Larry Tyree
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 21:39:12 -0700 (PDT)

Progress report - things are looking really good.  I have sucessfully 
created a .DTA file just like a2dta.exe does.  Just so happens K2MM,
WB5VZL and WN4KKN will be in Boring Oregon this weekend, so there will
probably be lots of ideas exchanged on new features.  Maybe some of
them will even be implemented!  George isn't going to let me sleep
until I fix the program crash when doing floppy backups without a
floppy in the drive.

POST will end up with a procedure similar to the a2dta program (converts
an ASCII file to the .DTA format).  It will also allow you to pull 
information out of .DAT files and include it in the .DTA file (like
name, state, ten-ten number, grid, section, check and CQ/ITU zones).
There will also be a way to convert your existing NAMES.CMQ file.
And some kind of editor (like the existing name editor) that lets you
view the data for any callsign, and update it.  POST will also do 
the conversion from .DTA to ASCII.  There will be funny characters
you put after each call to identify different data (for example:
WN4KKN =NTREY =SCAL =K73 =GFN34).  The data can be in any order,
but unless you want to edit the ASCII file manually, you won't have
to worry about it.  

For those of you who are familar with the internal structure of the .DTA
file, the index table is exactly the same as before.  Each entry is
still a null terminated string.  However, when one of the optional
data fields is present, there will be a control character after
the callsign.   The control character will define what the field is
and the field goes on until another control character is found, or the
null character.  The control character corresponds to the ASCII character
found after the equals sign in the ASCII file (ie: Control-N means a
name is going to follow).  This technique allows almost infinite 
expandability and doesn't make the file any bigger than it has to be.

The unique plus one feature will require re-engineering to deal with
a different database format.  

Just had to let out some of this enthusiam!!