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Using MEMO as a Phone Book

Using MEMO as a Phone Book

My heart went out to the cop who wrote in asking how to break the 47K PhoneBook limit. His experiences were mine exactly. I would never have switched from my CASIO to the 95LX if I'd known about this limit, and that would have been a shame.

My own solution to the PhoneBook limit has since been to use MEMO instead of PHONE. I would have had to break PHONE into at least 3 or 4 parts to accommodate my info. Using MEMO, I only have to break it in 2. Its only defect is that it doesn't insert items in lexicographical order. I solve that by put-ting a header on all items that begin with the same letter, for example, HHH as header for all items that begin with H. Then do my own insertions. (Inserting roughly in order is all that one needs to do since the Find key lets one find whatever one wants anyway.)

After you pointed out that LOTUS might be a good place to put large files in order to have a single "PhoneBook," I imported my files into a spreadsheet and discovered that 75K of text files turns into 93K of spreadsheet.

A major annoyance with a spreadsheet of this size (smaller spreadsheets are better) is that it takes 17 seconds to save it and 12 seconds to retrieve it. On the other hand, the 8 seconds that it takes to find an item is relatively acceptable. A wonderful thing about the spreadsheet, besides the very important fact that it can hold all my data in one single place, is that it can be programmed... and I find that very useful. I originally tried to figure out how to divide the PhoneBook information among the columns in order to make proper use of LOTUS, and it took me a while to realize that it's okay just to put all the data into cells Al, A2, A3, ... in order and not to use any other cells for data.

[Most people use Lotus 1-2-3 as a data base by allotting 1 row of cells per record. So, for example, you might set up your phone book as follows: Column A - Last name, B - First name, C - Company, D - Address, E - ZIP, F - Country, G - Codes, H - Comments. Using the Menu Data Sort command, one could sort the names by any field such as Last name, ZIP, Country, or Codes -- Hal.]

Manuel Blum


California, USA

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