Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Notes about the software I use and have used

So all of the recipes I will be posting (or have posted) will be in a format called "mealmaster format" or various similar names. The specific format is one of the later expanded formats used by that program.

This format was designed when "the Internet" was something your father may have come home from work talking about or you may have had a close brush with it at the university level. "Regular people" used now ancient devices called modems to dial a phone line to a remote computer... (come to think of it a "phone line" may be difficult to explain to some younger people LOL). These computers were called BBS's or "Bulletin Boards".

As the Internet started to toddle along there was a (now sadly much unused) service available called "Usenet" which functions much like the BBS's of days long gone in that a person can read and post messages in a categorized manner where people could find them easily when looking for (whatevahh).

This format allowed people to exchange recipes easily which would not be too badly mangled by the BBS or Usenet systems and also allowed easy importing and exporting of the recipes one wished to gather or share.

This format is still quite widely accepted even by the ultra-modern software.

I currently use Gourmet Recipe Manager which is not readily available for Microsoft Windows though if you understand the python programming language and are good at wrangling libraries you should be able to get it working with the MS product.

There are several pieces of software for Windows both commercial and not (some of which are also free) including the original Mealmaster (now freeware) which will easily deal with this format.

I have used a number of pieces of software including some I wrote myself to manage recipes over the years and the one thing they have so far all had in common was the ability to manage one or more of the accepted mealmaster formats well enough to not require too much hand editing after the fact for importing and exporting.

If enough people ask for it I will post my notes on the various pieces of software I have used over the years and my thoughts on some of the software I don't or haven't used.

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