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Mindat catalogue system

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 11:45AM
I'll look at the locality linking tonight.

Quality field is good idea.

At the moment it only shows the 'parent' photo, but 'child' photos can be linked to that in the normal manner. That can include, for example, photos of the label.

Cloning a record is an important idea, as for auto-entry, the most important way for this is to be able to auto-enter a catalogue entry from an existing photo you have previously uploaded as much of the information is already there.

Duplicate ID numbers will not be permitted (I can't remember if it stops them now or not, but if it doesn't stop them, it will very soon). I've been asked for a way of generating the next sequential number - but that isn't always easy (for example, some people use numbers such as 2008/CAN/044 ). Maybe the best thing is to display the LAST number entered on the edit page text so that you can then enter the next sequentially yourself.

Short term for me now is bug fixing and entering more of my collection data.

Medium term, import and export, and reporting (eg, print out list of all species that I own, and/or all species that I don't own, show me all specimens worth more than $400 in Cabinet A). Ability to flag specimens as 'for exchange', and to be able to have a public list of such specimens via your home page (with restricted view of details, so they won't see your original buy price, etc).

Longer term - set up templates for generating labels for specimens, editable with your own personal details, border styles, etc. Multiple templates for different purposes, such as micromount boxes, display labels, etc. Generate as PDF for high quality printing. Option for double-sided printing, so for example, on the back you could have the photo, dimensions and weight of the specimen to make it even easier keep labels and specimens together (handy for when you move things around a lot).

Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 02:14PM
Hi Jolyon, the cataloque is a great idea. I tried it and have one question. The mineral list function, mineral 1, 2 etc. does not seem to work. I can only put in a mineral under 1. Al
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 02:50PM
When you enter a mineral name, you need to then click the 'Find' button to find the mineral in the mindat database, choose the correct one (if there are more than one entry supplied - for example entering 'Apatite' will give a selection to allow you to choose from all the different Apatite names on mindat). once you have chosen one, you can then go to enter the 2nd, and so on,

If you enter a mineral name without clicking 'Find', it won't be saved with the record. But this does mean your names are validated and your specimens linked correctly with the mineral species.

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 04:03PM
have added a couple test entries and like what I see.

BTW Did anyone notice the first post has changed????
Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 04:13PM
Thanks Jolyon, I got it now. Is there any limits to the number of entries one can make?
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 09:21PM
No limits to number of entries.
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 10, 2008 09:27PM
Naughty Moroccan "hackers" removed (I suspect they got my email and password somehow. Now changed of course).

Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 12:14AM
I know I must be stupid but when I enter # 10 it goes after #1 instead of #9. Can this be fixed?
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 01:50AM
It's not doing that for me.

I added three minerals and listed in this order:


Are you including the # symbol as well? If it's not a pure number, it will sort alphabetically rather than numerically.

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 05:53AM
Howdy Albert,

If you use your numbers as 0001, 0002...0010 etc they will stay in the correct order, the problem is actually the way that the computer 'sees' the numbers. Essentially if there is a 0 (zero) at the front the computer believes that this is part of the number.
This also negates the presence of a letter or symbol in front of the numbers.
This is the same with almost every numerical entry on any computer system.
Hope this helps.

Cheers Mark

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2008 06:15AM by Mark Willoughby.
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 09:18AM
Hi Jolyon

For when you get time, how about on the list view, an indication that an entry already has a photo (if not too difficult)?

...and maybe in your longer term, if a photo is uploaded, and a catalogue number entered, and the owner has a catalogue, automatic generation of a catalogue entry. Many of the details are in the upload photo form anyway.

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 09:43AM
Hi Jolyon

Query re changed mineral names...

As we know, names periodically change (eg: apatite group, IMA numbers, etc). Will they be changed automatically, or will they stay as entered?

If the latter, may need some sort of utility to find them?

