asset management - help :-)

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Mon Nov 8 12:57:33 2004

On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, Jules Richardson wrote:

> What I'm puzzling over is how to record any relationship between
> hardware / software / documentation, or even to what extent any
> relationship needs to be recorded. Thoughts on this would be most
> appreciated, and I wonder what other museums do...

Many museums simply give one accession number to an entire lot that gets
donated. So if a computer comes in with it's monitor, disk drives,
software and manuals, that's given one accession number and one database

Me personally, I started documenting every last bit of hardware, software
and documentation I had, and giving each it's own record. I would then
link them to a "parent" record by way of a simple pointer to the other
record, and vice versa.

It depends on how detailed you want to get. I'm an info spaz so I'd
prefer to have even the individual peripheral cards inside computers to
also be identified individually and then linked back to their "parent"

> Question is, do we link the docs and software to that particular
> machine, or is it better to just put those in essentially isolated
> databases and recording that they're for such-and-such a model of
> machine?

The way I have handled my collection is to consider each piece coming
through as an individual item in and of itself. This is not what museums
do for the most part, but I'm not really a "museum", though I try to act
like one. I'm more of an archive really. Only when it matters do I try
to keep parts of a lot of stuff I receive together.

> And what's best for the odds and ends - power supplies, leads, packaging
> etc.? Do they warrant recording / tagging somehow? And as for what to
> do with donations of bits I don't know (e.g. when someone gives us a
> stack of random DEC boards)

Let's say I have a boxed Commodore 64. I would enter that as a Commodore
64 and then include either in the notes or in a special database field
whether the item includes it's original packaging. Power supplies and
such I would not give separate entries unless warranted (like, say, the
power distribution cabinet of an IBM mainframe).

> Maybe the idea of knowing exactly what we have at any one time is
> impossible - but that's a shame if we've got some redundant bit of
> hardware lurking in storage which we could donate to someone else who
> desperately needed it to restore a system.

My goal from the beginning has been to be able to know exactly what I
have, and more importantly, WHERE :) I'm still a long way's off from that
goal unfortunately.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers   ]
[ and academia at  || at  ]
Received on Mon Nov 08 2004 - 12:57:33 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:16 BST