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workBLOGS . SMAH visit

Against heavy afternoon rains after the morning heat and recovering from last week's fever and wicked.cough-problems, I visited a client at Hagonoy Bulacan this day. Armed with a printed copy of a _databasestructures-updates.txt I have created which holds the program and database changes by date, I updated the ILS module in that environment.

This file serves as one of my log reference that helps keep my sanity intact. It is a little difficult monitoring database and program updates when you're maintaining a program with seven core modules in four different clients each with their own requested features, formats, 'moods' and countless outside factors.

Things were lighter this time as compared to the rough visit last May 2004 when a new administration was not able to recognize me. In freelance-related quests, facing a new administration is one of the toughest tasks. I've been to this experience twice already. Patience have always been a key... and of course, charm.

Yes Earthling... charm is one factor a freelance programmer/developer/system analyst needs. You can partially acquire this by growing your hair long. Nose hair and armpit hair included.

I get to meet too, for the first time the FoxPro programmer who's working on the Registrar and Cashier applications. They hold the core system of almost every school I 'freelance' and the ILS application imports their databases. This was the first time after almost three years of me following their trail of DBCs and DBFs and sometimes leftover PRGs. The programmer was friendly and helpful and even stopped his programming task in that place to create a Novell account for me so that I can access his database. I guess Foxpro programmers just have this inherent respect for each other.

Same holds true probably for VB programmers meeting another like-minded VB dude, Java developers sharing coffee with another Java developer, Delphi-powered minds bumping into one another and so on.

Even assembly programmers probably talking in a cafe with no one else in a five mile radius understanding the things they're discussing.

I saw him using the VF6 IDE there. Something I seldom do. I can't seem to work on a computer that is not fully customized, tweaked and morphed according to my preference. But of course sometimes the need forces me to fire up VisualFoxpro and code in a computer which feels alien to me. In one case, I was even faced with a desktop displaying Taiwanese male celebrities. Quite scary if you'd ask me.

I could've run my database conversion module on site but it seems that some fields in the database in this school are different from the other schools I have followed. Just one letter differences in seven or more fields, but in this world of binary, one bit of a byte makes a big difference.

Disclaimers are for castrated EARTHLINGS.
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