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Marilee J. Layman

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06:27 pm: Got Jesus?
I slept in a bit today and went to have lunch at Pizza Hut and then to take the bags of clothes to the House of Mercy which supplies SERVE with clothes. Well, the Got Jesus? panel truck was parked out front and my heart sank. This is an independent rabid evangelical group and I didn't realize they ran the House of Mercy. I told myself this would help SERVE and pulled in to the donation area where I found out the latest they ever close is 2pm and that made up my mind. I took the clothes to the other thrift shop and as long as I was in the area, got next week's money from the credit union ATM.

Also in the area is Nathan's, the really great ice cream place -- you stay outdoors and there are round tables with seating & umbrellas -- and so I had a small vanilla cone. The part that comes out of the cone is about four inches, so you can imagine what the medium and large look like! I had just settled in to lick the cone when I saw friends arriving. Two members of the library group got in line and as Mike looked my way, I waved, and he looked closer and said Hi! He came over after ordering and Jackie waited at the pick-up window. I said "It's not 5pm yet" and it turned out Jackie didn't work today -- she's a part-time librarian and our book group leader.

She also volunteers as librarian for a local Catholic school and Mike and I discussed their problem. They have a DOS 5.0 system in the library with a library system that uses a proprietary file setup, and they have no printer that will work with it. So Mike and Jackie had been at the computer show and bought DOS 6.0, a printer and monitor, and had worked on it at the school, but the library system didn't work on DOS 6.0. It won't output to CSV, so they're thinking about Linux. Then Jackie told me they had 4000 books in the system and I told them I was entering that many in my own database: They should just get a library system that works with the school's XP computers and have kids enter in the catalog. Jackie can check them. They're not so sure about that. So we talked about other things and then all set off for home.



[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Can their system print to a file? Or can it be convinced to print to a serial "printer" which would allow capturing the serial port output with another computer?

If it can generate a decently parsable "print" report, that might be a way to hack around it.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
I pointed out your reply to Mike and invited him to read and post.
Date:August 12th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
They need to bite the bullet one way or the other and get out of the stone age. Seeing what file format the old program will output would be the first step and then contacting the new vendor to see if they'll accept that type of input would be the next. If the library's still growing, it will only get worse if they wait.

This is also a great parent type of volunteer project.

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
And I also pointed out your reply to Mike and invited him to read and post.
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