Many Pies

Many Pies

Friday, March 30, 2007

Unicode poster

We've just put up a massive Unicode poster at work. It's got all of the Basic Multilingual Plane. I think it looks great. Call me strange.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reel to reel

As a little sideline for Wycliffe Associates UK I'm trying out some reel to reel recorders.

A Truvox:

A Wollensak:

And a make you may have heard of - Akai:

A number of people have come into my office and said, "my Dad/Grandad used to have one of those", and they go all misty eyed.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Getting gift information out of Raiser's Edge

This is a very technical Raiser's Edge post, which may be of use to a small number of people. You'll need to understand SQL.

We post gifts out of Raiser's Edge and they undergo a lot of processing afterwards. Despite all the information you can put into the reference when you post out (constituent id, name, fund name etc.) you can't get everything.

If you run the following SQL statement just after posting, putting in the date and times when the post ran, then you can get most of the gifts that were posted (see below for getting the rest). If someone edited a gift in the middle then that would throw it out, but either
a) have a bad on editing gifts or
b) do a reconciliation with the post file, crosschecking constituent ids with the Excel VLOOKUP function, for example.

SELECT GiftGLDistAccount.Debit_Number, GiftGLDistAccount.Credit_Number, GiftGLDistAcctProject.Project_Number,
GiftGLDistAcctProject.Project_Desc, GIFT.DATECHANGED, GiftGLDistAccount.GiftGLDistributionId, GiftGLDistribution.Amount,
GiftGLDistribution.AdjustmentId, GiftGLDistribution.GiftId, RECORDS.CONSTITUENT_ID, GIFT.DTE
GiftGLDistribution ON GiftGLDistAccount.GiftGLDistributionId = GiftGLDistribution.Id INNER JOIN
GiftGLDistAcctProject ON GiftGLDistAccount.Id = GiftGLDistAcctProject.GiftGLDistAccountId INNER JOIN
GIFT ON GiftGLDistribution.GiftId = GIFT.ID INNER JOIN
WHERE (GIFT.DATECHANGED > CONVERT(DATETIME, '2007-03-20 11:00:00', 102)) AND
(GIFT.DATECHANGED < CONVERT(DATETIME, '2007-03-20 12:00:00', 102))

What the above doesn't do is get the old values for adjusted gifts. For that you need this:

SELECT GiftGLDistAcctProject.Project_Number, GiftGLDistAcctProject.Project_Desc, GIFT.DATECHANGED, GiftGLDistribution.Amount,
GiftGLDistribution.AdjustmentId, GiftGLDistribution.GiftId, RECORDS.CONSTITUENT_ID, GIFT.DTE, GiftSplit.Amount AS Expr1,
GiftPreviousSplit.Amount AS Expr2
GiftGLDistribution ON GiftGLDistAccount.GiftGLDistributionId = GiftGLDistribution.Id INNER JOIN
GiftGLDistAcctProject ON GiftGLDistAccount.Id = GiftGLDistAcctProject.GiftGLDistAccountId INNER JOIN
GIFT ON GiftGLDistribution.GiftId = GIFT.ID INNER JOIN
GiftAdjustment ON GIFT.ID = GiftAdjustment.GiftId INNER JOIN
GiftSplit ON GIFT.ID = GiftSplit.GiftId INNER JOIN
GiftPreviousSplit ON GIFT.ID = GiftPreviousSplit.GiftId
WHERE (GIFT.DATECHANGED > CONVERT(DATETIME, '2007-03-20 11:00:00', 102)) AND
(GIFT.DATECHANGED < CONVERT(DATETIME, '2007-03-20 12:00:00', 102))

This query returns duplicate rows for the gifts, so will need tweaking to get just what you want.
Finally, if you want deleted gifts, then look in the GiftGLAudit table.

tags: Raiser's Edge

Monday, March 19, 2007

Update to "Reporting on the Cheap"

An update to my reporting method. Word RTF was too bloated, so in the end I used Open Office to generate the RTF. A by-product of this is that when I'm ready I can create PDF pretty easily too.


Friday, March 16, 2007

iTIM - Information Technology in Mission

I'm on a mailing list for a group called Information Technology in Mission (maybe it should be ITiM?). It's a very quiet list, maybe because not enough people know about it. So now you do, and maybe things will liven up if you join.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Andrew Walls visiting

Andrew Walls, a "Historian ahead of his time", according to Christianity Today magazine, is coming to visit.

According to them, "American church historian Mark Noll says that 'no one has written with greater wisdom about what it means for the Western Christian religion to become the global Christian religion than Andrew Walls.'"

He's going to be joined by Dr Lamin Sanneh. If you're interested in missiology, then this should be really interesting.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trip to Orlando

Two weeks ago I visited Wycliffe US's headquarters in Orlando. No I didn't get chance to see any tourist sights, apart from a couple of restaurants. It was for meetings with some of our personnel people worldwide, working on future parts of our internal personnel system. I came representing Wycliffe UK personnel people. Because it's internal there's nothing to show for it, although while I was there the new Wycliffe US website was launched, in which I had a small part.

One of the things they've done is allow online donations and purchasing with a single transactions. It sounds straightforward, though if you know the way that those things are handled, each of which is completely different, with different internal systems, you'll know what an achievement that is. Near Christmas I was asked if we could handle the purchase of one item along with a donation. I said it could be done, but not without a lot of work, which probably wasn't worth it given that we were only selling one item.

While I was there I met someone, who used to work for IBM and is now working for Wycliffe, who was in on the meeting where it was decided that the internet would run on TCP/IP, not SNA. Quite a good geek credential.

One of the tools we used was "Results-based Management" (RBM). When I first heard of this I went to wikipedia, but I couldn't find it there, so I added an entry of to the list of entries that needs creating. One of the reasons I didn't create an entry is I didn't think I could do very well from my brief bit of research. However as this blog is more informal than the wikipedia I feel I can get away with this. RBM is
"a life-cycle approach to management that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes and measurements to improve decision-making, transparency, and accountability. The approach focuses on achieving outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning and changing, and reporting performance."

It's used by the Canadian Government and the UN, so it has some pedigree. As you might expect it focuses on defining the results you want to achieve, and then working out how you are going to measure if you've done them or not. The latter part was the exercise we went through last week. That much was pretty straightforward, given the difficulty of measuring some less tangible things.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Fighting spam with the Sword of the Spirit

I don't often point to other blogs, as you might as well go and subscribe to them yourself, but this one caught my eye.
Fighting spam with the Sword of the Spirit.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Oscar blogging section

Oscar, the UK information service for world mission, has started a blogging section, with a directory and the latest items from the blogs in the directory. Before they started it they invited various blogs to take part, and asked for blogging tips. I searched around and didn't find a good list, though there are certainly many out there. So I came up with my own and they ended up using my blogging tips on the site.