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Messages - cnewtonne [ switch to compact view ]

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I know what you say and I've been echoing it all along myself. I think we should suggest to Mouser to invite a psychiatrist or a software psychologist to help us cope with with this condition of Information Fatigue Syndrom (IFS). This is characterized by (I think I have all of them)...

- paralysis of analytical capacity ( I feel it all the time)
- anxiety and self-doubt (no software is ever good enough)
- foolish decisions and flawed conclusions as evidenced by spending money right and left on every PIM out there only to use it for a day or 2 and never again.

I think I can address some of what you requested using UltraRecall ( Here is how...

UR has a feature that I have not seen in any other PIM system. It allows you to link (or store) any document on your system e.g. pdf, doc, xls, OL items, anything. You can actually store the doc within UR database and delete it from the OS. Once done, you can, then, decide to edit this document internally within UR (using its native RTF editor), integrated IE based browser, or externally using the doc's associated default program. Even if you edit it externally, you are still editing the internally stored document. The unique feature is when you save your edits, you can synchronize it and propagate your changes to the doc that is stored in OS folders. If you edit the doc on the OS, UR will see the changes and update its stored doc accordingly, so this is a 2 way sync. Some users keep all their files on the OS, link them into UR for organization, and sync. Some keep a copy inside UR, and a 2nd one on the OS, and keep them in sync. This way they have 2 copies of any given doc all the time.

This feature is great by itself. Furthermore, you can benefit from UR system generated keywords when you link or store a doc. You can also define your own as you wish. The level and complexity of the tagging system is all dictated by you. searching is as-u-type, fast, can be saved, and is very customizable.

As fas comments and notes, UR associate a note page with every doc or item. This note is specific to a single doc and can be displayed right next to the doc itself and resized.

Commenting on PDF docs was something I did all the time using AcrobatReader Pro 5. It did the job beautifully. You can add notes and even make changes to the actual text of the pdf. Armando pointed to the same thing. I also used a product called RepliGo made by Simply but, you can print any pfd document to a RG document via its virtual printer driver. You can read it in RG and highlight whatever you like. Each highlight is a comment where you can add your own. You can then view all comments in a doc as a summary. RG is optimized for small screen and use it all the time on my Treo. It is the best solution I've seen. However, it has not be developed in ages and I'm not sure if the company is still interested in maintaining it.

Hope you find this helpful.

This is amazing stuff and certainly an eye opener. My faith in the concept and the drive is certainly there but i have to admit, not as immense to really make me do this switch for my personal productivity. I run linux on all my server machines at work and will always do.
Thank you for sharing these insightful thoughts with us.

FARR Plugins and Aliases / Re: New FARR Plugin: FCalc
« on: June 05, 2007, 08:34 PM »

your coding ability amazes the hick out of me. You probably write c++ as spontaneously as we speak English if not better. I would pay a million dollar to have your knowledge transplanted in my brain.
You must've also inherited a million dollar to have you do all this work of managing the site and writing code voluntarily and on donation basis.
If you ever decide to write your diaries, please let me know. I will be the first one to read them.

Thanks for brightening our lives with your ingenuity

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Microsoft OneNote 2007
« on: June 02, 2007, 12:15 AM »
this is piece of art is truly impressive. I have test drove both 03 and 07. There is not entity on earth that can dedicate so much resources, brains, dollars, people on development as does this company. Not only they create the software itself, but they actually develop the tools that developed it and the OS that it runs on. I could never, however, fit my working style and efficiencies into ON. The whole theme of using sections, pages, and subpages is just too restricting for me. Also, the fact that it only integrates with the same company's products is not good for me. I may us one product made by this company, but this is no reason for them to ask for more.
Any way, seeing ON in action on MSLive was fun experience. Thanks for sharing.

To start with, I have to state that I'm not affiliated with this product in any way other than being a long-time user of it. This long-term use has given me insights into how powerful and stable this fine piece of software is. I would like to briefly share with this forum hoping it will spark some genuine interest in exploiting its features (and specifically its SDK) to improve and extend it.
The product reside on this web site and it is described as ...

myBase is a versatile free-form database system that allows entry of unstructured text, webpages, images, documents, emails and even arbitrary files without regard to length or format. All information is compressed with the integrated zip utility and stored in the tree structured outline form.

Developed using C++ and laid on top of a solid rock SSG database engine ( using zlip compression (,  it has delivered such an unparalleled stability and performance beyond comparison to any other solution in its category. Best of all, the developer WJJ, has made pubic and an SDK that opens up the doors wide open to a limitless array of features and extensions. Something that makes me drool just thinking about it.

