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Messages - thomthowolf [ switch to compact view ]

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Seriously, Literary Machine is a program that 90% of the users would have a hard time beginning to do even basic things.  LM is a very abstract thing, I don't think it would fit in at all as far as a general notetaking program.  It's even more difficult to grasp than Zoot.  LM is strictly a poweruser tool.
I don't know about that.  I have been playing with it a little today.  In fact, I wrote the post you are responding to using it.  At it's heart, I think it is just notecards.  The trouble may be that the author thinks of it as a thinking tool, and is fascinated with the 3 dimensional discovery of new ideas.  If you just want to take notes and then arrange them into a coherent draft document, I think you can learn to do that fairly quickly. 
I will admit that the documentation is fairly ... esoteric.  I just can't decide if the software is really that hard to work with or if its just that the documentation is. 


Ok, so here are a couple more note-taking apps to consider.  The first actually came from a disgruntled poster on the Evernote Forum (truth is, there are a lot of those.)  He said:

By the way, o good evernoters community, did you ever hear of a product called MyInfo (see It's an amazing product which adds a OneNote-like organisation over the EverNote-like categories. Kinda best of both worlds, even though the produc lacks the Tablet PC Ink support.
And maybe, maybe... Well, maybe they live in a country far away where the good people care about their customers and deliver new versions on a monthly basis with new features and can then expect to draw confidence and mindshare, which basically means market share and survival. Oh well...

You have to excuse the sarcasm.  This is from a post to a brand new user.  I think you have to be really p****d off to hang around a forum just to discourage new members.  Still, I downloaded MyInfo yesterday and did a small project with it.  I don't see that it offers a lot of new functionality, though, if Evermike or Devf are reading this, you should both take a look at the clever way they managed to implement tags and notes.  Also, Devf, you should look at how clean the interface is capable of being.  I would love it if Surfulator had the ability to shift between its normal interface and a completely clean interface at will.  (I know, I know, I will go post the suggestion on the Surfulator forum :)
If you missed the link it was

Another interesting piece of software we should look at is the Literary Machine
This one is really interesting.  I actually looked at this as a writer's tool some years back, but I found it a little cumbersome at the time.  Of course, at the time we hadn't yet heard of the millenium bug :tellme:. I guess it was more years back than I thought. :(
 Nowadays, my computer is faster and the software is a lot better, even in the freeware version which hasn't been updated for a few years.  This is really a "drop it into the hole and organize it later" type of program.  Pretty much an open form relational database. I have to say that I remember far less about it than I thought I would, but I am studying it.  It has a steeper learning curve than I might like, but it seems really capable.  It might be that this would bridge the gap between Evernote and actual writing, especially if Evernote ever actually releases the next update featuring drag and drop in and out. 
Oh, yeah, I should point out that this is a REALLY mouse intensive program :(.  I will write a mini review after I have had a bit more time to play with it. 

Living Room / Re: PDAs - any use?
« on: May 28, 2006, 10:17 PM »
I am a former fil-o-fax user.  I moved to a palm several years ago (my gift to myself on the first anniversary of my quitting smoking)  and I would never go back.  In addition to the things listed above I also love the fact that I never have to re-copy my information from one book to the next. :)  I also love the fact that I never forget a phone number or address, and the fact that my files exist on my desktop, my laptop, and my PDA.  I can work on them wherever I happen to be.

OK, so I went to that site and managed to read the thread all the way to the end.  I posted a comment.  Now I just have to say how happy I am to be back here on this site.   :D  Some of the people over there need a mommie very, very badly. :P


 I donated to this site before the software key thing (which i fully support) and i donated not out of obligation or promise of reward but out of respect.Respect of genuine software developers,that listen to the end users.I respect the time and effort of the contributers of this site,be it software development or plain old helpful insight.If software discounts and givaways ceased to exist tomorrow i'd still donate and encourage others to do so cause bandwidth isn't free and again their is nothing wrong with rewarding someone with a financial compliment be it out of respect for the individual or the project(s) at large.The forum here practically moderates itself,it seems that way to me anyway, i believe that is do to the quality people donationcoder has attracted.When i listened to the first podcast and heard the different dialects i was amazed and fascinated by the diversity of donationcoder's members,call me naive,but i thought that was pretty damn cool.

