3 Books: 1 Heavy, 2 light.

Ruby For Rails by David Black was tough slogging, but I made it through to the end. (Well I must admit skipping 20 pages of regular expressions; they just never stick… at least at my usage rate.) I really like the way Rails makes quick work out of serving a light Data Base application. I was disappointed that the book never got beyond the DB aspects; I thought I had seen examples of form and CGI manipulation. I was going to make a small “Group Info” server application; but I stumbled across Pimki….. which can easily do much of what I was looking for… Not sure what my next step will be. Anyway, the book is well worth the money. The examples helped immensely with the difficult Ruby/Rail combination.

The library supplied me with an entertaining thriller: Ricochet by Sandra Brown. Judicial arrogance, sex, some mystery too; a fun read.

But I really enjoyed Carl Hiaasen’s newest: Nature Girl. My daughter said I’d be LLOL (that’s literally LOL); and I did. Reminds me of the first book I read by Carl: Accidental Tourist which was one of the three funniest books I’ve ever read. I think these are the only books I’ve ever reread. In fact I do believe I’ve thrice read Confederacy of Fools. CF actually has a “cult-like” following; and it was an author singleton. I’m trying to remember the title of the 3rd funny book.. Storyline/setting was a couple attempting to startup a remote Carribean resort.

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How I Use my Genealogy Programs

I make all updates into the PC program TMG. Periodically (I'm going to shoot for 1/quarter), I export the contents to a Ged file which I can then load into phpGedView.

Advantages

  • Users aren't bothered with update software
  • Users don't interfere with each others updates
  • Better control over content
  • I have the advantage of TMG reports, analysis, and guidance, etc.

Disadvantages

  • User can't see his updates right away
  • Other user's view is always a little inaccurate

Of course, I'm always open to suggestions and requests.   If for any reason somebody needed a quicker update, I would accomodate.

Gemini project

It occurred to me that I've probably never talked about my early computer efforts. And SOME were interesting.. My 1st taste of the '60s "real world" was as a IBM co-op from RPI at Owego NY where IBM had their Federal systems division. In Sept '61 I wrote a memory test program for the onboard computer for the Gemini spacecraft. It was the 1st time I was finger printed.. so I could work on a "Top Secret" project. So, for the 1st time, I was checked out by the FBI. (Would it be it were the last!!; but that's a story in another category and another day) Neighbors at home were use to FBI visits because my Dad would periodically get checked for Summer work as a Customs agent.. (Treasury Dept..). Well, the clearance finally came about 3 weeks before the end of my assignment. Most people in the group were working on Titan rocket program stuff and would disappear occasionally to travel for an on-site blastoff. I never had that pleasure..

I think the source code was 7090 assembly code. Although, I had taken a Fortran course, I think it was unuseful for what was essentially a sensor testing project. The weirdest thing was patching binary punched cards, so that you could bypass the 3-4 hour turnaround time of a batch assembly run on the 7090. You'd figure out, at most a 3 instruction change, say changing a tix to txi. Convert the binary representation to octal; find it's card in the deck; and it's column on the binary card; dupe the card up to that column, make the change and continue duping. And if you forgot to turn off the card checksum at the end of the card; it was all for nought.. This was the only IBM location where I used a small, handheld machine which would let you manually punch a few holes in a card. Binary cards were still used into the late 60s in Poughkeepsie. I still have punch-ed card Christmas Wreath made of old punch cards; Liz would spraypaint them silver or gold…