December 2006 Archives

Des Légos et de la crèche


Nous avons fait le sapin le week-end dernier, ainsi que la crèche. Les santons étant très fragiles, nous avons demandé à Augustin de ne pas jouer avec. Il a trouvé la solution: contribuer à la crèche avec des légos.

Voici la crèche et son œuvre en photos ...






As other people, I'm a software addict. I love trying now programs, see whether they fit in my workflow, and just look at how pretty and nicely done they are (or aren't).

One area where I've been unsatisfied is personal information management, i.e. how to deal with the mass of digital data that slowly accumulates in our hard drives, from old documents to email to photos. From time to time, I go in a foray and dive in very old folders, often coming back with gems. But I would like to have a nice way to store them.

So I have successively tried (and bought licenses) for Yojimbo, KIT, and now Eagle Filer. I switched off Yojimbo because there was no easy way to do incremental backups, and no plans to provide AppleScript support to help with this. KIT was a definite improvement in this regard: it uses the file system (and not a database) to store the documents and can deal with any kind of files. I worked with KIT for a while and really liked it, but I found it a bit on the slow side, and I found that not having tags was something I missed too much. Then a few weeks ago appeared Eagle Filer. Like KIT, it uses the file system to store the files, so backups and synchronization are easy. It has tags and nested folders, it can handle any kind of file, and it even knows how to handle mail. I have found the developer to be very responsive to requests, and there is only one thing I dislike about it: mail messages stored in it are not indexed by spotlight. But as I do not rely too much on spotlight, this is not to big a drawback.

So I'm now ready to import my YEP files into Eagle Filer, and I'm planning on sorting my (many) downloaded software there as well, and tracking where I have installed it. So I really recommend it.

If you want other opinions on this kind of software, you should go have a look at an ongoing review at Musings from Mars. The author recommends DevonThink Pro at the moment, but I found it a bit pricey and it also stores the documents in a database, which is a real drawback for me.

2 comments were on Haloscan

I remember seeing your comment about databases last fall, and when I saw it again today I thought I'd ask, What do you have against database storage? The important thing is tht you be able to get your information out of the database, right? Not the fact that it's using a database... I'd be interested in hearing why you specifically look for apps that don't use a database. Just a quick FYI about DevonThink... it uses a database for the metadata and relationships describing your information, and it can store documents in the database, but you have the choice to ask Devon to leave your documents on the file system and just put pointers to them in the database... sort of like you do with iTunes. Also, regardless of whether you use the database for storage or not, DevonThink lets you export your content to files and directories when you need to.
Leland Scott | Homepage | 31.03.07 - 23:14

For a day to day use, I don't mind if data is in a database, as long as I can easily synchronize the data between two computers and I can easily backup the data.

About the former, I've read in many places that DevonThink was not great for automatic synchronization. There seem to be third party tools that try to do it, but I was not very confident. (Yojimbo with its .Mac integration fares better in this regard.)

About backups, at the time I wrote there was no automatic way to get data out of Yojimbo. The recent scripting additions to Yojimbo may have change things, but I switched before they happen.

Finally, there is the long term approach: I'm more confident in being able to read my data in a while if it's stored in an application independent format (i.e. the file system in this case) than in a database. Moreover, using a file system makes synchronization using a file synchronizer possible, which I find is a plus.

One feature I dislike about iTunes is that there is much metadata stored in its database and not in the song files themselves. I asked the EagleFiler developer to have a way to export the EF metadata to a friendly format, and he might look into it. This way, any additional metadata would remain available after EF is gone.
Alan Schmitt | Homepage | 01.04.07 - 09:23

For you boardgame fans out there


I am back to listening to podcasts, not on my bike anymore but when I'm doing some cleaning in the house (it makes washing the dishes almost fun ;-) ). Following the advice from Merlin, I put my podcast list on a severe media diet. Among the survivors, and related to the title of this post, The Vintage Gamer.

The Vintage Gamer is a very well done podcast that describes old games, mostly boardgames but there are also some occurrences of role playing games as well and old computer games. The game mechanics are described in details, and the host of the show also comments on the games he played, and the strengths and weaknesses of each game.

I really enjoy listening to this, it gives me a new point of view on gaming and game mechanics, even for new games. And this afternoon I'm going to try a non-vintage game, Alhambra, that I picked up yesterday. I guess I should do a report on all the games I owned or have played... It's now on my Someday/Maybe list ;-)

To conclude: The Vintage Gamer = good, I highly recommend it.

2 comments were on Haloscan

Yeah, I've been enjoying The »Vintage Gamer« as well. You would probably also enjoy »Escape Pod«.
Geoff | Homepage | 03.12.06 - 15:44

Thanks for the suggestion, I've subscribed to their show and will definitely try it.
Alan Schmitt | Homepage | 03.12.06 - 20:57

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