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Freeware: Mineral Database
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Joan R.




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PostPosted: Dec 27, 2007 06:41    Post subject: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Our Forum partner Carles M., an expert software engineer, has sent a link where you could download a very friendly mineral Database made by himself: MINERALS (v1.0.4).

The million dollar link

You could manage your collection and this software allows to save 3 photographies for every record, and includes fields as number, date, species, characteristics, locality, country, location, origin, dimensions, weight, measures, and a space of unlimited extension for observations, with arrangement according to several criteria, complex filters with fields, automatic update of the purchase price according to the inflation rate, summatory all the money you spent (my God!!!), configurable reports printing, and searches for any field.
This version 1.0.4 offers new functions to print the photographies with title trained by the number, species and locality. Possibility of adding anchor up to four records to return to them with posteriority (useful to check along extensive databases). The column widths defined by the user remain for a later sessions. New hotkeys are added for major agility.
It is FREEWARE and runs with Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista. The software also works in GNU/Linux and Mac OS with Wine or installed Crossover. The only small "problem" is the language but software is very very friendly and visual.

Feel free to download the .exe file (free of viruses and trojans!!!)

Thank you Carles.



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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2007 17:08    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Now the English version is available for downloading at the same location.
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ike wilson




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2008 09:42    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Hi. I downloaded the database on to my comp. BUT I cannot find a way of making my own index, I cannot find any intructions with the download, its a good database if I can use, i may be thick, help please. regards Ike
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I have been collecting for over 50 years ( since 5yrs old, ) (now 66) still abseiling down shafts, walking or crawling in mines with water up to neck etc, I enjoy exchanging with other collectors, I am interested in mining history of u.k. and irish mines.
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2008 16:34    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

The program already has nine built-in indexes, that seem enough to handle virtually all the situations. Just for the advanced user, however, it's possible to create additional indexes and make them work, always from outside the program, by using a Paradox database file manager, provided he/she owns one.

No instructions are needed since everything is quite visual and intuitive, even for beginners. Please read carefully the hints associated with every menu item or button.
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Les Presmyk




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2008 16:43    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

This looks like quite a nice software package. THank you for putting it out there. Can it be adapted to use on a Mac?
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2008 16:59    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Just install first Wine on your Mac and then you'll be able to execute any Windows program. It's an excellent emulator.

Wine is free. To download it please go to http://winehq.org/
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Joan R.




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2008 04:19    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Thank you Carles for your database!!! . The Carles text with the link ready to be used by a click:

Carlos M. wrote:
Just install first Wine on your Mac and then you'll be able to execute any Windows program. It's an excellent emulator.
Wine is free. To download it please go to http://winehq.org/

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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 18, 2008 16:01    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

New version released

A new version (1.1) of the freeware program has just been released. Several new functions have been added, and a number of small bugs have been addressed. Please, feel free to report in this forum any other issue you might encounter.

In addition, a new and more convenient location for downloading is now available.

More than 500 downloads from around the world have been registered in only 8 weeks. Many thanks to all who spent his/her time testing the software.

To the system administrator: Please, if possible, make the download link easier for the readers to click on by replacing the fake URL by the real one. Thank you!
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Feb 18, 2008 16:35    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Sure Carles,

Here it is.

Thanks for supplying for free this fine software.

Jordi
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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2008 05:56    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

New version released

Several users asked recently for the possibility to convert the data to a standard format to facilitate their processing with other programs when needed.

Version 1.1.3 includes now a function to export the whole database, or only a subset of it if filtered, to MS Excel and MS Access by creating, with just a click, an XLS format file. Such file can then be opened with any version of MS Office from 2000 to 2007, and also with OpenOffice Calc (an open source free of charge worksheet available at openoffice(dot)org), and Lotus 1-2-3.

This new version can be downloaded here as usual.
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James
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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2008 10:12    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Carles

Any chance of an import facility too. I developed my current database over 15 years ago and it runs under DOS. To move on to a new one I would need to be able to import the current data, otherwise I would have to re-enter all the records. I have an export facility in my software so can generate the data in various flat database formats, but clearly there would need to be a data field mapping facility.

PS I have a copy but have not yet had time to try it out
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PostPosted: Feb 28, 2008 12:44    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Hi, James!

If it were just a matter of a half an hour... But unfortunately importing data from other programs, given the large variety of formats and, in every format, different versions and many different internal structures, making it is almost always a nightmare and a long time working.

I understand you pretty well but I fear there is nothing I can do to help. Sorry!

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2008 09:58    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Carles

I fully understand the problem. But is there a way you could create a standard format for import, such as a defined table format in Excel where say column A is the first mineral, B the second etc, etc. If this could be done then people could manipulate their data into the right format before importing most of the data (but clearly some would have to be re-keyed). The key things are the minerals, location, source, code.

