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Is there any PHP script to manage computer collections?

kyodai

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Been searching for quite some time but couldn't come up with anything good.

I thought about making one from scratch, but atm too much work for me.

I took a look at "VideoDB" which is targeted for movie collections, but i guess i could customize it (also loads of work) to suit computers instead.

Anyone else having a good idea?
 

glitch

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Feb 1, 2010
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5,026
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Central VA
Hm, I was kinda thinking of putting together a "social media"-eque site to show off your vintage computers. I have a few (humorous) domains reserved for the purpose. Is this something people would be interested in?
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Hm, I was kinda thinking of putting together a "social media"-eque site to show off your vintage computers. I have a few (humorous) domains reserved for the purpose. Is this something people would be interested in?


Nah i don't want it to be kinda blog style where i can dump freetext in it, to me it is pretty important that i have something like a database field "CPU Type", a database field "CPU speed", "OS Version" and such, so i can make a proper website where users could be like "Ah i wanna see all machines that are DOS 5.0 and CPU faster than 8 MHz" or so.


The "VideoDB" script is already close to what i want, but I'd need to hack it a bit so instead of a "director" i can turn it to "Manufacturer", change "movie runtime" to "CPU speed" and so on...

There's a pretty cool script called GCStar - http://www.gcstar.org/

Buuuuut, it's not compatible with my cheap shared hosting website. I don't have root access (Meh, i only pay 5 dollar a month for my website with nearly unlimited traffic, email, storage and so on, so can't complain...).

But oh well, i guess it's customization time then...
 

EagleTG

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Sep 19, 2015
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Near Allentown, PA
Maybe throw together a quick Google Form backed by a Google Spreadsheet? That might help skip the customization and development steps.
https://apps.google.com/products/forms/

Additionally, I would think they would be more readily mobile accessible. I find this important as I work from many devices and am generally not around a "real PC" when I'm working with my retro stuff. Having it on a phone could help a lot.
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Not gonna say that the google forms idea is totally bad but i still wanna keep the data in my own database.

I must admit I am kinda surprised there's no such scripts. I think whether you collect manga figurines, old radios, pony express stamps or cigar boxes you always face the same pronlem one day. Hard to belive there's no universal collection inventory software that is not just desktop based - most people wanna show off their collection on the web after all, eh?
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Aight, I am so fed up with it, i now looked at a half dozen PHP/mySQL scripts that were sure great for managing DVD, stamp or record collections but a nightmare from the database design. So in a nutshell i found it easier to make something completely from scratch than customizing these other solutions.

For a starter i made some simple includes for the most basic HTML and database access and some simple forms.

After a while i noticed that The biggest mistake of all these DVD-collection type scripts is that they made some rather bad database design and built php forms around it. That sucks so much if you notice like "Ah i forgot CPU family" or "Hmmm, it would be nice for a filter to have "Supports VGA resolution as a boolean", so instead of building forms around the database design i just directly use the database layout, meaning i just spit out all database columns and then populate them with the query. That is actually lightyears better than constantly updating your HTML for the forms whenever you add/rename/delete a column. Adding/modifying/deleting a column on-the-fly might be a bit risky for novice users, but i think most people who are dangerously enough to set-up a mySQL database know what they are doing (at least i do), so for me it's been a big advantage to add or delete a column with a mouseclick on a php website, no more constantly switching to phpMyAdmin and back to the php editor. For most sane uses there's only 3-4 datatypes anyways.

Well but these DVD-collection solutions also had some good approaches, so throwing some configuration into a database makes it more flexible and less editing config files.


Right now it's all pure PHP and raw SQl statements, so a security nightmare, but once i have finished the basic skeleton i wanna use PDO prepared statemnts or stored procedures, throw all admin stuff in a protected area, run all selects with DB_reader user and add some more security.

I'll keep it simple as i always do so my computer list will stay Internet Explorer 2.0 compatible and will work on a shared 5 dollar (or free) hosting if you have mysql and php. However, if anyone else is interested i can give out sources for free once i finished the basic stuff. Just let me know if there's any interest...
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
I guess you can call me a slow programmer... Half year later and there's still stuff to do, but so far at least the basics work fine...

Also had some good ideas like automatic conversion to inch when you enter the measurements in mm - both is displayed.

Actually putting stuff in the database is less fun than programming so i only have some sample items in it...

http://tankraider.com/database/SelectAll.php

Still have some stuff on my ToDo list:

- Webpage to edit the sort order (Currently have to edit the sort order fields in the Database)
- SQL security (PDO, stored procedures, etc)
- Nicer design
- CSS
- Sorting buttons on the table
- Mathematical functions support
 

MCbx

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
75
Location
Poland, Cracow
Personally I use a very old LO Base application, derived from Access application I made about 10 years ago. When LO will finally switch the Base engine to new one I'll just convert it 4th time :). This application generates paper reports I store in a big binder and HTML dump which I use when making my website.

For the last few months I was thinking about the application to manage old computers, especially PCs, from software perspective. It means: I have a bunch of software and bunch of old computers, I make a computer a "profile" which consists the software and its configuration, then I put a bare OS on a computer and connect it by serial cable (or even start it with a boot disk). After selecting profile, I give computer's console to serial port, the application dumps loader and using it loads a serial file transfer client. Then software is automatically copied and only the report is displayed in which there are the most important information (which program requires additional steps, which depleted install limits etc.).

Maybe I'll try with it when I finish my WinImage-like open source Mtools GUI I'm doing in Qt.

Actually putting stuff in the database is less fun than programming
I get around this problem by entering not only the simplest information. It's nice to have some open fields for text, to add e.g. information about some common repair techniques, compatibility or pinouts. A blob for the most important binary things are also nice - when you got another unit with bad ROMs.
 

kyodai

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
467
Location
Kerpen, Germany
Well originally i was maintaining "just" the list of DOS Palmtops i made for my own use (I constantly forget facts and specs myself), which has grown into the biggest compendium on the topic of vintage DOS palmtops...

http://www.tankraider.com/DOSPALMTOP/list.html

The point here is that while pure html gives you the freedom to put everything you want into the page it lacks the ability of sorting and grouping that a real (web) database like mySQL has. I found myself to wonder like "Which is actually the thinnest" or "Which ones were from pre-1992" or "Which are the lightest models" and found myself clicking through dozens of my own html pages. Also i like the possibility of (rather simple) mathematical formulas - so now i store all measurements in the database in milimeters and have them automatically displayed in inches.

I will still keep the HTML "info" pages since i add info there about the history of the company, own rating, funny trivia and useful tools/drivers/image gallerys and so on. I don't completely wanna get rid of the HTML, but for comparisons it is really nice to create a sorted table on-the-fly. In future versions i wanna add features to sort by every property and group by stuff like "Manufacturer", "CPU" and so on.

the way i made the script I am very flexible - i can add a property (new DB column) with 2 clicks. That was most important to me since most scripts used "static" pages for viewing and editing, so whenever you added a new field/property to the DB you had to edit the viewing page and editing page. Especially in the beginning i often caught myself adding a field for the CPU type and after viewing everything i was like "OK, now you also need CPU speed". Actually in my current demo the CPU speed is still missing. XD
 

MCbx

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
75
Location
Poland, Cracow
The point here is that while pure html gives you the freedom to put everything you want into the page it lacks the ability of sorting and grouping that a real (web) database like mySQL has.
That's why info shouldn't be stored in one large HTML, but in a database with fields for text, e.g. HTML. So among typical ID, name, type, manufacturer, year, dimensions etc., there may be long, multiline string fields for description, trivia, setup procedures, pros/cons etc.
 
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