Keep up the good work mouser :Thmbsup:

-tinyvillager (May 16, 2006, 04:16 PM)
Amen Brother (or sister)
I also donated out of respect for the software, and all the other stuff is just really great side benefits.

This is just a thought in passing, but I wonder if Surfulator could allow for turning headers on or off depending on your needs of the moment.  I sometimes like having all the header stuff available, but I would also like to be able to create a sort of "virtual page" that would display my notes one after the other with minimum breaks, organized by the outline on the right.  That would allow for a virtual first draft of whatever I am writing.  That would be cool.

Thanks, Carol.  I teach several software classes to technicians who are not all that network savvy, and this handy little tool makes my job and theirs easier. 
On a related note, I also recommend my students who are forced to maintain and switch between several static IP addresses  multiple times a day use NetSetMan  Again, not that it is all that much work to change IP addresses, but reducing steps is always good. :)

We may have talked about this before... it seems that "Note-taking" has a couple of different meanings.

Zaine mentioned outlining capabilities and that seems like a good thing for taking notes on at a meeting or training session.

I've seen a lot of other comments regarding grabbing a bit (byte) of information to tuck away for later -- easy -- retrieval.  We're looking for a dumping ground for information so we can "put this somewhere" and still find it when it suddenly becomes important again.

Since I assume meetings notes might fall into the same category, what we really need is a dumping ground that has two distinct interfaces.  1 for the one-note type, on-purpose stuff and 1 for the Evernote, grab-this-stuff-and-remember-where-it-came-from type.

In both cases, we want to be able to find the information by searching (keyword, date, category), timeline, and some sort of tree view.

Does that sound about right?
I think you have stated the problem beautifully.  Kind of like having a long term memory and a short term memory mode.  I am currently very happy with Evernote for the "dump it in and find it later" stuff, but there is no good way of really "massaging" the information within that program.  It may be that what is wanted is something that works and plays well with evernote. 
The only cautionary note I have to offer is that it has been a looong time since any changes were made to that software.  Even their once immaculate web forums are starting to show signs of neglect.  I think there may be serious trouble over in evernote land.

Every time I come here I get introduced to something I have not seen before.  Thanks web_stalker for the great referrals.  I will try them out and report back.

well it's certainly FAR from a "low-resource" screensaver, but far and away my all time favorite (and current) screensaver is electric sheep

Oh, and it's only 3kb ! :o
One of the things I love about this site is that I am always getting introduced to little gems like this one.  I wanted to thank you for showing me this.  I am a technical trainer, and during a break in a recent class my screensaver (electric sheep, of course) came up.  I had to take class time to point all 6 of my students to the website. 
Of course, I couldn't just show them the site, instead, I showed them this post and then used the link (projectors are wonderful) and that of course led me to tell them about DC. 

Living Room / Re: When you are feeling down
« on: April 23, 2006, 04:05 PM »
 ;D :D
Thanks, I really needed that little ego boost.

I just think someone should say something nice about livejournal.  I have used both livejournal and blogspot, and I have to say that the free version of Livejournal offers more features than blogger.  If you are a firefox user (and if not, why not?) you might look at the Performancing extension, which basically gives you a down and dirty tool to post to multiple blogs from within your browser.  I use that a lot to make short notes on cool things I run across while surfing.
There is no law that says you must choose one tool and exclude the others.  You might try to maintain a couple of blogs on different topics in different tools and see which one you like better. 

General Software Discussion / Re: Google Calendar LAUNCHED!
« on: April 16, 2006, 05:58 PM »
I just spent some time playing with the google calendar.  I have to say they have a nice interface, (ajax rocks :Thmbsup:) but thus far there is no way to sync with my Treo, so the interface is just not useful to me.  I will stick with until google develops enough functionality to replace it.  What I really wish is that airset would adopt the ajax interface style of the google calendar or of
I guess I will just watch and wait

A great article, Mouser. :Thmbsup:I think you did just fine in capturing the spirit of the site.  I have to tell you that I am delighted to be a member of this forum.  I have discovered a lot of new software and avoided some others all through the advice of my fellow software junkies.

