Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 12:26:03 -0800

Author: "Karl I. Trappe"

Subject: Re: DCS numbers etc.


Steve, and others: You should be amused to know that the original
database, written in hypercard stacks before the html code dominated
the internet, includes several additional fields for just such
purposes. Some of the fields were intended for parts lists, others
for materials sources, others for cabinet location, etc. I believe
that Doug Johnson and several others have the CD rom with the
original scheme which was made available in the resource room quite a
few years back. I know I have early disks with the scheme somewhere
around the office.

By now you should also appreciate why the late Phil Johnson is such a
beloved hero to many of us. It was his effort which included such
foresight. Regrettably, much of what he "invented" is now appearing
under others' names. Karl

>Hi Jim,
>The Physics Instructional Resource Association already has a committee of
>members whose task is to classify and assign DCS numbers to demos. I
>believe Jerry Zani at Brown is the chair of this committee, and I gather
>that committee members collaborate to decide on a DCS number.
>Perhaps there were debating off-line?
>I find it convenient to use a separate numbering system in house, for a
>variety of reasons. For one, I sometimes have several slightly different
>versions of a demo which is referenced by only one number in the PIRA DCS
>scheme and I need to distinguish between the two. Sometimes I don't agree
>with a PIRA DCS number. And sometimes there is no DCS number for a one of
>my demos (perhaps it's too trivial or too difficult). I notice that a
>number of our members also have their own system. Of course I have
>associated each of my demos with a PIRA DCS number where one exists and
>this info is stored in my main database.
>I gather that you, too, Jim, are in effect creating your own in-house
>schema that is basically the PIRA DCS with an added extra digit? Sounds
>like a fine idea.
>The PIRA DCS has got to be one of the greatest time-savers that I have
>used in my job and I am always grateful to everyone who has participated
>in creating this schema.
>Steve W.
>> I would like to propose that a more efficient way of assigning numbers be
>> implemented. Once possibility would be to include publication in the PIRA
>> Newsletter as an acceptable criteria for assigning a number. Another way
>> might be to have a committee consider adding certain common demos that
>> should have a number. The Hoberman's sphere would be one example, the
>> windbag another.
>> Jim
>> ******************************************
>> Jim Krider
>> Physics and Astronomy Instructional Resource Team
>> Arizona State University Department of Physics and Astronomy
>> PO Box 871504, Bldg. PS Rm. F470,Tempe, Arizona 85287-1504
>> Phone: 480-965-8086 FAX: 480-965-7954 Web:

Dr. Karl I. Trappe Desk (512) 471-4152
Lecture Demonstration Office Office (512) 471-5411
Physics Department, Mail Stop C-1600 Home (512) 264-1616
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78712-1081