Thursday, October 18, 2007

More feedback

A couple more questions have come in. Nick says "I'm curious to know why don't you use Curio for filing as well. It seems to me that it can keep track of files and docs as well or better than Eagle Filer (which I have tried at least four times in the past 6 months and found to be too buggy)."

First of all, Nick, what bugs are you seeing? I run EagleFiler constantly, and I haven't had a single problem - is there some subtle thing that I am missing? Now, to answer your question: Curio is not designed as a "filing" application, but as a visual thinking environment. Certainly you could use it to organize files, but in my mind the Curio metaphor is a bit like pinning documents to a cork board, rather than placing them in a filing cabinet, which is the way I think of Eaglefiler. Further more, Curio does not lend itself to creating simple text documents on the fly - it needs to create a whole idea space every time. I use Curio to capture bulk information (I'm in a training course now, and Curio has my morning's notes in it), but if I just need to scribble down a URL or a password, it goes to EagleFiler. I think what I am trying to say is that EagleFiler suits the way my brain works when it comes to litter sorting. Your mileage may vary.

TheWolf asks "What I'm wondering is why you gave up using DevonThink Pro, because all the other software you reviewed was discussed more, but because Devon was your older software, it didn't seem to be mentioned much. What makes EagleFiler so much better than DevonThink? I'm trying to decide if I should try DevonThink or not. It seems to have a learning curve."

In answer: I haven't stopped using DevonThink Pro, but I use it in slightly different ways. I think I am using DT less, now that I have EagleFiler, but DevonThink still provides me great functionality for specific purposes. I find DT slower to start up than EagleFiler, but that is probably because I use DT to store and manage really big documents, mostly technical manuals in PDF format. The problem I had with DevonThink (apart from its learning curve, which is steeper than EagleFiler's) is that it doesn't always let you get a document back out in quite the same format that it went in. I just retested this, by importing and then exporting a fairly simple Word document. DevonThink preserved the text pretty well, but ate the footers. This was a show stopper for me. I've also had a couple of incidents where the database corrupted, and I had to restore from backups.

I'm happy to expand on this if anyone needs more detail. If you want to chat offline, look me up on LinkedIn, and you should be able to work out my email address.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How small is this planet???

I lived in Perth, in Western Australia from 1971 to 1984. I completed high school and an undergraduate degree, got my first job, and in 1984 I moved to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. In 1985 I moved to Sydney, in New South Wales. I've been back to Perth a few time, usually for work, but I have made no attempt to stay in touch with the people I went to school with.

There are currently around 20 million people living in Australia.

So I'm in Western Australia, for an all too brief holiday, and we've detoured to the Capel Vale Winery, to taste and buy wine, and to get lunch in their (excellent) restaurant. It's a lovely place, you can see part of it on the right of this picture - the restaurant overlooks part of the vineyard:

When we've finished eating, someone at another table calls out to me. It's Gillian Mills - we went to high school together. I wouldn't have recognized her, though she says I haven't changed a bit (in 31 years? Hmm.....). She's in Capel Vale as part of a book club event, she doesn't live locally - we're 3 or 4 hours drive south of Perth.

Anyone care to calculate the odds on meeting up like that?


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