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Old 11-03-2003, 03:44 PM
Karen
 
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I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen


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Old 11-03-2003, 05:56 PM
Mick Fournier
 
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Karen,

I would find out what these guys use
http://los.lon.imag.net/picref.asp

Mick

------------------------



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Old 11-03-2003, 06:57 PM
Larry Dighera
 
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 09:47:15 -0600, Karen
(Karen) wrote in Message ID :

I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen


I would scan the annual volume index (usually published in the
December issue) with Optical Character Recognition software, so that
you'd have all the indexes in text format on your computer. Then edit
them (with wordpad or notepad), so that each article (record) is on a
separate line, and each item (field) relating to the article (date,
title, page number,...) is separated by a comma. Then import the
comma-delimited database that you have just created to Excel. Once in
Excel, the data should be searchable.


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Old 11-03-2003, 07:22 PM
Rob Halgren
 
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I would scan the annual volume index (usually published in the
December issue) with Optical Character Recognition software, so that
you'd have all the indexes in text format on your computer. Then edit
them (with wordpad or notepad), so that each article (record) is on a
separate line, and each item (field) relating to the article (date,
title, page number,...) is separated by a comma. Then import the
comma-delimited database that you have just created to Excel. Once in
Excel, the data should be searchable.



I would actually write a PERL script to do the text editing... But
that is just geeky. Doesn't Orchids have an online table of contents?
If I recall, orchidweb.org has the contents of several years worth of
Orchids online. Not all of the text, but at least the table of
contents. Might be easier to grab some of that.

Rob

--
Rob's Rules: http://www.msu.edu/~halgren
1) There is always room for one more orchid
2) There is always room for two more orchids
2a. See rule 1
3) When one has insufficient credit to purchase
more orchids, obtain more credit

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Old 12-03-2003, 01:14 AM
profpam
 
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Karen,

If these are orchid genus related articles you could always scan them
into the computer. Then drag across the text and paste the information
into Everything Orchid Management System in the Notes section.
Everything Orchid Management System sells for $29.95 + 4.95
shipping/handling (same price as 4 years ago) and 5 copies still remain
of a previous version -- 19.95 + 5.50 shipping/handling. To order the
previous version, use Prev311 for the product code and replace the
dollar amounts with the new. Even the cheaper version is a fully
supported product which comes with 2 free upgrades.

.. . . Pam
Everything Orchid Management System
http://www.pe.net/~profpam/page3.html

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Karen wrote:

I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen



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Old 12-03-2003, 02:46 AM
Ted Byers
 
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Default tracking Magazine articles

Karen wrote in message ...
I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen


Karen,

How familiar are you with Access 2000? Since you have it, and it
ain't cheap (I KNOW, as I have it too), you might as well make use of
it. If you are an experienced database developer, you could probably
work up a proper data model, and relevant tables and queries, in a
matter of a few hours. If you've never done it before, it might take
you a few weeks, or longer (depending on whether or not you're a
perfectionist), but that is well worth the experience. The most time
consuming part of the task, though, is entering the data. While you
could scan some of the data in, as some have suggested, I find that
would take much longer than if I just typed the data in manually.

To start, you probably want to sit down, away from the computer, with
a notepad, and make some notes on how you do a search through your
magazines manually. Then draw a sketch or two of the relationships
between the various pieces of information. Then you are in a position
to begin making your first (of many ;-) version of your tables.

As I develop software for a living, and I have Access 2000 (along with
the rest of MS Office), I can point you to a few books that you may
find helpful. Or, if your query is not time sensitive, you can ask me
and I wil help you out as time permits (I can't guarantee a speedy
response, especially on weekdays when my workday is often in excess of
12 hours). After all, why pay money for some other product when you
already have a product that, if used well, will meet your needs? With
data of the sort you describe, it will be hard to get it wrong.

Cheers,

Ted
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Old 12-03-2003, 03:45 AM
Karen
 
Posts: n/a
Default tracking Magazine articles

Ted Byers wrote:
Karen wrote in message ...

