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Last post Author Topic: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").  (Read 4268 times)

IainB

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PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« on: December 12, 2015, 01:06:50 AM »
As a sufferer of CRIMP*, over the years I have trialled probably hundreds of pieces of software for PIMs (Personal Information Managers) - including Wikis, database tools and computerised card-indexes.
Quote
*CRIMP defined
Posted by Stephen Zeoli
May 10, 2006 at 01:05 PM
 
CRIMP stands for a make-believe malady called compulsive-reactive information management purchasing. Symptoms include:
   • never being satisfied with your current system of information management
   • continuously being on the look-out for something newer and better
   • purchasing every new PIM program you learn about
   • and secretly hoping you won’t find the perfect PIM, because then you’d have to stop looking for a better one

So, when someone speaks of succumbing to his or her CRIMP, it means acknowledging that they’ve purchased another PIM program even though they really don’t think they need it.
There must be a 12-step program for over-coming CRIMP, but who really wants to? It’s too much fun.
Steve Z.

From <http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/17/0/crimp-defined>
_________________________

Usually, when I write a mini-review on DCF, I do as thorough a job as I can. Since that takes time/effort - due to the constipated nature of making tabled posts and embedding RTF and links and images in this forum - I usually only write about the particularly potentially good/useful software/service that I find, and, having made that not inconsiderable effort, I try to maintain/update the reviews from time to time so as they remain reasonably current and thus still potentially useful.
However, the "also-rans" have rarely warranted much of a mention from me.

Until now, that is. Earlier this year I changed my work methods and began to methodically use OneNote to capture more of my activities in a Journal form, and this included trials/evaluations of all PIMs and other software - i.e., including the also-rans. So, I am now slowly building notes on the also-rans, which is useful when I next see them available on (say) BDJ, as I can quickly see and refresh my memory as to what my conclusions were the last time that I looked at the software on sale or being given away, and without putting any real effort into it.

Thus, I now present my brief review notes on Essential PIM Pro:

Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran").
I have put an image of my notes from OneNote below, and below that I have pasted in a spoiler just the accumulated text (for searching/indexing and extraction of text and links) from the OneNote notes.

Essential PIM Pro - 2015-12-12 DCF post Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review (also-ran).jpg

The text is in the spoiler:
Spoiler
      Essential PIM Pro (v6.5.4.0 dated 2015-08-12) - brief review.
      2015-09-18: It was for sale at a good discount, so I trialled it. Conclusions below.
      
      
      2015-09-18 17:20 - Screen Clipping
      
      Conclusions:
              1. General: Overall is so-so. Not all that great as a PIM (e.g., not better than InfoSelect 8, which is pretty dated).
              2. Stability: During the brief trial, I noticed no problems, long pauses or crashes, so it seemed pretty stable.
              3. Ergonomics and GUI: A bit kludgy in use/navigation and search, so not for me.
              4. HTML (web page capture): It made very poor (pretty useless) copies of html web pages, which point made the tool useless for my requirements.
              5. Untested:
                      a. Has sticky notes, which could be useful, but I did not test that feature (not a requirement of mine).
                      b. Apparently supposed to have good Integration with Outlook (e.g., it copied all the Contacts), but I could not get it to access my outlook.com account and I gave up, so this integration remains untested.
              6. Very good: It made a list of all of my contact details that it found stored in Outlook and I exported this (potentially very useful) list to an Excel spreadsheet.
              7. Made these notes so as to avoid wasting any more time on this product in future.
      Contact Us   (from Help file - EssentialPIM.chm)
       Please do not hesitate to contact us:
      
      By e-mail
      For general information please e-mail us at epiminfo@essentialpim.com
      For sales information please e-mail us at epimsales@essentialpim.com
      For technical support please e-mail us at epimsupport@essentialpim.com
      
      By fax/phone (Please note, we do not provide support over the phone)
      Fax: (+372) 650-79-77
      Phone: (+372) 51-927-921
      
      By post
      Astonsoft Ltd.
      Laki 9A
      Tallinn 10621
      Estonia


« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 12:11:31 PM by IainB »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 02:49:27 PM »
As a sufferer of CRIMP*, over the years I have trialled probably hundreds of pieces of software for PIMs (Personal Information Managers) - including Wikis, database tools and computerised card-indexes.
...
However, the "also-rans" have rarely warranted much of a mention from me.

Until now, that is. Earlier this year I changed my work methods and began to methodically use OneNote to capture more of my activities in a Journal form, and this included trials/evaluations of all PIMs and other software - i.e., including the also-rans. So, I am now slowly building notes on the also-rans, which is useful when I next see them available on (say) BDJ, as I can quickly see and refresh my memory as to what my conclusions were the last time that I looked at the software on sale or being given away, and without putting any real effort into it.
...

Heh vive la difference!

