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Re: Irreplaceable utilities and other matters

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  • johnecarter
    I m new to the forum, but have a lot of programming experience (politically correct term for old ;-) My comments are in-line. ... Plain text (the Fido and
    Message 1 of 32 , Nov 27, 2009
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      I'm new to the forum, but have a lot of programming experience (politically correct term for old ;-) My comments are in-line.

      --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:

      > There were utilities called Nameview and Namedrop that scanned BBS messages for
      > things like surnames of interest, and manipulated those messages to collect
      > them. They worked with Fido Technology Networks, but no one seems to have
      > written an equivalent that works with mailing lists, newsgroups, or web
      > forums.

      Plain text (the Fido and other BBS formats) is relatively easy to parse. Back in DOS days, a guy I worked with was capturing the output of an online database (in-house stuff for AT&T) to a text file via CrossTalk and using a dBASE script someone else had written to process the captured data and produce reports (yes, it was a case of "If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"). I wrote a parser in compiled BASIC that trimmed the 2 hour process down to less than a minute: convert text to CSV, import CSV into dBASE.

      The current crop of HTML mail programs with multiple fonts and images (including in-line ads, etc) is more complex to process - and there are a LOT more mail programs. Simple HTML mail is not nearly so complex as HTML mail generated by Microsoft Word. The same can be said for parsing web pages (including forums) - some are much simpler (and closer to the HTML standards) than others.

      The scan process is certainly possible: ReaderWare has book, CD, and video database programs that collect the details of your collection from a barcode scan (or manual entry) of the ISBN (books), LCCN (books) or UPC (CDs and video) and then use that number in an online search of the likely sources of information (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Library of Congress, etc) - and it's all done in Java.

      > But most of those utilities were written in DOS, and modern printers don't work with
      > DOS. So the utilities need to be rewritten to use modern programs and modern
      > hardware.

      I still have a couple of ASCII-capable printers that work just fine with DOS programs (and the output of the microprocessors I dabble with in retirement) - an HP DeskJet 500 that I bought refurbished (with a 3 year warranty!) long long ago and the refurb HP DeskJet 520 my younger daughter took to college a couple of years later. Yes, they are old, slow, loud, and big but they are truly "built like a tank" and just keep running. The number of fax machines built on the HP 500-series platform have kept the #26 cartridge alive (at least in refilled units).

      The ideal printer for cards was a tractor-feed dot matrix, but those are in short supply - except the bigger ones, used for multi-part forms.

      New versions of these programs can certainly be produced; it's a matter of finding someone with the proper skills and sufficient interest in genealogy. I'm more likely to spend time with my grandkids....

      John
    • ray_murphy aus
      ... [....] ... [....] [Update] A much better version of the VB program has been uploaded to the Files section of this group s website. It s called GENEVENTS2
      Message 32 of 32 , Dec 12, 2009
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        --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "ray_murphy aus" <raymurph@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@> wrote:
        > >
        > > On 3 Dec 2009 at 19:11, ray_murphy aus wrote:
        > >
        > > > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@> wrote:
        > >
        [....]

        > RM: I've already got that test VB program working and displaying all the required events, sources and people, but as it turned out, it didn't need MS Access or its complex linkage system at all.
        >
        > The user-interface being used would be the same under any system,
        > and irrespective of what was happening in the background with tables,
        > linkages or arrays.

        [....]

        [Update]

        A much better version of the VB program has been uploaded to the Files section of this group's website. It's called "GENEVENTS2"

        It can be used to store literally anything that one could ever imagine because users can add their own categories for Events, Facts or Relationships between people.

        Any date system can be used, but if full automatic sorting is required for print-outs, then we need to use the YYYY,MM,DD format. If however some dates are not in the correct format (and order in a printout) then they can be simply re-positioned by Copy/Paste in the print-out panel.

        If "Connected People" are required for event descriptions, then just click on their names and they will be automatically inserted.

        If Sources of information are required for events etc, then they simply need to be entered with the event.

        The program has a concise Help section in the Menu, so most questions will be answered there.

        This latest version should make it easy for anyone to create a database with a SUITABLE 5.5 Gedcom and start seeing future potential or current weaknesses with the system.

        Ray
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