I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen



Karen,

How familiar are you with Access 2000? Since you have it, and it
ain't cheap (I KNOW, as I have it too), you might as well make use of
it. If you are an experienced database developer, you could probably
work up a proper data model, and relevant tables and queries, in a
matter of a few hours. If you've never done it before, it might take
you a few weeks, or longer (depending on whether or not you're a
perfectionist), but that is well worth the experience. The most time
consuming part of the task, though, is entering the data. While you
could scan some of the data in, as some have suggested, I find that
would take much longer than if I just typed the data in manually.

To start, you probably want to sit down, away from the computer, with
a notepad, and make some notes on how you do a search through your
magazines manually. Then draw a sketch or two of the relationships
between the various pieces of information. Then you are in a position
to begin making your first (of many ;-) version of your tables.

As I develop software for a living, and I have Access 2000 (along with
the rest of MS Office), I can point you to a few books that you may
find helpful. Or, if your query is not time sensitive, you can ask me
and I wil help you out as time permits (I can't guarantee a speedy
response, especially on weekdays when my workday is often in excess of
12 hours). After all, why pay money for some other product when you
already have a product that, if used well, will meet your needs? With
data of the sort you describe, it will be hard to get it wrong.

Cheers,

Ted


I have done one database in my life. It was not bad and it is still in
use by my former employer. That said, I would not consider myself a good
database programer.

That is why I was looking at something basic that I could purchase that
I could input the info I have into it.
Karen

  #8   Report Post  
Old 12-03-2003, 03:46 AM
Karen
 
Posts: n/a
Default tracking Magazine articles

Rob Halgren wrote:


I would scan the annual volume index (usually published in the
December issue) with Optical Character Recognition software, so that
you'd have all the indexes in text format on your computer. Then edit
them (with wordpad or notepad), so that each article (record) is on a
separate line, and each item (field) relating to the article (date,
title, page number,...) is separated by a comma. Then import the
comma-delimited database that you have just created to Excel. Once in
Excel, the data should be searchable.



I would actually write a PERL script to do the text editing... But
that is just geeky. Doesn't Orchids have an online table of contents?
If I recall, orchidweb.org has the contents of several years worth of
Orchids online. Not all of the text, but at least the table of
contents. Might be easier to grab some of that.

Rob


that might be if I would be that logical to think about it when I wanted
the info.
sometimes it is the moments like that when I become spacy and having
something something local where I can put my hands on it is the most
important thing.

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Old 12-03-2003, 04:00 AM
Karen
 
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Default tracking Magazine articles

Mick Fournier wrote:
Karen,

I would find out what these guys use
http://los.lon.imag.net/picref.asp

Mick

------------------------




whatever they use may be a bit more powerful than what I need. Man they
have quite a list of source material to go through. quite impressive!
But I did ask asnyway.

  #10   Report Post  
Old 12-03-2003, 05:59 AM
K Barrett
 
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Default tracking Magazine articles

The AOS has not put their index on line, however the ODC has. You should
check their website.

K Barrett

"Karen" wrote in message
...
I now have a hefty pile of Orchid and The Orchid Digest Magazines and I
want to organize them on a database somehow so that if I have a question
I can refer back to a specific article. I am always so impressed by
people who can pull journal references out for other people to refer to.

Currently I have Access and Excel 2000 on my computer. Is there anything
reasonably priced out there that anyone can point me towards that is not
to hard to set up and use?

Karen





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Old 12-03-2003, 12:44 PM
Ted Byers
 
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Default tracking Magazine articles

I have done one database in my life. It was not bad and it is still in
use by my former employer. That said, I would not consider myself a good
database programer.

That is why I was looking at something basic that I could purchase that
I could input the info I have into it.
Karen


Karen,

You may be selling yourself short. After all, there are lots of kids
fresh out of a degree program in computer science who couldn't hope to
begin to design, let alone implement, a useful application, and yet
you have developed and delivered to your former employer a viable
commercial database application. Simple custom products, intended to
be used only by the company who paid for its development, are where
the bulk of software development work is to be found. That puts you
further ahead than a good many folk who call themselves programmers!
This tells me that you do have the skills required to quickly develop
an Access database. In my case, the only time I don't develop my own
software product is when there isn't anything on the market that meets
my needs (or what is available is garbage) or when it is more cost
effective to buy rights to a product than it is to develop it myself.

