I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but the biggest thing I have to report is that building a set of spreadsheets detailing each bead type, cost, color, and location, is a bit forbidding. However, it could make for an interesting project, if I were to design a database for this information (just for practice, and to show to potential employers).
This would take me from my 202 class, through Relational Database Design and Implementation, and possibly further, into actualization…though that does mean that I have to do further work in programming. I would likely be using some form of SQL (Structured Query Language) for information retrieval. That means that once I get to the point of having tables in the correct configuration, and have populated those tables with data, I would need to run some type of SQL queries in order to retrieve anything.
Data entry is its own big thing, though.
To create a database of this type, I need to analyze my needs; isolate the information categories and types that would fulfill those needs; create a Data Dictionary to standardize data entry among the different categories; organize those categories into conceptually-related tables; determine the relationships between the tables; determine whether each pair of tables is in a one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many relationship; determine the keys for each table upon which all else depends; normalize the tables; create the tables in proper order within a database program so that they build upon themselves; populate those tables with information; then create structured queries to retrieve needed information.
It’s a lot of work just to get to the end point of knowing where I’ve stowed things. I mean, I could just look (because my collection is small enough, for now). Not to mention that I’ve brainstormed 24 descriptive fields so far that would be ideal to include, though some of these are dependent upon others. For instance, beads of Type, “seed”, would include an “aught” category, whereas no others would. Also, I could include different “Size” and “Appearance” tables, so that I would only have to put in a masstone color (e.g., “blue”), once, and be able to mix and match those variables across items.
I guess…if I want practice, here’s practice. And it’s practical…practice.
I’m too tired to think about this now…but I still have my texts and my notes and old assignments. Maybe even my slides. I can review, tomorrow.