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Messages - dspelley [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / How much email do you keep…and why?
« on: February 01, 2008, 01:46 PM »
Over the last several weeks I’ve noticed several threads like these:




talking about email searching and archiving. I must admit to being stunned to see the magnitude of the email stores being discussed – tens of thousands of emails, multi-GB size mailboxes, archives and .pst files, email histories of 10 years or more, etc.

Perhaps it’s a stereotype of engineers (I’m a Chemical Engineer) that we can be packrats who don’t like to throw anything away that we think we might use again, but I guess I must be an anomaly.

Partly because of document retention policies where I work (email Inboxes and Sent Items folders are purged every week of any email older than 60 days, and mailbox sizes are limited to 200 MB), my Inbox is pretty lean. Right now my workplace Inbox has about 25 items and my total mailbox (all folders) is about 80 MB including attachments. My home mailbox is similar – I probably have about 15-20 messages in my Inbox with fewer than 50 messages in other folders.

My wife, on the other hand, has messages from last summer reminding us to send bathing suits with our girls for their Girl Scout swim party!

So I’m a little curious to hear why people keep all the email they do, how frequently they actually search or otherwise access archived email, and how they decide what to keep. For those that may have business reasons for keeping email, do they ever have concerns that they’ve kept too much (i.e., stuff that would turn up during a “discovery” process in litigation?)

I must admit that I do cut-and-paste bits of information into Evernote or into Copernic-searchable files, but email for me is a pretty transient thing.

General Software Discussion / Re: PDF to DOC converter?
« on: February 01, 2008, 07:23 AM »
There's an article here http://desktoppub.ab...raction_Software.htm that lists several programs that can extract information from pdf files.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's your music player of choice?
« on: January 31, 2008, 09:33 PM »

(Winamp vs iTunes vs MediaMonkey)2 Rematch.

Here's a music player review/comparison from Skytopia updated earlier today. This is a rematch from a review they did about 3 years ago. Pretty comprehensive comparison of the latest versions of Winamp, iTunes and MediaMonkey.

And the winner is.....

General Software Discussion / Re: Inventory Software
« on: January 22, 2008, 07:15 PM »
There's also a free asset management program called Pyxis on Says it's intended for home and small business and looks like it's fairly customizable.

Again, I haven't used it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Inventory Software
« on: January 22, 2008, 07:06 PM »
State Farm Insurance has a free download on their site for an inventory program called Possessions Matters

I think it's a fairly old program, and probably focused on home inventories, but since it's free you might want to take a look. It says it can print insurance claims, theft reports, etc.

I haven't tried it.

General Software Discussion / Spicebird
« on: January 19, 2008, 09:28 PM »
Has anyone been following the development of Spicebird?

I downloaded and am trying out the 0.4 Beta. It's got email, calendaring, task lists, and instant messaging. It's built on top of Mozilla Thunderbird, Sunbird and xmpp4moz.

From the website, here's the development roadmap.

Spicebird Roadmap

Spicebird 0.4

Integration of email, calendaring and instant messaging into one suite
Home screen
Application related applets
Tasks as a separate application

Spicebird 0.7

Code cleanup and remove temporary code
Basic email tabs
Calendar theme cleanup
Fix card view
Restore and test lost features (import/export dialogs? calender prefs, etc.)
Blogs as Email (Thunderbird addon/Spicebird built-in)
Post to blogs just as you send mails to your friends!
See comments as replies to your mail
Event filter should detect more patterns and allow context based operations on matched within the mail.
Instant Messaging
UI improvements to make is as easy as typical IM application
Store IM conversations
Home screen applet for buddy list
Card view improvements
Formatting options instead of just keyboard shortcuts
Better chat window
Move accounts configuration to accounts wizard
Support account types using gateways
Get license issues resolved
Better message alerts

Spicebird 1.0

Integration with a CMS (Drupal)
Document management
More views for calendar and tasks
Microsoft Exchange connector
Multiple backends for tasks management
Partial project management features
A more meaningful address book
Last conversation/chat with a contact
Source of contact


Social networking inside address book

For me it's BigOven Gives access to a large online database of recipe's searchable by cuisine, main ingredient, etc. New recipe's are always being added and rated by an active user group.

Can import recipes from several of the standard recipe formats (MealMaster, MasterCook, etc).

Easy menu planning by dragging recipies onto built-in calendar. Drag recipes onto shopping list.

Enter a list of a few leftover foods and it can find recipes you can make from those items.

Starter version is about $10. Full version is about $30.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Found Deals and Discounts / GemX 50% off Holiday Sale
« on: December 22, 2007, 03:54 PM »
GemX is having a 50% off Holiday Sale throught January 20, 2008. I just bought WizQuote for $10.

Looks like they have modularized their do-Organizer since the last time I looked at it. Now you buy the base system (on sale for $12.95) and then purchase the other modules you want - calendar, contacts, journal, etc - separately. The modules are also on sale - priced from $5.95 to $9.95.

