the unreasoning power of the media

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Dec 16 23:08:22 EST 1999


On Fri, 17 Dec 1999 09:26:45 +1000, PREISIG, Kylie wrote:

>It doesn't really take that long.  It only took me a couple of weeks to do
>the 500+ books I had when I created my database (which is just an Excel
>spreadsheet).  If you get a stack of books and get into a rhythm you can
>whiz through them.  Though I don't guarantee that at the end of you won't be
>blind at the keyboard...

To be honest, I don't mind the work.  The problem is that I get obsessed and
then my kids suffer.  At the moment, I'm waiting for Jacob to finish the
quick entry form so I can get started while he's still working on
programming.  Also, this is something like the fifth or sixth system he's
started for me, counting our original one in Q&A about a million years ago.
And every time I began entering data, he'd say "This system isn't
working--I'm going to try something new!"  So it's not only the work, it's
the possibility of putting in hours of work that will be for nothing.
(Hint, hint, dear.)

>No matter what database you use you'd still have to enter the same amount of
>data.  I guess my only recommendation would be to make sure the data entry
>side of it is as friendly to your needs as possible, or to perhaps consider
>entering data into something friendlier and importing it into the final
>database.

Definitely not going to do that; if this system isn't friendly, I don't want
it.  There are enough database programs out there that if all I wanted was a
record of my holdings, I could make one now.  But they all have "features"
that I don't like--or that aren't friendly.  So you can believe that even
though Jacob is doing the programming, I'm the one sitting there looking
over his shoulder and griping politely about the size of the data entry
screen.  Obviously I would prefer to download someone else's data files, but
at some point you get down to (as you point out) someone having to enter the
data by hand--and those people usually want compensation for their hard
work.

Now, on the other hand, I can envision getting all my records input, then
opening my database to friends--if you have the same book, you can copy the
record.  So at least other people would have some starting point, assuming
they're all SF nuts or something like that.  And then if successive people
lent THEIR records...eventually we *would* have all that 5.5 million records
the Library of Congress offers in a MARC file.  And then I could start
making money...well, probably not.  But it's a thought.

Melissa Proffitt
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