THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THE BOOK

The foundation of this e-book is a database. More specifically, a MySQL database. Most people have heard of databases, but don't really know what they are. Databases are critical technology components that drive many aspects of our digital lives.

 

Learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database

Every bit of content found in this book is a result of a SQL query from my database. If you're curious, a very simple SQL query to get a list of all the songs that the Dead played out of the database looks like this:

SELECT DISTINCT SongName FROM everysong

ORDER BY SongName

SQL is straight forward to understand. "SongName" is the column name that holds the name of songs that the Dead played, which is contained within the "everysong" table. 

The image of the table with the song names is what the output might look like. Actually, the query that produced this output was a little more complex, because I'm also counting the number of times that song was played live, along with the first played and last played dates.

I have spent about 10 years building the database that generated the content for this book from scratch. It started with a desire to have updated, consistent and more contextual information about the shows. Many shows were missing from the popular lists available on the Internet.

With the rise of some incredible websites such as archive.org, and etreedb.org, I've been able to update the database by comparing the set lists with the thousands of freely available recordings. This is something that was previously extremely difficult to do, even if you had a massive tape collection (which I did). 

While updating my database, I had a thought: since I'm visiting and listening to the recordings anyways, why not also link my database records to the source? 

This turned out to be a great idea (if I do say so myself :-)) because I was then able to not only capture the source of the update, but it also gave me the ability to include those links right in the set listing for each show. But I didn't stop there. I have been a huge fan of several Grateful Dead research blogs, such as Corry Arnold's Lost Live Dead. I wanted to include as much historical and contextual information as possible, so I included those links as well. Take a look at the Links page for a listing of my favorite Grateful Dead Internet resources.

This led me to realize that I could create a very accurate, detailed and interactive e-book. If I was going to do all this work for me, why not share it with the entire Grateful Dead family? Check out the free sample. If you like what you see, consider getting a copy.

Click the "Get It Now" button below to get the full E-Book (over 2,500 pages!)

© 2020 Justin Mason

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