the unreasoning power of the media

McMullin, Elise 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
> to
> entering things like author/title/number of pages by hand, which is what
> it
> looks like I'll be doing."
> 
	Ugh, I do this all the time.  Course, they pay me to, but whatever.

	The question:
	"Does anyone have any bright ideas that will save me going blind
over the
> keyboard?  And will not require me to sell said books in order to afford
> the
> 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
go!

	Elise
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