UK LETS and Complementary Currencies
Development Agency


published by

Computing Corner
extracted from the May 1999 newsletter

New generation of Directory Software needed

Although it is true that with the possible exception of Mac users, everyone always complains about software, the general disaffection around LETS software is definitely very pronounced.

     The irritating thing about the perceived inadequacy of LETS software is that the requirements are covered by standard functionality. The first requirement, as all local currency scheme members know well is simple double entry book keeping which can be programmed in standard packages such as Excel.

     Unfortunately, Excel cannot provide the database functionality needed for an Offers and Wants Directory. This is why Windows versions of LETS software, such as LOIS and LETSAssist are written in Microsoft Access.

     However, a really effective Wants and Offers Directory program needs to add new categories and searchable terms automatically, without having to change the program. Only free text retrieval software (another standard software type) will do this task.

     Access is not good at free text retrieval which is becoming increasingly important in a world where more and more LETS members would be able to run and search an easily updatable Directory on their hard disk.

     In the early days, DOS programs like nlets did the job, albeit simply and crudely. This generation of Windows-based LETS accounting software using Access have made the original basic DOS software functions, a bit prettier, easier to use ... and much slower. Still they work.



The time is now right for a new generation of LETS software to be developed which exploits the speed, flexibility and power of free text retrieval software in designing and delivering virtual directories.

LETSLINK UK would like to sponsor a process whereby LETS groups can collaborate in specifying their ideal Accounting and Directory software.

     Once an agreed standard specification is complete, then we will make it publicly available for software developers to meet.

     Anyone interested in participating in the process, please, let us know on the enclosed InterActive pages.

Now available

Until then, two professional English-language Windows-based LETS software packages are LOIS (from the UK) and LETSAssist (from Australia).

     There will be reviews of each package in future Nerd Corners. Any comments from users of either of these packages would be very welcome.

     LETSAssist - can be downloaded from http://www.fortunecity.com/olympia/akabusi/19/index.htm

     LOIS- contact Jerry Vahrman (0117) 951-3971

Free Access DB

ODLETS use a Microsoft Access database to hold details of all members, their wants and offers, and all the Oswald transactions. An empty version of the database is available for download from http://www.telinco.co.uk/lets. It requires Microsoft Access 2.0 or later. The database will automatically run a main menu screen, with buttons for all the common tasks. No help or support is provided.

     Also portable computers with LETS database installed -- 25! Three available, more coming. Call Dave Shenton on 07970 187374 (mobile) or email: lets@telinco.co.uk

© Published by LETSlink UK, 12 Southcote Road, Tufnell Park, London N19 5BJ