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  #1  
Old 02-10-2013, 01:21 PM
bigbore805 bigbore805 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
Default Questions on NM Collector

I have used NM Gun Collector for some years and I am thinking of moving to to the new version of Collector. I downloaded the new version to try it out and I have some comments.

1. The import does not honor the C&R flag. All records are "yes"

2. The tree sort order is not obvious. It is almost numeric and certainly not alphabetic by manufacturer. It really needs to be in alpha order by manufacturer (or by some user-selectable criteria). This should be easy with a table index. Dragging the items to their proper place, using "find" for everything, or using the "statistics" tab is not the same.

3. The dialog messages show up for less than 0.5 seconds in Win7 64 bit. This is a bit too fast to read.

4. Accessories handling is confusing. While they can be demoted in the tree there is no distinction in the reports that a particular scope or bayonet is associated with a particular firearm. The only way I see to tie them together is by a note in each record.

5. Lastly, why is NM Collector better than MyGunDb? Price aside.

Thanks,
Bill
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:26 PM
nmCollector nmCollector is offline
 
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 274
Question Answers to Questions on Nm Collector

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I have used NM Gun Collector for some years and I am thinking of moving to to the new version of Collector. I downloaded the new version to try it out and I have some comments.
Thanks for trying NM Collector Software. I'll do my best to answer your questions / comments point by point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
1. The import does not honor the C&R flag. All records are "yes"
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will address it in my next release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
2. The tree sort order is not obvious. It is almost numeric and certainly not alphabetic by manufacturer. It really needs to be in alpha order by manufacturer (or by some user-selectable criteria). This should be easy with a table index. Dragging the items to their proper place, using "find" for everything, or using the "statistics" tab is not the same.
The tree really is meant for people to manually adjust the order of their collections. It was a feature requested by people who did not like the drop down list used in NM Gun Collector. Unfortunately, it means those who liked the drop down list in NM Gun Collector may not be happy with this approach! I am thinking about how I might address this sorting issue in a future release.

However, there is a way to sort items differently - the "Statistics" window. In this window you can sort items by whatever column that you prefer. You can then quickly go to whatever data entry screen you want by double clicking the row of any item in the Statistics window. Those with large collections really should find this window very beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
3. The dialog messages show up for less than 0.5 seconds in Win7 64 bit. This is a bit too fast to read.
I don't understand this point. Can you give me an example of one of these? I realize it is too fast for you to see to describe the message itself so can you give me an example of when one pops up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
4. Accessories handling is confusing. While they can be demoted in the tree there is no distinction in the reports that a particular scope or bayonet is associated with a particular firearm. The only way I see to tie them together is by a note in each record.
Good point. I am going to adjust the reporting of accessories in the next release. I intend to provide another way of recording them and associating them with items as well. One thing my new approach should allow is to associate any single accessory with multiple items as accessories are not always limited to a single item.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
5. Lastly, why is NM Collector better than MyGunDb? Price aside.
I can't say for sure. I do not use MyGunDb. However, based on what little I know about it I would say NM Collector has an advantage in that it can be customized to track whatever fields you want and it has the ability to track anything that you might want to track - not just guns.

Here are some of the features (from: http://www.nmcollectorsoftware.com/) that might be advantageous (not necessarily how it differs from MyGunDb):

---------------------- begin extracted information ------------------
Customizable


You can customize this collecting software to your personal preferences including the following and more:
  • Look and Feel - pick and choose your own Fonts including style and size as well as foreground and background colors.
  • Field Headings - standard headings available which you can modify and/or make your own.
  • Drop Down Values - many provided for each type of collection but you can add and modify your own.
  • Collection Type Templates - many are provided and you can create your own.
  • More ... see for yourself what you can do ...
If you do not like the fields provided by default you can redefine them to your own. You get over 32 fields that you can define.

Other Features Include:

  • Truly portable collecting software - When installed on USB flash drive it can be run on any computer and any computer.
  • Free email support.
  • Handles multiple inventory software collection types all in one program. No need for separate purchases for each collection you want to manage.
  • Collections can be broken up into separate instances of NM Collector Software if you wish. One license allows you to install the software on multiple computers and multiple times on the same computer allowing you the flexibility you need.
  • Primary interface is tree view with associated tabs.
  • Statistics feature that summarizes dollar values (including purchase price, appraised value, insured value, and sales price if applicable) with ability to sort on any field and quickly go to details for any selected item.
  • Ability to import and export to and from Excel.
  • Ability to import data from old NM Gun Collector Software.
  • Ability to access your data from mobile devises. (See also NM Collecting Software for the Android.)

This Collecting Software capitalizes on lessons learned from NM Gun Collector Software

Feedback and experience from many years of success with NM Gun Collector Software was incorporated into this new inventory software. One of the biggest complaints from users of NM Gun Collector Software was that pictures were not stored in the database itself. Instead, the path to each picture was stored in the database while the pictures themselves remained in the file system. This is a very effective approach from a disk management standpoint but required additional care and backups from a user perspective. This new collecting software allows for either approach to storing pictures - you choose which one you prefer.

A very common request from users of NM Gun Collector software was that it support other types of collectibles. That was impossible before but now you can track any and all of your collections in one or multiple copies of this software. Again, the choice is up to you.

Another frequent request was to be able to run NM Gun Collector software on platforms other than Windows. This new inventory program can be run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

---------------------- end extracted information ------------------

My suggestion for you and anybody else is to give both a try and decide for yourself which one, if any, best meets your needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
Thanks,
Bill
Thank You!
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2013, 04:02 PM
bigbore805 bigbore805 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
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Thanks for the fast reply.