I tend to use a few select programs and minimal features of even powerful programs. (I use exactly one (custom added?) feature of Mouser's SC Capture!)

This week as raved elsewhere, is another edition of the Ludum Dare game programming contest, and I have a blast just wandering around reviewing and adding feedback because I don't program. This time around I got some help from the regulars in the chat room and learned how to access the different server the #ludumdare channel is on.

Eek! I now had to access *two* channels on *two servers* (that don't even have the same control command structure!) But that's not enough. A few days back one of my "lazy" alter egos got jammed into cyberspace and locked up as well. And something else happened, some kind of ghost process from using the Kiwi client or something that has never been a problem on the DC channel but the LD IRC server took a snit and kicked me off in the middle of a convo.

>:(

So ALL THAT was finally enough for me to go back to using a desktop client. (When it was equal footing and "2 extra features" it wasn't worth it. When it became *three serious problems that wasted cumulatively a few hours of mine and people's time, BAH!)

So at least I had some half-baked IRC research from a few months ago, and that at least saved me like six hours of starting from scratch. But this time I had clearer use cases including how to register a nickname to get addl protections and stuff.

So with a few quirks and loose ends, my current "survey winner" is AdIIRC version 1-9-5. I won't go into a full review here. And not insignificantly there is a new version, but my comp is misbehaving again, and I don't want to mess much more with it during the LD weekend esp because I found my first star review entry game and I am debugging-playtesting it with the dev. And also there's some weirdness with .Net - I think it wanted V4.5 but I think I saw a thread MS is fiddling with supported versions.

So for this note, sometimes an "Also-Ran-Thing/category" can switch to become front runners. And I am just in general agreeing with Iain it's great to keep partially baked notes around to help avoid head-desking. He didn't want to forget why Essential PIM was useless - I suddenly needed a new front runner.

:Thmbsup:

rjbull

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 02:47:26 PM »
It's worth knowing that EssentialPIM has a Free edition as well as a Pro, and that both are available in portable as well as installer versions.  Both include an e-mail client.  The comparison chart of Pro vs. Free is HERE.  Further, Astonsoft offer Android and iOS EPIMs: they can synchronise with the Windows EPIM via local WiFi without using the Cloud.  Speaking from the perspective of a four-day broadband outage, this is a Good Thing.  Exactly how good depends on your view of the value of mobile devices, of course.

xtabber

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2015, 06:33:57 PM »
I used Essential PIM Pro for a number of years, after dumping Outlook.  I never used EPIM for email (I never used Outlook for email either). My calendar and contacts are kept in several Google accounts and I wanted to be able to access them locally on the Windows desktop.

Both the calendar and contacts functions in EPIM are very good, but the sync with Google got to be too flaky a year or so ago, and I finally gave up on it.  EPIM is actively developed, but the developers have an idiosyncratic bent and are not very responsive to problems or suggestions. I am currently using eM Client (again, not for mail), which seems to have no problem staying in sync with Google. 

If Google sync isn't important to you, EPIM is an excellent standalone calendar/contacts manager that works well as a portable app too.  I can't see using it as an information organizer however.

rjbull

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 04:17:15 PM »
Both the calendar and contacts functions in EPIM are very good, but the sync with Google got to be too flaky a year or so ago, and I finally gave up on it.
I prefer to avoid the cloud, and don't really need "everywhere availability" anyway.  I like the ability to sync between Windows and Android locally.

I am currently using eM Client (again, not for mail), which seems to have no problem staying in sync with Google. 
In another thread, app103 was very pleased with eM Client's calendar.  Softmaker have abandoned development, saying they would roll their enhancements into Thunderbird.  Does Tbird include any sort of calendar?  eM Client itself now seems orphaned.  It might be nice if Softmaker split out the calendar as a separate entity.

EPIM is an excellent standalone calendar/contacts manager that works well as a portable app too.  I can't see using it as an information organizer however.
Pity  :(  They should address that.

dr_andus

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 05:17:04 PM »
I prefer to avoid the cloud, and don't really need "everywhere availability" anyway.  I like the ability to sync between Windows and Android locally.

If you're still looking, Pimlical can do that.

rjbull

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 05:13:08 PM »
If you're still looking, Pimlical can do that.
Well, I have EPIM now - but I only use it for some things, mainly as an electronic planning calendar.  I haven't committed to it completely, partly because I have a tablet I'm not usually going to carry about with me, not a smartphone.  What I use every day is still my Palm T3, and Pimlical is interesting precisely because it can work with Palm.  Thanks for the reminder.

tomos

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 05:28:35 PM »
I am currently using eM Client (again, not for mail), which seems to have no problem staying in sync with Google. 
In another thread, app103 was very pleased with eM Client's calendar.  Softmaker have abandoned development, saying they would roll their enhancements into Thunderbird.  Does Tbird include any sort of calendar?