Can you post an example of the Excel output from the software and I can see if I can re-create the same layout from my database. If this were possible we could use this as a standard import/export format

James
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PostPosted: Mar 05, 2008 14:39    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

I'm very sorry, but writing to MS Excel is one thing and reading from its files is a quite different story. Maybe you are aware of the quiet but intense war over the file formats that is right now under way where Micro$oft is deeply involved in order to maintain its monopoly forever.

Perhaps in the future reading from another format, such as CSV (comma separated values) or DBF (dBase III), could be easier for me if I found the time and the will to work it. Both file types are available from inside MS Excel with the function "Save as...".

In the meantime I invite you to update the software and perform some tests. A new version is now available with predictive text in the species name that facilitates the manual entry, a species database with more than 600 records, and several icons to choose from if you don't like the default.

Carles
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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2008 12:55    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Carles

Good point! So maybe we could use a DBF format to avoid Bill's little issues. I will have a try soon and see what I think but I have to find time (I have too little to even go out and collect more minerals, let alone install new software!) Leave it for now and I will live with my own software (years ago I used to be a database programmer and developed accounting and hotel management software, so I can still use that experience even if it was 20 years ago)

James
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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2008 13:11    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Hi!

It wouldn't be difficult to develop an import from dBase III (DBF) if this file has a strict internal structure of fields that matches with the Paradox files used by my software. The negative points are (1) Very few people know now how to create or manipulate dBase files, and as the time goes they will be even less, (2) Although it's not difficult it does require a certain amount of time to develop. I can promise nothing so stick for now to you old program.

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Mar 07, 2008 19:45    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

If you are importing from an Excel file (via a CSV file), it is only simple if the target database is a fairly simply flat file system. If you have a relational database, with multiple linked tables, the importing becomes much more difficult.

There is also a problem if the spreadsheet is not broken into fairly distinct fields. For example, many spreadsheet would have a simple locality field,"Red Cloud Mine, Silver District, La Paz County, Arizona", but a relational database may have distinct fields for Mine Name, Mining District, Nearby Geographic Features, County, State, Country and Continent. Parsing the simple field into multiple fields is not trivial.

One might argue that a database would be fine with simple fields, but then one cannot produce reports for all specimens on a Continent, or within a State, or within a Mining District. The more resolution in the database fields, the more neat reporting one can do.
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PostPosted: Mar 08, 2008 15:21    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

Hi, GneissWare!

You're right about importing complex databases. It's a work that almost always must be customized in a case by case basis. I'm saying it also to James for his previous messages.

I don't agree with you, however, about the limitations of a database file with simpler fields. The program I'm distributing does manage a file with those simple fields but includes a useful function to define complex filters. It doesn't matter that you write the mine, the town, the county, the state, and so on, inside the same field "Locality". You always have the possibility of setting a filter that say, for instance, "locality contains Arizona and locality does not contain La Paz", to extract only the records coming from that Western state but not from La Paz.

Many thanks for your interest and suggestions.
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PostPosted: Mar 11, 2008 10:26    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

New version released (1.2.1) with the following features added:

- A function to obtain a backup of the user's data files, with the option of making it automatic every time the program is closed.

- The species name can be forced to be always in uppercase as before, or just let it the way the user writes it.

- Text autocompletion when entering the species name.

- Includes a separate file with more than 600 species names that can be edited by the user. Those names are displayed in a combo box that can be dropped to facilitate the selection of the species when adding or editing the data of any specimen record.

- The fields 'original cost' and 'current cost' show now the currency symbol.

- There is a 3-month calendar available in the main screen.

- A separated configuration screen to centralize the setting of the user's parameters.

- A new screen will gradually show more links to interesting sites on the net.

- The shortcut to open the program offers five icons for the user to choose from.

This new version can be downloaded here as usual.
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PostPosted: Mar 17, 2008 13:16    Post subject: Re: Freeware: Mineral Database  

New version released (1.2.5) with the following features added:

- Text autocompletion when entering the fields "Locality" and "Source" based on the previous existing entries.

- Both fields "Locality" and "Source" have in the edit screen a combo box attached than can be dropped to choose from the items entered ahead.

- A button next to the field box "Species" allows the user to directly search information about the species into a public and well known database.

- The user can disable the display of the bubble hints that pop almost everywhere (if he/she gets tired of them or simply doesn't need them anymore).

- The shortcut to open the program offers now up to seven icons for the user to choose from.

- Links to open the program home web page to check for new versions.

This new release can be downloaded here as usual.
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