Besides, what could be more basic than Access. After all, it, like
the rest of MS Office, can be programmed using Visual BASIC, and BASIC
stands for Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code!

A different consideration is that cheap software products are likely
to be badly written and not well tested; and a bad program can
significantly damage your system. Now I have to qualify that by saying
there is plenty of freeware, and inexpensive software, that is of
outstanding quality. The problem is, though, one of knowing which are
well written and which aren't. I know which free or inexpensive
products are good and reliable, when it comes to development tools,
since I make my living at it. But I couldn't begin to tell you about
such products to be used for, e.g., language instruction or for
landscape design. Because of this, if I decided I need a landscape
design product, I'd develop it myself (something I could almost do in
my sleep), rather than trust one of the cheap products available
commercially in that category of software application. Since I make
my living with my computer, I will not risk it by installing a product
I can't trust.

If it is just a matter of self confidence, I would encourage you to
try anyway. You are probably a better database programmer than you
give yourself credit for. I too had issues with self confidence as a
software developer (especially when dealing with other software
developers), because I have never taken even one course in computer
science, until a C++ guru told me that by virtue of my knowledge of
C++ and other programming languages, and my experience in commercial
software development, I would be qualified as a senior software
engineer: what I knew was more important than my academic credentials
(which are all in ecology and education). If instead it is a matter
of cost effectiveness or a shortage of time, that is a question only
you can answer, and that is a value judgement.

Cheers,

Ted
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Old 12-03-2003, 02:32 PM
Bob Betts
 
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wrote:
Mick Fournier wrote:
I would find out what these guys use
http://los.lon.imag.net/picref.asp

whatever they use may be a bit more powerful than what I need. Man they
have quite a list of source material to go through. quite impressive!
But I did ask asnyway.


Mike, thanks for the compliment. Both because you think my effort is
worth using as a model and because you used the term guys (as in there
is so much data it must be a team effort). Actually it is just one
guy - me - sitting here in the basement at my keyboard manually
turning each page of the new book and typing in the data.

Karen, you have available exactly what I use if you have MS Access and
a simple text editor.

What I am about to say will put a smile on the face of the technically
challenged and horrify the technocrats in our group.

Even though I have been a systems analyst and programmer with major
companies like IBM, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya for over 32 years,
I still keep it simple.

All of the data is entered by me typing it into an ancient DOS editor
that never even made it to product status. It was a prototype written
and used internally at IBM where I worked years ago.

Ten years of the Orchid Digest information was scanned from their five
year indexes and sent to me by a friend. I still had to play with
what she sent to get it into the same fixed field format that I use in
the text file. Every other entry was hand typed by me alone.

I use the old DOS editor because I have used it so long I don't have
to think about what I am doing and can enter the data pretty quickly.
In fact I can do it many times faster than typing it directly into
Access or using a newer editor. I do not have to type every character
on every line. I make a copy of the previous entry and type the next
plant name and page number. I do not have to type the book name every
time. I also only type the various codes if they change from one
entry to the next. However, I am limited to about 2000 entries before
it dies because of lack of memory.

After I have entered enough new data to make it worthwhile to upload a
new version of the database which is created by merging the old flat
file with the flat files of new data (5 to 10 thousand records in up
to 5 separate 2000 record files). I open the main file and all the
files of new data with ultraedit.
I cut and paste the data from the new data files into the main one and
use ultraedit to sort it all on the name field so I don't have to have
the retrieval code do it.

I then open the database, which is in MS Access/97, delete all the
data, and import the new complete text file into Access. I use the
Access data maintenance tool to compress the database and then upload
it to the website.

Since I only have a slow dial-up connection and the database is now
just under 17 megabytes, I do not want to upload it without a good
bunch of new data.

