Special Projects July 27, 2020


Yes, I know. I missed a week again, and for that I am truly sorry. As you may know, I have been working on my Accounting for Manufacturing Database in Filemaker and I am working on the last module, Inventory. This is probably the second most complex module after payroll and it requires a lot of concentration. I hope to finish it in about two weeks and then I can start testing and debugging, which should take another two weeks. Then the real fun starts when I bring it on line.


In the mean time back at the shop, we are working on several special projects. The problem is when business is good and you can afford these projects, you are too busy. When business is slow, like it is now, you have plenty of time but no money. So we pick the projects that give us the most bang for the buck. We have a strip along the road which is maintained irregularly by the county. A few years back, we tried putting in some plants but the county just mowed them down and the weeds grew back up. This time, we did it right with weed barrier, mulch and shrubs. I think we probably still need to put up a “Do Not Mow” sign. We also repaired the chain post with a much bigger foundation. People come to the back of our building where it is dark and dump their trash. The last time, some one drove into the chain and pulled the post from the ground. If they do it again, it should cause a lot more damage to their vehicle. The last improvement project is repainting the block on our building for probably the first time in 40 years. Joe, our painter, has taken on the task and is doing a great job using rollers and brushes. We initially thought we were going to have to buy a sprayer but after only a week, he is half way done.


We also have some special projects for new and improved products but I can’t tell you about them yet.

Backup your backup of your backup. July 7, 2020


The three most important things to remember in real estate is location, location and location. The three most important things to remember on your computer is backup, backup and backup. As you might remember, I have been working on a major update to our database which controls all aspects of our company. My primary motivation for doing this was that the software was going to require a dedicated server and server software. The second reason was that Karl, my son, had his computer crash frequently when ever he was entering work orders. I initially thought that it was a problem with the way I had programmed it but, as you may also remember, it turned out to be a bad ethernet cable. Last week, I started working on the Work Order Module and, while I knew there were some problems, I did not realize how bad it was. Out of 14 years of data, only the last two months were not corrupted. I spent two days looking at the backups I had. No one backup had all of the data so I had to restore from four different backups, the first was a 2018 year end backup and the other three were from Time Machine’s incremental backups. Once I had identified those backups, it took me about a day to make a copy of the file with good data. That file was out of sync with our regular file by a couple of days but it only took about 15 minutes to update the regular file. Now our file is completely restored and I don’t feel anal about having so many backups. A few weeks ago, I told you I had 16 different backups. One of those backups is Time Machine which automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when the backup disk is full. I have also added a separate weekly back up schedule so instead of 16 backups, I will have as many as 67 plus the incremental Time Machine backup. After what I went through last week, that doesn’t seem excessive.


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