Wjj offers the SDK on his site ( The license terms indicate that you are FREE to use at no charge to develop extensions to MB. With this SDK, one can develop three distinct types of solutions:

- Stand alone applications built on top of the SSG databases.
- Plugins that integrate to the internal functionality of MB to add features.
- Add-ons that are external to MB, yet, integrate with it to capture, organize, and share information from any sources. Source may include any app like  a web browser, office suite, email clients, and so forth. The current WebCollect add-on is a good example (

Again, for plug-ins and add-ons, you are to use the SDK free of charge. For the first one, though, you have to pay a royalty fee and understandably so.

The SDK if very well documented, indeed. It contains the header files, the library DDLs, full API documentation, reusable code snippets that integrate right into your project, and code examples. It just can not be any more complete.

I would like to invite to readers of this forum, and especially the developers amongst them, to browse the above links to get an idea. Download the software for 30 days and try it. See how much you can benefit and help develop it. 

This software has changed the way I manage and interact with my data for years. I hope it will help you as much as it did for me.

Finished Programs / Re: Copy-paste with the right text format
« on: May 26, 2007, 07:05 AM »
I was struggling with this issue for ages myself. In addition to what you described, I wanted a solution that allows you to do ...
- create a text styles (saved font color, size, indentation, ...etc)
- apply any of these styles on existing text.
- Save text snippets in RTF format including images and be able to retrieve them with hotkeys.

I could not do it using MacroExpress. I knew it was possible with AutHotKey, I just did not want to spend time learning the syntax. I eventually did it with Perfect Keboard, and it works just fine.

But I do urge you or even Mouser to develop such a tool that allows you to do all of the above.

I wanted to see if this is doable in the current release of FARR. Most apps that provide a search-as-u-type feature, provide an option where user can control the delay between end of typing and start of search in ms. This delay is basically ms that pass where KB is idle. This way I do not have to be racing along with FARR and sometimes stepping on each other's toes.

What do you think?

"...Can you describe in detail what would make a user choose mybase or ultrarecall?  ..."

Things you can do in UR that you can not do in MB?
- Save Outlook/TBird messages in groups or individually to the DB. It costs you a click of a button in UR. With MB, there is an OL import add-on but it has always been a dysfunctional one and I never used it.

- You get full-blown synchronization capabilities with OL for all item types, docs, and urls. I have not seen any other app that is even close to doing this. I do not use it much, but I have to admit it is a killer one.

- Use KB shortcut to save content from any app on your desktop (Global paste). Once captured this way, UR puts in 'imported items' folders where you can later go and re-organize. MB has CBoard monitor that pops up a menu every time you do a 'cntr+c' but I always found it restricting and annoying. I do not necessarily want MB to monitor all my CBoard activity.

- UR shines above all when it comes to logical or virtual organization of data. MB has only 2 virtualization levels, the tree itself and the labeling system. I thought this was enough for my usage till I saw what UR can do. With the later, not only you can use system generated attributes such as type, date, category, tags. You you can also create you own. So practically, your tree is never your primary navigational tool. It is mostly used to organize content at its very generic level. On top of this tree, you can create views based on any attribute. This is something that becomes important when your content grows over the years where you end up with a tree of thousands of items. It becomes a nightmare to use as a navigational tool.

- Support forum and activity is alive. The Kinook support team monitors their queues daily and are responsive. The MB forum is practically dead and response it slow and minimal.

Things you can do with MB that you can not in UR
- MB stability and performance is unparalleled. Unfortunately, I get unhanded exceptions from UR more often than I like (had 3 in less than a month). Things like 'DB locked. No further operations allowed', 'access violation errors'. I have NEVER seen this in MB, not a single time. I have to mention, however, that the high quality of their support have brought these instances to very minimal. Bugs do get fixed and released timely.

- DB compression is the best I have ever seen. To give you an idea I had a folder with RTF docs in it. Explorer reported its total size at 160MB. I imported this folder to UR in 20 minutes with a total DB size of 53MB. Same folder imported into MB in 5 minutes with a total DB size of 13MB. Numbers speak loader that words!

- Web page in situ editing. In MB, you only need to hit F2 and you will go crazy wanting to edit every web page on your machine. Such feature seems a far from UR.

- More RTF editing features as compared to UR. In the former, you can indent, create text styles, control spacing. With UR, you can not.
- export content in dynamic HTML trees.
- Password protect entire tree as well as individual items.

These are some of the features I can come up with. There may be other minor ones I will leave up the readers to find out.

I have a need to acquire an automation tool (or macro app) that can save and retrieve formatted text (RTF). Almost all of the tools I searched handle plain text. I know there are some that do 'auto completion' but this is not what I'm looking for. It needs to be a macro program. I found Perfect Keyboard and it does allow to create 'clipboard macro'. This app saves the clipboard content including all its attributes (formatting, images, tables, ...). You can then retrieve it via a key or shortext. For some reason, however, the program has been acting funny lately and I need to find an alternative. I have used MacroExpress for years but unfortunately it does not support RTF text in any way or shape or form (very disappointing).

