Thursday, 10 September 2015

Database migration

This last few days I have been working in quiet moments on mastering the intricacies of the Libre Office Base module, the open source equivalent of MS Access, by a process of trial and error. My aim is to migrate CBS company data from MS Works to a more modern program able to run on Windows and Linux, and maybe even Mac machines, with data files compatible with successive upgrades. 

I can't say MS Works has ever let us down. It has run successfully on every version of Windows for the past 20 years in which I have installed it on each new machine I've bought, though not when I've run Linux on them as well. I live in dread of the unlucky chance of losing the last MS Works installation disk I acquired in 2002, and no longer be able to use it on new machines.
The first task was to edit out material for archiving, and add new material on subscribers' web accounts, all of which has emerged over the five years since I first set up the company database. Then I had to figure out how to bind the data with the program in a core database table, then how to devise presentation forms using the data. The help files were barely adequate, but with trial and error I had something to show for a dozen hours of effort, when I went to the office this afternoon. 

Julie's feedback gave me a few more ideas of what I needed to do before making the switch to the new Libre Office Base program. My other task was to set up the desktop PC ordered to replace the troublesome Acer. After registration and set up, taking the best part of an hour, it too turned out to have a Windows 8.1 operating system, and needed up grading to Windows 10. By the time this was under way, it was time to leave for home, yet again.
This evening the BBC Four Proms broadcast recording from last Saturday featured 'cellist Yo Yo Ma in a continuous performance of Bach's six 'cello suites. I listened to the podcast of these last Sunday with great pleasure and recollection of student days when we first listened to these, and engraved them on our memories. Watching the live performance was an added bonus. The music will echo in my mind for many days to come.

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