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That's actually good to break up your data like that, although it might take longer to set up, but it will be more powerful and valuable, meaning more money. You should try to think about your customers and exactly what information might interest them. I have no clue and can only speculate, but I can give you some examples to give you some ideas. For example, what I plan to set up for treeplanting, if I can get a hold of this information somehow. When planters look for work I'd like them to have at their fingertips information about a treeplanting companies past seasons: how many trees they planted, how many days out of the summer, how much downtime there was, what the planters say about them (how quickly they pay, how fun it is to be in their camp, how fair they are about payment when there is a problem, safety concerns) etc. etc. Then the planters can get a good overview and synopsis of each company, compare the companies against one another in particular data. For example, they might choose to sort all the companies from highest number of days planted per season to lowest. This is easy to set up offline in Excel, but perhaps a bitch to set up online. I already have something like this online and a programmer who can help me, but its endless piddling. Hell, I think I'll spend at least 16 hours just to get this stupid captcha thing going, but I'm learning a lot in the process. Another problems is that people can basically just take the information from you and post the same, which is why putting an Excel line online is (easily possible) is out of the question. But you should think about this when dividing up your data, because obviously you know what kind of searches and sorting your customers would be interested in. I can do the offline thing easily. For example, I have a hundred planters who rated one company in terms of how fun it is to work at their camp. The database program easily calculates the average. So from these easy calculations you have created new tables, with each company as a record, and the fields making up the calculations, such as Average Ranking How Fun it is to Work in their Company, Total Trees planted for X year, Percentage Increase Trend Line Over the Past Five Years, etc. etc. You can apply any formula you want to the raw data you have, where each formula becomes a field in the Companies Overview Table. You then throw that online and you have a powerful database. Doing the formulas and setting up the offline database is easier than snot, at the moment I'm learning how to convert that to the web. Just something for you to ponder over while you break up your datas into individual parts. You need to do that now and not realise later, because then you'd have to restructure the entire database and it's about as much work as setting it up all over again.
right on, thanks. now that I have actually been updating the Directory for that guy I realize I am going to structure my listings differently from the printed book. A range of sizes, production amounts, number of employees, etc. more general info on export (by continent rather than listing each individual country) etc. I'm hoping the final database will be even easier to handle that way. Like for the field "Production" instead of having to type: "1500 mfbm/8 hr shift, 1.5 mmfbm/yr" I would have boxes to click: 100-2000; 2001-5000; 5001 or more mfbm/8 hr shift etc etc etc for the other categories. More clicky, less typey, if you know what I mean.
if you want to make a registerable database system or something like that, I would suggest implementing the above additional script. Dog dammed spammers are everywhere.
yeah that's exactly the thing, not getting
locked into the idea of the print version of the Directory and blindly following that just
because its always been that way. sorting I think is huge and I know there are people
that, for example, are only interested in douglas fir, or cedar whatever, and don't care
about spruce. or only care about boards, don't care about narrows. etc. thinking about
this fellow in
I already had this discussion with my programmers and, as soon as any data is in someone's browser, they can extract it. The trick is to break down the data in small enough pieces to make the exercise too much of a pain for most people. Perhaps one option is to produce an image from the search results, but that would be difficult and probably too slow for many people's internet. Or perhaps spit out pdf file results, although anyone with some savvy can extract the data from that. I gather most wont bother. But yes, breaking the data into smaller chunks would definitely make it tougher. Only person who would bother is someone who plans to make their own website. For this reason you should try to keep your price low enough not to attract others to duplicate it. Make the "entry costs" too high for the possible profits, so to speak.
