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Free software to manage your collections

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  • Steve
    Attached below is an edited version of messages posted at the Vintage Computer Forum, from Dianne Reuby of the Museum of Computing in the UK. You can read the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2006
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      Attached below is an edited version of messages posted at the Vintage
      Computer Forum, from Dianne Reuby of the Museum of Computing in the
      UK. You can read the whole thread concerning this free collection
      management software at
      http://vintage-computer.com/vcforum/viewtopic.php?p=14549 .

      I download Adlib, and it seems to be just what a serious collector
      needs.

      Steve

      -------------------------------
      Subject: Collections freeware

      Adlibsoft have just released a freeware version of their catalogue
      software. I've been trying it out, and we're going to use it for our
      museum collection until we can afford the paid version.

      System requirements:
      Pentium III/IV processor
      256M RAM
      Windows XP or Windows 2000 or Windows 98SR2
      Required Disk Space: Software 40MB, plus 2– 5KB per object record,
      plus 50-200 KB per image (1GB approx total for 5,000 records)

      It's easy to get to grips with especially if you install the sample
      data and use it with the manual step-by-step guide. The pop-up help
      panel is good - changes as you change tabs and fields, with examples
      which I found useful.

      It's a 97Mb download, but it doesn't take up that much as you only
      install in one language. Max number of items is 5000.

      It would be good for private and hobby collectors as well as museums
      on a small (or non-existent!) budget.

      http://www.adlibsoft.com/

      They already produce paid software for this, and it's very good. But
      we can't afford it at the moment, so we were interested when the free
      version was released.

      The problems I came across when trying it out (and which they're
      looking into) are:
      Print preview won't scroll, so you can't see if the bottom of your
      report pages looks OK.
      Import doesn't seem to be available.
      Slight "glitch" on the toolbar - one set of icons needs to be at the
      end of the bar if you want all of them to display.

      One thing to watch for - if you have XP with multiple users, and a
      previous user hasn't logged off, then the program won't load. This is
      to stop people who are on a network server from updating (and
      corrupting) the database at te same time. Rebooting cures this.

      Here in the UK, museums which wish to become accredited with the
      Museums, Libraries and Archives Council need to meet cetain
      requirements and standards, including the way objects are catalogued
      and recorded.

      Although we're non-profit and run by volunteers, we are open to the
      public, and looking for grants/sponsorship, so we're trying to reach
      accreditation standards. This catalogue software meets the MLA
      requirements.

      Their target audience for this free version are small museums with a
      tight budget. They asked us to be one of their testers, as we're used
      to the idea of freeware. Many museums (who aren't involved with
      computers) have rigid ideas and think that there must be a catch if
      it's free.

      As it's free, I thought it might be of interest to other collectors
      who don't have the time to write their own database program, or who
      want a ready-made solution.

      You can complete as many or as few of the fields as you like - if
      you're a "stand alone" collector, you may not want to bother with the
      details of a thesaurus of terms, institutions, etc. You're the only
      person that's going to be recording stuff, and searching for stuff.

      This Saturday I finally had all our procedural manuals printed and
      filed, and then deleted the test data ready to start cataloging. Only
      about 3000 objects to go!

      Dianne Reuby
      http://www.museum-of-computing.org.uk
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