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Reply #32: talk about overengineering [View All]

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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 12:05 PM
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32. talk about overengineering
# Just one (1) $400 Personal Computer is used for ballot data entry
# $100 Printer
# $100 Spreadsheet

Here, I'll save you $500:

Just install Lotus 1-2-3 and you're all set. Or better yet, use dBase IV (or GNU equivalent) since what you're describing is, gasp, a database (as it turns out a spreadsheet is more suited to analytical and accounting tasks than being a storage engine with a semblance of integrity (or transaction capabilities), but I guess when you're a specialized tool you tend to view everything as a nail.)

Note: Totals are calculated using the Excel function: COUNTIF (range, party code).

This is an excellent way to corrupt a vote total: no record of who entered what, a dozen ways to (pre-)insert a hidden value without leaving a trail, vulnerability to macro viruses without any compensatory benefit to the final product being mutable by ad hoc P-code (like the report writer on Optiscan memory cards but exponentially more publicized), not to mention Excel storing ~100 bytes of formatting data for every byte of useful information such that the real data isn't human readable or verifiable/checksum-able/reconstructable in the event of corruption.

As each code is entered, the spreadsheet automatically calculates the total vote and percentage for each candidate.

You lost the purists at "automatically". Maybe Wilms is right, we still need your help proving the Dodgers won the '51 world series.

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