I get the feeling that you guys are mainly programmers, i.e., you're not really
doing work for yourself but programming for others. I, however, am a street-
level librarian and I program for myself all the time. I do it in BASIC
(PowerBASIC http://www.powerbasic.com/ ) because I can do it in my sleep and
BASIC manipulates text well enough.
I have 2 main jobs (I only work part-time), I buy physical science
books/journals and I keep our library's electronic journals list in order. My
entire work life is spent in front of a computer downloading, uploading and
manipulating data (I love it!) and I must write 3 or 4 programs a week. I
download title lists from over 150 providers of electronic journals and they
are always changing their formats. That means I am always writing programs to
format their data into a format that Access will accept. The databases don't
always give me all the data I want so today I wrote 2 different programs to
compare their current title lists with the data I had collected in the past
from those sites. Beats comparing the old list and new list manually.
I just checked and I actually modified or wrote 18 programs in the past week.
Can't imagine how I could do my job without being able to program.
(My favorite program takes citations from Web of Science and figures out what
titles our researchers are citing. They have cited over 120,000 items in the
last 2 years!)
Physical Sciences Bibliographer (Ret.)
University of Georgia Libraries
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The more people get on the Web, the more the Web becomes the vaster wasteland that is the successor to the vast wasteland of television. I don't care what the majority of people are looking at, because the majority of people are really boring.
-- Paul Saffo
To-day, then, since I have opportunely freed my mind from all cares [and am happily disturbed by no passions], and since I am in the secure possession of leisure in a peaceable retirement, I will at length apply myself earnestly and freely to the general overthrow of all my former opinions.
-- Descartes, Metaphysical Meditations