My artificial intelligence
Part One: an unusual phone book
Once upon a time , people used to use ABC-tabbed personal phonebooks or the back of an envelope to jot down phone numbers - which ever suited the circumstances or the purpose at the given time. Then came computers, and, ever since, people have been using computerised phonebooks and the back of envelopes.
Why is the back of an envelope still a popular alternative?
Reviewing the content of data
One morning, I went down to Mr. Sweld's hardware store. He wasn't there; and Steve, his helper, told me that a few old local customers were planning to make a surprise party for Mr. Sweld, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of his store. I told him, I wanted to chip in my bit too, and that I would ring him for further details in around a fortnight's time. Obviously, I had to make a record of
I would have had a hard time if I had wanted to enter these records in the dataform boxes of a conventional phone book or time manager program. Imagine the pressure, I only want to enter 3 pieces of information in a form, that, apart from the 'phone number' has 27 further boxes to which I have no answer - but there is no box to accommodate the "tenner"; I don't know Steve's surname, I don't know where it would be appropriate to write "Mr Sweld"; is he a State/Province/ZIP code or a Work Address?
The alternative is the back of an envelope.
How databases work?
The use of a library catalogue card is analogous to the classic operation of a database. If we want to find a particular book by the title, we organise all the cards in alphabetic order, and find the actual book. If we want to select all the books of a particular author, then we turn all the cards right-angle antilockwise ('Author' on the top), order them in alphabetic order and find all the books under the selected author.
The back of my envelope is the same as a library catalogue card. As long as it is paper (or a computer database with absolutely free field definitions), I have (four) absolutely flexible fields. Although one of the fields is called 'telephone number' (after all, the program is a telephone book) it does not mean that in any record (on any one envelope) a telephone number must be written in a free form; anything could be written there, or even, the field could be left empty.
Searching back is also simple; any 'envelope' could be found instantly, by selecting from all the data (of any one of the four fields) of one searching device (a 'combo box'). Instead of imagining how it might work, why not try this free download?
Downloading and installing the YBphonebook
The free download is a 'packed' file. Unpack it anywhere you like (Program Files, My Documents, or anywhere else). It will create a 'YBtb' folder, consisting of 'YBtelEng.exe' és a 'nevhosz.tkv' files. You may launch the program by double clicking on the 'YBtelEng.exe' file. It may be handy to place a shorcut on the Desktop. You can do it by right-clicking on the 'YBtelEng.exe' file ('Send to'/ 'Desktop (create shortcut)').
In the unlikely event that you don't find the program essential within a fw weeks, you can remove the whole folder 'YBtkb' and its content (and the shortcut rom the Desktop, if you created such).
Safety Data Backup
In order to prevent the adverse effects of the very unlikely dataloss, you are advised to make backup copies of the 'nevhosz.tkv' either in another folder, or other safe storage space - eg. we may want to send the file as attachment to an e-mail to ourselves (and we can easily access the file through our gmail, hotmail orfreemail account, from anywhere through the Internet)
Instructions to Use
Entering, searching back, editing and deleting test data
Further ideas on the use of the different fields
"Phone number" may hold Skype or other Internet phone ID, (that may be useful for the Autodialers) e-mail address, or, indeed, anything you can think of. (Useful to find out whose number was left on your phone or mobile)
"Associate with"and "Remarks" fields may hold Company Name, "Saxophone Tutor", "Chief Executive Officer", "26th January: Ring the vet" or, indeed, anything you can think
under development. I am discussing the autodial facility with several Internet Telephony Service Providers, VoIP SP-s.
(to be continued)