PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 October, 2007, 12:00am

I notice the top auction houses have programs that allow them to store text and thumbnail images, as in a filing-card system. Do you know where I can get a similar program?

Tony Miller, Tai Po

DQ: There are several things to consider here: how many pictures you will be handling; how much text there will be. What platform will it be on and who will need to have access to the data? How much coding are you willing (or able) to do? You may want to have a look at Veerle's Blog (veerle.duoh.com/index.php/blog/comments/digital_asset_management).

The site points to many options that would be suitable for you. These solutions apparently work on many platforms, including Macintosh and Windows. It will take some time to download and test them all, but it is worth doing if you are serious about the task at hand.

Revolution Studio 2 (runrev.com) is a kind of modern HyperCard - for those of you old enough to remember it - which runs on several popular operating systems.

Finally, you could use something such as FileMaker (www.filemaker.

com). For the kind of work you describe, FileMaker is intuitive, visual and a joy to use. You can do a great deal of programming visually, so it should not put you off.

In response to a previous question on internet text messages, I recommend Voipbuster (www.voipbuster.com/en/index.html). We've been using it for a number of years and it travels well. The service does not need any equipment except your home phone. We've used it in hotels simply by putting in the room phone number as the call-back number. Its short messaging service, while not free, is inexpensive and reliable. The service, however, does not offer webcam yet - so I still have to use Skype, which isn't nearly as good. There are also some questions about its compatibility with the Mac.

Name and address supplied

DQ: I checked out the site and tried to get the service to work but there were some problems. It did say there was a version that worked for Mac and Linux users. When I clicked on the link, it asked me to create an identity.

When I finally got to the site, it suggested I buy credits with a credit card. It said the only way to do this was to run their verification program. That, sadly, turned out to be a Windows-only executable file. I think they will need to work a bit more on the Mac/Linux version. However, it did look interesting.