Saturday, 14 August 2010

Library Management

"How many chess books do you have?" "Not really sure, maybe 700 or so".
This is a reasonably common conversation I have with other chess players, although I'm never sure whether the answer impresses or disgusts them. Part of the difficulty in providing an exact answer is that I've never properly catalogued my books. At one point I began to do so using the Alexandria program which runs under Linux. However Amazon changed their search formats and the automatic lookup system, based on ISBN, broke.
But good news. There is a new release of Alexandria (click on the link) which fixes a number of bugs, including Amazon searches. For those interested here is what I have (in terms of technical specs)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)
  • Alexandria 6.6 (6.5 is broken)
  • An Amazon AWS account (to enable Amazon searches)
The AWS account isn't mandatory, but having it provides faster searches and more information (including cover images). All the books I checked came up either via ISBN or title pretty quickly. So all that remains is for me to spend a weekend or two sorting through my collection and I should have an exact answer to the opening question.

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