You need to do that now and not realise later, because then you'd have to restructure the entire database and it's about as much work as setting it up all over again.
this is exactly why I don't mind taking extra time with the initial set up. I have worked for companies on other projects where that happened and "nightmare" does not even begin to describe it. People actually quit over being pressured to deal with problems in hindsight (some of which the people had actually pointed out could happen but the company said, "Whatever, just do it and we'll deal with problems later" so I don't blame them for leaving) not to mention pissed off customers demanding to know why they couldn't do basic things normal in other databases. That's the thing, many of my customers will be quite savvy about using databases and will demand a level of use and service they get elsewhere. I'm going to prepare the basic data as much as I can but expect I will have to pay for final database creation and also for putting it up on the website. i also expect that to be a one-time cost, so am not much worried about it.
yah, definitely take your time with the preparation and planning, and make sure you do it properly. Will require a lot of analysis and careful thinking. The more you understand the structure of databases the better, because computer geeks and programmers often don't understand what you're trying to do, and just follow your instructions. Perhaps a good idea would be too download my treeplanting accounting demo software. I set that up recently to wow people away from the bulky Excel. I imagine there are a lot of small operations doing their accounting using this, as I used to for many years. I carefully explained some basics about database setup etc., and there is a demo version, with lots of fundamental explanations. Perhaps you might find it educational and help you understand things better. Should be at the top of google for "tree planting accounting software".
Unless we use an automatic FTP download, it would be a little time consuming to do it the way you suggest. I want to use FreeBSD for downloading, thus I will not have access to many Rapidshare Win32 utilities. It will be very simple for me to have many windows opened and download the files this way overnight. However, if I download a 20 MB software, what is the difference when I upload it to you or when you download it yourself? And looking for downloading possibilities (mass downloading, automatic FTP download, etc.) takes time and I'd prefer to use it (time) for something more useful.
I am not trying to force anyone to do anything, these are only suggestions. The Rapidshare program I previously had (which I'm trying to get) would download only three files at a time. Once one of them would finish, the next in line would start, so always three would download at a time (or however you set it). I think it would even continue an interrupted download. This system seemed a good idea for whoever will take the past-midnight shift.
My server gives me an allowable monthly bandwidth of 3000 gigs, so I think it could be good for trading films.
I had a month account with Rapidshare once and there seemed to be a limit. I'm thinking perhaps it would be good to start in the middle of a month, so that it would end half way through the next month, and it would spread out the limits on rapidshare, but also each of our isps, if we have any such limits (I don't at the moment).
If we use my server to upload and download films
- it will maximise what we all download if we make sure we do not
download the same films
- once the month is over, we have all the time in the world to upload and download stuff through my server
- I find that if I'm uploading while downloading, it does not slow down either of the transfers
- the more films I have on my server, the more I'll be able to trade with others, in which case in the future you could download more films.
I don't think Stargate is that great and not sure if you'll like it, but just thought I'd mention it cause you were talking about something similar. I have much better stuff up there, and you can see my ratings and descriptions in the instruction file.
So let's just consider all these things suggestions and hopefully come up with a good strategy once the account is activated. So you don't mind downloading past midnight? Still haven't heard from my friend yet. Do you have a monthly limit with your ISP? Should I wait until mid February to activate it?
Cool other stuff that you wrote below.
The only advantage of your suggestion is
when we will be downloading identical files over 1 GB, but ISP's always give users limited
uploading bandwith. It doesn't matter if we both download the same file from Rapidshare if
they are below 1 GB. I will download this Stargate Atlantis from your website. You can
tell your friend that he can write me, but I don't need any publicity. The theory I
believe has many supporters, for example: http://www.ourhollowearth.com/ but the author of
this website is simply wrong - no one can get there unless he or she cleans himself (from
conditioning of this evil world) and comes closer to Jesus
just curious, since you're spending a lot of time on this database preparation, do you know how to set up macros in Word or Excel? Just a quick tip if you don't. I create them all the time, whenever I do some repetitive tasks.
Go to Tools > Macro > Create macro. At the start you can press the Keyboard Shortcut key and assign a shortcut, and before that in the comments box write down the shortcut key so you don't forget.
Once that is done, then the record button should show up. In Excel, the record button has an Absolute/Relative button as well. When in absolute, if you are in cell r31 and press the down arrow key, the macro will be given the command: go from r31 to r32; but if in Relative mode the command will be: go down one cell, from the location of the cursor, wherever that is.
