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Spring 2008
Dear Colleague:

Welcome to those of you who purchased Retain Pro since our last quarterly newsletter - and that's 536 of you!

These quarterly newsletters are to keep you informed of changes and suggest more effective use of our software. They are primarily for version 2007 users, but we also send them to users of earlier versions (to encourage you to upgrade!) and to others who have requested them.

This "Spring" newsletter is arriving several weeks into "summer", but we delayed it to announce the availability of release 2007N - see next item below.

Previous newsletters - this is our 12th - are available on our home page. Click on NEWSLETTERS. They contain helpful information, particularly the Technical Topics sections.

Release 2007N is now available on AutoUpdate

The AutoUpdate system (version 2007 users only) keeps you current for changes, enhancements, or corrections we make. To retrieve release 2007N, click "Yes" when prompted to check for updates. Alternatively, you can retrieve it from Settings -> AutoUpdate, or download it from It contains many enhancements, clarifications, and yes, a few bug fixes - nothing adversely affecting results. A list of the ten revisions is posted on our Support page. The demonstration version on our web site has also been updated to release 2007N.

New installation procedure

Those of you upgrading from an earlier version, or using AutoUpdate, have noticed an extra step in the activation process: a 15-digit Installation Code. This was necessary to curtail numerous instances of unauthorized use of the software. For most of you this has only added a minute or two, but some had problems, particularly if upgrading from a version purchased before 1-1-08 when we added the 15-digit Install Code. Your 16 digit Product Activation Code (PAC) and Installation Code (IC) can easily be retrieved from our Support page. Complete instructions for installing either a small office or network license, and deactivating when necessary, are posted on Installation Procedures on our support page. We urge you to print this for reference, and keep handy your activation codes. And remember to turn off your anti-virus software during installation!

Since the Installation Code gives us control of activations per license, you may get a message such as "License number has already been used". This means you have exceeded your allowed activations (four, for a small office license) and must deactivate and uninstall from one computer before installing on another. To deactivate go to Settings > Licensing, then press [Internet Deactivation]. The above message could also be triggered if your anti-virus is not turned off during installation.

Is the "recession" affecting your company?

Answer the survey question on our home page and let's see how your company sees the next half of '08. So far only 18 have responded, but encouragingly, over one-third expect more work in the second half! See sample below. Too few responses yet to be significant, but it will get interesting.

Expect more work than 1st half: 7
About the same as 1st half: 6
Expect less than 1st half 3
Much less and worried 2

Technical Topics

Seismic factors can be easily found from this web site we've just discovered: You can enter a project address and get the Ss factor. latitude and longitude, and other data.

The Equation Menu is a valuable feature of Retain Pro 2007. It is found by clicking the sigma icon (Σ) on the tool bar. It contains a dozen complex equations relating to retaining structures which can be quickly and easily solved by inserting the variables. All of them are used in Retain Pro, but can be helpful for verifications and other applications. We encourage you to suggest equations to add.

Many timely topics have been discussed in past newsletters.. They are accessible from our home page. Here are a few:

  • Seismic kh factor, Summer '06
  • Seismic on freestanding walls, Winter '08
  • Inspection requirements, Winter '08
  • Pier foundation design, Winter '08
  • Retaining liquids, Winter '07
  • Vertical component usage, Summer '06 and Winter '07
  • Footing dowels, Summer '06
  • Segmental retaining walls (SRWs), Summer '06

Licensing recap

We still get questions, so here again are descriptions:

Small Office License. This allows installing on up to four office/home computers and simultaneous use. It is not for server installation

Network License. This is to be installed on a server which can then serve up to 25 workstations for simultaneous use. It cannot be installed on individual computers - only through the server.

Disclosure: In response to many requests we will soon be offering more licensing options, such as for additional activations. They will be announced on our web site - probably mid-August.

When requesting technical support

If you email for tech support ( be sure to include your name, company, phone, and your registration number (RPxxxxxxx). If you fax a calculation report printout for us to review be sure your company name appears in the title block (you create it from the Settings screen). We will not review reports submitted to us without your title block inserted.

Change email address? Let us know!

Nearly one-quarter of you will not receive this email because you've changed your email address and not let us know. It's easy to update: just go to and click on Change email address. Enter your old email, your password - and there's a prompt if you forgot it - then your new email address. Important announcements - and these newsletters - often have gone to a long-departed employee, or worse, to the purchasing department. Be sure the email address we have goes to the person responsible for using Retain Pro.

Our annual user survey

We want your feedback!
In a day or two all version 2007 users will get by email our annual User Survey. We want to know how you like Retain Pro, which features you use most, how we can improve, and new features you'd like to see. It will go to all version 2007 users. We hope you will give us a few minutes to click your answers to 20 questions. To thank you, we'll email each respondent our expanded Special Report: 12 Reasons Retaining Walls Fail -- and 12 Cost-Effective Fixes.

Our new home page Suggestion Box.

There is a new Suggestion Box on our home page. If you have suggestions, comments or corrections, we want to hear them. If you have a specific issue, or a technical item to contribute, it's better to email us at

With best wishes for a productive and enjoyable summer!


Hugh Brooks, PE, SE
Retain Pro Software

P.S. VERSION 2005 USERS: Until August 15th you can still upgrade to version 2007 for $195. If you haven't upgraded you're missing new features such as updating to current codes, segmental retaining walls, pier foundation option, LRFD for masonry, the Equation Menu, and over a dozen other improvements. To order:

You are receiving this email because you are a Retain Pro user or have downloaded a demo and asked to be on our email list. This email list is for our use only to provide you with information, but if you do not want to receive future copies just email me at and on the subject line type "Cancel", and don't forget to include your company name and email address where you received this.

Retain Pro Software div. HBA Publications, Inc. PO Box 826 Corona del Mar CA 92626 949-721-4099
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