the unreasoning power of the media
emcmullin at kl.com
Thu Dec 16 19:12:21 EST 1999
The background of the question:
"The sticking point at the moment is that 1500 books, while a
> paltry number in terms of general collections, is daunting when it comes
> entering things like author/title/number of pages by hand, which is what
> looks like I'll be doing."
Ugh, I do this all the time. Course, they pay me to, but whatever.
"Does anyone have any bright ideas that will save me going blind
> keyboard? And will not require me to sell said books in order to afford
> database, a la "The Gift of the Magi"?"
My life is databases. I'm a user and adjuster though, not a
creator. I do have some ideas, though none of them are beautiful (and if
anyone has any beautiful ideas, I want to know too!).
First of all, you could cruise the web and seek to block and copy
relevant information into text or spreadsheet format. This would be quite a
large doc, I imagine. Then when entry time comes, copy it into the
database table. At least this minimizes typing.
If this route isn't practicable, I guess I'd just sort of break the
info down and do maybe an author a day and set a goal (10 records? 15?).
Last I checked I could do circa 15/hr., and that included formulating
various descriptive text fields and looking up a bunch of stuff, not
straight entry - that can give you a jump off guesstimating point. Here, if
I'm entering a lot all at once, I try to batch information with similar
elements (like date or author in this instance) so I can copy it (Excel is
great for that one click/copied into many lines thing).
Really, I don't think this will take that long. Fear not!
What has me curious are the fields beyond the bibliography. I don't
want to make more work for you, but I was thinking how cool a Reviews field
would be. Or a Reader Comments field. Cross-references, recommended
readings, ooh la la. And you can link the records to any essays you write
in your word/wp/write program. Okay, maybe that all can wait until dtbs
updates after the drudgery is done!
Sounds like the most fun I can think of to have with a dtbs. You
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