General Software Discussion / Re: IE 7.0 Beta 2: Any takers?
« on: March 22, 2006, 09:01 PM »
I think that Bill already has enough of my money, and so, apparently, does he.  This is a truly pitiful effort.  I will continue to use Firefox.


I guess my point is that I really don't want to spend a lot of time maintaining a database or tree structure.  Just let me find things the way they make sense, and let me assocate some general relationships quickly and easily.  Is that too much to ask?  :D
If that is all you want, you really need to try evernote.

@ thomthowolf.
-be easy to get information into[evernote]
-be easy to locate information in and get information out of [evernote]

Could you elaborate on where you see Surfulater falls short here and what you'd like to see done to improve it.

As regards getting information into, I find Evernote is a more stable platform.  I have had Surfulator force  a BSOD on a couple of occasions, while Evernote has not crashed my system since the very early beta days.  Also, Evernote can grab tables and maintain the formating.  Also, if I have to keep an app open, Evernote has a 3 meg footprint versus Surfulator's 12 meg.  This is not to suggest that Surfulator doesn't do a respectable job in many ways, only that Evernote has an edge in collecting information.
As far as getting information out, Evernotes search is lightning fast and limits the content as I type.  Also, evernote offers me tags, which means that I can easily connect the information to a sort of outline.  Evernote also has the intersection frame, which allows me to limit my search by successive approximation.  Also, the Evernote database is just so small that I keep everything in it, secure in the knowledge that I can easily find and organize it later.  Also, I can choose a template with a hot key combination and then paste or type into it.  Surfulator's ability to apply a template is a bit clunky for me.  I grew up in MS-dos and I am still addicted to the keyboard. 
All that having been said, where Surfulator shines for me is in its ability to cross connect and to re-organize material into a coherent form.  I also love the ability to title my entries.  The see also feature is wonderful.  While I can certainly find a particular clip faster in evernote, I have to copy and paste it somewhere else in order to actually work with it. 
Surfulator also offers Boolean searches, which Evernote does not.  This is offset, however, by its inability to search across Knowledge bases.
So, improvements. 
First, I would love to be able to search across knowledge bases
Second, I would love to be able to apply a template with a hot key combination.  Better yet, if I could apply a formatting template to a clipping after the fact, that would really be cool.  In fact, Evernote can't do it, and I have often wanted to be able to do that.
Third, I would like to have Surfulator retain original formatting better than it does now. 

We've been discussing these notetaking software for a while now, and this thread has become quite lengthy.

Maybe it's time for an executive summary and <END OF THREAD> ??
End of thread?!! Don't end this thread, I love this thread!  :-*  \
Seriously, I have been introduced to some really great software, and I am always finding new things here.  I know a new person will find it a little daunting, but I also think there is enough meat to keep them reading. 


Okay, so what are we looking for in a note taking app?  I was an early beta tester for evernote, and I love its ability to collect information.  I bought Surfulator because it shows promise in letting me cross connect data and mine for connections in the stuff I have collected. I also have been a long time user of Treepad, first the freeware and then the business version.  I used it faithfully until I discovered the power of tagging as opposed to the rigidity of an outliner.
 I do a fair bit of technical writing, and I think the program I am looking for should extend the power of my mind and memory. (wow, does that sound pompous or what? :o).  I think that a note taking app should:

-be easy to get information into[evernote]
-be easy to locate information in and get information out of [evernote]
-allow me to manipulate, cross reference and reorganize the pieces I collect [surfulator, and, to some extent, Treepad]
-and make it easy for me to create at least the first draft of a document, all within the same application.

