over and out

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The website update is over for the next several months.

Owing to our moving house, changing jobs, Christmas, and generally having a life, ten hours a day in front of this flat screen is over.

May I wish my reader a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to the next time I get a chance to update this website.

Until then, goodbye.

Paul

 

mnc meets friends reunited

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Another day another dollar well, a few cups of tea and a choc ice. Today I have improved the Students & Friends Reunited page by splitting it down into the 26 letters of the alphabet. The combined names of both websites total over 1000 and this is unrealistic to ‘page’ through at 25 lines a time, using the navigation buttons. So I have made 26 new pages to show all the names in a more convenient fashion.

The project continues with the intention of writing to each of the people on FR asking if they would like to be added to the mnc website, and likewise making those people on the mnc site who are not with Friends Reunited aware that they can register free of charge.

My longer term ambition is to add to the many names now on the MNC contact list which goes out once a month with the newsletter, so that people’s email addresses remain undisclosed other than to former staff and students of the college.

If you would like to get in touch with people you knew at college, whose contact details you do not know then please get in touch and providing I can verifiy that you attended the college, I’ll add you to the list.

Paul

 

friends reunited

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For some time now it has been my ambition to link the two sites (Greenhithe and Friends Reunited) so that I could find out which of the people listed on the greenhithe website have taken the trouble to register with friends reunited, and which of the latter do or do not appear on the greenhithe website.

Today has seen the production of a long table, divided into sections of 25 records each, which may be seen at this link showing two tables combined into one which enables you to see, for any given name, who is and who is not, listed on both websites.

In time I intend to improve the coding so that duplicate names do not appear, but for now you have a crude method of making a comparison without going to the trouble of running two browser windows side by side.

I hope this proves useful to you and should you have any suggestions for further improvements to the website please get in touch.

Paul

 

data wars

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Another day passes with several hours spent updating this website to little avail. The student records are now stored in one large database visible at all students with a new column to the left called Class. This represents the group in which the student studied and although the website page names are not named after these class titles, the relevant student groups are to be found on pages of a similar name.

The advantage of having one large table is that in future when you email me with an alteration in your details, the adjustment can be made quickly and easily just by logging in to the database and editing one line of a table rather than messing about with HTML and table structures as I used to do, let alone XML pages, they’re history.

Noone reads this at all so if you do and you want to leave a comment on the page, please do, there’s a comment button above each article but you’ll have to Register first with a name and an email address to which your password will be sent.

Paul

 

sql in practice

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The joys of relaxing with a Sunday paper are lost to the likes of me. Today’s achievement has been to form a relational database by joining the class names with student names to form one long student list on the way to selecting from the Friends Reunited list at FR list

However, I’m not there yet and so the result of today’s work may be viewed at Students for those who are curious. Given that noone reads this anyway I think I’m wasting my breath.

Onwards and upwards to the dizzy heights of finding out who from the mnc website is listed on FR, and who on FR ‘ought’ to be listed on the mnc website, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Paul

 

php / mysql

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Well that was a good day’s work. What was student data with mixed names is now first and last names in separate columns. What should have been organised from the start (seven years ago) as a database is now heading the way it should have been in the light of experience. My intention is to mix the Friends Reunited and mnc data to show clearly who is listed on which site so that anyone wishing to contact someone they knew at college has the best chance of getting at the contact information they seek.

So far the data is still at one table per page, but the next step is to consolidate it into one table and strip out what’s needed per page. You won’t see any difference but backstage the maintenance will be vastly simpler.

So while you’ve been Christmas shopping etc . . . oh well we don’t have children so instead this stuff gets done.

Have a good weekend.

Paul

 

power redirector

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For some time now, emails have been arriving from India enquiring about the possibility of studying at the college. Quite apart from the implied compliment this pays to the website in terms of attracting students I feel embarrassed at the thought of misleading so many well intentioned potential students, especially since I sailed with Indian officers and wives for five years in the mid-1980s.

So I have taken steps to mitigate this problem by installing a piece of software called Power Redirector which will identify the country of origin of the visitor and redirect him or her to an advisory page explaining that the college is now closed.

This software has other uses. For instance it is clear that some people visiting have collected an unwelcome piece of software on their computer and this makes itself known to me from the visitor statistics that tell me who has visited the website and from where. I have written two pages to redirect people whose computers are so infected, with an advisory on what to do about it. For the curious the products are FunWeb and SIMBAR.

 

website update

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The process of transferring all the xml information from the xml pages to the php pages was completed a few days ago. The student and staff details now reside in a MySql database on the webserver and are accessed by the php pages as needed. This means the html arrives at the viewers browser as pure html and may be viewed from Internet Explorer, Netscape or Firefox although I have yet to build a text only site for the visually impaired.

It is only a period of unemployment that has allowed this to take place, not only does the data have to be dealt with but scanning for the archives has to take place as well and volunteers are always welcome. Scans of any former mnc documents are welcomed in .jpg format scanned at 300dpi to full .jpg resolution and not reduced otherwise I have nothing to work with because too much data is lost by compression.

The textual documents will be converted to Djvu from Lizardtech format and displayed as such, unfortunately at present Lizardtech only produce a web plugin for Internet Explorer which is why I am working on providing the archive in more than one format so that non IE users may view pages as Acrobat .pdfs or just pictures.

On the personal front we are moving house soon, and I am also looking for work from when this updating will have to take a back seat for another few months so if you have requests get in quick.

Paul