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FLOSS Friday: GCstar

August 6th, 2010

Today’s offering is collection management software.  Collection management is software/tools that help you manage your collected “things”.  Whether you collect stamps, wines, TV episodes, movies, or something entirely different, once your collection reaches a certain size, you’ll want some way of keeping up with it.  GCstar is one tool that might be exactly what you need.  GCstar is a generic collection manager.  It supports pre-configured databases for: board games, books, comics, mini vehicles, movies, music, numismatic (coins), periodicals, stamps (interesting, numismatic for coins, but not philatelic for stamps), TV shows, video games, and wines.  If these pre-configured aren’t suitable, the software allows you to configure your own type.  Here’s a screenshot of your choices when creating a new collection:

GCstar Collection Types

If you select books, you can then make use of the Internet search features to quickly add items to your collection without manually typing the details.  Several search providers are included.  Here’s a screenshot of me searching for Eragon by Christopher Paolini from the US Amazon.com site:

GCstar Book Collection Search

Not surprisingly, this book was found at Amazon.  I picked the single hardcover book (several results were returned), which meant my Eragon details were automatically inserted:

GCstar Eragon Details

Once you’ve got some books in your collection, you can then make use of the “Lending” tab to let you know that someone has borrowed your book:

GCstar Lending Interface

GCstar is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  If you use Windows, then you can download a self extracting installer that takes care of all the requirements.  If you are a Mac user, the process is slightly more complicated because you need to have MacPorts installed.  The instructions are clear and straightforward, but the process isn’t as simple as downloading a DMG file and dragging an icon.

Although GCstar handles many types of collections, if you are into social media and have a book collection, you might want to try Shelfari, a completely web based book sharing site.

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