MAILING LIST DATA
Processing tapes on personal computers for mailing list purposes is our customers' most popular application. Sources of tapes include mailing list firms, the US Postal Service (CRIS and ZIP+4 tapes), local, county and state governments (e.g. vehicle registration data), federal government (e.g. FAA pilot and aircraft owner data).
Voter registration tapes are available from state and county governments. Politicians make frequent use of this data in their election campaigns.
REAL ESTATE DATABASE CREATION
A popular application. Real estate data is widely available from county and state governments. While some details of these applications are proprietary, it is interesting to note that the tapes contain information as to the location of the property, owner's name and address, price paid, date of sale, zoning, current taxes, lot measurements etc.
TELEPHONE CALL DATA
AMA (call detail) tapes from small phone companies and long distance resellers are processed into subscriber bills and statistical reports.
PROCESSING HUD TAPES
Not all of the details of this application were made clear to us. Apparently the HUD department of the US government makes available tapes of people who are entitled to mortgage insurance premium refunds. The task is to match up that database with name and address databases in an effort to locate those to whom refunds are due.
CENSUS DATA ANALYSIS
US Census data is transferred from tape to disk, then processed overnight by proprietary statistical analysis routines, and the results are sold to clients in the insurance business.
KEY TO TAPE
Keypunch service bureaus provide "cottage industry" employees with PC clones. Each morning, data to be keypunched is delivered to the home workers, at the end of the day diskettes with the keypunched data are collected. The files on the diskettes are transferred to tape at the main office.
CAD/CAM PHOTO PLOTTING
Computer aided design programs, now common on high speed PC's, produce drawing files on disk. The disk files are transferred to tape for photo plotting on systems made by Gerber, Computervision and others.
MINICOMPUTER DATA CONVERSION
In this application, Data General minicomputers are being replaced by PC's. Electrovalue's FX program reads the tapes, strips off the extraneous (Data General RDOS) bytes at the end of each tape block and writes the remaining data to disk.
STOCK MARKET AND COMMODITY DATA ANALYSIS
"Tick tapes" are analyzed by stock market and commodity traders in hopes of predicting trading trends.
SUBMITTING DATA TO THE IRS
The IRS is pleased to receive data on magnetic tape, for example W2 and 1099 forms. IRS rules require submission on magnetic media if the number of forms exceeds certain limits.
FIGHTING WITH CITY HALL
Several times a year, the New York City government makes citywide real estate tax assessment data available on tape. Some of our customers with a healthy appetite for these tapes are lawyers who specialize in making sure their clients' commercial real estate taxes are as low as possible.
INEXPENSIVE FAA DATA
The Federal Aviation Administration has hired a private contractor to distribute copies of over a dozen interesting databases at minimal cost. Send these guys a tape and a few dollars and receive 49 megabytes of aircraft registrations by return UPS. Or 77 megabytes of pilot license information. Use our software to extract the fields of interest and join the group of customers who are making money with this data.
Satellites transmit copious amounts of geophysical data when over land and sea. Tapes containing this data are available to the general public.
OIL AND MINERAL EXPLORATION
Geophysical data is logged to tape by micros in the field, then processed at the home office.
ASTRONOMY DATA ANALYSIS
Tapes available from NASA are processed for fun by amateur astronomers.
MEDICAL BILLING AND PHARMACY PRESCRIPTION DATA
Medical insurance claim information is processed on a PC, the results are submitted to the government on tape, a big check comes back.
EDITING AND TYPESETTING
Travel directories need to be updated frequently. The latest information, edited on PC's, is sent to commercial typesetting firms on tape.
DEVELOPING MAINFRAME PROGRAMS ON PC
Since a number of mainframe languages have been ported to the PC, customers specializing in mainframe software have been using PC's to develop and maintain their mainframe programs. Source programs and data are exchanged between mainframes and PC's via tape.
CREDIT CARD PRODUCTION
Tapes with cardholder names and numbers are read by a PC which controls a credit card manufacturing machine.
Technology has advanced while the economy has declined. This situation has added fuel to the popularity of downsizing mainframe applications to the PC arena. Accompanying this transition has been the frequent need to continue reading and writing 9-track and 3480/90/90e tapes on the PC.
COST EFFECTIVE TAPE DRIVES FOR MINICOMPUTERS
It can cost from $14,000, to upwards of $31,000, to add a tape drive directly to an IBM AS/400, System 34, System 36 or similar midsize computer. Those in the know purchase a PC 9-track 3480/90/90e drive. The PC communicates with the midrange computer using an IBM package called "PC SUPPORT".
PARTS LIST MANAGEMENT
These customers use a unique Electrovalue software feature (KEYLIST MATCHING), which was added at a customer's request. Aircraft, motorcycle and automotive parts businesses get massive semiannual parts list tapes from the factory and automatically import only those records where the part number can be found in a locally maintained disk file of parts which they stock locally.
A FUND RAISING
group uses the inverse of the above KEYLIST MATCHING feature, the ability to reject records from tape when the potential donor's name can be found in a locally maintained disk file containing the names of people from whom they do not wish to solicit funds. They process the data with "THE RAISER'S EDGE" software.
DP SERVICE BUREAUS
use a larger proportion of Electrovalue's software features than the usual customer. Just some of the features they find useful are the ability to simultaneously select records and fields, rearrange the order of fields, strip off trailing blanks, add any literal text as field delimiters and transfer the results directly to floppies without splitting records from one floppy to another. Our myriad features allow them to fill the floppies with just the data their customers need, in a format friendly to the particular intended use. The data manipulation scenario used by each customer is maintained in reusable disk files called CONTROL FILES. Running a similar job on a future date simply requires the service bureau personnel to invoke the appropriate CONTROL FILE during the tape-to-diskette transfer.
A lawyer who earns his living by demanding that debts be paid gets tapes from creditors and duns the deadbeats with computer generated mailings.
MAGNETIC TAPE ANALYSIS AND QUALITY CONTROL
A large commercial printer uses our software on the PC to quickly and economically check the quality, format and contents of mainframe tapes before they are sent along as input to massive printing jobs.
ELECTRONIC AND CD ROM PUBLISHING
Several customers import all kinds of data to the PC and pre-process it in order to publish articles, directories and CD ROMs. In some cases they write tapes which are read by large (e.g. Xerox) printers and photo-typesetters.
NIELSEN AND ARBITRON
data tapes with radio listener and TV viewer data are processed statistically on the PC so the client can advise potential advertisers on the estimated effectiveness of their program choices.
INK JET AND VIDEOJET TAPES
are 9 track tapes written in a special format. Some of our customers who process mailing lists for lettershops write a program or use a commercially available program to convert their mailing lists into a format that the ink jet machine uses. Then, they use our software to write the file to tape, thus creating an ink jet tape.