C.A.D.2.0 has all the computer power that is needed...
Collector and Dealer Software
by John P. Reid
More is not always better, especially when it comes to bells and whistles on software.
CAD 2.0 is a simple inventory and expense program for collectors and some dealers. It records only the essential information, so it is easy to learn and use. It also is easy to buy, costing $59.95 plus $4.95 shipping from Tinkerware L.L.C., PO Box 14243, Shawnee Mission, KS 66285-4243.
CAD stands for collectors and dealers. Acronym clutter may cause a little confusion because in computer parlance CAD usually means computer-aided design or a drafting program.
Versions of the program are available for both Macintosh computers and PCs running Windows 3.1, 95, or 98. We tested the PC version.
For each inventory item, the software records only date purchased, item number, category, brief description, cost, asking price, location, and from whom bought. When an item is sold, the selling price and date also are recorded.
This writer has run a small antiques business for 15 years recording no more inventory information than this. Though minimal, it will satisfy both business and tax accounting requirements. It also should be adequate for collectors, unless they need lengthy descriptions.
Data for all fields except category are entered by keyboard. The category entry is selected from a drop-down list, which is easily edited.
The program does not prepare sales slips or record customer information. Graphic images cannot be stored. It does not assign sequential item numbers, but the previous number assigned is always visible.
Clicking on a column heading on the inventory screen sorts the database on that column. Data display is instantly switched between purchase date order, item number order, increasing cost order, or alphabetically by description.
There are a number of simple convenience features. Inventory entries can be duplicated, facilitating the listing of similar items. Searches quickly find records containing desired words anywhere within them. A filter function displays only records with selected characteristics.
Expenses can be tabulated, reported, and summarized in a separate table. Fields are limited to date, type (selected from an editable list), description, and amount.
A number of printed reports are available. Inventory items by category, location, or purchase date range can be listed. Similarly, sales and expense reports are available. A simple sales flyer can be printed. The profit-and-loss statement correctly accounts for the cost of goods sold.
Labels are printed in sheets for selected inventory items on any laser or ink jet printer, though the selection of label sizes is limited to 3.44 inches x 0.67 inches or 2.63 inches x 1 inches (Avery 5266, 8366, 5160, or 8920). Individual labels can be printed on a CoStar Label Writer XL or XL Plus.
CAD 2.0 works quite well. It is solid and reliable, navigation between screens is simple, and installation is straightforward. The writing in the manual is a bit cutesy at times, but the essential information is there. The on-screen help is Macintosh style and good.
Problems were few and minor. There are some menu functions that have little meaning to the user and would be better hidden. The tantalizing import and export functions are not explained in the manual or help files. It is too easy to delete all records, though the user is given one warning. The spell checker did not work until a default dictionary was selected, something the installation program should have done.
Happily, one problem did not show up.
This program was created using Claris Filemaker Pro, one of the few tools that compiles both Macintosh and Windows versions. We have reported on other Filemaker-based programs that ran slowly on older Windows PCs. We tried CAD 2.0 on an old 33-megahertz 486 computer, and it ran plenty fast enough. On a new PC, response is almost instantaneous.
More than 400 collectors and dealers now use this and earlier versions of CAD, according to Tinkerware. So long as graphic images or lengthy descriptions are not needed, the program should serve a collector well. A show dealer, mall tenant, or owner of a small shop also may find it has all the computer power that is needed for inventory and expense records.
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