Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

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Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby PaulWhiting » Mon May 11, 2015 2:45 pm

I'm quite new here so bear with me. Several years ago I started a Table in WordPerfect X3 and it's served me well up to now. But that's an old version as some of you know, and it was quite easy to import the data into a Calc spreadsheet. It went suprisingly smoothly. I only have about 10 columns and a couple of hundred records. But this will expand as I work on a family photo archive.

Then I became aware of Base... I'd appreciate any pros and cons of these two applications for my photos. I don't need to do any number crunching except that I'm already using Calc to create logarithmic curves for a printer driver so I have a good start with Calc. For simplicity, I'd rather deal with only one program. Calc seems more accessible for non-open source users in my family, they probably use Excel. Would Base offer any advantages over Calc for my purposes?

Maybe I've already decided! Still, I'd appreciate some thoughts - thank you!

Paul
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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby MTP » Mon May 11, 2015 4:39 pm

As both absolute size and complexity of a dataset grows, the data validity, search features, and organizational advantages of a database grow bigger. Calc can interface with Base and be the "display" for the data that is managed in the database (this is called a "standalone form") so the end-user can work with the familiar spreadsheet interface while you as the database manager reap all the benefits of database data handling. At what point it's worthwhile to learn a new piece of software is highly individual, and Base in particular has a steep learning curve. Maybe work through a couple of introductory Base tutorials to get an idea of what you'd be in for with the transition before making a decision.
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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby PaulWhiting » Mon May 11, 2015 5:37 pm

Thanks, very helpful reply. That they can interface is helpful to know, for example.

Now here's a "how long is a piece of string?" question:

How large does a spreadsheet grow, ie how many photos, before it becomes cranky? I can't see I'd be over a thousand when I'm done. Maybe 2 or 3K at the very most.

I'll do a dry run in Base - good suggestion.

Regards,

Paul
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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby RusselB » Mon May 11, 2015 10:08 pm

If you're actually wanting to put the pictures, rather than just information about the pictures, into Calc.. it's possible, but will quickly require a lot of memory.
I don't know if putting the actual pictures into Base is even possible.
for a single sheet in a spreadsheet the maximum number of rows is 1,048,576
The maximum number of columns is 1,024
Thus you have, potentially, 1,073,741,824 (that's over 1 billion) cells, each of which, I believe can hold 1,024 characters

As to a spreadsheet becoming "cranky", that will depend on the number of rows, number of columns, number of characters per cell, number of sheets, and amount of RAM in the system
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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby MTP » Mon May 11, 2015 10:30 pm

Base can hold both actual pictures as well as relative links to pictures. The link method is more stable for large numbers (>1,000 or so) of images. For just the data (including links), modern databases are designed to be stable with millions of rows of data.

Spreadsheets can start to be very slow or have weird behavior even if only a fraction of their cells are filled if there is a lot of complicated referencing or calculations going on. Still, even if a lot of reporting/reorganizing/other complications are going on, I think a spreadsheet would be fine with 1,000 rows of data. (Assuming here you're organizing information about the pictures - if you're actually embedding the pictures in the spreadsheet you may run into problems just due to a shortage of RAM.)
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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby PaulWhiting » Tue May 12, 2015 4:58 pm

Russell & MTP: I don't plan on including pictures... to tell the truth, I never thought of that! I have 8 gig of RAM, so that should be plenty. And I don't plan on any complicated referencing or calculation. Sounds like I should be ok with either app - although I've heard several comments on the steeper learning curve with Base. Also, I have a good start on Calc, I think I mentioned I was using it to help linearize a printer curve for better tonal qualities in a print of a photo.

So - I'm leaning toward Calc.

Thanks for all the help!

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Re: Calc or Base for keeping track of photos

Postby RusselB » Tue May 12, 2015 5:12 pm

Since you aren't planning on including the pictures, then 8G should be plenty.
If you change your mind, I suggest you start with one or two pictures and check the amount of ram being used.
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