Summer is here and we are looking forward to the fall. There are many new things to announce:
- AATE Conference – July 25th – 27th
- New version of the Costume Inventory Database
- New Databases – Equipment and Scripts
- MS Access 2013
- Office 64 bit news
- Results of the Tag Durability test
- Worksheet for Inventory Project Planning
- Accessory/Jewelry Cards
AATE Conference – July 25th – 27th
I will be attending the AATE (American Alliance for Theatre & Education) conference in Bethesda, MD. I will have a booth there and will be providing demonstrations of all the Inventory Databases. Please stop by if you will be attending.
My next conference will be the EdTA (Educational Theatre Association) conference in late September in Minneapolis, MN.
The Costume & Theatre Inventory Resources office will be closed July 23rd – 27th and Sept 25th – 28th. I will be checking email and voice mail while I am gone but will not be filling orders.
New version of the Costume Inventory Database
The latest version of the Costume Inventory Database – Professional and Elite is 3-6. If you would like to update your current version to the new one – please let me know so we can discuss importing your data. There are several new features (since 3-5) including:
- Accessory/Jewelry Card (see below)
- Scripts module (see below)
- Search by Special Effects
- Search by selected Costume /Prop ID numbers
- Storage Location sorting issue resolved. (Versions 3-3 -> 3-5 had a sorting issue when Storage Location names had numbers embedded between text (i.e. Box 1 (Boys shirts) ). I have removed the sorting code so it should resolved any issues. Some Storage Location records will not sort as you might want them to but you will not receive any errors.
New features since 3-3:
- Update Utility to Update/modify the Storage and Current Location data for selected Costumes and Props
- New Search Results Summary report
- New report to view Costume Pieces by the number of times it has been used in a Production or Checked Out / Rented
New Databases – Equipment and Scripts
New Media/Sound Equipment database - We are beta testing a new database to track your media or sound equipment. One of the great features of this database is that you can decide what type of equipment you are cataloging and change the database title. Like the other Inventory Database – you create an equipment record, enter descriptive data (and a photo is you want). The features include Searching for Equipment, Reports (based on several different selections) and Checking out data. If you would like to test the database please let me know so I can give you the link to download it. A Quick Start Guide is available on the website: http://costumeinventory.com/Quick_Start_Guides.html .
Scripts database – The Scripts database made it’s debut at USITT in March. This database allows you to track scripts and score, check them out to students and staff, and run reports of who has not returned their copy. The Scripts database is available as a module in the Costume Inventory Database – Professional & Elite and as a stand-alone database. The stand-alone version is not in the webstore yet but you can download a 30-day free trial from the website. A Quick Start Guide is available on the website: http://costumeinventory.com/Quick_Start_Guides.html .
MS Access 2013
Office / MS Access 2013 has arrived and we have tested the Inventory Databases with this new version. The database works just fine but the colors are a little different. Office 2013 has very specific colors (Red for Access, Blue for Word, Green for Excel, etc) so you may notice that the top of some tabs will be red – when they weren’t before. So far it seems that there is very little that can be changed with the colors but I am hopeful that in the next Service Release we will have a little more flexibility. If you have any issues to report in Access 2013 – please let us know.
Office 64 bit news
We are in the process of testing the Costume Inventory Database Pro on Office 2010 64 bit. There is always some confusion on the 64 bit question. Windows 7 (except for the Home version) and 8 is a 64 bit operating system but you do not need to have the Office as a 64 version. The 32 bit version of Office /MS Access is designed to work in the 64 bit Windows environment. Office 2010 can be installed as a 32 bit version (the most common) or the 64 bit. The 64 bit version is usually installed for organizations who need really huge spreadsheets or projects but very few desktop users need that version. The coding in the Costume Inventory Database needs to be changed to work on the 64 bit version and the image processing software, dbPix, needs to be upgraded. If you are interested in testing the Professional version in the 64 bit Office environment, please let me know. Note: The Elite version is not ready for testing yet but we hope it will be soon.
Results of the Tag Durability test
I have been performing a lengthy test of the durability of the sew-in and iron-on inventory tags. Last year I started using a new extra durable ribbon for printing the tags. I sewed / ironed on tags on a large piece of cotton and subjected it to 20 washings (cold water, household washer, on Towels/Cotton setting with other towels or heavy items) plus the following treatments: Acid/Salt – to mimic sweat, Bleach, Hairspray, Abrasion, Masking Tape and a Steam Iron. The results you can see below. The Sew-in material – which is a heavy nylon performed the best showing no loss of image. The Iron-on material held up well through 18 washings but started to show a little deterioration at of the surface coating at 20 washings. The image is still clearly readable and can be scanned with the barcode reader. The tags that were subjected to the most abrasion suffered the most. Note: I have also run a test of tags inside a shirt for more than 20 washings and when it is protected from rubbing against other items there has been no loss of the surface – see small picture below. If you would like a more detailed report of the test, please let me know.
What does that mean for your tags? If you plan on washing your items quite a lot and they are subject to a lot of abrasion – I would recommend the sew-in material. If your costumes are cleaned a little more gently then the iron-on tags will last for many, many washes and wears.
Worksheet for Inventory Project Planning
If you are planning to start inventorying your collection of costumes, props, lighting/media/sound equipment or patterns and are not sure where to start there is a new Resource Guide - Inventory Project Planning Guide plus a worksheet in Excel that you can download from the website http://costumeinventory.com/Resource_Guides.html . Using the Excel worksheet you can start the planning and budget process to get your inventory project off the ground. Please let us know if you have any questions about starting up an inventory project – we are here to help.
We have a new report available in the Costume Inventory Database – Professional from the Search Results screen - Results on Business Cards. This report is designed to print a photo of the selected Costume or Prop, name and description and storage location on a standard business card (10 to a sheet). These are especially helpful for small bags of jewelry and accessories.. You can print the card, tape it to a bag so that you know which piece of jewelry goes with the costume/prop inventory tag that was removed for use in a production. Available in version 3.6.
Thanks again for your interest in Costume & Theatre Inventory Resources. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. We are here to help !
Costume & Theatre Inventory Resources
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