Any ideas will be very much appreciated.

Excellent work and contributions. I've been searching and examining this category of software for over 6 years now. I've seen new apps enter the  market and others die away. If I want to summarize my contribution after all these years, I have to say this ...

I have years and years worth of content that is so priceless. I can even envision this content to last for years to come even after I depart this life to be shared by my grand children. So, be extremely careful where you put your data. Use these guidelines ...

- any given app must use an INDUSTRY known storage system or database. Do not let the eye-candy stuff distract you from how the app is storing data. Unfortunately, this information is not typically put on the front pages. Most of the time I have to dig deep in the web site to find it. But, I ALWAYS search this fact as the very first step. I can tell you at least of 5 apps I used where I lost my data in full or part.

- Do not use or invest in apps that are either dead of dying away. Unless you see and hear from the development team, do not even bother looking.
- Listen to other users input, but ALWAYS rely on your own. Install the app and test it for yourself. I have some apps that I installed several times and they never appealed to me based on feedback I read on the forums. It was only when I installed it for the 6th time till I realized how much I was missing. I regretted the time I lost without really knowing any better about that specific app.

Once you get past these 3 conditions, then you need a solution that can satisfy these 3 operations ...

- capture content from most if not all sources
- organize it (physically and logically)
- share it in multiple formats.

Any app that does not have a clear list of features to do these operations, should be ruled out. This should really eliminate a good deal of these distractor and intruder apps.

Now you are left with the serious contenders ... for these look for the following ...

- performance. Does what it does in an acceptable time.
- Stability: un-handled exceptions and crashes.
- Security: you do want to have your data selectively protected. If not today, believe me, you will tomorrow. The very least I would expect is to have the DB files in binary format. I just can not comprehend these apps that put your data in xml, HTML, or some flat file system where any one can simply open them up in notepad.

Based on all of the above, few of the apps qualified. I have put them to the test for years and none has failed me ...

- MyBase: Almost 4 years of usage with not a SINGLE crash. I have not lost a single word in all my databases. I have collected over 5 GB of data and they are as safe today as they were 4 years ago. The developer truly has spent over 2 years working on the DB engine itself and it paid off. Top of bread.

- UltraRecall: Again, over 2 years of usage and I'm happy with it. Using solid rock DB engine and great deal of DK development, the team has delivered a fine product to the world. The fact that I can dump thousands of articles in one folder and later tag this content is absolutely great. On top of this content, sits almost a hundred view and subviews. The logical linking they provide is unparalleled.

I read the thread in its entirety and I would rather liked it to discuss the subject and the candidate app with some more depth and analysis. But if anything, it certainly a good start for any one who's interested to know more about this category of software.

Thank you.

I used both and still do for over 3 years now. as much as I wanted to consolidate all my content in one app, such perfect one still does not exist. I use Mybase as my primary, however. These are the pros/cons in a nutshell ...

1) most stable and performing app I have ever used. I have over 423MB of data in it and it NEVER crashed once or under-performed.
2) I have never seen an app that comes even close to MyBase when it comes to compression (zlib). Above data resides in a 10MB files after using compression.
3) It has 90% of the features you would expect from an information manager in the areas of capturing, sharing, organizing, and so forth.

Now, the not so great stuff
1) support and development is slow (took over a year to release 5). You can tell from the forum activity.
2) integratoon with other apps is sometimes cumbersome if not dysfunctional e.g. outlook.
3) even thought MyBase SDK has been published for a while,  i did not see any add-ons developed .for some reason, was not embraced as good as i expected.
4) can organize data at 2 levels only, tree and labeling system. Some user find this limiting. i did not.
5) limited RTF support specially tables. this is common for so many apps i have seen since they tend to use MSoft's controls. They shy away from developing their won or acquiring 3rd party ones due to cost or support consideration.

1) Uses the solid rock db engine sqllite. you get the full protection and reliability of such engine. I have at 5 DK apps that uses it and it never failed me. UR claim that db sizes can grow up to 2TB and still have an acceptable performance.
2) UR developers are very very distinct when it comes to programming and writing Dk apps. They are known for that in the development community.
3) Support is exceptional. They take it seriously and it shows on the forums.
4) Program strikes a clever and unparalleled balance between free form and structured data. You can tag your free content with system as well as user generated attributes. this gives you unlimited choices organizing, categorizing, and searching your data.
5) I love its content capture facilities. With UR3, you can (with click of a button) capture from MS OL, IE, FF, TBird. It also has a global capture key you can use from any app. This is so convenient and it works.

