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Colletta - a project in MS Labs


I'd be interested in any comments from people who might have trialled this software:
Project Colletta
The Project
The Microsoft Research Project Colletta helps you manage your tasks, activities and related resources. It allows you to tag documents, images, emails, web pages and other items that are useful for performing a given task or activity. You can create tags that refer to activities, people, places, events, or anything that is helpful to you. You can even attach multiple tags to your documents. Project Colletta is integrated with your applications, so you can start tagging documents even if you haven't yet saved them. You can access all your activities and tagged resources either via the Project Colletta DeskBar application or via several application toolbars.
Take the Tour
Watch the video to get an overview of how Colletta can help you manage your files and activities.
(embedded Silverlight video)

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I downloaded the software and ran the install, but it repeatedly hangs at about 25% of the progress bar, whilst the install process sits at about 13% CPU utilisation.
I'd like to try it out (it looks rather interesting), but it's difficult to do that when the installer hangs.
After cancelling the process, an error message says:
Project Colletta
One or more issues caused the setup to fail. Please fix the issues and then retry setup.
For more information see the log file.
0x80070490 - Element not found.

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The install log says that the problem is:
Failed to cache payload: vstor_redist.exe from working path: C:\Temp\{d6074b06-1636-45dd-bf35-baf3e6d131d2}\vstor_redist.exe, error: 0x80070490.
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But I watched the temp directory used during install, and the vstor_redist.exe is created and deleted by the installer, so it might be a bug(?).
I haven't found any help on this on the MS forums site.

Ahh, the old "manage your info" theme. For documents, I "manage" them in local folders. If I am doing web research, I just save either a an entire copy of the page locally, or the re-discovered BBSS that cranks out paired lists of Urls and Titles if I am only at the "skim" level. Then those paired lists go to the folder.

So anyway, this Colletta thing just doesn't look like it fits my workflow.

@TaoPhoenix: Did you manage to install and trial the software?
(I can't even install it.)

I had time to try this again today.
In the log file (in TEMP, filename Project_Colletta_20131216201039.log), it says:
Error 0x80072efd: Failed attempt to download URL: '' to: 'C:\Temp\{d6074b06-1636-45dd-bf35-baf3e6d131d2}\vstor_redist.exe'

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These were the steps I took:

* 1. I put the url ( ) into my GetRight downloader, and it downloaded file vstor_redist.exe, no problem.

* 2. Then I executed vstor_redist.exe, and it proceeded to install Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime 2010, and kept complaining that it needed to update various files that were in use, so I told it to skip those (which was one of the options given).
It finished and said I needed to restart the PC, and that I could check for recent versions of this package on the MS Visual Studio website -

* 3. So I restarted the PC, and when it came up I ran Project Colletta Setup from the Start menu.
That brought up Colletta and the Colletta taskbar (which narrows your screen real estate a bit).

* 4. Through the Colletta taskbar menu, I set up the top level directory hierarchies that I wanted Colletta to monitor document file changes in.
(I'm not sure what exactly constitutes a "document" at this stage, so I assumed it could include media and image files as well, just in case.)
Then I checked the "About" in the menu:

* 5. Then I checked the discussion forum (link given in the Colletta taskbar) at
A post there dated October 23, 2013 6:07 AM  said that Project Colletta 3.0 is now available
A  new version of Project Colletta is available now, with support for Windows 8 and Office 2013. Please use this forum for comments and to report problems.

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* 6. The Colletta taskbar also gave a link to the Colletta Project homepage. There are very good information links (e.g., User Guide, Getting Started documentation) from there. One of them gets you to the download page for the latest version, where it says:
Microsoft Research Project Colletta
Project Colletta is an extension of the Windows UI that supports lightweight management of the user's activities through tagging.

Download details
File Name    ProjectCollettaSetup.exe
Version    3.0.0
Date Published    22 October 2013
Download Size    2.22 MB

Note By installing, copying, or otherwise using this software, you agree to be bound by the terms of its license. Read the license.

Visit the project home page for full details. The new 3.0 version supports Windows 8 and Office 2013, but note that support for older versions of Office is more limited: there is no docbar for Excel 2010, and much less for Office 2007.

Also see our privacy statement.

Known limitations

When using protected mode Acrobat Reader, the wrong file is tagged (protected mode really opens a "shadow" temporary file in place of the one you requested, and this is the file path which Project Colletta sees).

When you click on a docbar, the corresponding application window should come to the fore, and vice versa: sometimes this does not occur.

Saved emails (.msg files) are not distinguished from "normal" email messages and get incorrect docbars.

The IE add-in is not compatible with "enhanced protected mode" - currently, to get IE docbars to appear, you need to disable EPM (via IE's advanced settings page).

If you try to tag a PowerPoint deck which has been downloaded from the internet (i.e., which shows the "this file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer" mark), PowerPoint will complain that the file is corrupt. You need to unblock the file before Project Colletta can touch it. (This seems to be a problem only with PowerPoint: the other Office applications seem fine.)

Change history summary
Updated for Office 2013 and Windows 8; Office 2007 no longer supported.
Many bug fixes, and some unused facilities removed

IE9, OneNote and Acrobat Reader support
URL drag and drop
Improved installer
Numerous bug fixes and UI improvements

First public release

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So the version I had just installed was the latest version.


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