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Remember Six Degrees?

Hey Joel, remember this link?

What o you think of it now? Is it the Google of Desktop? This is not a hostile question, I just want to know what you think of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Looks like a great tool, probably not for developer types though, we're control freaks who would never allow anything else to control our domain other then ourselves.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Yeah definitely, it seems like a good idea for novice users.  But for developers, and anyone else who typically has a much larger workspace, I'm not sure of how it would work.

Though I think Microsoft is moving away from the folder paradigm in the next version of Windows.  This will be interesting.  I've noticed at work that there is this dividing line between people who understand the concept of a file system and those who don't.  Those who do tend to be much more computer literate in all areas than those who don't.  I don't know why it is so hard to understand for non-technical people, but it is.  For a developer, it's so trivial, just a regular tree, a hierarchy, but that is foreign to most people.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

There are some people who just can't seem to get an intuitive grasp of how to use a computer.  My friend Mike has been using computers (poorly) since we were both in college back in the late 1980s, and he's still completely clueless.  Adding page-numbers to a Word document poses a challenge to him.  He doesn't differentiate the Google search box from the address bar on his browser.

I suppose I shouldn't be too judgmental.  I can't sing, dance, or play sports for shit, so I guess we all have our blind spots.

J. D. Trollinger
Sunday, September 7, 2003

Very smart software. In the beginning of their explanations how the product works they try to link to Wolfram's "A New Of Science" (which under normal conditions would qualify the software as spyware and the whole business as a scam), then present the intelligence behind their algorithms:

"The rules around Six Degrees' file relationships are threefold. Files are related if:

* They are attachments to messages in the same email thread
* They have similar names (e.g. myfile.doc is similar to myfile2.doc)
* They reside in the same folder."

Never thought of such an approach. Brilliant.

Drink Or Die
Sunday, September 7, 2003

I tried it a long time ago and these things stuck out.

1. It was java and clunky slow.
2. I understand computers and file systems and felt it got in my way.

Monday, September 8, 2003

I find myself more and more relying on Outlook for storing (received) files. I used to save them in project specific folders on the file system, now they just stay attached to the message in an Outlook project specific messagebox.
The cover messages gives me far more (meta-)data to search on, and there is also no artificial boundary between what is just a long email and what is a "document".

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, September 8, 2003

>I find myself more and more relying on Outlook for
>storing (received) files.

Until you experience a power surge which corrupts your 1.5GB PST file and you lose *everything* in one fell swoop.  It's much easier to back up your file system than to back up one monster .PST file.

Matt Foley
Monday, September 8, 2003

As I understood Just Sir, his Outlook talks to an Exchange Server. So a power surge should not hurt their servers - they do have backup schemes, don't they?

Johnny Bravo
Monday, September 8, 2003

I use my mail program to store received files as well.
Of course, I'm using The Bat! (and Eudora before that), so the files are stored natively and I can get at them from outside the mail program...


Monday, September 8, 2003

Exchange Server uses the Jet engine database, which should give you an idea of how reliable it is, and why large firms have to have twenty or thirty different Exchange Servers.

Regular backups and a UPS (or keeping the file on a laptop) should protect the .pst files. And you should save all documents and important messages anyway.

I save attachments separately. Apart from anything else you have to be careful of exceediing the maximum file size for a .pst. The whole thing goes kaput, and you need to pay for specialized software which truncates the file anyway.

The other problem to remember is to enable large table support, or you will find your folders dying on you after ten thousand or so items, (be careful not to exceed 65,000 though), and that Outlook search is excruciatingly slow. I have a folder with 15,000 messages in, and it takes ages to get the emails for each individual contact.

Stephen Jones
Monday, September 8, 2003

I'll second that usage of Outlook for storing notes, documents, letters, etc. I use Outlook as my IMAP client, so all my IMAP folders are stored as simply plain text files on a linux server.

I started saving my documents and *schtuff* over 10 years ago, starting with paper form (a lot of weight, space requirement and slow lookup times), to scanning with a scanner (slow and pain in the ass to scan a foot high stack of papers every month) in a directory hierarchy based on years (pain in the ass to satisfactorily catalog and query), to finally just saving everything in Outlook folders.

It's amazing how much *sctuff* I already receive in electronic form now: contracts, bills, receipts, invoices, and obviously emails and letters. All I have to do is drag and drop the email to the right IMAP folder, edit my meta data in the message itself, and done. Metadata consists of email headers: From, To, Subject (heavily overloaded), Date.

The other paper stuff, I stack in a fax machine and efax to myself.

If I'm remote, I can access all my files using SquirrelMail - which actually has better IMAP compatibility than Outlook. These IMAP clients actually offer better sorting, renaming, reorganizing, UI control than even file system commands offer.

As far as backups go, it's straightforward to backup, archive, compress a set of plaintext IMAP folders than a XXXGB .PST file.

Monday, September 8, 2003

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