hardware/software for museum labels

Julian Humphries jmh3 at CORNELL.EDU
Tue Mar 2 11:42:25 CST 1993


>2) Does anyone know of any widely used collection management programs other
>than BioQuip's FilemakerPro-based Collection Manager?
>
>

I am including a blurb on MUSE.  We support almost all printers with a
powerful label formatting script language.  For samples, check out the fish
division over at the Museum.  They use MUSE.

Julian Humphries
The Vertebrate Collections and The MUSE Project, Cornell University
Building 3, Research Park
83 Brown Road
Ithaca, NY  14850

Voice: 607-257-8143
Fax:   607-257-8109
Email: jmh3 at cornell.edu
                            MUSE information



     User friendly, data management system for Natural History Collections



     Based on industry standard database engine   Btrieve, a Novell product



     Relational data structures insure data integrity and maximum efficiency



     Data compression maximizes disk efficiency



     Customizable files, fields and forms



     Complete loan management system



     Highly flexible, user specified reports and labels



     Support for hundreds of printers



     Context-sensitive help system (users can add new help information)



     Full ASCII and extended ASCII character support





                            MUSE Features





Designed for CollectionsMUSE is designed explicitly to manage natural
history collections and is

                 based upon the experience of curators and collections
managers.  Built in

                 taxonomic dictionaries are available for several
taxonomic disciplines.



Loan Management  Loan management with MUSE is a simple way to control even
the most

                 complex loan transactions including gifts, partial loan
returns, specimen

                 preparation conversion and specimen loss.  To make a
loan, simply enter

                 the name of the person borrowing the material and the
list of catalog

                 numbers.  MUSE provides automatic invoice printing, a
data file of

                 loanee addresses and lists of outstanding loans.  Returns
can be handled

                 merely by entering the loan number to be returned.



Labels and ReportsMUSE can produce a wide variety of reports and labels
for specimens,

                 jars, drawers, etc.  A user-editable form description
file allows flexible

                 formats and fonts.  In addition, a number of third party
products support

                 MUSE data files and can be used for generating reports
(see "Other

                 Software" in the Technical Requirements section below).



Help System      The help system is context sensitive and available by a
single keystroke for

                 menu items, fields, files and actions.  Users can add
additional help

                 information appropriate to their collection.



Database Engine  Btrieve, a Novell product, is fast, efficient (in disk
usage), and safe

                 (survives power crashes, disk failures, etc.) and is the
basis of an increasing

                 number of software products on the market.  Btrieve is
available in stand

                 alone, client (workstation) based and network server
based configurations.



Relational StructureThe data model behind MUSE closely parallels the basic
relationship

                 between specimens (or lots) and collecting event
information.  This

                 insures that changes to one set of collection's data are
applied to all

                 relevant records.



"Data Driven"    MUSE is a "data driven" program, that is, all the data
structures, forms,

                 menus, etc. are read from MUSE description files (MDF
files) at run

                 time.  This allows easy changes to field prompts, data
views (forms),

                 configuration information and optional data structures.
The program

                 which manages this information (MSETUP) is a powerful database

                 generator which will accompany MUSE version 3.4 and above.



All Data Types:  MUSE supports character, integer, floating point, date,
logical and note

                 fields.  Multiple display formats are also available.



International Features:All 256 ASCII characters, and alternate character
sets (e.g. International

                 Set 850), can be used.



                            MUSE Labels and Reports



Printer Support  Through the use of the Slate printer database, MUSE is
able to support

                 hundreds of printers, including dot-matrix, Postscript
and HP LaserJets.

                 Downloaded or scalable fonts are supported.



Customized LabelsLabels specifications occur in a user editable
description file.  This allows

                 complete flexibility on label format, field arrangement,
content and paper

                 size.  Versatile label formats are supported with up to
four labels across a

                 sheet and any number down a page.



Data Lookup      Data on labels can be printed from multiple data files or
from "look up"

                 tables of related data (e.g. family name from a taxonomic
dictionary file).



Text Formatting  MUSE contains many text formatting features including:
multi-line fields

                 with "smart" word wrap, justification (left, center,
right), deletion of

                 empty fields with static formatting characters (e.g.
latitude), date

                 conversion (to spelled out months), headers and footers,
automatic

                 pagination, and multi-column reports.



                            MUSE Technical Requirements





Hardware     MUSE is a text mode

application that runs on Intel architecture

computers using DOS, Windows or OS/2.

MUSE requires a minimum of about 512K of

free memory, however, expanded memory, if

available, is used by both Btrieve and MUSE.

As a character mode application, all popular

video systems are supported; color monitors

provide the most efficient use.





Disk Space     Because MUSE uses data

compression, disk requirements are very

reasonable.  To calculate necessary disk space,

plan on approximately 5 megabytes for MUSE

and other static files and then allow about

300-400 bytes per catalog number.  Double

this number to estimate space for temporary

conditions such as data conversion, updates or

file maintenance.



Software     Network ready Btrieve is

provided free of charge with all MUSE

installations.  You may wish to purchase a

text editor for editing various configuration

and label description files.





Other Software     A number of third

party products can be used for accessing, or

generating reports from, MUSE data files.

For example, Xtrieve and XQL from

Novell, Objectvision from Borland, Forest

and Trees from Channel Computing, and

Insight Report Writer from First Choice

are commercial front ends which will access

MUSE files.  Most MUSE users purchase

Xtrieve (approximately $600), however,

other competitive products are regularly

being released.




How to Obtain MUSE





Costs            Because the MUSE Project is supported by the National Science

                 Foundation (DEB 9209099) we are able to make MUSE
available for the

                 nominal fee of $75.  For this charge you will receive
MUSE, assistance

                 with customizing the program for your institution, MSETUP
(database

                 customization program), all future updates to the MUSE
program, and a

                 complete manual (with tutorial) which documents all the
features of

                 MUSE and provides assistance with the computerization
process.  The fee

                 can be waived if local resources are limited.



Application ProcessInformation about your collection, hardware, labels,
etc. is necessary to

                 produce a customized version of the program.  To obtain MUSE

                 complete the enclosed application or write to:



                         The MUSE Project

                         83 Brown Road

                         Building 3, Research Park

                         Ithaca, New York, 14850-1247

                         U.S.A.




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