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    Re: [RC] Horse and Rider records in the On-line Archives - Joe Long

    On Wed, 10 Jul 2002 21:57:51 -0700, Michael Maul <mmaul@xxxxxxxxx>
    >That said - there are inaccuracies and missing portions in 
    >the data for the endurance rides listed from 1985 to 1995. 
    >Russ Humphrey, Bob Morris, and I spent a year trying to get 
    >the data out of the old software that the office used until 
    >1995.  It was written in 1984 by Joe Long in a computer 
    >language that no one on earth today understands - including 
    >Joe - I believe.
    When we set this up in 1984, the job really called for a minicomputer
    (PC's were exteremely limited in power and capacity compared to today)
    but the AERC didn't have that kind of money.  We asked more of the
    system than it could really deliver.  We made a lot of compromises due
    to the limitations of the hardware that came back to bite us.
    Although, the errors in the data were mostly data-entry errors --
    incorrect ride results or misentered information.  Alas, the system
    lacked means of checking/verifying this kind of thing.  And, I made
    the unfortunate decision in 1984 to not require riders to carry cards
    and present rider and horse ID numbers at rides; I didn't think that
    would go down well with the members at that time.  So there were a lot
    of spelling errors on horse names, resulting in multiple records for
    what was the same horse.  Even cases of a horse being reported by his
    registered name at one ride, and his nickname at another ... two
    records.  A real mess.
    Also, the database software used a method not used today, of
    "multi-value fields," that made conversion of the data far more
    difficult than it would otherwise have been.
    I regret that I wasn't any help to Bob, Russ and Mike in the
    conversion.  Frankly, by 1996 I'd burned out on it, and never looked
    at Revelation software again.
    Joe Long
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    [RC] Horse and Rider records in the On-line Archives, Michael Maul