Softmaker installs Thunderbird with the 'Lightning' addon. Haven't used it myself so cant comment beyond that.
Tom

dr_andus

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 08:07:21 PM »
What I use every day is still my Palm T3, and Pimlical is interesting precisely because it can work with Palm.

Respect! (from a fellow ex-Palm T|X user). While I haven't tried it (these days I'm a Google Calendar user), there is also Pimlical Android, which is supposed to be the Android replacement for the legendary Palm calendar app, Datebk6.

xtabber

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Re: Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 08:31:06 PM »
I am currently using eM Client (again, not for mail), which seems to have no problem staying in sync with Google. 
In another thread, app103 was very pleased with eM Client's calendar.  Softmaker have abandoned development, saying they would roll their enhancements into Thunderbird.  Does Tbird include any sort of calendar?  eM Client itself now seems orphaned.  It might be nice if Softmaker split out the calendar as a separate entity.

Softmaker may have at one time included eM Client with their suite, but eM Client is a separate software company and the product is quite actively developed and supported.  I use the free version which only supports 2 accounts, but since I don't use it for email, that doesn't matter to me.

I use SeaMonkey for email - it's Thunderbird without the bloat, and much faster. SeaMonkey's browser is also faster than Firefox 43.0.1, which loads very slowly, although it is reasonably fast if you keep it in memory.  Lightning works with SeaMonkey, but unfortunately, the Google connector does not seem to work properly with Lightning on SeaMonkey - it doesn't retain login credentials across sessions, which makes it nearly useless.  Also, the SeaMonkey/Thunderbird address book is really only good for email and Lightning does not include an address book.  Thus eM Client.

IainB

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Memonic Desktop - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2016, 11:52:59 AM »
Herewith are my brief review notes on Memonic Desktop:
I have put an image of my notes from OneNote below, and below that I have pasted in a spoiler just the accumulated text (for searching/indexing and extraction of text and links) from the OneNote notes.

Memonic Desktop - 2016-01-04 DCF Memonic Desktop - Mini-Review (also-ran).jpg

The text is in the spoiler:
Spoiler
Memonic Desktop (v1.0.0 dated 2011-07-21) - brief review.
2016-01-03: General notes.
I had seen this referred to in OutlinerSoftware.com, and it looked interesting
So I did a dl + install, test, uninstall of the Memonic desktop app for Windows:
Memonic Desktop download link:   Memonic desktop v1.0.0 (Jul 21, 2011).msi
   http://clients.memon...emonic%20Desktop.msi
File on disk:   Memonic desktop v1.0.0 (Jul 21-2011) installer.msi (35Mb)
Firefox clipper tool add-on:   http://www.memonic.c...owser/plugin/firefox Memonic Web Clipper 1.2.1.1
   https://addons.mozil...i?src=dp-btn-primary
Link:
File on disk:   C:\Workdata.001\Box-XXX(FS)\Box Sync\FEBE backups\FEBE 2016 01-03 19.37.54\MemonicWebClipper{1.2.1.1-signed}.xpi
Website says: The Memonic Web Clipper lets you capture content snippets on any web page. Below are all the browsers we support.
Browsers   Add-on   Bookmarklet
Internet Explorer      Use It
Firefox   Install It   Use It
Google Chrome   Install It   Use It
Safari   Install It   Use It
Safari for iPad      Use It
Opera   Install It   Use It
2016-01-04 0133hrs: Conclusions - post about Memonic to OutlinerSoftware.com :
   http://www.outliners...om/topics/viewt/6191
   Posted by Slartibartfarst
   Jan 3, 2016 at 12:25 PM
    
   Reading this discussion, I was interested in Memonic and its potential as a solution to my PIM and KM requirements, so I took a look at it.
   I found I was able to download the 35Mb .MSI file to install the Windows Desktop app (Memonic desktop v1.0.0 (Jul 21-2011) installer.msi), and it installed to Win10-64 Pro OK.
   
   I then installed the Firefox add-on (MemonicWebClipper{1.2.1.1-signed}.xpi), and it installed to Firefox 44 (Beta) OK (restart required).
   I then started up MD (Memonic Desktop).
   
   MD ran first time OK, but when restarted, kept crashing after briefly displaying its GUI screen, with an error message saying that it had created a crash log. After a cursory inspection, I could find no such log in any of the directories created by the installation.
   I set MD’s Compatibility to Vista SP2 and gave it Admin status, but when MD was restarted, it still kept crashing after briefly displaying its GUI screen and the associated error message.
   