Currently it is one totally un-normalized table. I tried normalizing
it by creating a book name table and referring to it from the main
table but that only cut the file size down by a couple of megs so I
decided to leave it as one table. I think that a large portion of the
physical size is in the indexes since I have them on the plant name
field, the hybrid or species field, the photo or drawing field, and
the colour or black and white field.

If there are any MS Access wizards out there that can tell me how to
make a significant reduction in the file size with what is really one
very simple table, I would love to hear from you. The space for out
club website is donated by my ISP and I keep worrying that when they
see how much space it is using that they may stop being so generous.
If that happens, our club will no longer have a website or the
database. Cutting the file size down will not only save me time
during the upload and allow more frequent updates but it may make my
space usage less noticeable by my ISP.

  #13   Report Post  
Old 12-03-2003, 03:56 PM
Rob Halgren
 
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Actually I meant that you could grab the text from the AOS, rather than
trying to make your OCR software work for scanning in data. Some of the
stuff you would still have to scan in, but it is a lot easier to cut and
paste from a web page. Get what you can in digital format, get the rest
the hard way. You will still have to figure out a way to keep track of
the data...

Rob


I would actually write a PERL script to do the text editing...
But that is just geeky. Doesn't Orchids have an online table of
contents? If I recall, orchidweb.org has the contents of several
years worth of Orchids online. Not all of the text, but at least the
table of contents. Might be easier to grab some of that.

Rob


that might be if I would be that logical to think about it when I
wanted the info.
sometimes it is the moments like that when I become spacy and having
something something local where I can put my hands on it is the most
important thing.



--
Rob's Rules: http://www.msu.edu/~halgren
1) There is always room for one more orchid
2) There is always room for two more orchids
2a. See rule 1
3) When one has insufficient credit to purchase
more orchids, obtain more credit

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Old 12-03-2003, 11:57 PM
profpam
 
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Perhaps I was reading into Karen's needs a little too much. I don't
think you originially specified non-orchid-related magazines and now I
see you really meant what I thought -- you were
talking about ORCHIDS, ORCHID DIGEST, etc. All of these magazines
already have indexes. It seemed to me a major make-work project unless
you workfor a magazine and then MS WORD and other wordprocessors will
automatically create indexes and table of contents. If you are really
into orchids and you are gleaning culture info., etc., then it takes
hours and hours and hours to setup the information, figure-out what is
wanted, and then to input the data. So, my quick suggestion was that it
may be best to
start with something that exists and one can't go too far wrong for the
previous version price. Oh, well, so I missed the boat on this one.

Anyway, if I were doing it for my own purposes, I would scan in the
exiting indexes. I would then convert the indexes into tables then I
would go from there. Nevertheless, whatever you decide consists of more
than one hour of programming cost at $25+.

Everything Orchid Management System
http://www.pe.net/~profpam/page3.html
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Old 14-03-2003, 05:20 AM
Karen
 
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profpam wrote:
Perhaps I was reading into Karen's needs a little too much. I don't
think you originially specified non-orchid-related magazines and now I
see you really meant what I thought -- you were
talking about ORCHIDS, ORCHID DIGEST, etc. All of these magazines
already have indexes. It seemed to me a major make-work project unless
you workfor a magazine and then MS WORD and other wordprocessors will
automatically create indexes and table of contents. If you are really
into orchids and you are gleaning culture info., etc., then it takes
hours and hours and hours to setup the information, figure-out what is
wanted, and then to input the data. So, my quick suggestion was that it
may be best to
start with something that exists and one can't go too far wrong for the
previous version price. Oh, well, so I missed the boat on this one.

Anyway, if I were doing it for my own purposes, I would scan in the
exiting indexes. I would then convert the indexes into tables then I
would go from there. Nevertheless, whatever you decide consists of more
than one hour of programming cost at $25+.

Everything Orchid Management System
http://www.pe.net/~profpam/page3.html


Well I am going to take a crack it it myself and see what I can create
for myself I guess.
Karen



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