PDA

View Full Version : OT - Simple database for Mac AND PC?



PeteM
07-16-2009, 03:20 PM
I've used the old DOS program Q&A for about 25 years to track purchases and contacts. It's never failed, still provides lightning fast searches, etc. -- but has long been out of new OS support and doesn't have a Mac version.

What I'm looking for is a simple and fast DBMS program that lets me create easy-to-navigate forms, has good printing output, .CSV import, Vcard output, both Mac and PC versions, and a decent enough company behind it. Sort of like Q&A, supported on modern operating systems, and likely to be supported another 20 years.

I've just tried Bento (Mac only) and it's mainly a disappointment. I've used Filemaker, but hate the company (Bento and Filemaker are no better under Apple) and it's way overpriced for what I want to do. Access covers both platforms, but it seems overkill for my these simple file managment apps.

Any ideas?

Evan
07-16-2009, 03:34 PM
Excel will do all that. If you know a little basic you can easily customize it too. A lot of people don't realize that Excel has a built in Visual Basic IDE (integrated development environment). You never need to leave the application to develop your own scripts to do whatever you want.

Bmyers
07-16-2009, 04:41 PM
Have you tried open office ?

dp
07-16-2009, 08:22 PM
Agree with Open Office. Runs on everything, is free, and gets better every year.

The database should look somewhat familiar:

http://why.openoffice.org/images/base-big.png

http://openoffice.org/

dp
07-16-2009, 08:23 PM
Excel will do all that. If you know a little basic you can easily customize it too. A lot of people don't realize that Excel has a built in Visual Basic IDE (integrated development environment). You never need to leave the application to develop your own scripts to do whatever you want.

The VB layer isn't in the Mac version (2004 nor 2007).

oldtiffie
07-16-2009, 08:46 PM
I've used the old DOS program Q&A for about 25 years to track purchases and contacts. It's never failed, still provides lightning fast searches, etc. -- but has long been out of new OS support and doesn't have a Mac version.

What I'm looking for is a simple and fast DBMS program that lets me create easy-to-navigate forms, has good printing output, .CSV import, Vcard output, both Mac and PC versions, and a decent enough company behind it. Sort of like Q&A, supported on modern operating systems, and likely to be supported another 20 years.

I've just tried Bento (Mac only) and it's mainly a disappointment. I've used Filemaker, but hate the company (Bento and Filemaker are no better under Apple) and it's way overpriced for what I want to do. Access covers both platforms, but it seems overkill for my these simple file managment apps.

Any ideas?

Peter,

I like you had Q&A from when it first came out.

The just about the worst day's work I did on my computer was to remove Q&A, destroy the disks and dump the manuals.

My last version if I recall correctly was 5.0

It was lightning fast - as most DOS software seemed to be. The word processor had the usual DOS short-comings but I went for Windows stuff.

There may be other options for you in these Google searches:

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=q%26a+database&btnG=Search&meta=

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=symantec+Q%26A&btnG=Search&meta=

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=q%26a+database+download&meta=&aq=2&oq=q%26a+data

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q&A_(software)


Alternative Application
Shortly before the cessation of Q&A sales, a joint venture between Professional Computer Technology Associates (PCTA) and Marble Publications led by longtime Q&A users William Halpern and Tom Marcellus began negotiating with Symantec to address the issues facing long-term Q&A users. By the time Q&A sales and support had been halted, Symantec was actively referring users with questions to the venture sales inquiries to PCTA, support inquiries to both PCTA and Marble Publications.[24]

Recognizing that Q&A would lapse into obsolescence as advances in hardware and software moved forward, Halpern and a group of Q&A "power users" began meeting in 1999 to address the possibility of developing a new product - compatible with Q&A databases - to allow users to migrate seamlessly without losing their important data. In 2000, Halpern's group became Lantica Software, LLC, which released its first version of Sesame Database Manager in 2003.[25]

In addition to being able to easily convert Q&A databases, Sesame offers a number of new features, including complete, printed documentation written in article format [26], cross-platform capabilities [27], an always visible menu tree, a WYSIWYG application designer, a preview mode, and old favorites such as form-based search capabilities. Additionally, Sesame provides image support, subrecord support and integrated application support, as well as import/export capabilities and record printing.[28]

There are a number of resources to help Q&A users transition to Sesame. Lantica provides a peer to peer forum, FAQs, a complete library of Sesame articles, and resources for those looking for training or consulting services. [29]

Sesame Version 2.0 has been released in 2007 and is available from the official Lantica Software website.

PeteM
07-17-2009, 08:41 PM
Thanks guys, for the leads.

Oldtiffie -- it's kind of remarkable that a program managed to work well, without a hitch, for 25+ years. I never did use their word processing (and this from someone who wrote a first book on a 40 column Apple II with a serial ported typewriter many years ago).

My own complaint was more recently when Word Perfect gave up on the Mac. Word always wants two or three clicks to do a one click job, and still doesn't do as good a job of tables or formatting.

oldtiffie
07-17-2009, 09:43 PM
Pete.

My first computer was an NEC (Japanese) APC111 8088/8086 with 5 1/4 360/180 FDD and 5 MB hard drive with a spin/"Daisy"-wheel printer and an Ioline single pen plotter - for AutoCAD 2.17 - a long time ago - and all DOS.

Next was a Compaq 286 (had to get a bank loan!!) and with a fabulous (really) NEC dot-matrix printer with single sheet and fan-fold paper feeds. It was then (pre-Windows) that I bought Q&A. It had pretty good hand-books and was hard to learn, but once on top of it, it was great. I did a lot of word-processing on it. I had to as as soon as some of the local community organisations learned that I had that capability I - or more likely my computer (and me as an accessory) were in high demand. I found to my cost (considerable) that I was expected to pay and not charge for it - and to supply my own consumables. Some even expected me to deliver it!! And of course, there were those "big noters" who were always "getting things done" (ie by me and a few others) and wanting credit for it. That soon came to a halt when I was told that my services (and me??) were being passed around like the town bike (harlot).

Few in those days knew what a data-base was but due to gossip from "those in the know" many panicked if they thought I had their details on my data-base.

Now I come to think of it, it wasn't too far away from (year) 1984 either.

Typing in those days was not all that different from typing in the interface in the HSM forum.

I use "Word" now but from comments made here and else-where, I might look into down-loading Open Office and try it out.