Well, crew, I think we tackled the question raised in Part One pretty well. To summarize, here's how to get the necessary free software onto your Mac in order to work with databases:
- Download MAMP and install it.
- Download Sequel Pro and install it.
- Open MAMP and make sure the servers start.
- Open Sequel Pro.
- Type the login information from the web page opened by MAMP into the login screen of Sequel Pro, including the hostname, user, password, port and socket directory link.
- Admire your tech geek skills.
If you want to know some specifics about the programs you just installed, here you go: MAMP is actually three things -- a server, a MySQL database program, and a web-based interface all rolled into one (Mac-Apache-MySql-PHP). Sequel Pro is also different user-interface, but one that's a stand-alone application instead of a web interface, and has a Mac-style look to it (which is important to keeping up the image of Mac superiority.) Feel free to ask further questions in the comments and hopefully the pros will answer them.
The Next Step
Anyway, with our software ready to go, the next step is to grab some data. Let's start with the Baseball Databank, located here. The baseball databank has a lot of basic stats and biographical information. Colin's already written about how to get that going on a PC, and I'm guessing the steps are similar on a Mac. But feel free to share your successes and failures in the comments below.
To help give you some idea of where we're head after this, I was thinking of tackling some SQL coding basic using the examples Colin's already written about, letting people play around with creating some new queries for interesting projects and sharing them, then looking at getting a retrosheet database or a pitch f/x database up and running. (Note: due to size, informat format, and updating issues, being able to start using those databases productively will likely be much more complex than the BDB.)