Mac Cataloging Software

AphoticD

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Feb 17, 2017
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Considering many PowerPC owners tend to also collect Macs, I thought it would be worth asking here...

What kind of software do you use to catalogue your collection (if any)?

Bento, FileMaker, AppleWorks/ClarisWorks database? I’m imagining a combination of spreadsheets, databases, text files, notes, etc

I have previously used Mactracker to enter all my serials but thought it was limited by not syncing between the iPhone and Mac apps.

If you were looking for a program to catalogue your Macs, what features would you look for?

I loved using Delicious Library for my books and DVDs back in the day when these items were still considered relevant. I would be delighted to use an app like this built specifically for Apple gear (new and old).

What are your thoughts?
 
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bobesch

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2015
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840
Kiel, Germany
Considering many PowerPC owners tend to also collect Macs, I thought it would be worth asking here...

What kind of software do you use to catalogue your collection (if any)?

Bento, FileMaker, AppleWorks/ClarisWorks database? I’m imagining a combination of spreadsheets, databases, text files, notes, etc

I have previously used Mactracker to enter all my serials but thought it was limited by not syncing between the iPhone and Mac apps.

If you were looking for a program to catalogue your Macs, what features would you look for?

I loved using Delicious Library for my books and DVDs back in the day when these items were still considered relevant. I would be delighted to use an app like this built specifically for Apple gear (new and old).

What are your thoughts?
Currently I have a simple Textfile to collect some basic information.
If I'd go for more I'd choose DEVONthink, which works on PPC and intel-Macs and iOS. DT offers some nice templates to get thinks organized and may store and tag nearly every kind of file.
HandDBase would be my second choice, since it also supports PalmOS, Windows, Android and Blackberry. Databases are synched with Excel - for that purpose and my old Palm-Devices I ran WinXP in a virtual-machine which possible with os9 and VirtualPC too.
While HanDBase offers struktures of a DataBase/Spreadsheet, great options to sort, filter and calculate data, I would create a template-textsheet with kind of fields for date, price, cpu, ram, drive, os, battery, damages, equipment and the place, where its stored.
Currently I fix stickers with version/CPU/RAM/HDD at the bottom of some devices...
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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I am currently logging all my Macs using Bento. I should have used FM but will probably convert once I have done.
 
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AphoticD

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Feb 17, 2017
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I would create a template-textsheet with kind of fields for date, price, cpu, ram, drive, os, battery, damages, equipment and the place, where its stored.
Currently I fix stickers with version/CPU/RAM/HDD at the bottom of some devices...
Yes, i’d Imagine a service record system would be useful to show things like:
  • purchase price and date
  • Original / stock config
  • Existing damage or faults
  • Log of User Service/Repair history with costs
  • Log of User upgrades with individual costs
  • Main Battery and/or PRAM battery replacement dates with fields for battery type/brand and cost
  • log showing periodical battery mAh readings (from sys profiler) for battery health records over time
  • Recorded dates of last thermal paste and fan clean-out/dust removal.
  • Log of LCS checks if applicable.
  • Log of hard drive maintenance; disk first aid or disk warrior, repair permissions, onyx scripts, etc
  • Total expenditure
  • Estimated resell value
  • Reminders for battery health records and disk maintenance checks set at monthly/bi-monthly intervals, LCS check every 3 months, thermal re-paste every 2 years.
This would be in addition to a system overview which would have machine specs, machine ID/Name, serial number and User photos and videos.

The collection value could be easily summed with total expenditure (if you’re ready to see this!).

What other features or service records/reminders would be useful?
[doublepost=1508601031][/doublepost]
I am currently logging all my Macs using Bento. I should have used FM but will probably convert once I have done.
Bento is nicer to play with than FM. Are you willing to share a snap of your record layout?
 

AphoticD

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Feb 17, 2017
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My little collection of Macs is pathetic in comparison to many here. However, it's quite sizable for me to the point where cataloguing anything about them (other than in my head) is too much work for me.

I have too much turnover and remote located systems to bother.

Yeah, sorry. I'm that lazy about it. :)
If you could run a single-purpose registration type app on each machine which did an automatic serial lookup to identify the specs (coupled with a sys profile scan) and then record itself against your own cloud-based catalogue, would you find this enough of a kickstart to go and fill in more detail or would it still be too much work?

Just like keeping a vehicle service log the usefulness comes down to how meticulous of an operator you are. If you care for record keeping, it’s useful. if you don’t care, it’s useless.

Although, the biggest challenge facing the latter would be A. getting started and B. Keeping up to date.

If a prompter appeared on your phone/mac at regular (monthly?) intervals to invite you to do an inventory update or service check, would you?
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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If you could run a single-purpose registration type app on each machine which did an automatic serial lookup to identify the specs (coupled with a sys profile scan) and then record itself against your own cloud-based catalogue, would you find this enough of a kickstart to go and fill in more detail or would it still be too much work?

Just like keeping a vehicle service log the usefulness comes down to how meticulous of an operator you are. If you care for record keeping, it’s useful. if you don’t care, it’s useless.

Although, the biggest challenge facing the latter would be A. getting started and B. Keeping up to date.

If a prompter appeared on your phone/mac at regular (monthly?) intervals to invite you to do an inventory update or service check, would you?
Yeah, that'd work for me.

Don't ask about my vehicle maintenance records! ;)

One instance where I am NOT my dad. :D
 
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AphoticD

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Feb 17, 2017
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Yeah, that'd work for me.

Don't ask about my vehicle maintenance records! ;)

On instance where I am NOT my dad. :D
None of us are perfect. And no matter how proactive someone claims to be, we are ALL lazy in some way. That’s where tools and conveniences have been designed to fill the gaps.

Would you find any value in being able to share your catalogue as a stylized “My Mac collection” type page? The service and cost specifics wouldn’t show, just the overview, machine names and user photos of the machines would be publicly visible.

Yes, I’m publicly fleshing out ideas here.. I was hoping someone might have already built something like this, but i guess not.
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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None of us are perfect. And no matter how proactive someone claims to be, we are ALL lazy in some way. That’s where tools and conveniences have been designed to fill the gaps.

Would you find any value in being able to share your catalogue as a stylized “My Mac collection” type page? The service and cost specifics wouldn’t show, just the overview, machine names and user photos of the machines would be publicly visible.

Yes, I’m publicly fleshing out ideas here.. I was hoping someone might have already built something like this, but i guess not.
Yeah, that'd be cool I think!
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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Bento is nicer to play with than FM. Are you willing to share a snap of your record layout?
Yes, but in terms of compatibility/exportabilty, I would assume FM probably makes more sense. Bento is very easy to deal with.

Here's a record. It is very basic. At the moment I am more concerned with logging what I actually have as I no longer have much of a clue. I can expand it to include more interesting details like state of battery etc when I have got a handle on what I actually own. I think I have already mislaid a TiBook A1025 somewhere. Better find that sharpish.


Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 20.01.53.png
 
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Hrududu

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2008
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Central US
I track mine 2 ways. I have a basic text document that has each model listed with the system spces, and a record on FileMaker Pro that is a little more extensive including purchase date and price. It doesn't get updated as often as the text document, simply because it resides on one machine.
 
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Slix

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2010
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I just use the Notes app synced across iCloud for mine... Nothing exciting, but I keep the name of the Macs, and the basic hardware specs, and if there are any defects there.
 
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