Their website says they have a new release of do-Organizer due in January, with updates to TexNotes Pro, SurfGem and Wizquote in the first quarter of 2008.

I thought the idea was an interesting one - I'm always on the lookout for an application that will let me look at various kinds of data and show the relationships among them.

I downloaded and tried Noah, but it couldn't import my Thunderbird inbox so I stopped right there. During installation it displays a listing of Outlook and Thunderbird email folders it finds on your machine, and lets you select which ones it should import. Unfortunately, the Thunderbird Inbox was not among them. I don't think it has provisions for importing from any other email program. I don't recall seeing a way to import a csv or other flat file, but I didn't look at everything.

Grew up in New England, spent a few years on a Navy submarine (WWII vintage) and then moved to AZ to finish a degree in Chemical Engineering in the mid-1970's.

Spent hours in a room filled with card-punch machines building card decks to run batch FORTRAN programs for class. In one of our labs we had a DEC PDP series computer - all of the I/O was through a teletype-like keyboard with a long roll of paper. Both input and output were typed onto that paper roll - no monitor. Programs were stored on and loaded from long thin strips of paper punched with holes. Had to make sure you made a new strip once in a while because the holes sometimes got worn or torn and generated errors.

In the early '80s I bought a Times Sinclair 1000 computer for about $80. Came with 2K RAM (that's right- 2 K!) that could be expanded with a plug-in RAM module up to 64K. Programs had to be stored on a standard cassette tape recorder - nightmare!

I started working for a large energy company and was thrilled when I got a dual-floppy IBM PC that could run Lotus 1-2-3 and IBM DisplayWriter software. Taught myself some assembler language and wrote a bunch of goofy little utilities for my own use - had to write one to convert DisplayWriter files from EBCDIC to ASCII because the files often got corrupted.

Thought I was in Heaven when I was given an IBM PC/XT with a 10MB hard drive - couldn't image how I would ever use that much storage!

As my engineering work took more and more of my time, I had less and less time to learn and/or program in the newer languages of the time(C, Pascal, etc). Now I manage a pretty active R&D program for my company and am basically a user/consumer of software rather than an author.

I do still look for and try lots of software and really appreciate the experience and recommendations of all the other DC folks.

Like many others here, I keep installing and trying desktop search applications, but keep coming back to Copernic because of the interface. I have recently installed the latest GDS version, but I'm still not sold on the browser interface.

I've installed the free versions of X1 several times and always remove it right away when I realize it won't index network drives. Even the free "Enterprise" version that has been referenced in this thread several times appears to index only the local drives on your machine.

I tried it on my laptop at home recently and it considers my USB 2.0 - connected external HD to be a "network" drive and would not index it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone Using OmniPage and PaperPort?
« on: September 06, 2007, 01:17 AM »
I've got PaperPort 11 (not Pro) and OmniPage 15 Pro both at home and at work. I've got a Canon 5000F flatbed scanner at home and a Canon 2050c document scanner on my desk at work. I do quite a bit of scanning at both places, but what I really use PaperPort more for is document management - and mostly for documents that are not scanned, but are typical text document, spreadsheet, PowerPoint type files that either I or my colleagues created.

Once you've told PaperPort what drives and folders to look in on your computer or network, it displays thumbnails for the files it finds - not just stuff that it scanned.  It knows how to display quite a few file types. Because I organize my files in folders by project or technology, I can usually get to the folder I need pretty easily - then it's just a case of browsing the thumbnails until I recognize the file I'm looking for. At that point you can display a larger view of it in the internal viewer, or you can open it in its normal program. There are buttons for the normal file manager functions like arranging by name, size, date, type, etc, but you can also drag the thumbnails around on the screen to arrange them differently.

There is a file indexing and search function (All-in-One-Search), but I've found it to be pretty slow. I think that if it runs into pdf files that are images rather than documents, it tries to do an OCR first and then index the file. I normally use Copernic or something like that if I need to search for text in a file.

It does also have some basic image editing/enhancing functions, but I don't use them.

I've used OmniPage once in a while - for basic documents it works fairly well, but if there are very many fonts, columns, images, tables, etc - it has problems.

I can't remember which, but either PaperPort or OmniPage came bundled with the PDF Creator and PDF Converter - both version 3. I've used PDF converter a few times on simple documents. When I'm reseachting stuff on the web, I'll frequently send selected parts of web pages to the pdf printer driver and save the selections as individual pdf files. It's nice because they are searchable. Later, if I need to, I'll convert them back into a text document from which I can cut-and-paste. I also get quite a few protected pdf files, and it won't open them.

My employer provides my desktop, home box, and laptop - all with XP SP2. I work in a pretty conservative industry with some big enterprise systems - so our IT folks do a lot of testing before making changes. I don't think I've ever seen anything on our systems that hadn't already seen a couple of service packs before being impemented.

I've recently been using Jet Audio free version http://www.cowonamer...m/products/jetaudio/ and it seems to be able to play just about everything I need.

At work I often stream They have a downloadable player, but I haven't used it.

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