   By trial and error, I discovered that if you succeeded in quickly mouse-clicking on a menu item whilst the GUI screen was being briefly displayed, then the app stayed running. Once I had succeeded in getting it to run, it seemed to start up OK with no messing about - this was repeatable.
   There was also a “Titanium application” running in the Systray, which turned out to be a SICT (screen image capture tool) with a conventional on-screen crosshairs selector. Capturing a screenshot image with the SICT saved the image to the MD app (database), where it appeared in the GUI on a sort of sequential list on a “corkboard” as a record of a file, but with no viewing capability, though you could put it in a “folder” and “tag” it. Rudimentary data organising stuff. Reminded me of the early Evernote desktop app (so not of much use).
   
   With all the crashing and restarts, I had managed to get 2 SICTs running concurrently in the Systray, and they provided no right-click shutdown option, so I forced them to close via the process Terminate command in Process Hacker, after which they did not seem able to start up again on a restart of MD.
   
   Using the Firefox add-on web clipping tool (MemonicWebClipper{1.2.1.1-signed}.xpi) worked fine, but in order to save it necessitated the user having a Memonic cloud account, which I didn’t have and didn’t want to bother with. In the “About this Add-on” at https://addons.mozil...memonic-web-clipper/ , it says:
   “Use Memonic for free, you don’t even have to create an account to get started. For our different free and paid plans visit http://www.memonic.c...m/subscription/plans
   - but the 14 (total) reviewers’ comments - starting on May 14, 2011 and ending on November 2, 2013 - indicate that, though the web clipper might not have initially necessitated having a Memonic cloud account at first in 2011, at some later stage subsequent versions apparently forced that requirement on the users. So, rather redolent of Evernote again, I guess. This is a cynical and hackneyed marketing tactic to rope suckers in at the product launch by offering a “no-strings-attached” loss-leader and then subsequently withdrawing it once the prospects are captive (locked in).
   
   I suspect it would probably work fine if one did have an account, though I am unsure whether Memonic cloud is operational or will be for long, as the omens don’t look hopeful - the MD app is still only in its initial release version, and the Memonic blog started with its first post on Jun. 20, 2012, and there are only 10 posts in total to it, the last being dated Nov. 25, 2012.
   
   It thus seems as though development of the MD app ceased almost as soon as it was released, followed by a cessation to service improvement of the Memonic cloud-based service. Memonic therefore seems to have been what, in marketing terms, is called “a flash in the pan”.
   
   So, all in all, the result showed a few app stability issues for the disappointingly rather useless-seeming MD app., and a cloud-centric service of unexplored but possibly doubtful use. Probably not a real Evernote alternative then.
   
   I would postulate 3 scenarios which I have gone through, currently ending up at No.3 (though for how long, I do not know):
   
   1: I required and was happy to be entirely dependent on a cloud-centric service, and was happy to pay Evernote rates as a user. I probably would stick with Evernote. As a past Evernote user and a Google services user, I know that the Evernote service is pretty good, and probably beats the Google Drive/Documents combo. - and (say) Zoho.
   
   2. I required a purely desktop-based service and depended on that (and backups of same). I would definitely use one or more of the many excellent desktop-based PIMs or KM tools, coupled with a solid contingency backup plan.
   
   3. I required a desktop-based service which gave me the option and the flexibility - if I wished at any stage - to move my database, partly or wholly, to a cloud-centric service and possibly back to the desktop again (for whatever reason), then I would use the OneNote/Onedrive approach. The difficulty with this approach IMHO is that, though it would not lock one in to a cloud-based service at any stage, it effectively forces the user to adopt and LEARN (implies change) to use the MS Office toolset that comes integrated with OneNote - that is, if one wanted to take the fullest advantage of the potential use of that toolset. (This is NOT intended to imply that I advocate the use of Office 365, or the purely web-based and severely constrained “FREE” OneNote functionality.)
   
   From <http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/6191>

« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 12:00:15 PM by IainB »

IainB

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X2NET OneStore - Mini-Review ("also-ran")
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 02:48:40 PM »
Herewith are my brief review notes on X2NET OneStore:
I have put an image of my notes from OneNote below, and below that I have pasted in a spoiler just the accumulated text (for searching/indexing and extraction of text and links) from the OneNote notes.

X2NET OneStore 03 - Brief review notes (also-ran).jpg

The text is in the spoiler:
Spoiler
X2NET OneStore (v1.1.1.205) dated 2009-03-23 - brief review.
System installed 2016-02-20 on Win10-64 Pro with UAC set OFF.
System is a 32-bit application and seems to have Win10 compatibility issues.
• Filename on disk: X2NetOneStoreSetup v1.1.1.205.exe
d/l from: Free X2Net OneStore Download:
 - http://www.brotherso...d-114677.html?bottom
• During installation there was a suspect Trojan in the Uninstaller.exe file (see below), but that was from a download via Brothersoft, where I downloaded onestore by x2net 1.1.0.205 from Free X2Net OneStore Download and found it had actually downloaded Version 1.1.1.205.
• The downloaded file passed examination by my Windows Defender and Malwarebytes OK, and Virus Total.
• Very good X2NET product closedown info. page at: http://www.x2net.com/
        - but does not refer to OneStore … !
• Useful discussion here: Outliner Software: X2Net OneStore
• The latest (2010) Wayback website copy for http://www.x2net.com here: https://web.archive....net.com:80/onestore/
- which referred to Version 1.1.0.205, but I was unable to download from Wayback, so they hadn't captured a copy.


Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:30

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:31
Ø User security details 01: (not shown in clear in these notes):

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:32

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:33

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:33
Ø User security details 02: (not shown in clear in these notes):

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:34

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:34

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:34

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:35

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:35

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:35

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:35
Given the fact that the setup .exe file had been cleared by Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, and a Virus Total re-scan, this suspected virus alert was probably a false positive.
However, after restart, I checked that Win10 Defender had
Quarantined the suspected Trojan, and then I
removed/expunged it from Defender's quarantine/loq.

Then X2Net OneStore was started up:

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:52

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:52

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:52

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:53

Screen clipping taken: 2016-02-20 00:53
Summary of experience on this trial/test:
Overall conclusion:
        • The downloaded installer file is apparently valid for a 30-day free trial period, but I have not tested that.
        • Despite the "Virtual Printer" utilities not installing and the Hotkey assignment conflicts necessitating setting alternative hotkeys (probably all due to Win10 incompatibility issues), OneStore seems to work quite well, and seems to be very robust and well-designed - i.e., fit-for-purpose.
        • The GUI employs a ribbon-type interface and works smoothly. Good ergonomics.
        • OneStore It is NOT a note-taking PIM (Personal Information Manager), but is more like a DMS (Document Management System) and as a DMS it is pretty good and has some useful DMS categorisation (similar to tagging") features. Must look into this some more.
        • OneStore is a client-server database system (SQL with a Nexus engine) providing information Stores (classic filing cabinet concept) and management of same in a hierarchical, nestable drawer/folder structure. What is Stored are information objects captured by OneStore capture functions, or otherwise imported into the Store, where each object is a file for one of:
                ○ Text (note that these cannot be created or edited in the application).
                ○ Image (note that these cannot be created or edited in the application).
                ○ Audio (note that these can be created but not edited in the application).
                ○ Document (various types; cannot be created or edited in the application).
        • Quick Capture Utility:
                ○ The QCU is persistent in the Systray.
                ○ The GUI for the QCU is somewhat deformed (probably due to a Win10 incompatibility issue), but workable - and a very handy/efficient object capture utility it is too, duplicating/augmenting some of the main GUI ribbon functions to a partial extent.
                ○ This QCU links to the Clipboard.
                ○ It captures clips without OneStore actually running. I am unsure how many clips it can hold in buffer (not tested) when OneStore is not running.
                ○ If you start OneStore, then the QCU-captured clips are shown in the Store as "Clipboard capture" (date/time) and can be seen in the Preview pane.
                ○ In a normal installation, I  suspect that the QCU would automatically start up OneStore if it was not already running, but this doesn't happen in my Win10 installation of OneStore.
                ○ Capture of images/pictures can either be to the default proprietary OneStore format, or to a image proper file. This default is settable and makes a difference for export purposes. Must look into this some more.
                ○ Same for text capture from Clipboard. Confusing, but seems to have a purpose. Must look into this some more.
        • Audio tool:
                ○ This is an audio note creation tool (for making on-the-spot audio notes), and it works beautifully - just click-and-talk. Very nice.
        • Note-taking:
                ○ Given the quirky fact that that the user can make/create audio notes using a utility within the application and save them as a file in a Store, the absence of a simple text note creation and editing tool could be a design oversight.
                ○ The user is apparently obliged to make text notes using a text editor, and save the notes as an object (e.g., .txt file) in a Store. Must look into this some more as there is definitely some kind of text note creation/edit facility.
        • Object Preview:
                ○ Objects in the Store can be viewed (or listened to) via an expandable Preview pane.
                ○ I did not establish how many of the potential different file/document types could actually be viewed legibly in the preview pane.
                ○ A brief test indicated that Text, Audio and Image files seemed to preview just fine.
        • Help:
                ○ OneStore has an excellent Help .PDF file - very well-written and comprehensive with a full TOC incorporating embedded page hyperlinks.
        • Search/Index:
                ○ The system apparently indexes some - not sure if all - files in the Store that contain text.
                ○ Haven't figured out how to use or get the search tool to work. It looks quite powerful in function.
                ○ I did not study the Help file on this, so am unsure whether it is me or the software that is at fault, but I suspect it is probably just me.
        • Database Server, Access Control, and Licences:
                ○ Files in specified Stores can be shared by other users across a LAN, according to access control rules set for documents in (I think) the relevant Store  - i.e., access control it is at the Store level.
                ○ Shared files can be checked in/checked out of a Store - i.e., similar to SharePoint and other DMS concepts.
                ○ Sharing necessitates multiple user licences.
                ○ For personal/home use, a single user licence is assumed with no DMS sharing functionality, and according to an old (Dec. 2008) BitsDuJour item, a single user licence is now $FREE. Refer: http://www.bitsdujou...tware/x2net-onestore
                ○ However, after a brief search, I could find no published information regarding single user licence keys, so I am unsure whether a single user licence is assumed by default at the end of the 30-day trial period.
       
