Necessity is the mother of all initiatives I felt terribly wrong when I looked at those huge excel files.

Sorting the entire 5 years data of fifteen minute interval into generation wise,frequency wise,station wise and what not ! I was feeling sick looking at those excel files. But time was short. The Corporate Center wants those data to be sorted and sent as per their data grid before Saturday 12pm. The final presentation would be made in front of the director operation on Saturday evening . So far I've completed only 1 month data and tons of files are yet to be touched. Is this the only way of achieving this !. I asked the IT guy of our office , She gracefully told me that if it was the excel problem she could set it right but for data and that too so many , (in fact thousands) she cannot help. I was looking at my computer screen and was praying god to make a magic for me before 12PM tomorrow. My trance was broken by the telephone ring. The CC was reminding me about the dead line... Saturday 12 PM.... My engineer ,Ashis was working with the other excel files. His face says that the dead line is difficult to make. At 6 pm the I was desperate for an easy solution. I have conviction that there must be some better way of doing this sorting works. I closed the excel files and opened the google page. I searched for 'easy way of sorting data from excel files' and the answers spranged onto screens were not many but as I was clicking one by one , each one was talking about macros and databases. Few site warns about the trap of excelling, excel is excellent for small file but if you go on using and piling excel files day after day and year after year (Which we actually did for so many years) you will eventually land into this sort of problem. I entered into one LUG (Linux User Group) on query the member told me to use MySQL or SQLite database. These databases are in built in to my Fedora Core-3 linux operating system and any text files can be transfered into these databases very easily. I got my answer and I promised myself that in the next opportunity I shall get rid of all these excel files but I prayed god for a break. Meanwhile, we went on doing the bull work. We stayed office till past

midnight. The next morning we went to office red-eyed. The first mail arrived at 9 AM was that the final presentation had been postponed till further notice. Ashis laughed at me ruefully. But I knew that this was the break that god had sent for me.

Next four weeks we went on working with SQLite RDBMS . The big excel files we first 'copy and paste' on text files using 'notepad' and then transfered those big text files into the SQLite tables like a simple 'hoosh'. All the data got stacked up neatly into the SQLite database. Once done ,sorting anything and everything was child's play using sql languages. From here we went on developing data entry page on PHP which looks like excel but sends data into MySQL and SQLite database. We transfered most of the excel files into databases. Today the requirements has become more complex, the sorting parameter includes lots of 'ifs' and 'buts' but with database we can achieve it before long. Ashis has developed lots of webpages on PHP. The CC can get data from the webpage itself. The necessity we felt that day has become our long term solution today. Everything was just an idea away then and when we grabbed it, we did not loose the hold. We are still holding it today...... S. Bera System Administrator Data / MIS