Basing a collection on computerized inventory no package deal


April 04, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Your computer could become an adjunct to your collection.

Personal computers often are used for two collecting functions: inventory and trading.

The collector who wants to keep a computerized inventory has a choice of a general data base program or a specialized one.

With a generic data base, the collector must design the format and keyboard all the data. For a large collection, this will be time-consuming.

Sports card inventory programs (virtually all for IBM PCs or compatibles) have the advantage of including card data and values, can be flexible enough to be customized and can print out inventory lists and want lists. But card values change, the values in the program may not be realistic and constantly buying updates can get costly.

Inventory programs may do a lot of the same things, but they are different, and one may work better than another for your collection.

The Card Collector by AbleSoft, which has been out for a couple of years for PCs, now comes in a Macintosh version. The documentation is excellent, especially for the occasional or impatient computer user. The basic baseball data base contains checklists and values for all major sets and insert sets from 1948 to 1993.

Nice features include: the ability to inventory partial sets by removing from the list cards you don't have (saves lots of typing); flagging of rookie cards; 20 undefined spaces for each ,, set to use for holograms and other cards that aren't part of insert sets; and the ability to define a minimum value for a premium-price card. Updates are available, and purchasers who register their program receive a newsletter. For information, call (800) 545-9009.

Sport Card Organizer by Ninga Software, which comes in PC and Mac versions, loses points for user unfriendliness of its manual, but the company says a new version should be out next month. Its format seems tailored for people with specialized collections. The on-screen form includes categories related to purchase (price, seller, date) and sale and has room for comments. This is ideal for someone who wants to chart his or her investment in the collection.

The basic program includes a data base for baseball, NBA, NFL and NHL cards for the '90s only, and updates and data for previous years are available. This makes Sport Card Organizer pricey, but for the collector of one player or older cards that might not be on any data base, the basic disk would be enough if you're prepared to type. For information, call (800) 265-5555.

Computer owners with modems can subscribe to sports card information networks. These networks provide company news, show and auction calendars and opportunities to swap information or memorabilia with other collectors.

The oldest collectibles network is SportsNet, which went on line in 1988. According to spokesman Mark Pearson, it has more than 3,300 dealers worldwide. Pearson says when Hurricane Andrew hit, dealers relayed information from their Florida counterparts and helped arrange for aid for the stricken area.

In August 1992, a collectors version, SportsNet Stadium, was added. Collectors can communicate with each other and with dealers. Both networks receive "SportsNet Today," a daily electronic magazine that has letters, news and weekly reviews of new cards. For information, call (800) 821-9275.

At the end of last year, Sports Collectors Digest added an electronic component, SCD Express, an electronic bulletin board for subscribers.

Write for an original

Collectors 16 and under can win original Diamond King watercolors by telling Donruss in 75 words or less who their favorite 1993 Diamond King is. Entries must be sent by June 1 to Diamond Kings Essay Contest, P.O. Box 1667, Fort Washington, Pa. 19034.

Special draft card offer

SkyBox collectors can receive a special card showing the first 1992 NBA draft lottery picks through a mail order. There will be 20,000 numbered cards produced, and the offer is limited to one per household. To receive the Head of the Class card, send a 3 x 5 card with your name, address and phone number, plus three wrappers from SkyBox Series 1 and three wrappers from Series 2 and $3.25 for shipping by certified mail to: SkyBox Head of the Class, Dept. D, P.O. Box 5066, Rockville Center, N.Y. 11571-5066. Deadline is July 31. Orders received after supplies run out will be returned unopened.

Stadium art

Camden Yards is featured in one of Bill Goff's new baseball prints, "Camden Yards Nocturne" by Edward Kasper. The print shows a midsummer night game between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox with Cal Ripken at bat. It costs $140 unframed. Call (800) 321-4633 for information or to order.

Coming events

Through Oct. 31, exhibit on Rex Barney's 50-year sports career, with memorabilia from his Brooklyn Dodgers days, Babe Ruth Museum, (410) 727-1539.

Today, card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Friday, card show, Days Inn Timonium, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., (410) 561-1657.

April 13, card show, North Point Plaza Bingo Hall, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., (410) 563-9032.

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