What to Do, What to Do???

I love WordPress and all the blogs I have started to follow but I have completely ignored my own blog. how stupid is that??? Anyway, here goes nothing.

We are about to convert our old DOS based accounting system to the web and this time, it WILL happen because I have someone to help me – finally!!! Right now, our system is written in R:Base 2.11 which is very old technology but it has stood the test of time because all of our clients and ourselves have been using it since the late 1980s and it’s still going strong. We have even figured out how to extend it’s life for the foreseeable future using DOSbox on a Linux computer which we call confusers since they are so confusing and never cease to confound us and everyone we know.

Anyway, we plan to convert our system to LAMP which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP and the reason we have chosen this suite of software products is because they are all Open Source and we believe in their philosophy and mission. If only the whole world would adopt this philosophy of sharing and caring, it would be a much better place for all of us to live in. Sadly, greed and power tend to set into some people’s mindsets and we wind up with what we have today, a chaotic world run by a bunch of power hungry and greedy bastards who could care less about the people. But that’s a topic for another day.

o.k. I plan to post to this blog more frequently and possibly everyday so I get into the habit. I plan to write about our conversion effort and any problems we encounter along the way so that hopefully, someone out here in the blogosphere can learn from our experience. Today, we plan to start the database conversion process by using R:Base 4.o, DOS batch files, a Visual Basic program to automatically run this job on a daily basis, pkzip or 7-zip to zip up the database unloaded data, WinSCP to ftp the zip files to our CentOS Linux Server. Then on the Linux side, we plan to use a cron job to automatically unzip the database files and then run a MySQL script to load the data onto the MySQL database. In addition to these processes, we plan to create an audit log on the Windows side and the Linux side and email it to our database administrator so he can verify that this process ran every day and if there were any error messages.

Sound easy? Actually it is if you know what you are doing and we do 🙂 The only issue we see at this point is converting goofy data that someone may have entered into the database that may not unload and load properly which can happen. Goofy data is a technical term for GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out and has been in the technology industry since it’s inception. Kinda like the technical term “bug” and “hard drive crash” but those are topics for another day.

Well, that’s it for today. Please stay tuned if you are interested in following our adventure.

Have a good day…