Building Databases - The Hard Way? - Using 3 Manuals

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Building Databases - The Hard Way? - Using 3 Manuals

Postby Carl T » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:46 am

Hello to all you AW 6 database beginners like myself,

Welcome to my odyssey. I knew what I wanted. I just didn't know how to do it. Nothing fancy. Build 2 databases, one for my vinyl record collection and another for my personal library of books. This was not brain surgery. The computer is a Mac Pro OS X Leopard 10.5.6 along with AppleWorks 6.2.9 Bottom line, I still don't have a foggy clue on how to build a database. The state of my database knowledge is zero. Options are few. Who do I ask? What do I do now?

I turned to, searched <books> and entered <AppleWorks 6 manuals> I was rewarded with 34 listings spread over 3 pages. LIFE IS GOOD? ALMOST! I read Editorial Reviews and Customer Reviews of the various AppleWorks 6 manuals. My actual database knowledge still remained stuck at zero.

Based on these reviews, I bought the following 3 manuals:

1. Jim Elferdink and David Reynolds, APPLEWORKS 6 THE MISSING MANUAL, Pogue Press, 2002.

2. Nolan Hester, APPLEWORKS 6 FOR MACINTOSH, Peachpit Press, 2000.

3. Steven A Schwartz and Dennis R. Cohen, APPLEWORKS 6 BIBLE, IDG Books, 2000.

A little about me. I don't like reading manuals. I don't like learning from them. Too many are poorly written. Comprehending and remembering what I read is tough for me. I spent hours and hours, going back and forth, reading the same material in each book. Basic concepts and vocabulary remained the same for all three books: data, fields, layouts and records. Still, I was in DANTE'S BASEMENT LEVEL OF HELL.

Having said that, Nolan Hester's APPLEWORKS 6 FOR MACINTOSH proved to be my primary, go to, book. Hester wrote in short, simple sentences with lots of pictures, gave the reader small, bite size, digestible portions of information and relatively easy to read.

APPLEWORKS 6 THE BIBLE proved to be the hardest to understand and follow. Still, the book had isolated nuggets of information not found in the other two books.

What's the logic in buying three manuals? The actual learning may be easier with 3 rather than relying on 1. Should an author's style be too dense to fully understand, I've got two authors to fall back on. In my case, this proved true.

AW 6 is an "old program." Who wants those manuals? NOBODY! I bought all 3 for $32.17 (including postage). THAT'S A STEAL!

The odyssey began because I wanted the database my way. The "fog" has lifted and I have the beginnings of a customized database. Learning was slow. But I learned. Data, fields, layouts and records became comfortable friends. But the odyssey isn't quite over. I must re-read Hester's 53 pages, Chapter 11 Using Databases.

At crucial junctions, this work was made easier thanks to Barry, Peggy and the AppleWorks forum. Peggy and Barry answered my questions. I can't thank them enough. My "building a database" knowledge is no longer at zero :-)
Carl T

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