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Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by belg, Sep 20, 2003.
I was wondering how everybody keeps track of their rolling stock/loco inventory?
I've never bothered to, being a materials mgr and having dealt with inventory control issues for 30 years, I felt no desire to do so "for fun" and saw no reason (other than insurance purposes) to do so. However, using DCC and having storage tracks out of sight, I needed a way to find the loco # of units in staging. When my roster of converted locos reached a certain point, I could no longer remember them all. So I made an excel file, showing roadname, #, wheeltype or model, and decoder model. I keep a printout handy in the trainroom. If I were concerned with maintenance intervals, that could be included, but so far I just take care of problems when needed.
My layout is on a door and when it's not being operated, my collection takes up all available spaces. If one morning I wake up and see an empty stretch of track, the cat will die Effective if not somewhat messy inventory control...
I maintained a complete inventory, for a short period, just to insure that I didn't buy duplicate road numbers. It got to be too much work for what it was doing, so, dropped it.
The mother of all spreadsheets (Excel).
Mike I was wondering could you show me a template for excel? and is that something that could be sent over the net?
if Excel is the mother of all spreadsheets, then Microsoft Multiplan must be the grandmother! It ran on CP/M on an Apple II - and this was before windows!
I used Multiplan way back in the 70's to create an inventory spreadsheet. But soon I came to the same conclusion like Gary - the work involved was much greater than a possible benefit!
So I resorted to the good old gray cells below my scalp. But then, with only a dozen locos and about 40 cars that was quite easy to do. So far I could/can keep the overview.
But Belg, if I owned some 250 locos and 500 cars like Ray Metivier does, I'd reconsider.
My inventory is in a loose leaf binder.
I would love to hear any suggestions on how to put this on disk.
I would like to be able to link to a photo of the unit as well as details about manufacturer, modifications and maintainence statis and records.
I too have collected over the years quite an inventory (more than the old gray cells below the scalp can handle).
I find things I forgot I had. Maybe it's that oldtimers disease or something.
You could use something like a DTP program to import your picture, then add the data and save it all again as a picture. I just now installed a "photo manager" program that allows the user to make a photo album that you can organize by equipment type or road. Or you could use a data base program that would let you sort by any criteria, equipment type, road name, car # or even age or era.
Hey Don for us computer challenged folks could you put that in "ENGLISH".
Okey-dokey, I'll try, but that doesn't mean I understand it.
DTP refers to a "desktop pubishing" program that allows you to combine pictures and text and make everything from advertising brochures to greeting cards. So I was telling Ray that he could take his pictures, add words to them and then make a picture out of the results. A "photo manager" program would then take these pictures and organize them for him.
A "database" program will take a list of facts, or data, about anything, lots of anythings, then arange the list or find the specific data you are looking for. For example, Ray could make a fill-out form that included cars by TYPE, SIZE, COLOR, ROAD, CAR #, WHEN BOUGHT, ERA, CONDITION, or any other fact, then include a picture. He could later arange the list or search for all Santa Fe cars that are red, or all 40' box cars arange in order alphabetically by road, and have all the information show up including the picture. Or he could just search for one particular car, say, by road #.
Now, I have a DTP program that I use all the time. I also have a database program that I haven't a clue how to use...
I wrote my own inventory software
I use the "Biblical Method"-----SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND---WELL THAT IS IF YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT IT". . I will not have a great problem as a new chum I do not have any steam, passenger or freight rolling stock for the time being.