General:
        • Though I quite like some of the features in OneStore, it would still seem to be a bit outmoded and kludgy in use, even if it were not quirky in this OS.
        • And though I quite like the idea of this software, the wisdom of using a proprietary and obsolete/unsupported database to hold your precious data should be questioned.
        • It is arguably an obsolete approach mirroring what you probably could do just as easily (if not more easily) using a modern Windows PC, disk, and Windows file manager (or, say, something like xplorer²) and Windows Desktop Search.
        • Having said that, with my background and interest in large DMS implementation and use, I am tempted to trial this tool some more to better discover its potential use for me as a personal DMS (and if I could tinker with and support the thing myself). Could be a useless time-bandit though…   :-)


IainB

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PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran") - CintaNotes PRO.
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2016, 12:17:17 PM »
Herewith are my brief review notes on a trial of CintaNotes v3.3.1.1 PRO:
I have put an image of my notes from OneNote below, and below that I have pasted in a spoiler just the accumulated text (for searching/indexing and extraction of text and links) from the OneNote notes.

18_744x246_5152DF42.png


Spoiler
Notes from trialling CintaNotes v3.3.1.1 PRO (10-day free trial licence) - 2016-09-17.
      From:    http://cintanotes.com
      
      General notes:
              1.  I had dl and briefly trialled two copies of the very limited Free portable version: (they did not have the Tagging hierarchy and other features I wanted to try out).
                      • CintaNotes v3.3.0.2 (FREE).zip
                      • CintaNotes v3.3.1.1 (FREE dl 2016-09-17).zip
              2. So I dl + installed CintaNotes v3.3.1.1 PRO (10-day free trial licence) to give it a whirl. I thought 10 days was probably unlikely to be long enough to give the thing a decent trial. The install was no problem and the trial licence was sent to me via email and was hassle-free.
              3. I usually go into a PIM (Personal Information Manager) trial with a feeling of hopeful anticipation of things useful to be discovered, but this one was a bit of a fizzle.
              4. On spec, the CN PRO version looked to be more interesting/useful for my purposes than the hobbled FREE version. I couldn't see why anyone would actually want the free version as it was too hobbled.
              5. The GUI in the FREE and PRO versions looks quite tidy, and is ergonomically efficient and fairly intuitive with only a couple of minor kludgy idiosyncrasies to learn (most software tends to have those).
              6. In the PRO version (don't know about the FREE one), the GUI fonts are nicely adjustable - which could be a real plus point for people who might need to wear specs for reading laptop screens (like me).
              7. As a PIM, the PRO version was OK and unremarkable. It had better/more functionality than the FREE version, but in terms of its functionality it really did not seem any better than (say) CHS (Clipboard Help and Spell) - in fact, its tagging hierarchy and auto-tagging were arguably not as flexible as CHS' drag-and-drop and Virtual Folder (SQL) functionality, though CN did have a simple tag rules process and a good idea (which I didn't really test) of dropping down a suggestion menu of tags when you started typing - both of which could make it simpler/less complex to use. However, I suspect that that tag menu thing could well become a PITA if one had a large tag hierarchy tree.
              8. CN only allows tags to be contiguous alphameric strings with no spaces or dashes. Multi-word tags had to be conjoined with an underscore.
              9. CN's GUI display was arguably prettier than CHS', but actually I found it to be less information-rich.
              10. CN can't handle images very well at all (though it employs the concept of Alternative Text, but the user apparently has to manually enter that).
              11. Both FREE and PRO versions are plain text only, which is a PITA.
              12. CN can apparently sync via SimpleNote (but of course plain text only).
      
      Conclusions:
              1. As a database, CN may have reached the limit of its designer's original scope and is somewhat archaic (e.g., can't handle images or RTF). For example, contrast it with Wezinc, which, with its RTF, HTML, image-handling and auto mind-mapping etc., is only in beta stage development, but which already looks to have more info management functionality and more potential than CN. NoteFrog is another great beta-stage tool that is/was functionally more progressive than CN.
              2. Thus, CN probably can't really anywhere near justify US$40 for PRO, or US$120 for a Lifetime licence. I mean, come on guys, it's development is so limited and so static that it's almost become stagnant abandonware. I have the CintaNotes blog in ny bazqux feed-reader and quite frankly the blog is a procession of small ideas for minor changes with nothing terribly significant actually being planned/implemented.
              3. Get the pricing right and design in some more useful and up-to-date functionality for goodness' sake. I mean, I have a clipboard system (CHS) that beats CN pretty much hands-down.
              4. So I  uninstalled CN PRO right after seeing what it could/couldn't do. I didn't seem to need the 10-day licence after all, and I probably won't spend any more time looking at it again unless it gets significantly changed/improved.


