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A life of cataloguing and coding

Discussion in 'Personal' started by neddyfonk, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Having spent 30yrs in IT / databases and business apps I naturally think about the world in terms of 'how I would record things using codes'. It occurs to me that I probably organise things and my possessions in a way most people do not. In schools with the advent of colour printing many reports are now RAG coded Red, Amber, Green (traffic light coding) generally meaning Bad, OK, Good. Books are often coded using colours or short alphanumeric codes to indicate Year group, difficulty or scheme etc. Expensive equipment that schools need to report on inventories for their asset value are often coded or you can buy pre-coded labels suitable for PAT testing IDs ( Portable Appliance testing - a statutory requirement for all mains plugs/wires/adapters/PCs/ printers/ tools).
    Do you have any coding systems you would like to share or have a cataloguing problem you have not found a workable solution for ?
    At home I wrap coloured insulating tape bands around both ends of electric wires: red = Do Not unplug, Yellow for lights, Blue for Device, Green for unplug at will and optional white band/s to differentiate when deciding what I am unplugging from the proverbial 'rats nest'.
    At work, IBM had a wire coding system where every wire had a unique code printed on at at 1metre intervals so that network engineers could identify every wire in every communications cabinet.
    Advice for anyone designing databases: Do not use Postcodes as a primary key because they are not unique and do change when the GPO rearranges sorting offices.
  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I neither catalogue not code anything. It makes me feel a bit ill just to think about. We live in splendid and comfortable chaos.
  3. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Print QR codes and stick them on to anything.
    neddyfonk likes this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Whenever somebody tries to persuade me that meticulously organising personal possessions is a great thing, I just remind myself of this moment in this film, and then I feel better

    bevdex and neddyfonk like this.
  5. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    And how did you know that?
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Grandsire likes this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Help me out on that please-I just looked and thought "eh?"
    Can you give an example (which impressed)?
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Th fact that any 3m by 3m location (an area little larger than a double bed) on the planet, sea and ocean included, can be identified by a code of three words.

    For example the Henry Purcell Memorial Statue in London can be pinpointed by ///festivity.locate.ocean

    Several emergency services now use the app.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I do have herbs and spices organised by alphabetical order in the rack, so I can find them when my glasses are all steamed up during cooking. It prevents me putting chilli into apple crumble instead of cinnamon. That's about it.
    neddyfonk likes this.
  10. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Most important when trying to identify pupils: just tattoo a QR code on their forehead. Then you can have an automated system that tracks them, records lateness, infractions of behavior policy and how many miles they walked around the site etc etc etc...
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I assumed everyone knew about it. I have been aware for around 3 years at least.

    I wonder what else there is in the world that nobody is shouting about because they assume it's already known.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    But nomad wasn't saying "look what I've discovered", but "I am impressed".
    I was asking because it's not something I know, not because I need to know what is new.
    Now it is better explained, I can see how useful it would be in,say,mountain rescue.
    If as a mountaineer you had a device to automate your three word location.

    The website also says it's good for finding your tent at a festival, but I'm not sure about that one-with a 3 metre parametre against average festival tent size, surely that gives you an approximate 41% chance of going back in darkness and throwing up on the wrong person's sleeping bag...
    nomad likes this.
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Not quite sure what your point is.

    It is a coding system which impresses me. As does the RTMA colour code (unless one is colour blind, of course).
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Two words: Conditional Formatting ;)

    Colour on spreadsheet cells definitely adds a helpful dimension to the admin of the two small business ventures I run.

    I've got a stash of tinned and long life food in the shed/larder which I've organised by sell by date. I got fed up with routinely chucking out food that had been left at the back of cupboards forgotten and had expired. Too wasteful by half.

    Then again I was an ICT specialist for the best part of 30 years, so some of it filters into your daily life.
  15. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Strange, then, that the BBC thought it appropriate to publish this article just a month ago in August. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49319760
  16. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    But they surely must have a reliable always working back up and couldn’t possibly rely on an app?

    The weirdest thing about it is the dislocation (o_O) from any other system - a location cannot be surmised by the proximity of any other because every patch of ground is unique? So knowing that I am at lemon obama fish is meaningless to everyone without an internet connected device and the app?
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    An absolute must-I keep a colour coded spread sheet of posters on here who variously impress,amuse,interest or annoy me; there are seventeen different colours to different traits exhibited, and I update it every three days, or four if there has been a Bank Holiday. In order to change the colour code for a specific poster to something representing a nicer trait,they must consistently and rigorously demonstrate attributes across an academic year's worth of posts which merit a colour change. In order to change the colour code for a specific poster to something less nice,they have to have said something really stupid, or expressed a liking for Gregg Wallace, hence the need to update the system so frequently.
    If I feel the urge to "like" a post,I always check first to see that poster's colour code, as I am not allowed to like posts by brown,grey or beige posters.

    I find an organisational system like this invaluable in preventing occurrences of the wrong people thinking I enjoy what they write, and it's also something nice to do on those days when they don't let me out at all.
  18. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    I am thinking of coding posters by using three words for each, you know - along the lines of ///rude.ignorant.thicko or ///erudite.empathetic.professional
  19. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Much easier to store and recall three known words than two long numbers for a grid ref. I wrote a program (1990s) to randomly create readable passwords from letter pairs that exist in English words and a security system that required two or more people to access someone else's data.
  20. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    You lot sound like the sort of people I would regret sitting next to on a bus.
    sbkrobson likes this.

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