In other words, it should serve as long term and short term memory, and also as notecards and an outliner.  It should handle text, images and web pages with equal facility, and should be intuitive to use.
Is that so much to ask? :tellme:

The whole mind mapping/note taking started me thinking about what I really want out of this type of software.
I think I want topic association vs. categories.  The difference is subtle. 

To me categories are centered around database thinking and the need to make binary (true/false) relationships between an item and a category.  While I understand this need, my brain tends to assocate items with a topic (category) on a graduated scale.  I'm not sure how you develop an interface that let's you do that easily.
When I read this quoted text I immediately had to think about Google Mail! Anyone else?
Not sure if you are a user yet - they dropped the "put everything in its own folder" principle (that had been around for more than a decade) to come up with labels. You could just put several labels on an email, I like it a lot!

By the way, this capability is at the heart of Evernote.  What they call categories are actually tags.  Any note can have multiple categories associated with it, and they can be manually or automatically assigned.  This gives you incredible sorting and finding capabilities. much like google mail.

Finished Programs / DONE: Static IP address changer
« on: February 08, 2006, 09:49 PM »
I frequently need to interface with different networks, some with DHCP and some that require static IP addressing.  I would love a simple set of buttons that I could set up with the most common Static IP addresses I use, and then easily change back to DHCP. 

ContextMenu Commander / Re: ContextMenu Commander
« on: January 28, 2006, 10:27 AM »
One of my "must have" context menu tools is File Targets by Moon Software.  Here is their description:
FileTargets is a shell context menu extension that adds a sub-menu with all your favorite folder names to the context-menu of all files and folders in your system so you can copy/move selected files to pre-defined, most used folders with the click of a mouse. FileTargets menu is similar to the standard SendTo menu but is much more advanced since it allows you to create subgroups, automatically add new folders, copy file path names and much more.
I formerly used the sendto toys, but I found that it takes a lot more time to load that menu than file targets, and that file targets is generally easier to work with.

I am a believer in defragging, though I agree that it really does not need to be done very often.  My personal favorite tool is sysinternals contig.  I recently discovered a wonderful GUI for it, called Power Defragmenter  This is a lightning fast defragmenter that allows you to defrag individual files or folders, so that you can periodically defrag the places you happen to be working most.  I am really delighted with the combination. 
Certainly don't buy any expensive tools.  Instead, send some money to sysinternals.

So, I lost my palm pilot (it got run over, actually :'(). My single favorite thing about the palm is its ability to remind me, and until I got a replacement I needed a way of "placing a stake in the ground" to help me track what is coming up. I use evernote as my chief planning tool, but it is stronger at looking backward than at looking forward.

MiniMinder,  by vellosoft, is really great at filling that gap. It is a simple reminder program with a small footprint, that is easy to edit and actually does at least one thing that much more complicated programs don't. It not only tells me whose birthday is coming up, but which one.
I have used this program before, but I frankly didn't like its appearance. It has been updated since then with a full set of customization tools

and now supports window XP skins, as well as some of its own. It also now allows you to use any existing mp3 file as an alarm.

« on: January 12, 2006, 09:29 PM »
 :Thmbsup:I also just noticed this thread.  I am really enjoying my copy of filebox extender.

@thomthowolf: Just FYI- PowerPro does all those things. If you don't mind an app launcher that does about a half-billion other things, as well as being as easy to fully configure as a cold fish, it's pretty cool.

 Personally, I am hoping for a launcher that will do what I am asking PP to do, but without the zillion other things. PowerPro Lite, if you will.
You can configure fish?  Who woulda thought?  I have tested powerpro and sight unseen I would rather take a shot at the fish.  WAY too much capability there, and still not enough pay off to make it worth the time invested. 
I think the thumb drive idea has merit.  I just came to the forum through a bookmark, and was thinking about the "Open in tabs" feature.  Something that would certainly make a launcher unique in my experience would be a simple way of getting to multiple file and/or program launching.  The idea is to have something like checkboxes, so that I could select on the fly multiple things to launch. 
Also, a macro facility(like drag and drop robot?)Maybe some combination of those.  I think I am tired.  I'm going to go configure a fish and go to bed.

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