wraith808

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2016, 04:55:58 PM »
Are you looking in the correct location for release notes?

http://cintanotes.com/release-notes/

Development seems quite active.  And I think the purpose of cintanotes is not to compete with onenote or evernote in terms of features- it's to work with text.  Which has it's niche, i.e. people that want to just work with taking notes in text.  It seems that they have a new version almost monthly with one or two new features- that are prioritized by their users in the roadmap at http://roadmap.cintanotes.com/?lang=en.

There are a lot of reasons that I don't use it currently, but lack of development is not one of them.

IainB

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2016, 12:07:42 AM »
@wraith808:
Are you looking in the correct location for release notes? ...
________________________
Yes, thanks, I did/do know where the release notes were/are, and I also read with interest and on an ongoing basis the proposed incremental changes ("ïdeas") that fairly regularly crop up in the CN blog before the changes are even implemented.
With all that apparent change going on, I had - perhaps unrealistically - a more than usual "feeling of hopeful anticipation of things useful to be discovered", but, as I said "this one was a bit of a fizzle".

I was a bit mystified by this apparent lack of progress, and one possible explanation for it was as per the conclusion I drew - as I wrote - that "As a database, CN may have reached the limit of its designer's original scope and is somewhat archaic (e.g., can't handle images or RTF).".
All that "change" seems as though it might have been a bit like a mouse running in a treadmill - lots of activity, but is it progress? Is it even "development"?
The greater part of the changes being made to the product would seem to be (according to the blog and the release notes) ad hoc ideas, tweaks and adjustments - e.g., (say) like putting knobs on with a different colour, or belatedly adding that functionality that you really shoulda thought of adding when you did that other bit last month, but didn't because there was no real forethought design or development plan, but you call it a "feature" or an "enhancement" anyway.

Sure, that might look like "development" to some people, but from experience of years of programming and managing and directing commercial systems and application  development and implementation, I would tend to call a spade a "spade". It would seem to be more like simple - and possibly even belated - maintenance to make corrections to a possibly ill-thought-out design, or maybe there is no design. That could explain it, and is why I commented that "CN may have reached the limit of its designer's original scope".

By the way, that should not be taken as a criticism, and it is not necessarily a criticism - in and of itself - of any of the good folk who put their earnest and best endeavours into maintaining the CN product. The individuals in most small and enthusiastic development groups will usually be found to be operating in an environment of Level 1 (Ad hoc/Chaotic) or Level 2 (Repeatable) of Humphrey's theoretical process CMM (Capability Maturity Model). The work processes in those levels are characterised as being in a state of constant dynamic change, by definition, and things only start to stabilise (become less ad hoc/chaotic) at CMM Level 3 (Defined).
Whenever I have found myself in such environments (CMM Level 1 or 2), I personally would tend to direct a switch to so-called "Agile" development methodology - and incremental prototyping - and "Agile" project management methodology, because conventional development methodologies (e.g., SADT) and conventional "waterfall" project management methodologies generally won't be able to help you in those cases - though they'd be great for and most easily applied at CMM Level 3 and above, of course.
It is from that context that I wrote that "...its development is so limited and so static that it's almost become stagnant abandonware. I have the CintaNotes blog in my bazqux feed-reader and quite frankly the blog is a procession of small ideas for minor changes with nothing terribly significant actually being planned/implemented.".
Sorry if that didn't/couldn't communicate too well in my brief notes above, but I did intentionally make them brief and they are notes to myself really, which I've just copied here in the hope that they may be of help/use to others.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 12:21:26 AM by IainB »

sazzen

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2016, 11:30:48 AM »
I am a PIM addict. I use many, each for a specific purpose. Well . . . mostly that.  :)  Cinta Notes is one of my little family. The freebie version is used on my XP machine and the newer PRO version — for which I paid  $15.00 — resides on my Win7 computer. I've yet to discover the differences between the two, but I don't spend a lot of time with either of them. The information I store in Cinta Notes consists of how-tos and where-ats that are computer and/or application related, things I don't seem to remember because I don't use them often, such as: How to convert a GPT disk to MBR, what to do when Softmaker loses its registration and starts telling me the trial period is ending. It is very good for these simple quick lookups.

TreepadX Enterprise is the mother of all information managers. I use it for novel writing references.

I use MaplePro for storing personal information, but not anything so personal it has to be encrypted. It's just pretty. :) I can't resist pretty.

RightNote is the latest addition to the ménage and comprehensive is a good word to describe it.

