Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Monday, July 17, 2017

ISO a decent PIM - I wish I had InfoCentral again!!

As I keep looking for a better PIM, a better to do list manager, a better cal...: " I keep looking for a better PIM, a better to do list manager, a better calendar"



'via Blog this'



The
closest I have ever come to a PIM that made me happy was InfoCentral on my Compaq Concerto running
Windows for Pen Computing. Circa 1994. Then later at UW Madison 1996-2000, on
another pen/tablet - I think a Toshiba or Epson?  I have had so many…

I have
blogged about this before: https://plus.google.com/+AndyGlew/posts/jDTJxgJ78F3

Possibly
a description of InfoCentral: http://www.macros.koenecke.us/InfoCentral/whyic.html

The first and foremost advantage of InfoCentral, of course, is its
linking technology. Using this, any object
be it a person, organization, event, task, file on disk, or a
custom-created object
can be
linked to any other object. Further, the links themselves are objects.

From <http://www.macros.koenecke.us/InfoCentral/whyic.html>



I loved
InfoCentral's flexible but semi-structured format.
  • There were obnnjects and
    connections between objects.
  • Connections were themselves
    objects, and could have properties
    • Connections could appear
      assymmetrically  objects to which
      they were attached: eg father/daughter
    • Connections could have date
      ranges.  E.g. you could record an
      old address, but mark it no longer valid for searching
  • Objects had types, fields
    • I liked this - sometimes
    • Although I often found it
      annoying, eg when non-European name formats did not match up to
      InfoCentral's templates
    • IIRC you could hide any
      empty fields - not sure aboyt that, but obvious
  • You could create subtrees at
    any point - I thought of it as "shaking" the tree.

I think
of InfoCentral as a network database.

But it
was fairly obvious that InfoCentral was implemented, or at least could be
implemented, as a set of relational tables cross linked to each other.
     The main reason I haven't reimplemented
this is that at the time RDBMSes were not that common.  But nowadays, with SQLite, much easier.

My main
problem with InfoCentral was that it could not handle pen or bitmaps. 
     But I worked around this by linking
InfoCentral to … I can't remember the name, Inkwriter? AHV?
The
software that I believe Microsoft acquired, and which I think may have evolved
into OneNote.

Mainly, I
used InfoCentral nodes as a superstructure - more than a table of contents, but
less that fully integrated - to the "digital paper" or
the-software-whose-name-I-cannot remember.

Drawback:
could not create a TODO list by hand in the open notes, and then have
InfoCentral know ab out it.

But
better than nothing.

The best
PIM setup I have had to date.


Why do I
no longer use InfoCentral/Ink?   I
stopped using pen computers for a few years - hard for pair programming. I
returned to pen computers in 2002 at AMD: one day In started writing the K10
Spec, got frustrated, and at lunchtime I went out and bought a tablwet PC, a
Toshiba P4400!

But I
think that InfoCentral and this Inkwriter?? Were no longer available.

IIRC
Microsoft bought the Inkwriter?? Company, and closed it down.  MS may have made either InfoCentral or
inkwriter?? Availble freely, but binary, not source.


Why don't
I revive InfoCentral?
  • I should
    • I think that I am egging
      myself on to do this uin this note.
  • But I need the digital paper
    software
IMHO
InfoCentral is fairly straightforward

Why don't
I revive Inkwriter??
  • Much more UI stuff.
    Autoplacement.
  • If I could get OneNote
    convenient for starting single files or linking back…
  • Years ago, UNIXes had little
    pen/touch support.


It would
be fun to write myself - but it will take a long time to get to a usable placed




I really
do just wish it was out there in a form that I could buy.

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