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Messages - deano [ switch to compact view ]

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I've got to the point where I'm a bit bored with Access (I use it for work) but I want to learn something new if only to preserve my sanity and broaden my skills.

Now I'm not going to ask for straight-up recommendations for languages but instead I have an app I want to develop and perhaps people could suggest what would be an appropriate path to start upon.

Note-taking/documentation application

I'd like something straightforward that does note-taking (there are many excellent programs of course like The Guide which I'm currently testing) but it will also includes tagging and to-do lists.  Then there's my desire to turn my pages of notes into a lovely rich text formatted document with lovely images and being able to embed other media. This would have a variety of uses from presentations to reference documentation.

Maybe each page could store notes about the page itself (so I'm starting to draw in elements of wikis here).  I'm influenced by Backpack from 37Signals which I can't afford and Thymer from Stunf (which I do pay for)  but I want a desktop application.  I'd like to be able to link to local files on the computer or on mapped drives.

There's nothing out there which meets all my desires so, what the hell, I'm quite keen to code it in my spare time.  I'm a Microsoft man through and through so my initial thoughts turned to .NET but overall I'm not certain which combination of language, database and toolsets would be appropriate.  I have a small amount of money to spend on tools.

In some senses I'm a beginner as I haven't written a program you could just easily install on a PC - my Access work depends on the Access runtime and obviously has various built in limitations.  I don't think I can handle something too heavy (like C++) but I'm willing to try most things.  It will be for Windows and I might want to experiment with the interface, i.e a bit more than the useful File, Edit menus.

If I could end with a lame metaphor I feel like I'm in a boat on the shore and I need a push out in the right direction.

So where's a good place to start?  Thanks!

Apologies if this is the wrong place to post but it seemed the most likely starting point.

General Software Discussion / Trying to find way of managing documents
« on: November 08, 2009, 01:22 PM »
I'm doing alot of research into this topic as I want to organise my electronic documents at home and also at the office. Finding affordable solutions one
can actually test drive is quite hard. Some that I've downloaded just don't seem to work (testing on brand new Vista PC). I've seen some
software on Amazon like Paperport with variable reviews and I'm not convinced to take a chance.

For home I'd like something to organise files, full text search, good scanner integration, ability to tag, nice interface etc.  I'd prefer desktop software here.

But for the office it seems harder. I need something that does proper workflow and keeps versions. So I have the latest version of a
document for a given year for example and I can roll back to another version. It will have an audit trail. Documents can be approved,
checked in/out etc. I know with something like Sharepoint you can do simultaneous edits but that's overkill for me and too confusing for users.
I'm open to hosted services but I need to work with documents using MS Office.

I've looked at the following (among others) with various degrees of success; (ok but some features not working, could have hidden costs/downsides) (eye-wateringly expensive and basically not for the very small offices I'm involved with) (ditto the above) (ditto again) (evaluation failed to install) (evaluation failed to install)

Nothing fits the bill enough for me.  Office Live looked promising (and free) (if a bit ugly) but when I save and it says "saving to Office Live workspace" it never actually does and the original document on the server is unchanged.

Seems like this is something that more people should be using but apparently aren't. My Google/twitter searches lead back to the same tired and
vague webpages that are selling expensive customised services.

All I want is affordable desktop software for the home and some sort of hybrid hosted/desktop service for small offices that doesn't cost the earth either.  Currently I manage documents using Dropbox ( which is a brilliant service and one of the best things I've ever used.  I can grab files from home or office directly from Windows Explorer because Dropbox synchs them.  Nevertheless it does have limitations - if another user edits a file at the same time it creates a copy of that file calling it "conflict" and then it can get confusing.  And there's no interface to search/tag etc.  It's great for a single user and if you're working closely with someone else and can easily resolve any conflicted files but I have my doubts about it as a solution you can throw at the uninitiated.

So after all that palava does anyone have any suggestions for likely products?  Or I do have to learn some more programming and do it myself? :)

many thanks

Post New Requests Here / Re: DONE: Drive space monitor
« on: January 02, 2008, 03:27 PM »
Looks lovely but way too complicated for the original remit, which is to alert someone who has only very basic computing skills.

Post New Requests Here / Re: DONE: Drive space monitor
« on: January 02, 2008, 01:05 PM »
Nice, good to get a "final" version.  I'm going to rebuild my friend's pc soon so this is on the list of things to install.

Living Room / Re: Six Free Online Storage Services
« on: March 10, 2007, 07:38 PM » is super.

There appears to be no limits on file sizes or how much data you can store.  What is very cool is that you can mark files as either private or public.  Once uploaded a variety of links are provided depending on the filetype e.g images can be linked to different sized thumbnails.  You can also create photo galleries.

I just use it to store big executables, distributions and general images for reference from other web apps.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: C drive space monitor
« on: December 29, 2006, 05:20 PM »
The whole enchilada with the ini.   

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: C drive space monitor
« on: December 29, 2006, 04:49 PM »
Thanks Edvard that works absolutely brilliantly.  I noticed there was an option to convert the ahk file into an exe so i did that and then placed a shortcut in the startup folder.  Worked first time!  I also tested successfully on a laptop.  I think this will be a useful way of preventing C drives getting filled up with rubbish.  Because if they want to get rid of the message they have to do something about it.

Thanks again!  :Thmbsup:

Post New Requests Here / DONE: Drive space monitor
« on: December 29, 2006, 08:16 AM »
I went around to my friends house last weekend to fix his computer.  One of the problems was that he had about 4mb of free space on C.  After deleting a temp CD image file he nearly had 1gb free and things had improved.

I do alot of tech support for friends and family.  I think it would be useful to have a little program that I could give out (a single small exe) that can sit in the startup folder. 

To configure the program I state how much disk space I would ideally like to be free or state a percentage.

On bootup of Windows it does a little check to see if this amount of space is indeed free.  If not a message pops up (we should be able to insert whatever we want) with a warning.  e.g "Hey Dan, Windows is running low on diskspace. Give me a call and we will sort it out - Deano".

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