2017/02/18 ... debt:
        Is there a formula to change the format of the data in a single field in 
every record of a table?  She has a "timestamp” in a text field formatted as 
2017|02|16|04|58|42 and she wants to convert it to a more human readable format like 
 2017-02-16 @ 04:58:42

It now occurs to me, long after a working answer has been found, that because MySQL is none too picky about the strings that it turns into timestamps, that adding a DATETIME field, TS say, and thus updating is enough programming:

UPDATE tbl SET TS=timestampFormatted_CharacterStringfield;

MySQL takes any punctuation for a separator, and cares only about the numerals between the separators.

There is also the function STR_TO_DATE which takes a string to convert and a format string.

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