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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Great Android database "how to" to list all your valuable items if stolen

I have found a great database for my Android phone. Alas, as it is Google Orientated, so it is not available on Apple, but I am sure someone has written something similar.

First of all, take a look at Memento’s website to see what it can do. Then read below to see how you can use it for your valuable items.

I have security cameras in my home. One on view in the hallway, and one hidden, and aimed at a valuable item. Both send photographs to my Galaxy cellphone.

If I am away from home, even as far afield as South Africa, I can see if anyone is in my home, or if they've been in and out, I can check if they have stolen that valuable item.

This is where Memento's app assists – but first how I have set it up.

On the phone I have set up a custom app, so it has my information, portrayed the way I want it. I have called it "Taylor's valuables".

Then I set up the fields, as follows.
Room – text field
Photograph – Photo field (as thumbnail)
Make – text field
Model Name – text field
Colour – text field
Model Number – text field
Present Value – Money field as GBP
When Purchased – date field (although US program it interprets I'm in the UK)
Notes – text field
SmartWater – a yes/no field

The choice of fields are enormous, it even allows calculation fields between other fields. Too many to list here, and that is not the purpose of the article.

The app will export as a CSV or a text file, and a “share” type window opens and you can send via email or SMS amongst a lot of other choices. But the most valuable way to enter text is via Google Drive. (Google Docs) as a spreadsheet. This is ideal for ease of data entry.

First of all, I decided to leave adding photographs till last. You can arrange your fields to enable they must be filled, or they can be left blank.

Then I added two of my valuable items – I do have more!

Once I finished this, I hit the sync with Google Docs button and opened Google Drive on my computer. The spreadsheet was there, so I then added all the items in the different rooms. When finished, I returned to my phone and synced with Google Docs again and everything appeared in the correct place in my app.

I then took my Lumix TZ70, a superb camera, and took two or three photographs of each valuable item, and copied over to my computer's photo manipulation program (no names as I use Linux).

After judicial cropping and showing each photo to its best advantage, I deleted all but the best one of each item, which I renamed to fit the item, and copied them over to my mobile phone.

Finally, I copied each photo from the Gallery to the appropriate field in each item, and for safeties sake, not only synced again with Google Docs, but emailed myself both a CSV list in case of Google Docs haemorrhaging, and a text copy as a double backup.

Only one more step. This is to persuade the nearest police station to give me an email address where I can send the list to whilst holidaying in my beloved Stellenbosch or climbing Table Mountain.

You can set up, or used up to two of the supplied databases for free, but after that it will cost you $9.99 or the UK equivalent in pounds sterling. So I can set up one more database without paying.


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