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 10:59AM
There are different fields... you have specimen title, which could be

"Apatite on Quartz"

Then minerals you select, for example "Apatite-(CaF)" and "Quartz".

When the apatite group are renamed again, your title field will remain unaltered, but the "Apatite-(CaF)" will be changed to whatever the new (or original?) name is.

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 12:22PM
here are some examples of how things will be ordered in the system


T1,T10,T20,T9 (because it's listed alphabetically)

#1,#10,#20,#9 (again, because the # symbol makes it order alphabetically)

#0001,#0009,#0010,#0020 (ordered alphabetically)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2008 01:16PM by Jolyon Ralph.
Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 11, 2008 09:06PM
Thanks for the help, I did have a letter in the entry so that was the problem. I really like what I see so far and more importantly it solves a problem us MAC users have had with the lack of good software. Thanks
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 12, 2008 12:48AM
I like the idea Jolyon, but as I already have a collection database (using MS Works) with well over a thousand records (even though I am well behind with my cataloguing), I probably won't be in a hurry to transfer all my data into Mindat just yet! However, l thought I'd post a screengrab of my form to show what fields I have set up in case you might consider that any of them might be useful to add to your Mindat form. I will be quite happy if you choose to do so, but also will take no offence if you think this is a load of overcomplicated BS!

Although of course, features such as "single crystal", "pseudomorph", "type locality" etc, can easily be added as text in a "Notes" field, I find the check box fields save quite a bit of typing, and together with fields such as "cation" and "anion", allow me to compile more varied custom searches using the Works filters and reports: such as for example, "rock-forming minerals containing Cr or Ti"; "single crystals of spinel group minerals"; "Cornish minerals NOT containing Sn, W or Cu"; "self-collected pseudomorphs/type locality specimens/Li minerals" etc.

Having a field for "Micro Only" also allows me to keep all sizes of specimens in one database, but makes it easy to extract a list of those specimens which are only micromounts, as distinct from those micromounts which I have prepared using sub-samples from specimens in my primary collection, suffixed by "M" on the PN number, but with the "Micro only" field left empty.

Pete N.

PS (The Mindat logo in the "Links" area at the bottom right of the form is the icon for my hyperlink to my Mindat home page)
open | download - Database Form.jpg (270.1 KB)
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 12, 2008 10:10AM
The plan is that you won't need to specify which minerals in your collection are Cu or W minerals, because Mindat already knows that! Size searching is obviously coming too - all we have at the moment is basic filtering, more complex searching and reporting is on the way.

I think there is still benefit in adding a few custom fields that you can label however you wish - might do that over the weekend.

I don't want to make the form too complicated, but at the same time I want it to be useful for everyone - so are there other additions that could be beneficial?

avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 12, 2008 02:59PM
Jolyon - I prepare double sided labels off of my database, 21 to a standard US sheet of paper (archival, of course), 8.5"x11". Of course the order of the rows has to be reversed to get the corresponding labels to line up on each side, and each side needs its own margins set accordingly. Since this is highly dependant on label size, paper size, position of punch holes, software idiosyncrasies, and most importantly, printer specific, I would be hesitant to include double side printing as an option. I will post some images when I get a chance

I have separate lookup tables for localities, mineral names, varieties, and sources with addresses, which then autofill as I type in the information. The first three of course are what MINDAT excels at - having not to retype the source name over again for each entry would be a convenience. Having two or three custom fields would probably be sufficient, above what is already available.
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 12, 2008 09:23PM
Other ideas - from the "Your Collection" page, make the locality a live link, opens in a new window, to the corresponding locality page, and likewise on the individual catalogue pages.

I like the way the "add a photo feature works", will you be able to "add another photo"? But, on the photo page, the locality information is not transferred.

Again, thanks for this great feature!
avatar Re: Mindat catalogue system
December 16, 2008 08:59PM

Can you make this accessible from either the "My Home Page" or "Add/Edit data" pages?

thanks, Jeff

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