The first point to make very clear is that I am not a company, organisation, society or club of any kind, just an individual that has collected world stamps for over fifty years becoming very frustrated at times when I wished to display my stamps or keep track of them.

At first my collection simply used stamp hinges and each stamp was in an album sorted by country, I kept track of my collection by hand writing all the notes i could find. borrowing the catalog from the local library.

As I grew and started work i could afford to buy my own catalogue the "Stanley Gibbons Simplified Stamps of the world". I then underlined each stamp in the catalogue that was in my collection my collection. I migrated my collection to stockbooks as a much easier way of storage. To my horror a new catalogue came out each year with new values etc almost forcing me to buy and then underline each stamp again!

Thankfully in the late 1970's computers became available and I started committing my stamp data to the computer. I had to start withe ZX81 and write a little BASIC program using Random Accress files to store Country, catalogue number and value.

In 1982 I worked for a computer company and had access to a "real" pc. Faced with problem of storing lots of data I learned db4 and started a database of stamps in my collection.

Little did I know then how complicated the stamp collecting hobby really is. I learned and waited until I could produce a relational database and then started a little relational database which then set the scene for this modern attempt.

With the advent of windows and Visual Basic I had to learn how to program. Thanks to Microsoft for their vision in releasing free versions of visual basic and to hundreds of other people who have shared their programming tips and tricks.

i then released a program to catalogue a stamp collection which then evolved over the years. I was then left with the problem of housing my collection. At first the stamps were just stuck in an album. Later I used stock books, but when I reached just over 60 stock books I realised that I had enough stamps to make a one country album look  quite good, I did not then nor now mind the gaps . Of course trying to find one country albums for a whole world collection is extremly difficult, if not impossible, as well as very expensive.

After searching for album pages on the internet, and failing to find ones that had the stamps in the order that I wanted I then caught the idea of making my computer produce album pages that I could insert into print safe A4 pockets in a ring binder. So the quick album program was born. In response to requests from other collectors who wished to add extra detail to the simple pages I then developed the Album Page designer.

There are many more complications such as different catalogues, themes and specialist listings to account for.

This is really where the program is at the moment. I use it to catalogue my collection  produce a valuation when I wish and I take a small notebook PC  to my local stamp shop when I get the chance to spend my pocket money on my collection showing the owner my wants on the computer screen.

The programme is the same as myself, far from perfect but has the potential to evolve. So I am not quite the same my years of evolving are over.

Recently (2015) I have retired and trawling the web found a blog on "Why stamp inventory software sucks" (I will provide a link when I can).  As I agreed with most of the points raised in the blog I felt it time to release my prograqmme for free to all stamp collectors. Hopefully there are enough like minded individuals out there to help with the projeact.

I will produce a "please help" page to explain where help can be given, posted to the website when I can. so please return every now and then to check and if you can help I will be gratefull.

Posted in March 2015 by William Atkin