The not so great stuff
Despite the below issues, they truly stay on top of user and bug reports. they actively release patches (4 or 5 patches since the release of 3 in march of this year). This minimizes the impact on their user base.
1) Program can and will crash more often than what i like it to. This week for example, it threw 2 unhandled exceptions and some cpp debugging messages.
2) RTF editing is badly limited. They provide 'limited editing' and if you want more, they allow you to open up the node in an external app like msword.
3) They implemented a feature where you can 'edit content externally' instead of the integrated RTF editor. i have seen at least 3 posts on the forums for uses complaining of data loss. I did experience it myself with both releases 2 and 3.
4) can only display the content of a single info item at a time. with MyBase, you layout content from multiple items in so many ways (using windows tile/cascade) functions.

I truly have not put UR to the test with large volume of data to tell about its performance. but so far, it has been performing great.

Again, there is not such an app when you can get all what you need. but between MB and UR, i have all my need satisfied.

ProcessTamer / Re: Process Tamer works...but not on all apps!
« on: May 12, 2007, 10:07 PM »
I downloaded what i saw on this site last week and was using it, though, for at least 6 months. I has an issue with process eating up my CPU every time I started windows. It was caused by 'svchost.exe' and it was related to windows updates. This utility was never able to tame it. It worked fine on many other processes, though.

I can easily recreate it, but what is it that you're asking for? Do you mean the link target i.e. UNC path?

I figured out and it was not something new. I noticed that this severe slowness was only occurring at home office but did not occur at corporate office. I suspected some network resource time-out. The option to 'show search subdir details...' was really great since it showed me where is FARR hanging. Digging in over 500 files I was eventually able to narrow it down to link pointing to a file on the network. Once I removed it, FARR was acting just like an Arabian horse, agile and performing.

Did you get the chance to read my post. I tried the scenario on a different computer with new install and it is still happening. See my post here Reply #543  https://www.donation...24.msg60102#msg60102

Nice offer and nice title, indeed. Thank you for sharing.

I was playing with FARR and accidently changed the skin I was using 'slenderfarr'. Soon I did that, the issue described earlier is gone. Alias searches are no longer slow and I'm happy with it now. However, I hit a new strange issue that I was able to duplicate on my existing install as well as a fresh one i.e. renaming my existing ini file. I have a search folder for 'my documents' with a modifier listed as 'md'. When I search using '+md budget', for instances, FARR hangs and turns blanco for about 5-7 seconds and eventually search results display. If I search using 'budget +md' it works fine with no delays. I have several modifiers and it looks like it only happens with the +md one if you start with the modifier first.

Can you confirm this behavior please.

ContextMenu Commander / Re: ContextMenu Commander
« on: May 04, 2007, 09:01 AM »
I used Perfrect menu for over 3 years before I abandoned it. I mostly used it to launch apps which I then totaly replaced by AppRocket, then TypeAndRun, and finally FARR. I'm not sure what else you can do with such menu. I still have one menu I use via MacroExpress to launch windows automation scripts like ...
- create an email/appointment/contact from the currently selected text in any app.
- Run a backup of my laptop.
- Restart a program if not running otherwise activate it existing window.
- Clean my browser cache and temp folder.
- Manage windows e.g. resize,on top, transparent, ... etc.

great news for great work.
I would like to ask that you take a look at performance too. Alias searches are becoming more and more slow as I add them. Sometimes it takes 2-5 secs for results to display. I know you have plenty on your plate, just take a look when you get the chance.

I used CLCL for almost 2 years till it no longer met my needs. As a rule, I do not depend on tools that are no longer developed or the developer is not responsive. If you like CLCL, I thinkg you will certainly be interested to examine these 2 fine products. First is Ditto-cp which is still in active development and Scott is pretty responsive. Second is ArsClip. Again, a fine and good product.

For Ditto go to http://sourceforge.n...s.php?group_id=84084
and ArsClip go to

I thought I've seen all, but obviously I missed this one. This the best code library snippets storage software I have seen so far. Take a look

General Software Discussion / Re: Drupal is f*cked
« on: April 11, 2007, 03:06 PM »
The very best way to read about these different CMS solution from people who actually used them is to go here http://www.opensourc...ask=view&id=2097 and for each solution, you will see user comments at the bottom. I spent a whole night browsing through them and reading these comments. Was truly the best way. Ultimately, you will have to make your decision based on your OWN experience.

At this point, I can say I'm not happy with any of them but Drupal was the best due to the reasons I mentioned above.

I'm starting to think that there is just no easy way about doing this. If you do want a web site, then you must learn HTML, some CSS, and if the need arises some server side scripting.

For this reason, I'm finding myself monkeying around again with DreamWeaver. Learn it once and fly solo without having to depend on any other tool or developer.

Find And Run Robot / Re: slenderFARR - a new skin for FARR
« on: April 11, 2007, 02:48 PM »
what about the 2ns part of my inquiry?

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