I think the dialog box is the "writing to disk" one. It may be the only one.

I would be happy with a one-to-many relationship on accessories but you are right, there could be many-to-many.

I'm going to continue to work with it and see if I can make it work for me.

Bill
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2013, 04:57 PM
nmCollector nmCollector is offline
 
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
Thanks for the fast reply.

I think the dialog box is the "writing to disk" one. It may be the only one.
OK, that makes sense. You will probably see it longer as you enter more data. Otherwise, it is probably good that you don't have to wait too long looking at a message box telling you that you have to wait for the program to finish something.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I would be happy with a one-to-many relationship on accessories but you are right, there could be many-to-many.

I'm going to continue to work with it and see if I can make it work for me.

Bill
Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:37 AM
bigbore805 bigbore805 is offline
 
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Posts: 11
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I've been working with NMCollector and getting more comfortable with the interface.
Two new things:
1. I have somehow managed to duplicate the entries in the all of the dropdown lists on the Firearm Identification tab. Is there some way in code to prevent duplicated entries in these lists?

2. The "Date Manufactured" field on the Description tab is pretty much useless, as it was in NMGunCollector. I may know the year a firearm was made, and I may be able to find the month, but I will almost never know the day. You also can't type in a date, you must use the calendar. I added a "Month/Year Manufactured" text field to make it work for me. I just need to get it on the reports.

Thanks for listening,
Bill
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:32 PM
nmCollector nmCollector is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I've been working with NMCollector and getting more comfortable with the interface.
That's great! Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
Two new things:
1. I have somehow managed to duplicate the entries in the all of the drop down lists on the Firearm Identification tab. Is there some way in code to prevent duplicated entries in these lists?
Hmm - not sure how it allowed you to got duplicates in the first place. Are you sure there are not slight differences? I could certainly add some code to prevent differences based on upper and lower case if that is the problem. I will add that to my list of tasks for the next release.

In the mean-time, you can use the "Manage > Edit ... Drop Down Lists" menu items to eliminate the duplicates yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
2. The "Date Manufactured" field on the Description tab is pretty much useless, as it was in NMGunCollector. I may know the year a firearm was made, and I may be able to find the month, but I will almost never know the day.
Right. What you say is correct for most people and most guns. However, the problem is some people want month day and year. The way I work around it is to enter the first day of the month if I do not know the day and usually I just enter January 1 when I do not know the month or the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
You also can't type in a date, you must use the calendar.
If you type in your dates using the expected format (for example: Jan 1, 2004) it will capture typed in dates. I can add more code to try to capture other formats but I bet you can imagine how hard it will be for me to capture every possible date format that people might use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I added a "Month/Year Manufactured" text field to make it work for me. I just need to get it on the reports.
Yes, that is one solution, and a good one too. If you add it to one of the first eight fields on the Identification tab your custom field will show up in many of the reports! Also, if you go to the Statistics page and print or export your data from that page you will get all of your custom fields.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
Thanks for listening,
Bill
Thanks for the feedback! Hopefully my suggestions will help.

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  #7  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:16 PM
bigbore805 bigbore805 is offline
 
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I don't know how I got the duplicates in there but every original list is duplicated by appending. They are exact.

I see how the date field works. I just don't use it so it is moot.

I have not found any report that shows any of the fields from the Description tab except the Notes and Condition fields.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2013, 09:37 AM
nmCollector nmCollector is offline
 
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I don't know how I got the duplicates in there but every original list is duplicated by appending. They are exact.
I believe you but that is something I have not heard of nor seen before and I can't imagine what could have caused that. Are you saying every drop down list has two entries for every item? This is something I would very much like to better understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I see how the date field works. I just don't use it so it is moot.

I have not found any report that shows any of the fields from the Description tab except the Notes and Condition fields.
What would you like to see? If you have something others can use I will develop new reports for future releases. Also, did you know you can develop your own reports? I provide all of the tools and basic information you need to get started here: http://www.nmcollectorsoftware.com/reports/

You will need to learn how to use the report development tool and database structure but this is something people asked for with the old NM Gun Collector software but I could not provide it to them. Now I can. It's your data so you should be able to access it.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2013, 04:25 PM
bigbore805 bigbore805 is offline
 
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Sorry, there is no way to tell how I did that since I did not see it until later. Could have been during an import but there is no way to know. All of the lists were duplicated by appending the new list on to the end of the existing one.

I'm already looking at the iReport tool. The database structure is a bit unconventional but I'm working through it. The only reason I mentioned it is because you said the first eight fields from the Description tab were shown in a report but I ran them all and no fields except Notes and Condition show up.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2013, 06:11 PM
nmCollector nmCollector is offline
 
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
I'm already looking at the iReport tool. The database structure is a bit unconventional but I'm working through it.
That's how I get the flexibility that allows you to customize your captions and use templates for any collection type. If I designed it the way most people do it would not give you that flexibility because each table field would have a name that is specific to the application. My design allows the captions to be set by the user rather than the database designer. I thought it was rather novel.



You might want to take a look at some of the existing reports to see how I use the tables to generate the reports.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbore805 View Post
The only reason I mentioned it is because you said the first eight fields from the Description tab were shown in a report but I ran them all and no fields except Notes and Condition show up.
I said the first eight fields of the Identification tab.

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