For example, if one of your tedious repetitive commands is to delete a row, rather than select row and then Edit > Delete Row with your mouse or whatever, you can set up a macro to delete whatever row your cursor is in my pressing CTRL D, for example. Something you might want to think about. If you want to get fancier you can send me the Visual Basic code and I might be able to come up with some ideas. Like for example Go To statements which loop back to the beginning, and If Then statements, to write a more complex script which does things over and over again while you sip on your coffee until a certain condition is met...
That sounds great. I will upload files to you with an FTP software. I recently installed Ubuntu Linux 8.10 and I was very disappointed. It looks so great, but a window appears every three days urging you to install upgrades. After installing upgrades, some icons disappeared from my desktop (volume control, etc.) and there is no way how to put them back. It looks like the more upgrades you install, the more unstable the system becomes. FreeBSD is just released, that's all. What the hell these guys (programmers) in Linux do when they release a software and urge users to upgrade it every three days? OpenBSD is a bit harder, but very secure and both FreeBSD and OpenBSD give me more control than Linux. Today I will try to download the OpenBSD PF (Packet Filter) for FreeBSD and use it in FreeBSD. I have a lot of experience with BSD Unix and you see why I'm disappointed with Linux. My article here: http://www.articlesbase.com/operating-systems-articles/linux-vs-bsd- 250471.html has over 1000 readers every month. I will upload files to you, but I will ask you before if you are interested.
sounds cool. I've got lots of film but it's really slow uploading for me, but I am putting up the best films I have from time to time.
I myself need Windows for my work, as some necessary programs I use will not work on anything else. But I've learned to make windows very secure, and have yet to upload the website explaining how. Perhaps your freesb thing could be good if I'm using unsecure wifi internet somewhere and have it installed on a partition drive or something.
Sounds like a fun plan, but not sure of the February schedule. Right now I'm reading the 7th course of a basic PHP tutorial I downloaded. Rather enjoy the reading, but then again, I'm just a computer geek. I'm soaking up everything like a sponge, and should be able to figure out everything you want. Okay, you've given me more motivation and I'll read and study it even more now. How about you hunt around and see what prices you can get for this, and I'll match or beat it? 800 seems potentially low, but would actually be enough to get me off this island, so I would do it for 800. And use it for my programming resume. I can throw in some SEO to put you to the top of google for appropriate keyword searches. Lookin forward!
For stealing data, yes, breaking things up is a good idea, but I think you should be careful not to do it too much, lest you frustrate the end user, who might want to see more fields at once, for example. This will definitely be a fun exercise for me.
What's the secret password for? For potential customers to view the listing on a trial basis, before they decide to buy? If so, that can probably be easily achieved by setting up a special user account with less privileges, like for example to change a password. You would simply change the password after a certain period. Or I could write a script which would change the password automatically after a certain time period. We gotta make sure we map everything out as much as possible before I start with development. My thoughts is I would write an offline version first, so we can get a grip on things, and then build the online version of it after that. I think you should have an offline version. Actually, definitely. You would be uploading data exported from your offline version, maybe. Still have to think of things. If someone emails you and asks for specific information, you could whip it up really easily offline and send it as a pdf or however you want. As new information comes in, you'd update your offline database, and then upload the exports every once in a while. The offline thing will be easy for me. I'm so looking forward to doing something intelligent!!
dude if you do this, I will not only shower you with affection, beer, all sorts of cooked treats like stew and chicken, but I will actually pay you money. My listings database is not complicated, but it has to be done properly so I can run it for years and years and years, and there are just those unavoidable finicky things like not everyone fills out every field but some people overload. You have the BC mills list (the old one, the not updated one), I want to follow this guy's method but more detailed. http://www.sawmilldatabase.com/country_companies.php?id=13 I think to avoid having people be able to steal my data, if we archive by a wider variety of fields (not just by production amount and company name, but also by species, sizes, number of employees, countries of export), so depending on which subject people would decide to view the list would be in order of biggest to smallest, or alphabetical. Then when they click on one only that one mill details comes up. Does that make sense? I was going to offer some student C$800, does that sound fair? I'd pay your through PayPal. I'd like to have it up in February, blind for the first few days so I can send various people on various terrible computers to test it. Then you could have a super-secret back door password that you could send, for say a 24-hour period, to come view your work on my site and probably get lots and lots more customers. Whaddaya think?? I finished updating the entire book except the remanufacturers and wholesalers, and panel mills. Shouldn't take more than a week to get the last of it done. shabba dabba boo boo
In an almost revelation of thought, I JUST decided that I will try to teach myself php. If I'm successful, I'll be able to put your database online. I have some major projects I've been wanting to do for years but never had the money. MAn, if I can learn this language then sky's the limits on what I can do. Would certainly be able to do more interesting things than what I've been doing. Am excited to discover if I'll be able to crack this hard nut.
