call).

    I'm a computer dummy
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    Can a computer illiterate person like me learn this program? :-)

    That's a loaded question!

    The CSDS program is complex and powerful. However, basic features such as writing choreography, playing music, etc. are generally fairly straightforward. I strive to make the program both jam-packed full of features and easy to use, but these two concepts are often mutually exclusive.

    I have over 100 callers using the program now, and (believe me!) they let me know when something doesn't work as expected.

    So, the answer to your questions is "Yes, computer illiterate people can learn the program, but there will be a learning curve".

    I'll be glad to provide user support via E-mail (preferred) or phone -- and you can also browse the CSDS FAQ section of our website).

    Laptop recommendation
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    If you were recommending a Windows laptop for Square dance calling usage, which one would you recommend, what are the criteria you regard as most important?

    What about Software recommendations to go with that, as for handling music and co-ordinating the music and calling? Does CSDS do that?

    The #1 thing I'd look for in a laptop is reliability. The laptop must work, problem-free, while you are calling. You don't want to have to worry about it. You don't want the laptop to experience problems such as stuck keys, an errant mousepad, memory glitches, etc. As such, I recommend sticking to well-known brands. I have had two Dell laptops. The first was fine, so when it was time to retire it, I bought another Dell. This second Dell had problems. I now have a Sony Vaio, which seems to be more reliable than the Dell.

    If you plan on creating your own MP3s from your record collection, you will need music editing software. I currently use Adobe Audition. It's pricey, but it's loaded with features. Other music editors may be found on our Digital Music page.

    CSDS takes care of playing the music, keeping the selections organized, looping for patter music, etc.

    The CSDS music player allows you to play, rewind, fade out, count beats per minute, change the tempo, etc.

    A description of the music player can be found at

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Levels included
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    Besides playing the MP3 files, I understand that the major task of your program is to create choreography. I assume that all definitions for the figures from MS to e.g. A2 are already input in the program. Is that correct?

    CSDS has calls and concepts through C4. However, some concepts above the C3A level aren't fully implemented. This isn't a problem, as specific instances of calls may be entered as desired -- CSDS has a learning feature that allows you to drag the dancers to their ending spot, set a few parameters, and voila!, you have created a new instance of a call.

    Linux / Unix
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    CSDS sounds wonderful and the copy I saw at a dance is very impressive. Is there any chance in the future that it may be ported to Linux / Unix or that it will run under Windows emulation on Linux? If so I could be quite interested in buying a copy.

    CSDS will not be ported to Linux / Unix anytime soon.

    I do not know how it might run under a Windows emulation, but my guess is that it won't run very well, especially the music portion.

    I know of one caller who has successfully run CSDS on the Mac platform under an emulation package (after resolving a lot of problems). Unfortunately, the music portion didn't work well at all and had distortions and skips.

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    I did not see any single topic "Compatibility" or "System Requirements", only a couple of notes on XP, Dell, Linux, Unix, so I assume this program is not available for Macintosh?

    CSDS is not available for the Macintosh, and probably never will be. CSDS only works on 32-bit windows systems.

    Look at page and find the 'System Requirements' section.

    last modified: 06-January-2008   
    MP3 Player
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    Am I to assume that if I buy the CSDS program, it is the actual MP3 player?

    CSDS can play music via the Microsoft Media Player, Winamp, or via an internal player.

    The Microsoft Media Player is (partially) imbedded in the CSDS program. This player is probably already on your system, since it is included with Internet Explorer 4 or beyond. If not, the latest version can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft website.

    The Winamp player must first be downloaded and installed before it can be used by CSDS. It is available for free from the Winamp web site. Be sure to download version 5.x. The PaceMaker 1.32 plug-in is highly recommended, especially if you would like to independently change the tempo and pitch.

    last modified: 06-January-2008   
    Music and Cue Sheets
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    I noticed that if I want to have the cue sheets and music 'tied together' -- I need the record label and number entered?

    I ask because over the past two years I have converted my 800+ records to MP3 as back up and for mini disc use... but I never added the label or number in the file name.....

    Does this mean I need to dig out all the boxes???

    The answer is "Yes".

    For the computer to match up cue sheets and lyrics with the appropriate music, the title is not enough.

    In fact, the title is so untrustworthy that CSDS does not even look at it.

    An extra space or punctuation mark in the title could cause a mismatch. For example, Quadrille 855 is "Just Lovin' You", and TNT 274 is "Just Loving You". One has a quote, one doesn't. The computer might catch one, but not the other, or it might give the TNT cue sheet to the Quadrille version.

    Also, many tunes on several different labels. For example, "Oh Lonesome Me" is on at least 10 different labels! How can the computer know by looking only at the name which cue sheet goes with the music?

