The Story of TCGArchivist

The Story of TCGArchivist

I have been working as an engineer in automotive and defense for the past 15 years.  When Covid-19 hit, as many of us did, I got bored, so I started to tinker. I also happen to be an avid Magic: the Gathering player.  I have played ever since I was a little kid.  I believe my first block was Ice Age.  Today I play mostly modern, draft, cube and commander.  

The tinkering I had been doing during covid continued long after the quarantines had lifted.  And I continued doing projects for random things around the house.  Eventually I got tired of having Magic cards all over my office that were "waiting to be sorted" but never did. Or when I did finally got around to organzing them, which was a painful process I would quickly find cards scattered about again.  It seemed the process of drafting and deck building meant I was going to have to constantly organize and re-organize my collection if I wanted to have any hope of knowing what I had and where it was.

I also realized I had a lot of cards in old bins and I had no idea what cards I actually had, or what the value of these cards actually were.  Did I want to spend dozens of hours digging through these cards?  Or did I want to spend thousands of hours developing a system to do it for me automatically? 

Naturally I chose to spend thousands of hours developing a machine to do it for me.  I have tried most of the organization schemes out there.  What good is orgagnizing my cards by name, set or color, I thought?  What happens next time I do a draft or add to my colleciton or break down another deck?  I have to go back and re-orgagnize all those new cards.  And then what?  Insert them in the appropriate spots in my collection?  What a PAIN!

I decided to take a step back and look around.  There are a few commerical products available today for automatic sorting, but they are way too expensive for most of us.  What about the the common collector?  Are they doomed to sort cards manually forever?  I wanted something to take the pain out upkeeping my collection and I didnt want to spend the $1000s of dollars and pay a large montly subsription. 

So I thought about the problem.  Why did I want my cards sorted?  The answer was simple, I wanted to know what cards I had, and I wanted to be able to find them easily.  Easy enough I thought, but does that mean they need to be sorted?  No, not really.  They just need to be cataloged and organized in a way that I could find them!  

So then, It seemed an automated card scanner and logger was all that I needed.  Something I could pass my collection through, it would log everything in it, and tell me what I had.  If I later then need to retrieve an item, I simply need to look in the correct location.  If I am smart about the way I organize and scan, it will take only a few seconds to find the card I am after.  Plus, this way as I add new cards to my collection, or put cards back into their bins from decks, I did not need to fumble through a bunch of locations.  I just scan them in again and put them where I want!

So with this new idea in mind I began to build.  and build.  and build.  For over a year and a half I have been working on this project.  And after sharing the system with my play group I believe others may be interested in this solution.  But I am eager to hear from you if you think something like this is valuable to you.  Please reach out to me here on the website or in the discord! 

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