How about you hunt around and see what prices you can get for this, and I'll match or beat it? 800 seems potentially low, but would actually be enough to get me off this island, so I would do it for 800. And use it for my programming resume. yes that seems fair. i'll pay you whatever the quotes I get back say. It might seem low to you right now because you are on a learning curve, this database is dead simple and I could conceivably do it myself but am so against learning how to do databases. I have avoided it this long and plan to keep it that way! haha, I'm just better at the front end stuff, you know? the design stuff.
Well, I rather doubt that. Took me a while to learn the offline db stuff, and the online is a next big step. Curious to see what prices offers you'll get. Another problem is that I envision many programmers could give you some barebones price, to win the contract, give you a barebones product, and then when you'll want to expand on it, as is usually the case, all of a sudden then sigh and hum and insinuate a premium price. If you can just get me off this island, I'd be willing to tinker dinker away into the future, and you can pay me the rest, what you feel, in the future once you make some cash off of it. I'd probably enjoy tinkering dinkering because it will only add to my CV.
How's the general support from your webhost dude? May need his help if I'm having problems. My web dudes seem pretty supportive. Either way, you might consider getting a different domain for this dbase anyway - something that is easily rememberable, or perhaps useful for keyword searches. Just an idea though.
the February deadline is not set in stone, but is worthwhile for me because my main competitor puts out his "Big Book" in February. so people start looking for alternatives at that time. I think once you learn and get going you will find it actually won't take that long. If I can impose on you a week of your time, and pay you whatever the going rate is, plus you will have a live demonstration you can send potential customers to, it would really be worth your while to make it happen. I'm going to ask my server guy about the mySQL thing but I'm almost positive they do it because I saw a mention in one of their newsletter thingys. I'm more concerned about the security thing, the password thing, but also think it's a minor issue. For stealing data, yes, breaking things up is a good idea, but I think you should be careful not to do it too much, lest you frustrate the end user, who might want to see more fields at once, for example. This will definitely be a fun exercise for me. the way I envision it, once they click on a mill, whether through the alpha name list or the descending amount of production list or the range of species list etc etc they come to the same place: an entire single mill listing with all the fields. what they won't get is a page with mega-long several mill listings at once. yes they will have to click back and forth to go to the next mill, might be a wee pain in the ass for them but if someone wanted to steal the whole database it would take them seriously forever to bring every single mill up in their browser. Is there a better way to do it?
Well, not sure how you want to set it up or your client needs, but I would assume they might be interested in comparative data, like showing how all the mills compare against one another in a certain field. You could offer only certain fields for comparative purposes - ones that are useful, while keeping the rest of the fields accessible only if they click on the individual mills. So, even if they do steel all the records for particular fields, if they want the rest of the info they'd still have to go to each record at a time. Such generations are only search queries, which draw on the underlying tables. you can delete the search query and it wont affect the underlying tables or data within the tables. What I would suggest is to create a super duper and robust offline version, so we can see everything that is possible. then you'll be able to choose what functions you want to make online. And if a customer is really interested, they can write to you, you'd spit out the data using your offline version, package it anyway you like (even in image format if you're super paranoid - although image formats can be converted back to data using OCR), and then charge extra for the specially prepared data. This way you can control how much who gets, and do some research on who your actually selling this much packaged info to. Just another idea suggestion.