    Music Player - Pitch Control
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    I've been looking at your Square Dance System here on the Internet, and there is one thing missing I think. A reliable "pitch control" that can change Pitch without changing speed. Would it not be a relatively easy thing to put into the system???

    CSDS can play music via either the Microsoft Media Player or the WinAmp 5.xx player. If you use the WinAmp player, you can use a WinAmp plug-in to change pitch without changing speed.

    CSDS can control either the PaceMaker 1.32 plug-in or the Chronotron II plug-in. PaceMaker is the recommended plug-in.

    last modified: 06-January-2008   
    Patter record looping
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    How is the loop of the patter record generated? Do I have to set some marking externally, or do I have to "cut" the MP3 file in 3 parts? I have done that with the patter songs which I use on Mini Disc, but I have no idea how to do this with a MP3 file.... Maybe this can be done with your program?

    CSDS uses software to loop the music. For each music selection that you want to loop, you specify a start and end time for the loop. To specify the loop, start playing the music, then press a button at the start time; then fast-forward to a position near the end of the music and play the music again, then press another button to set the end time. A 'Test Loop' button allows you to test your loop. To finetune the loop, you can then repeat the process, or use edit boxes or up/down controls to edit the start and end times.

    Each song only requires one mp3 file.

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Playing music and calling sequences
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    If I want to play music and call sequences, I assume I need CSDS.

    Technically, of course, you don't absolutely need CSDS, since you can load a music file into a player and play it, and you can load a text file into a viewer and view it. CSDS just makes it a heckuva lot nicer and easier to do. (once you get over the 'learning curve') :-)

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Please send more info
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    I have a German friend who would like to have your computer program for MP3's for Laptops. I would like one myself. Please send me some info.

    On our website, there is a large section devoted to the 'Ceder Square Dance System (CSDS)'. You can find a description of the program, sample screen shots, ordering information, online help, FAQs, and upgrade files for downloading.

    The CSDS section starts at

    The complete program is US $200. A 'demo' version is US $25.

    If you wish to place an order, send me a check. I require the name of your German friend, and preferably his/her address info and E-mail.

    Pocket PC
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    Do you have any thoughts on adapting the CSDS system to Windows Pocket PC?

    It will not happen any time in the near future.

    Pop-up Cue Sheets
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    When clicking to play a song, does the cue sheet "pop up" automatically?

    In the 'Call from Screen' window of CSDS, whenever you load a song that has an associated cue sheet, the cue sheet will appear in the window's main frame.

    Program features
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    I am thinking about purchasing the CSDS program. I now use musicmatch jukebox.

    Can you tell me what I'll gain with your program?

    You will be able to do much more, including:
    1. Set automatic looping for patter records.
    2. Automatically display the cue sheet associated with a singing call.
    3. Display sequences.
    4. Write choreography.
    5. Display lists of calls.

    You should check out the CSDS portion of our web site:

    You also might want to check out the HTML help index portion at and the FAQ database at

    last modified: 25-May-2011   
    Recording music
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    Does your media player in CSDS have recording capability? If not, what do you recommend I purchase?

    CSDS does not have recording capability.

    You need some music editing software. CSDS is music management software (organizes and plays music).

    There are 4 choices for music editing software listed on our digital music page.

    I recommend Sound Forge or Goldwave

    I personally have CoolEdit2000 (no longer available) and Adobe Audition (in my opinion, too pricey).

    Transferring MP3 files
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    I've been using musicmatch jukebox. Can I transfer my mp3 files over easily?

    It's no problem. You just go to the Music Database portion of the program and select the 'Add new MP3 files from Folder' option, and the program will add all MP3 files from a specified folder to the database.

    Try out sequences
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    I'm a dancer who would sometimes like to try out sequences that have been called and I have a question about.

    Does the demo version of CSDS allow me to do that?

    The answer is basically "yes". The only problem is that the program will sometimes not know how to do a particular call from a particular formation, or may not know how to apply a particular concept to a particular call. In cases like these, a caller writing the sequence would "teach" the program how to do that particular instance of the call.

    The demo version of CSDS has a few functions disabled, but primarily limits the user by restricting how much information can be saved.

    What's included?
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    Does your program include any Definitions, Get Ins, Get Outs, Modules, Singing Call routines, or is it a "blank" book?

    CSDS does not currently display any textual call definitions.

    CSDS comes with an extensive GETOUT database and some GETINs.

    Sequence databases can be downloaded from our Choreography Database at

    Windows XP
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    Will your program run on a computer with XP?

    Yes. CSDS runs fine under Windows XP.

    Several CSDS users have installed and are using CSDS on Windows XP, including myself. The CSDS software and installation CD are generated on my XP machine.

If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to E-mail Vic at
30-September-2023 13:26:42
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