Collect Articles In A Database
Your computer is not only your "gateway to Cyberspace". You can
also make use of it LOCALLY. A good example is collecting articles in a
database. So you can retrieve them purposefully when you want to recall an idea
that you read sometime, somewhere.
Living in times of the Internet is in many ways fundamentally different from
what our parents thought to be "the right way of living". One of it is the
abundance of information you get by articles in newsletters, ezines, etc.
Once I read a good analogy: "Living on the Internet is like drinking water
from a fire hose. If you don't know how to do it, in the end you are wet all
over - but you are still thirsty." Or, to turn back to reality: Many people
will have opted in for a great number of newsletters, ezines, etc. But when
they receive it in their e-mail, they just scroll over it, reading perhaps a
few paragraphs (more would be too hard for reading on screen), and finally
deleting them. At best they stow it away on a heap of other articles, "in order
to come back to it later, when I have time for it!" Some months later it is
still untouched, the heap has grown too large - it all is deleted. (So, what
was it stored for, anyway?)
Some time later those people might encounter a problem of which they just can
recall: "I remember, in any article I skimmed over a good solution - if I only
could remember which article ... !" But even if they could remember, it would
not be of much help either. The heap of articles has been deleted meanwhile,
the solution is lost. (Or, to stay in the above picture: "They are still
A remedy to this is, to store the articles in a compact form - so you don't
have to feel guilty to use up too much of your storage space. And store it in
an organized way - so you can retrieve the one article among thousands within a
1. Store it in a COMPACT form.
This is something that we tend to overlook at first. But in order to get
really useful, such an archive will usually grow over many months or years up
to a number of (many) thousands of articles. Though a modern harddisk usually
has several gigabytes of storage space, a responsible computer user tends to
feel not so good when he/she sees how much of it is occupied by the article
archive. And it's still going to grow more by the time!
Therefore, after many trials with more sophisticated text processors I found
the simplest of all to be most expedient one. Now I store my articles as mere
.txt-files. Thus an average article is taking only some 3-6 kilobytes, i.e. the
total archive size becomes noticeable on a multi-GB harddisk not before many
thousands of articles are in it.
Simple .txt-files have some additional advantages:
With more sophisticated text processors you can have all kinds of problems
when copying and pasting an article combined of text, hyperlinked URLs and
images. A simple txt-processor takes only the text, ignoring everything else.
Every Windows-system comes with at least one simple txt-processor ("NotePad"),
modern Windows even with a processor that can handle txt-files plus some others
("WordPad"). To follow a link out to the Internet, you just have to copy it in
the txt-processor, open your browser, paste it into the "address" field, and
press the ENTER-key. If you use a txt-processor like "NoteTab" of Fookes
Software, you can even follow a link out to the Internet directly. (You can
download a free light-version of "NoteTab" from http://www.notetab.com/).
2. Store it in an ORGANIZED way.
First you have to make up your mind, what aspects of living on the Internet
are relevant to you. I, for example, decided for storing articles on "email",
"web site design", "copy writing", "home business" and many others. With the
number of archived articles becoming larger, it might be useful to introduce
sub-aspects. For example, "email" might be split up into "spamming", "sig
One aspect that I find especially interesting is what I called "Living on the
Internet". In it I store every article that's not so specific to fit in with
any of the other categories. Articles dealing with aspects that somehow
determine the living in the times of the Internet in a broader sense.
For the file name under which to store an article, I usually copy the article
title. Thus I can be fairly sure that when I am searching among the files the
file name reflects the meaning the author wanted to highlight. Sometimes,
however, the author exerted some fantasy for the title of an article; it has
not so much a FACTUAL but rather a PERIPHRASTIC title. For example, evidently
an author wanted to appear creative when calling an article about spamming:
"The Mixed Blessing". When I would search for articles on 'spamming' in my
archive some time later, this article would be overlooked. So I added that
keyword for the file name: "Spamming - the Mixed Blessing".
I provided a line "keywords" beneath and the end with some suggestions as to the
top level and some sub-categories. Thus it should be easier for you to decide
in which category to store this article. In addition, I strove to find a title
that includes a number of the keywords. (That's similar to 'net copy writing'
as needed in web site design to make a web site "search engine friendly".)
Article by Gunter Gerdenitsch, owner of '1st Components Design', Universal
Software Components for Computer Applications without Programming
(http://www.1st-components.com, nobrmailto:firstname.lastname@example.org/nobr ).
1CD offers a product line called "DLG" for building applications without
This article is free to be re-printed, if complete with this resource box. It
can be included in a web site if the URL mentioned above is linked to www.1st-
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