To all SPF members – I request for a lively discussion


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12 July 2006
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Re: AH-56 derivatives
« Reply #12 on: Today at 02:38:37 pm »

Quote from: Jemiba on Today at 11:25:56 am
I really should tidy up my archive

Matej: When you will finish, I want to order you also for mine

An interesting aspect: How do you organize your collection of pictures, drawings, specs, other data, articles, etc.? Do you have an own data base (in ACCESS or as HTMLs) to handle the huge amount of information? I collect books, (cupboards full of) magazines, slides, pictures, cuttings, Xerox copies, scans and other related things since so many years, but I haven’t decide to create my own data base for a better handling. My first thoughts went towards ACCESS (or an equivalent software), but now I favour a HTML based variant with a kind of ‘family tree’ (of course by links to the next page):

-> Companies/designers/OKBs in alphabetical order
-> type designation of the aircraft (with short description comparable to Tony Buttler’s Project Summary in his books)
-> versions of the aircraft
-> pictures/artworks, three-view drawings, dimensions/weights/performances, deeper development history, survivors, references/sources/recommendations for further reading

A good example is shown in - very close to the way I imagine.

Now, please let me hear (sorry, read), what do you prefer and apply in/with your own collection. I request for a lively discussion.
Paper documents:


With an Excel spreadsheet database. Boxes according to company ("Boeing 1," "Lockheed 4," etc.) and in some cases project ("Orion 3," "Dyna Soar 4," "Saturn 7," etc). Never have adequately kept up the database, though.

Electronic documents:

In folders with appropriate sub-folders. e.g.: Reports - Aircraft - bombers - Space ; or Reports - Aircraft - VTOL

Electronic Images:

In folders with appropriate sub-folders. Bomber Projects - Misc; Bomber Projects - Nuclear powered - ANP - Lockheed, etc.

Books: Shelves and piles, arranged vaguely like "US," "Russian," "German."
The 1 million euro question!
Lark knows all my efforts in this field ;)

I still have a lot of paper but I'm trying to scan it all and store it on HDD.
I was trying to have a database but Access was very bad soft so I tried to use Excel ( Boxkite, I shown you my experiments four years ago). Later I discovered the excellent database Filemaker (much better, in my opinion than Access). But it was a huge effort to entry all the data and my spare time goes shorter every year.

In the meantime I have been trying to organize all my files by manufacturer's folder in the hard disk. Nevertheles some items are hardly classificable (for instance: what is the folder for an F-15 pic? Boeing or McDonell Douglas?) The folder "Others" was the biggest one.

Even with this procedures it has been never easy to find a file when you look for it...nor in Windows neither in the Mac

But since 2005 I have no problems with my files:

a) I can find what I look for in seconds

b) Everything is organized with no effort on my hard disk

a) In 2005 Apple unveiled its latest Operative System...OS 10.4 Tiger with Spotlight search technology which works similar to Google but targeted to your hard disk.
If you hate Macs I think that Microsoft is copying this technology for its next OS, Microsoft Windows Vista. I love this tech, it is a great sensation when you can find anything on your computer no matter where is it, a real leap forward in comfort for the user. I really hate this stupid dog in Windows 2000/XP that can't find anything after waiting for minutes :mad:

b) Second leap forward it is DevonThink.

It is an information manager software. I have the professional edition. It works like a document database and can scan your hard disk. You can put there every kind of document you want and everything is at hand. If anybody would use this combination of Mac/Devonthink we could even exchange the full databases of each other computer.
I can't help Windows users because I haven't found nothing comparable for Microsoft's OS. I'm sorry.

It is amazing, there is a Before and After in my Aerospace Amateur Historian experience with this combination. I strongly recommend it.

Boxkite, In fact, I'm collecting all the information in this forum for you with DevonThink. I'll export it to a file format that you could read on your PC although the database structure and search capabilities will be lost.

A summary would be: "I have no worry, I'm happy...I don't need to care about classify my files because I simply find what I want in the same way as I don't care about how is the information classified in internet, I simply search and find what I'm looking for"

Well, a lively discussion really is different ... ::)
Perhaps we have no problems with archives and don't understand someone,
who has .... or we simply resigned ... !

I once tried to use Excel, too, but unfortunately I couldn't find someone, to
do this work for me !Ok, I never offered generous pay .... ;D
Now I'm simply using appropriate file names (e.g. "SNACSO_SO-30R_01.jpg" )
and folders for manufacturer and country. With a viewer like ACDSee or IrfanView
I can find pictures quite quickly and other documents are showing up in the
I have never found the right tool. Just piles of folders right now.

Nowadays I generally just post what I found here, its pretty easy to search and I find others chip in with extra information!

Believe me, try a Mac with'll see the light ;D
Jemiba said:
Now I'm simply using appropriate file names (e.g. "SNACSO_SO-30R_01.jpg" )
and folders for manufacturer and country. With a viewer like ACDSee or IrfanView
I can find pictures quite quickly and other documents are showing up in the

I do it generally in the same way. Now I have folders - country (USA, Europe, Russia, Other), than exact states (France, Germany...) and than project or program or single type aircraft or category of aircrafts (Panavia Tornado or MFI or EADS Barrakuda or VTOL). When necessary, another subfolders are created (Northrop - Fighters - LWF project). Files bigger than 20 MB, no matter about what they are, are stored in "miscellaneous" and videos in "video" folders. When I have a bigger collection of something (like Navy News magazines) I store it independently. Only edit that I do is to rename files when necessary. Thats all. But I resigned to sort my older materials, because it is tremendous amount of work. Maybe sometime....

Non-electronic material, especially L+K magazines and books I store chaotically on the shelves. Only magazines are sorted by date.
As a guy with western-europen way of thinking, I do exactly as Mato:)
Damn, I wanted to say eastern-european)))
My base is exactly the same: Country-Aircraft Company-Model
In fact, I'm also adding shortcuts, cross references (For example, I have folder SST with various SST misc info and it has shortcuts to USSR-Tupolev-Tu-144 or USA-Boeing-Boeing Model 2707
Some problems exist with classification, for example NASP being both hypersonic aircraft and space SSTO RLV the same folder Aircrafts ends and folder Spacecrafts starts

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