New Surfulater release imminent

Folks reading this blog will know we’ve recently returned from a great trip to Europe. Jet lag hit me worse than I can recall, but things are well and truly back in full swing now.

The good news is that I’ve implemented some of your most requested items of the past few months, namely Printing and Article Sorting.

I’ve been a bit surprised at the number of requests for printing so I’m sure those concerned will be anxiously awaiting the new release. As well as printing there is the usual Print Preview and Page Setup capabilities along with some other updates and additions.

If all goes to plan you will see a release next week, that being the week starting 7 Nov 2005.

If you haven’t visited the blog in a while you will see that I’m back into posting again, after a bit of a lull while we were away. I hope you find something of interest while browsing around.

As always comments most welcome, whether they be about Surfulater, the Blog, PKM or whatever takes your interest.

I just did a spell check before publishing this for the world to see and thought I share this with you:
imminent: hanging threateningly over one’s head. I certainly hope that’s not the case.

I guess it had to happen

Back in June we put out a Press Release on Surfulater, which unfortunately didn’t get much coverage. I did however create a new opportunity for Spammers who must harvest e-mail addresses on Press Releases, but that’s another story for another day.

Over the weekend I was doing some Web searching and came across a mention of the press release and a link to it. The “I guess it had to happen” bit is the web site was all about surfing of the kind you do in the water, not on the web, and it was an Italian web site to boot. 🙂

Personal Knowledge Management

I’ve stumbled across several interesting articles on Personal Knowledge Management recently. The first is by Steve Barth entitled The Power of One and was published in Knowledge Management Magazine. Steve’s article discusses the importance of implementing knowledge management systems within an organization and includes information I’m sure will be of interest to all Surfulater users.

Personal knowledge management (PKM) involves a range of relatively simple and inexpensive techniques and tools that anyone can use to acquire, create and share knowledge, extend personal networks and collaborate with colleagues without having to rely on the technical or financial resources of the employer. Implemented from the bottom up by one knowledge worker at a time, these techniques can increase productivity and enthusiasm and help to build momentum that can overcome the technological and social barriers to top-down, enterprise-wide KM initiatives.


Information overload is a fact, not a theory, and there is evidence that most people lack the skills or tools to keep up in the Knowledge Age.

Steve talks about Personal intellectual capital and how employees can increase their value both within an organization and in a broader sense by using PKM techniques.

Getting a grip on the shifting mass of information is an important tactic, but using PKM techniques and tools, individuals can go farther, to enhance their abilities and career potential. Effectively managed personal knowledge assets become the currency of personal intellectual capital.

Surfulater is being used by a diverse group of people to collect and manage all sorts of information and of course build and retain knowledge. This article should be of interest to all Surfulater users, especially those using it within an organization.

Web 2.0 Conference 2005

If you are involved or have an interest in software or web development you have most likely heard mention of Web 2.0. I started hearing about Web 2.0 earlier in the year and to be honest I don’t have much of a feel for what it is about just yet, apart from it being the next big thing happening to the Web.

Earlier this month the Web 2.0 Conference 2005 was held in San Francisco and from what I’ve read so far it would have been a great conference to attend. I’ve just finished reading a brief wrap up of the conference titled The Future Of The Web over at Information Week. Here are a few quotes I found interesting.

Jeff Weiner, senior VP of search and marketplace at Yahoo acknowledges that the Web 2.0 concept, much discussed of late, has been overhyped. But, he adds, there’s something to it.

If you take O’Reilly’s analysis at face value, the “Web 2.0” is about lots of things that client-server computing, or even the Internet, for the most part, hasn’t been. Instead of pages that load, it’s about sites that feel like software. Instead of software that runs in a browser or on a cell phone, it’s about apps that span devices. Instead of being all about content from Web producers, it’s about content being produced by people everywhere: blogs, wikis, digital photos. Web 2.0 is about viral marketing instead of advertising, though that sounds suspiciously like 1999. And it’s about the power of networks and the ability to deliver better results as more people use a service (think Google’s search, Amazon .com’s ratings, or Technorati’s blog commons).

Aaron Ricadela’s take on a 12-page treatise by Tim O’Reilly on what version 2.0 of the Web really means.

It’s either the start of something cool–or Internet Bubble 2.0. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Thomas Claburn

The article is well worth reading. It will be interesting to follow Web 2.0’s progress and see where Surfulater fits into it.

Surfulater V1.90, B0.0 released

Ok I finally gave in and added good old File Open, New and Close. Way back when I started on the design of Surfulater I thought that I would dispense with File Open etc. as part of my overall goal of keeping Surfulater as simple and as uncluttered as possible.

For some, Surfulater starting up with MyKnowledge.Surfulater worked well and was all they needed, but for other the means to create and work with multiple Knowledge Bases was at best cumbersome. I misread the broad range of uses that Surfulater would be put to and the many different types of users at its helm. As a stop gap I added File|Set as Default, but in hindsight this was a mistake and I should have just gone ahead done things properly with File|Open.

When I sat down to work out how I would fit File|Open into the current design my prime objective was to ensure you could still start Surfulater with whatever Knowledge Bases you were using and get back into the flow as quickly as possible. I must say I’m pleased with the outcome. It feels much as it did before, with the big difference being that if you had say four knowledge bases open the last time you used Surfulater then those same four knowledge bases will be open this time around. This means you don’t need to go anywhere near File Open most of the time, which suits me just fine.

You will find more information in the release notes included in the Help along with the updated Help topic “Working with Files (new/open/close)”. One thing I forget to mention in this topic is the new Toolbar which has File|Open etc. Use View|Knowledge Base Toolbar to open this. If your screen is wide enough you can drag it and place it beside the main row of toolbars. I’ve also added a new Help topic Backing up my Knowledge Base which everyone should read.

Well that’s it for this release. Happy Surfulater’ing.

Surfulater V1.82, B0.0 released

It has been a troublesome few weeks with two people (Gad Chang and Bernard Jennings) reporting that Surfulater was crashing when they started it. First thoughts pointed to the possibility that another application had been installed and that had caused Surfulater to come to grief (usually referred to as DLL Hell), but this wasn’t the case. Problems like this can be very difficult to track down, because they usually can’t be reproduced by anyone except the person having the problem. There was nothing in Surfulater’s log file which gave me any clues either. Fortunately I had the thought that it may be something in the Knowledge Base files that was triggering the crash, so I asked for copies of the files to be sent to me and sure enough I was able to see the exact same crash. Continue reading “Surfulater V1.82, B0.0 released”

Surfulater V1.80, B0.0 released

Surfulater is very good at storing information and images from the Web and from other programs, but one thing that has been missing until now is the ability to store external files along with your Surfulater content. For example we’ve had requests to save PDF files, Word documents and ZIP files with Surfulater articles.

This latest release addresses this issue and lets you attach any files from your PC to Surfulater articles or folders. The attached file is permanently saved in your Surfulater database, so you have it available even if it gets deleted from your PC. And for folks that carry their Surfulater KB around with them, they can now carry these files around as well. Note that Surfulater compresses these files to reduce the amount of space they use.

For a complete list of changes in this release see the Release Notes in the Help or in our Support Forum.