Friday, February 04, 2005

Collisions and Conversions

Last Saturday Michael (my son) and I went to get him a new bicycle. It was fun, and it was also nice not having to mess with Kathleen being in the works (she is in Colorado dealing with her grandmother’s funeral). We were going to shop around a few different shops, but there was a good deal on a Schwinn at Bingham Cyclery, so we bought it. Michael really likes it and I think he is taking satisfaction from having paid for it with his own money. But yesterday, on the ride home from school, he managed to crashed it. He reached down to adjust something while riding, went a bit off track, and hit the back of a trailer. He claims he was out cold for ten minutes. I don’t doubt the out cold part, but the 10 minutes may be a stretch. The bike also suffered a bit of damage, but the guys at the shop managed to fix all the important stuff, and didn’t charge for the labor. This was pretty damned cool, and I think they just made a loyal customer of me. In fact Kathleen went back there to get a helmet for Michael, not even making noises of going to Wally World to get one on the cheap.

There has been an interesting turn of events at work. I have been pointed to the task of pulling the Knowledge Base out of the current format and search program and converting it all to a web based search. It has been interesting. Among other things, I get to extract over 5000 individual entries from a single formatted text file and shove each of them into a discrete HTML file. If nothing else, it will be educational. Most of the work has centered around programming tasks, writing one conversion program for the database search engine and another program to create the discrete HTML files from a single text listing. Then there is programming the search screens themselves and adding a few features into them that the good people at Inference didn’t think of (or maybe they did and I’m just reinventing the wheel).

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