Hobbyist database software question

Since I am already reaping the spam harvesters profits for my original cross posting I might as well pose a personal question to the group (Just this one this time Brian).

I am totally bogging down trying to track and catalog the various Frisco collections I have these days. Does anyone know of a easy to use commercial database software that would be good for keeping track of both HO scale modeles and tracking my paper document collection? I currently use Excel and have been trying to develope a Access database without much success. All comments, even negative ones, are appreciated.

Thank you,


Reply to
Art Marsh
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Art, If you can still find it, Approach for Windows is a very good front end for data bases. It is easy to use, and will import and export in a variety of database formats.

I have been using it since the early '90's when it was first released. It is now owned by Lotus.

-- Please note; return email address has changed. It is now snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net. Emails to Earthlink will be ignored.

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Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum

Which part are you having trouble with? I've used Access and it's fairly intuitive. The SQL statements are NOT ANSI standard, though. Microsoft has its own dialect. The trick is all in how you set up the tables. We can talk off-list if you like.

You could try downloading mySQL (it's free the last I heard, or possibly nominal cost for Windows). I used it for an Abbott Laboratories project and it worked as advertised. There's also mSQL and PostgresSQL. I don't know about the cost on those.

Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"

Reply to

Search the web for an older (cheaper) version of Paradox - say, version 8 or 9 (current is 11). I'm currently redoing a non-profit's membership application from Wretched Excess to Paradox 9. Corel made versions 10 and 11 not available stand- alone, but only with purchase of the "Pro" version of WordPerfect Office.

Go to

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and follow their directions to get to the "pnews" newsgroup server. There is a lot of info on that web site, and a great array of helpful talent on hte newsgroups. The Paradox community is extremely helpful to beginners, and has been for years. For some reason the MickeySoft products have never developed the same level of independent community support that Paradox has had since the days of Borland and version 3 for DOS and Compuserve forums.

One of the biggest problems I see newcomers to relational databases have is in database design. Use the newsgroups, and read the articles at Dennis Santoro's site on relational data design and general Paradox tips, before firming up your table structures.

I've played around with Access since version 2.0 - and stopped after getting Office 2000 Pro and VB 6.0. If you get into programming (and most folks do, a little, if they want anything beyond the plain vanilla canned features available in ANY of the PC relational databases, at least in those that CAN be programmed) I believe you'll find the Paradox language MUCH clearer than the Visual Basic hodge-podge. And the help available VERY MUCH better.

The community barn raising spirit still thrives in Paradox users - lots of expensive professional database programmers give lots of free help at the pnews newsgroups. Corel [cnews] also has a set of newsgroups for various Paradox versions and topics, but it went to "moderated" a few years back and in large part due to the delays that introduced most folks migrated to pnews (the Paradox Community groups, although Corel's lawyers, like UPs with idle hands, complained about that name.

Reply to
Steve Caple

*Nothing* in M$ Office is fairly intuitive, except for the fact that they charge way too much for it, and that the stupid paperclip has got to go!

Get a copy of Lotus SmartSuite. The latest version is 9.8 and OEM copies can be found for about $35 - $40 USD at some of the Internet discounters. To give you an idea about how much better Lotus' UI is, my SO still prefers Lotus even though she has been taking college credit courses to learn the M$ apps (required for her degree).


Reply to
Steve Martinak

It is once you learn OTHER M$ stuff. The menus are pretty standardized.

But they're Microsoft!

I had an idea for a program, but since it would tread on MS's trademark/copyright "Clippy" character, I can't do it. The scenario is this. You load my hypothetical, unbuilt program. It apparently does nothing. When you turn off Clippy a pair of hands appear on screen, twist Clippy into an unrecognizable shape, and toss him in a garbage can that magically appears.

I could maybe still write it, but I could never make money at it without a HUGE court fight vs. Microsoft, who probably would have no sense of humor about this.

Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"

Reply to

You could make the hands wearing gloves with the UP logo on them, then you could have some real legal troubles. Maybe M$ & UP would battle each other to get at you, wipe each other out, and leave you unscathed.

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