What's the secret password for? For potential customers to view the listing on a trial basis, before they decide to buy? I'm not going to give limited-time trial offers, I will put image versions of sample pages of the Directory up (.jpgs) so they can see what a listing generally entails. The super-secret password, limited time, would be for you to send potential customers for yourself. Like if someone responded to an email from you where you were selling your database services, you could send them a 48-hour password to my Directory so they could see an example in action. Dunno, just seems like it could be useful to you as a promotion tool?
Interesting. Okay, will think about this during development. Probably an easy solution. As the administrator, you will always be able to change someone's password, and see their username and password, so such a feature is probably no big deal at all.
Oh yes, and possibly very important, does your server support mysql databases, and which php? 4 or 5? will ask Dave about this today. I still need about a week to finish updating my info (more mill closures this week, ow wow), then probably a couple of weeks maybe less to prepare the final updated info into the Excel sheet properly (will shoot you a quick sample when I get started so you can confirm I am doing it right.) the work I did before is now void because instead of filling in precise production amounts, for example, we are going to have a range, boxes to click (100 - 15000 mfbm/yr; 15001-50000mfbm/yr; etc etc etc.) same for kiln size, # of employees blah blah blah so I have to start all over again with my Excel stuff which is fine.
not sure what you're talking about, and there might be a much better way how to go about this. You'd need to explain this to me before I can give you any suggestions, otherwise you might be wasting your time breaking up data into ranges. A simple query can accomplish that automatically. No need to break up data like this.
I'm pretty excited about this too Karel, I would way rather do it with you than some elusive student who might get 75% done then jack me around for a month or so during exams or whatever else they have going on. Am totally willing to pay you what it is worth, having just moved from employee to employer my philosophy is 'pay what it is worth, get good people', not 'find the cheapest possible person' then have headaches the rest of my life dealing with problems. So if this lights a fire under you bum to motivate you to study faster, good! The sooner it is done the sooner you can travel again, then possibly do the final tinkering bits while you are on the road.
Yup, my bum's on fire alright. Back to more reading. I'm glad I'm such a computer geek. This opens up a whole new world for me and I will be very excited to apply the new functionality to my own business etc., and make all sorts of functional toys on the web. I'm also glad that I've been perusing all the scripts my programmers made over the last few years, and that I studied programming a bit in university. Makes soaking all this into my noodle so much faster. k
uh, dude, I've just begun to scratch the surface. It still is definitely going to take a while. I'm just beginning to get a grasp of things. But I'm a fast learner, and I'm shooting for your Feb deadline. Have to do this between my paying projects. I imagine it could easily take a month. Been doing some experimenting and sqlite and msa (ms access) don't seem very compatible. That means either go straight into sqlite, or do the msa and then build php script off of the exported msa tables, which is also possible. Still gotta learn. The second option is better if you want a powerful offline dbase, which might be advisable. The first option would probably take less work overall, because php apparently runs nicely with sql and the two are alread set up. Hookin up the php scripts to exported msa tables could be a real bitch. I think you're really underestimating what's involved. My best programmer did great php shit but wouldn't even touch getting it hooked up to mysql. Just give me more time to research. Got a translation job now (should be about 300 Euro in two days).
good grief I thought you said this was
going to take a while, you didn't know if you were gonna do it yadda yadda yadda! did you
pull out your genius cap and learn everything super-fast?!?! pretty wild baby, and
exciting because I've been plotting this since . . .basically since I took over
okay, ploughed through the tutorial and I'm ready to rock and roll!!! First to install everything and get going. Did some quick research and found this great program: http://portablewebap.com/ For a MERE 6MB it sets up your Windows so that you can run php scripts on it, in conjunction with sqlite. So if you install that (assume it wont install on Mac), I could send you the scripts etc. and you can run it offline in your Windows during the testing period. I think I'll try the sqlite as opposed to the mysql, especially considering that your database is small. Apparently a lot smaller learning curve, and this lite version apparently runs even faster than mysql, under certain conditions (I assume for small databases like yours). Well, step number 2 completed nicely, heh heh.
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