[Taxacom] Software for curating taxonomic/biological/specimen information

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 14:51:42 CST 2016


Oh one other point referring to another comment i saw.

You do not have to use archaic machines to run retro programs.

First of all is compatability mode. But not just `run as xp` or something,
there are other settings too. Always set retro software to `run as
administrator` also there are some graphics options Win 8 and 10 have a new
graphics system, the ghost graphics and color systems. Older software can
work if you turn these to basic.

Failing compatability you can install more than one shell on a computer
then choose which one to load. So you can have secondary installs of older
versions of windows. You can also add boxes eg dosbox and macboc, ie you
modern windows can run dos programs or mac software. My computer has
windows, linux, ps1 and ps2 bios and shells installed with a number of
boxes.

The big issue can be if you have 64 bit some older 32 bit programs will
have trouble but you can do workarounds usually, though not always.

Cheers Scott

On Dec 2, 2016 6:35 PM, "Scott Thomson" <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com> wrote:

> A small point on specify. First i like it and it is good software. I
> agreed earlier with a previous recommendation of it.
>
> All software has limits. First being effectively freeware means its long
> term support is not garuntteed. This can become important as computer
> systems advance. That is being a freeware no one is really being paid to
> update it. So you have it while the will lasts.
>
> Second it uses MySQL as a backbone database. This is a good database but
> is basically the `lite` and free version of Oracle. It has limits,
> particularly with the number of connections. This creates user, access and
> data limits. I imagine this lead to the earlier querie of how many
> instances of specify were being used for 40 million specimens. I would
> imagine it is a few. What i generally see is each collection at an
> institution (icthiology, herpetology etc) has its own instance. It is
> necessay because of the limits.
>
> Like all programs it has crashes, memory leaks etc, particularly after
> shell or graphics updates. The speed at which patches and updated are done
> to fix this is always slower in freeware than payware. Reality of any
> software you get what you pay for.
>
> Ok in an ideal world each museum will hire the staff and buy Oracle and
> develop its own software designed for that institution. The cost of that is
> ridiculous. So we are left with the alternative.
>
> So above is the downside of Specify, i still recommend it. It does the
> job, easy to use, intuitive, can datadump. The last is important if you
> ever have to ditch it. Eventually the people maintaining it, which is
> probably not their main job will stop. Once support stops it will become
> retro. Which is the issue that started this thread.
>
> Just so people get where i come from. Yes i am a biologist, its my job.
> But i also have a software engineering degree. So i am saying the above
> from a programmers perspective.
>
> Cheers Scott
>
> On Dec 2, 2016 4:36 PM, "John Bruner" <jbruner at ualberta.ca> wrote:
>
>> In answer to Mike Sadka's question, here is an email I received from
>> Robert
>> H. Robins, the Collection Manager of Ichthyology of the Florida Museum of
>> Natural History at Gainesville about 2 years ago.
>> *******snip*********
>>
>> Hi John,
>>
>> Yes, we use Specify, the NSF supported software. We made the conversion
>> from Microsoft Access in February of this year and I find it outstanding.
>>
>> If you can digitize it, you can have it in your database with Specify. I
>> now link Collection Objects to images, reference works, and maps.
>>
>> View our Specify web portal here:
>>
>>
>>
>> http://specifyportal.flmnh.ufl.edu/fishes/
>>
>>
>>
>> Best thing to happen to my workflow/the collection since I began working
>> here 18 years ago.
>>
>> All collections data at the Florida Museum (*40 million collection
>> objects*)
>> are being migrated to Specify. Complete so far are Fishes, Herps, Mammals,
>> and Invertebrate Paleontology.
>>
>> Here’s more on Specify; I’ve also taken the liberty of copying the
>> Director
>> of the Specify initiative, Jim Beach:
>>
>>
>>
>> http://specifysoftware.org/
>>
>>
>>
>> And yes, it is free.
>>
>> (Oh and one last thing – there’s a weekly live on-line tutorial – in fact,
>> it is going on as we speak!).
>>
>> Rob
>>
>> Robert H. Robins
>>
>> Senior Biologist/Collection Manager
>>
>> Division of Ichthyology
>>
>> Florida Museum of Natural History
>>
>> 1659 Museum Road
>>
>> PO Box 117800
>>
>> Gainesville, FL 32611-7800
>>
>> Office: (352) 273-1957
>>
>> Fax: (352) 846-0287
>>
>> rhrobins at flmnh.ufl.edu
>>
>> www.flmnh.ufl.edu
>>
>> *******snip*********
>>
>> --
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 10:27 AM, Nico Franz <nico.franz at asu.edu> wrote:
>>
>> > We can help set up arthropod collections here:
>> > http://symbiota4.acis.ufl.edu/scan/portal/collections/index.php for a
>> try
>> > out. E-mail me. Cheers, Nico
>> >
>> > Beyond SCAN, this list of portals
>> > http://symbiota.org/docs/symbiota-introduction/active-symbio
>> ta-projects/
>> > is
>> > no longer exhaustive but we have a pretty good idea of what's out there.
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> > http://taxacom.markmail.org
>> >
>> > Injecting Intellectual Liquidity for 29 years.
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>>         John
>> *******************************************************
>> * Mr. John C. Bruner                                  *
>> * Department of Biological Sciences                   *
>> * University of Alberta                               *
>> * Edmonton, Alberta    _______/////____/~~)_____/==== *
>> * T6G 2E9  CANADA     /_ @  > />...w...w...w.....==== *
>> * (780) 492-5408      \ ______________,_________ ==== *
>> * FAX: (780) 492-9234           \>      \>      \==== *
>> * VIRTUAL FAX: (780) 492-2216                         *
>> * EMAIL: jbruner at ualberta.ca
>> <https://webmail.ualberta.ca/imp/message.php?mailbox=sent-ma
>> il&index=1363#>
>>                         *
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>> Injecting Intellectual Liquidity for 29 years.
>>
>


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