Nothing has ever outdone KeyNote.  IMHO.

IainB

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2016, 02:39:59 AM »
Nothing has ever outdone KeyNote.  IMHO.

Just out of interest, are you referring to the original KeyNote (Tranglos) or KeyNote-NF (https://github.com/dpradov/keynote-nf)?

cyberdiva

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2016, 05:05:43 PM »
What I use every day is still my Palm T3, and Pimlical is interesting precisely because it can work with Palm.

Respect! (from a fellow ex-Palm T|X user). While I haven't tried it (these days I'm a Google Calendar user), there is also Pimlical Android, which is supposed to be the Android replacement for the legendary Palm calendar app, Datebk6.
I too was a Palm user up through my beloved TX.  I finally moved several years ago to a Nexus 7 Android tablet, and I tried out a number of calendar/memo/contacts programs before selecting Pimlical.  I chose Pimlical because 1) it would easily import all my calendar/memo/contact info from DateBk 6 on the TX, and 2) it would give me a flexible, attractive system that would let me completely avoid Google Calendar (though many people choose Pimlical because it can work with Google Calendar).  I now have Pimlical Desktop on my computer and Pimlical Android on my tablet and my smartphone.  Syncing between them is easy.  There's also a very active and helpful forum (even though it's on Yahoo Groups), plus very active development by CESD, the guy who created the Datebk series for Palm.  I'm very pleased with Pimlical.  It has a formidable array of features and options, but/and I find that those are the sorts of programs I wind up loving.   :up:

rgdot

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2016, 05:35:46 PM »
I know you meant system but Pimlical and attractive in the same sentence?  :o

:D

dr_andus

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2016, 06:26:04 PM »
I know you meant system but Pimlical and attractive in the same sentence?  :o

:D

You've got to open your eyes and heart to its inner beauty  :-*

Quote
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
― Kahlil Gibran

wraith808

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2016, 06:42:20 PM »
I know you meant system but Pimlical and attractive in the same sentence?  :o

:D

You've got to open your eyes and heart to its inner beauty  :-*

Quote
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
― Kahlil Gibran

That might be true in theory... but you still turn the light out when it's time to get the deed done!  ;D

dr_andus

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2016, 07:11:40 PM »
Sure, you can turn down the screen brightness...  ;) But then you might miss the fact that Pimlical can sync all the custom colours of Google Calendar events! How many other calendar apps can do that?

cyberdiva

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2016, 06:18:16 PM »
I know you meant system but Pimlical and attractive in the same sentence?  :o

:D
Yes, I did mean the system, but I also meant Pimlical Android.  I would never describe the calendar in the Pimlical Desktop as attractive, but I would describe the calendar in the Pimlical Android app that way: flexible and attractive.  :up:

jenter

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2016, 03:13:25 AM »
Hi everyone,

CintaNotes author here. Big thanks to IainB for an honest, unbiased review of our product.
While many points are valid, (and we are working on improving them, I'll get back to this below),
I can't agree that CN now gets only bells and whistles added on - as an example, I believe that the recent addition of autotagging rules has taken the app to a new level. This kind of advanced automation is rarely seen in note-taking applications.

Now about other points:
- "10 days trial too short" - Agreed, we plan to start packing a 10-day trial BY DEFAULT, with ability to
extend it by 30 more days upon request.
- "Too hobbled free version" - As new PRO features are added, we gradually make older PRO features free. Example: external links, pasting notes into other apps on Ctrl+Enter. Soon we plan to make Simplenote syncing free.
- "Not flexible tagging and autotagging" - Would be interesting to hear what functionality is missing
- "Can't handle images well" - Yes, that's true. You can attach images as files and view/edit them in external programs, that's about it. Soon you'll also be able to place links to attached files into text.  But CN is more about text handling, definitely.
- "Plain text only" - Not exactly, CN supports some simple text formatting.
- "Sync with Simplenote is plain text only" - also with simple formatting.
- "Can't justify price" - note that this is not a subscription price. You actually can use the license indefinitely long after buying, if you are ok with staying on a certain version. Also, the price point was picked after several attempts. We believe the current one is optimal to keep the project going.
- "Stagnant blog" - This is true, as a 1.5-man shop we have to choose either to blog or to develop. But we are working in this direction too. Many news appear only in newsletter. Recently we have published a video on how to use rules, for example.

All in all, I just think that CN is simply not what you expected it to be. This is ok.
Thanks again for taking the time to try out CN and to write the review!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 03:18:42 AM by jenter »

wraith808

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2016, 10:50:21 AM »
Thanks for the time to respond, Alex!  In all of my dealings with you, you've been a class act, and that response was yet another example of it.  I don't currently use CintaNotes- it didn't meet my needs over time.  But your attitude and professionalism are the reason that I keep my eye on it to see if it ever will become a tool that fits my workflow.