The program is a Windows™© based computer program and as such closely follows typical Windows program operating conventions. A practical working knowledge of Windows is therefore desirable when using the program. Reference to Windows operating manuals and 'Help' pages will thus serve to cover many questions that might arise whilst operating the program.
The program is designed so that all relevant information is displayed around a single main screen presentation (see special note below in red). The program is also designed to operate with a logical order of 'user inputs' that closely mimics the way engineers would tackle the manual process of calculating air conditioning loads. Therefore, once a question (request for input) has been satisfied, either by typing in an appropriate value or by selecting an item from a 'menu', then the program will automatically move on to the next logical input routine. This does not prevent the program user from entering inputs in a different order although sometimes the program will display an error message if another input routine must be entered before the current one can be answered. This is because some inputs may be dependant upon having information retrieved or computed from previous routines before a logical result can be computed. For example: The program will not permit entry of wall construction data until the size and plan of the room has first been established. This is part of Mistral's unique care in producing programs that will not permit illogical or contradictory results.
The program comprises a series of 'Input Routines' corresponding to all of the questions that need answering to arrive at the result of a 'Total Cooling Load' (and in some versions, also a Total Heating Load) for defined room(s). These input routines may be accessed either by clicking on the appropriate icon or 'button' that appears in the input routine 'box' (a frame which appears around the area covering the chosen subject) or the program will also automatically move to the next logical question to be answered once data for the current one has been entered.
The penalty for having everything displayed on a single screen display is that 'navigation' around the program can appear daunting until users are familiar. Mistral has therefore provided 'automatic navigation' by simply pressing Return at the end of each input. Until users are familiar with the program Mistral recommends this method of navigation. In any event, the program's carefully designed 'intelligent logic' will generally select the next obvious input choices by default. Thus making 'Return key', 'automatic navigation' the fastest route through the program - even for experts.
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