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Old 06-04-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
roystonlodge
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Basic database for those familiar with MS Access?


Good morning all,

At my office we have a high-school student volunteering as an intern. She needed a computer, but the budget couldn't accomodate a new one, so I took an old PII and put Damn Small Linux on it. It does almost everything she needs, since most of the work she does is through an Remote Desktop connection to a database that's kept off-site.

However, there is one locally-kept database/mailing list she needs access to, that the rest of us work with using MS Access.

I saved a copy on her computer and downloaded OpenOffice, but it's a real resource hog on our little under-powered computer, especially considering it's a database she uses infrequently. She doesn't need the word processor or spreadsheet apps in OpenOffice, and it seems a waste of resources to have to install the whole thing just for the database function.

Is there another good, easy-to-use graphical database app for Linux that we could use instead? We need the useful sorting and filtering ability of OpenOffice/MS Access, but we have ZERO experience with database back-ends like MySQL and stuff like that.

I thought of maybe just having her access it as a Gnumeric spreadsheet, but it's got too many records for MS Excel and I assume that Gnumeric has a similar limit on the number of rows it can keep track of.

To give you an idea of the level of expertise we have at our disposal, years ago I ONCE took a course on dBase for DOS, and I MIGHT still have the quick-reference guide that came with the course. Other than that my database experience is limited to Filemaker II on my old Mac Classic, MS Access and OpenOffice Base.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide!
 
Old 06-04-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roystonlodge View Post
...so I took an old PII and put Damn Small Linux on it. It does almost everything she needs, since most of the work she does is through an Remote Desktop connection to a database that's kept off-site.

...Is there another good, easy-to-use graphical database app...
So, you'd like free, quick, powerful, and GUI based database solution...and be able to run on a PII, that's probably already groaning under a window manager and modern operating system?

If money is really that tight, I'd scrounge a much better machine first...the PII is underpowered for whatever you'd like to do. Get a full distribution, like Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, etc., that has tools built in. Load up MySQL, and get a basic book on it, or look at the (free) online docs and forums.

Once you get it up (it comes with alot of distros), check into one of the numerous PHP based MySQL administration tools, which will let you do most of what you want, via a web browser. Once the data is in, you will be able to hit it with Excel/OpenOffice, and pull out what you need.
 
Old 06-04-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
indienick
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Here is a link I found right here at LinuxQuestions: http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/..._Data_to_Linux

I might be using this method in the near future, myself. Access stinks.
 
Old 06-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
rickh
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Given what you're working with, I would try to develop a subset of the Access data, dumped to an Excel Spreadsheet for her to work with. Easy to dump from Excel, easy to put her changes back in.

Generally speaking, I have found OOCalc to be more compatible with MS Office than Gnumeric. You don't have to install the entire OO suite.
 
Old 06-04-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
roystonlodge
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Really? I didn't know there was a way to install the OpenOffice apps individually. That would solve my problem very nicely. Having to install the entire suite is the only thing that's really slowing the computer down, despite its age.
 
Old 06-04-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
lazlow
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If you can max out the ram on the computer it can make the machine much easier to work with. Memory is dirt cheap right now. When I did my pIII the jump from 256 to 512 was huge, the jump from 512 to 768 was very noticeable, but the jump from 768 to 1gb was minimal.
 
Old 06-04-2008, 07:55 PM   #7
chrism01
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Yeah, just install the OOCalc module and try to increase the RAM.
 
Old 06-06-2008, 02:21 PM   #8
roystonlodge
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The FAQs at www.openoffice.org say that you cannot install individual apps without installing all the core DEBS.

Anybody have advice regarding which DEBS are absolutely necessary and which ones can be optional?
 
Old 07-31-2008, 10:15 AM   #9
roystonlodge
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I found another possible solution to this problem, in case anybody else needs to use a big, flat database in an older computer.

There's a free Mozilla extension that allows the user to manage SQLite databases from within Firefox, or Thunderbird, or Seamonkey, or as a "standalone" XULRunner application.

Here's the link: http://code.google.com/p/sqlite-manager/

Once I've had a moment to try it out, I'll post an update.

Last edited by roystonlodge; 07-31-2008 at 10:26 AM.
 
Old 08-01-2008, 03:02 AM   #10
resetreset
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Try PostgreSQL, it has a frontend which as far as I remember was actually made to BE Access, it's called "pgaccess" or something like that.
Ignore everything about yur PII not doing what you want - it's going to be slow at *searching* data, it DEFINITELY should run the *FRONT END* without a problem. (not sure which desktop env stuff that pgaccess thing will use, GNOME or KDE, but I think you'll need some RAM or if not, some swap enabled). Excellent that you're making use of an old computer, keep it up!
 
  


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