software for my own electronic component catalog

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by smilem, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. smilem

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Hi, I wonder if there is a program to make my own electronic component catalog like there are programs for CD/DVD disc catalogs, movie catalogs etc.

    The idea is simple: It would be handy to be able to search on your PC rather than having to dig in a pile of boxes with actual components in them, without knowing where to look.

    The software should be able to store general components information, have a decent search function, ability to store component photos (very easy to take photos using webcam).

    I tried to search on google but all I get is online component catalogs.
     
  2. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Try setting up a database in Microsoft Access, once you learn database theory it's amazing what can be done with it.
     
  3. smilem

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Microsoft Access is fine I think, but adding images to access file makes it grow tremendously and after deleting the database file does no shrink in size.
    At least that what was on access 2003.

    While do it yourself option offers the best customization I would like to know if there is a solution that is already available like this www.tiddlywiki.com personal single file java reusable non-linear personal web notebook.
     
  4. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    If you want free and/or open source software, I find OpenOffice.org Base works very well.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,771
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    setting up a wiki is pretty easy now.. I've used mediawiki with good results
     
  6. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    There are lots of database tools, as others have mentioned. If you're a C programmer, I recommend SQLite, as it's fast and low footprint.

    However, as my software mentor pounded into my head, use the tool appropriate for the job. Spending effort to learn SQL tools or a database tool like Access or Base is probably more than you need to invest at this point. I'd recommend putting the stuff into a spreadsheet, such as Excel or Open Office Calc. No programming; just enter the data. You can use filtering, embed pictures if you want, easily sort, etc. Or, stick in a link in a cell that opens a picture in your web browser. Lots of options.

    As you gain experience with the spreadsheet, you can write macros if you need more customized behavior. Finally, if the spreadsheet just isn't cutting it, you can import the data you have into one of the database programs and build on what you have.
     
  7. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    I hate spreadsheets, they just won't do anything near what a good database program will however get really good in SQL Server and you can almost write your own ticket for a salary.

    Yes, Access is aggravating the way it wants to hold onto deleted data but it seems about anything Microsoft ever made has the same problem. Take MS Publisher for example, it never forgets thus making it impossible to use an old publication over and over again as a template - the file size just keeps growing.

    I used to know of a good free database program and I'm sure there are still hundreds of them available at http://www.download.com It's a CNET website and everything's been tested to be virus free, you can also filter down to totally free licenses. Just remember that whatever you start out with you're going to be stuck with unless it can export to the more comminly used programs.
     
  8. smilem

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 23, 2008
    132
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    I was thinking to use a robust tools like
    http://www.hkvstore.com/phpmaker/
    http://www.hkvstore.com/phpreportmaker/

    to build a local easy to manage web page app, the phpmaker can be replaced by dreamweaver with some plugins to make data input page. Visualization is handled using phpreportmaker. I havent seen better app for the job.

    Thanks for all your suggestions. But I'm looking for ready made app. IF it's not available then I'll have to build my own using the tools I mentioned above.

    Access is an option, I have made accounting "app" - if you can call it that. That does the job very well, just very helpful forums and you make anything in access :)

    I'm not a fan of mysql and how you must write every code line yourself even to tell it that separate tables ID's colums must match etc. It's like thinking for the database not just using one to store data.
     
  9. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    You're still gonna end up digging in a pile of boxes after the computer tells you which box to look in. I have hundreds of plastic storage bins that contain all of my small parts, from screws to nuts to IC's and everything in between. When I build stuff I wouldn't want to be hindered by needing the computer whenever I needed a part- especially when I'm experimenting on my breadboard.
     
  10. smilem

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 23, 2008
    132
    0
    Well I have my DVD sorted like this using whereisit app, can't live without it.
    It was my idea to try this approach on resistors first, the boxes I use are made from DVD cases very small and cheap to make yourself. They don't take space, you can use an old dvd plastic or metalic rack for them. They fit dozen of components.

    Why am I doing it? Well for starts I find myself buying a part and later I find out I had one somewhere already, so thats why.

    It would be more easy to make such a thing is access but if microsoft pulls stunt like they did with access 2007 then in a couple of years you will find out that you are unable to access your database etc.
     
  11. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
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    Why am I doing it? Well for starts I find myself buying a part and later I find out I had one somewhere already, so thats why.

    I'm already too far gone for that, I've got parts in about every corner of this house and the garage as well as at work. I'm hoping that if I ever get to semi-retire I'll at least try to get them all into a central location.

    Perhaps the database project would be a good excuse to build a small Linux box from an older PC, they don't need 8,000 GHz processors and half a ton of memory to run at rather incredible speeds.
     
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