Every now and again, I get the urge to make order out of chaos by designing a database for a friend who mentions a special need. I often find myself abandoning the project before completion (1 - I wanted to create it more than the friend actually wanted to use it; 2 - there is nothing in it for me but the satisfaction of creation; and 3 - I often actually have other stuff to do to keep my face fed). However, it would be a waste not to share. So, this page.
Please feel free to download these databases, all created using Microsoft's Access because so many people have it (it's a part of M/S Office Professional). I urge you to use, examine, and IMPROVE the database you find useful; and send it back to me so I can put an improved version on this site. Should any DB ever attain commercial viability (but not the Rocks & Minerals DB), those who have contributed in a substantial way will be appropriately rewarded without reminder.
Rocks & Minerals
I'm a Volunteer at New York City's Rose Center for Earth & Space, an "Earth & Space Explainer" to be exact. Volunteers were put through seven months of grueling training before being allowed to wear a big blue pin proclaiming our exalted status. Part of our training was in Rocks and Minerals, a fascinating study that came near to disqualifying me from qualifying. So I decided to make a database of the most common Rocks & Minerals for my Palm OS handheld, so I would always have some expertise with me in my rounds. I used Microsoft Access 2000 to collect my data (Minerals.MDB format), then saved the Minerals Query to Minerals.CSV (a Comma Separated Values file format, a text file format easily converted between different database formats), and finally created a Minerals.PDB file (for my Palm OS handheld; I use HanDBase, a Palm OS database program). I used Dorling Kindersley's Handbook: Rocks and Minerals by Chris Pellant (a beautiful book, beautifully organized and illustrated, and perfect for reverse engineering into a database format) as my sole source. While the book is the intellectual property of the author and publisher, the information is, I am confident, public domain.
Opera CD Collection
My brother is an Opera Fanatic. He thinks his obsession is normal; you judge for yourself. I don't know how many Operas have been written but he owns 3000+ Opera CD sets, I suspect 5-10 CD sets per Opera. They are nicely organized on CD shelves he built into the walls separating two floors in his home (well, half of them are there). But he has mentioned the lack of a database for his collection, so I built him one. If he ever gets around to entering his CD's into the database, I will be happy to create report screens for him. Opera Collection database.
I have a friend who's an English teacher in a public school system. She took on a summer project to learn Access and create something useful with it. So she came up with the idea of tracking the books students read that year in her class. I decided to expand it to track students' reading throughout their schooling, with the potential to track way more (like absences, grades and assignments). Well, I helped her learn database theory and I'm sure she got credit for what she learned, but my project died from getting out of hand. This system could be VERY useful, and commercial, if its functionality were built up substantially. Teachers should feel free to download it, and examine it for use, and for IMPROVEMENT. If you'd like to partner with me, please contact me and we'll come to an agreement on work and compensation. School System database.