Steve, I just read your e-mail about software. I really like QuickBooks
(not Quicken) and it seems a little more complicated to learn, but it can be
extensively customized. But the totals are run as a report, not just
visible on the screen like a spreadsheet.
It runs about $140 and runs fine on 386 class computer. You can set up
accounts and charge to those accounts. Also reduces data entry time because
your accounts are stored as pull-downs that you can use over and over again.
There are certain types of reports that may be hard to produce - the report
generator is not the easiest to manipulate. I mean, everything comes out in
the pre-set categories and it's hard to fiddle with them after the data is
in those categories.
I have a little experience with software (15 years) and I will say the
strength of a datbase design over a spreadsheet is that you can have record
locking and more than one person can use it. Also, when the file gets
corrupted, usually you only lose a few records, and it's a pretty robust
My experience with spreadsheets is that they are fine for single person use.
But they can, and do get corrupted over time with multiple users that are
maybe not completely trained. With a corrupted spreadsheet, you will have
to try and recover the entire sheet rather than a few records.
That is just my .02 worth. Denise
[log in to unmask] Coordinator for Project FORIG, Ghana, West Africa
Phone:520/523-6648 FAX:520/523-1080 Web:www.for.nau.edu/forestry/research/ghana