Personal Information Managers

Introduction

My favorite PIM is Ecco because of its one-pane outliner, its to-do lists ("notepad") that supports child items (while just about all other PIMs only support one-level to-do lists, making it impossible to create a project and divide it into sub-tasks), its support for adding attributes ("folders") to an item (eg. add a Status attribute to an item in a to-do list, and mark this item as Urgent), and its support for synching with a Palm PDA. Lotus Organizer is also nice, but is also deadware and offers no outliner.

PIM Must-haves

Ecco

Ecco, originally written by Bob Perez and Pete Polash at their company Arabesque, is one of the best PIM (Personal Information Manager) which, unlike Lotus Organizer or MS Outlook, offers an outliner, ie. the possibility of organizing notes in a hiearchized manner.

Ecco probably used DOS-based Lotus Agenda, MORE (Mac) + GrandView (PC), and Instant Recall as inspiration, and as far as I know, Ecco is still the only PIM for Windows that offers a one-pan outliner, while the alternatives only offer two-pan outliners (ie. like Windows Explorer). Also, Ecco lets you define an item through any number of attributes ("folders", ie. tags or categories), so that you can later view only a sub-set of them by filtering the items.

Ecco was sold to Netmanage in 1994. Unfortunately, development of Ecco stopped in 1997 because Netmanage thought it couldn't win against Outlook which comes free with Office, and Netmanage hasn't decided to either sell it or open source it (Netmanaged announced in July 2005 that it would finally open-source Ecco, but it didn't happen.) It still works, but requires some occasional tweaking (such as when running under XP as non-admin.)

Ecco 4.01.363 can be downloaded here, and a fixed version of the default.ect file can be found here.

Ecco was apparently written in C++, uses its own client/server database for local use but depends on the CTree database engine by Faircom for remote access (see version infos of nmecctn.dll; www.linuxjournal.com/article/126).

In 2007, Slangmgh, apparently a Chinese hacker from Shanghai and a new member of the Yahoo Ecco_Pro forum (not to be confused with the original EccoPro, which at one time was filled with SPAMP) dug deep into Ecco, and came up with a way to enhance it through the EccoExt ("Ecco Pro Extension") add-on.

(http://eccoextdoc.wikispaces.com): "eccoext appears to work by implementing a "wrapper" that "loads" Ecco, and then "injects" patches or "hooks" that allow the loader to take control whenever the auto-assign code would normally be executed. Then eccoext appears to use other "hooks" to call the same code that would be used by the API to manipulate the data such as folder assignments, etc."

Another member of the Yahoo group who goes by the nickname of YourSoWelcomeThanks (YSWT) has also been doing some nice work on Ecco. YSWT is apparently the administrator of the EccoMagic forum, where Slang's EccoExt application can be found, along with add-on's to Ecco such as YSWT's very own EccoMagic utility that started the whole thing.

News Dec 2011: CompanionLink might be willing to add support for Ecco so it syncs with Outlook (and beyond).

First steps

Ecco is a pretty powerful application, and takes a while to get confortable with. After installing Ecco, possibly ignoring errors related to MFC42.DLL and the absence of a USRobotics Palm PDA... here's what I'd do:

Ecco created a new file based on the DEFAULT.ECT template. To remove stuff...

To hide the toolbar, hit Tools | Toobar, Rows | Main Windows = No Rows, View = No Rows, and OK. The toolbar can also be shown/hidden by clicking on the three-button icon at the bottom right of Ecco

To prevent EccoPro from saving the file automatically (if you're a CTRL-S maniac like me, it's useful to tell Ecco to ignore auto-save when you made a mistake and just want to re-open the file the way it was before since you last saved it manually): Tools > Options > Files : Uncheck "Autosave all file" and "Autosave on file close".

To choose the default views and colors, File | Properties | Display

Select the Calendar view, followed by Calendar | Options:

Still in the Calendar view, you can hide the sidebar on the left that shows the hours/days you have appointents by right-clicking on it, and choosing "No Sidebar". This can be restored by choosing Calendar | Sidebar Shows.

Make use of the CTRL-Z/Undo, auto-save, backup features

To rename a note, hit View | Notepads | Manage

To show/hide the Shooter (the arrow in windows's title bar), Tools | Options

Install the FreeWheel freeware utility to add support for your mousewheel. If that doesn't work, try KatMouse. Those utilities are no longer needed if you launch Ecco through Slang's EccoExtender (log on to the Yahoo group before downloading.)

Jeff Sonnabend in the Ecco Yahoo forum: "I remember first trying to learn Ecco 1.0. It was tough until the proverbial light went on. Then it all made sense. For me, it was simply understanding that Ecco is just a data base. So called folders are nothing more than fields in a flat-file table (like a spreadsheet). The rest is interface and implementation of various users' work or management systems in Ecco. That learning curve, to me, is the primary Ecco "weakness", at least as far as new users go."

Peter Stamford: "In short, I find Zoot complements Ecco and vice versa. Both have, for me, steep learning curves."

Chris Thompson: "If your goals in using a PIM are mostly calendaring, todos, and a phonebook, then Maximizer, Outlook, and Time and Chaos all do a reasonable job. On an enterprise-level, Lotus Notes would be another good choice. If you're more interested in keeping track of notes or research, Lotus Agenda, Zoot, or InfoHandler are better choices. For keeping track of miscellaneous files, InfoSelect is pretty good. On the other hand, if you want to do a little of everything, and do it well, Ecco really has no rivals."

When the documentation mentions that you add a view inside the current view by right-clicking, it's actually right-clicking on the tab of the current view at the bottom of the screen.

To sync your ECO file between home and work... "I do it using a USB drive these days which works really well. I used to use floppies for the update files, but they inevitably get into a condition where they can't be read on one machine or the other. Your Zip drive should work fine. I have also done it by e-mail attachment, but the USB drive is even easier". More infos at http://www.compusol.org/pub/ecconetworking.zip

In a notepad, once you've expanded an outline, moved into it, and would like to collapse it, Ctrl-PageUp will get you to the next level up in your outline. You can work your way up to the Top Level (TLI) by hitting it repeatedly (depending on how complex your outline is), then Ctrl-H

Unable to complete command, low memory condition detected

To investigate:

  1. Download and run EccoMagic Memory Reporter : 18,116 Items* / 15,924 View Lines / 6,132 Pointers : (47,411 Free)
  2. Download and run slangmgh's Ecco Pro Extension
  3. Download and run once EccoExt Beginner Mode Enabler, and relaunch EccoPro Extension
  4. Read How do I fix my overfilled auto-data folder? Often, the cause of this error is the Scheduling > Date Stamp column

Important: By default, any new item created in a notepad will be displayed in the Calendar. To disable this, open the Folder tree, right-click on the new Date Stamp folder > Properties, and uncheck "Show item in Calendar's Tickler Section".

the default.ect file that comes with many (all?) of the eccoPro distributions has a hidden corruption. It passes that corruption to every file you create from it (ie. File > New). download the fixed default.ect and replace your old one. it's at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/files along with all kinds of other amazing stuff.


There is a limit to the number of Items a date folder can 'attach' to. The auto-assign date attaches to *every* item. In this instance you are not deleting items.. so the 'attachment' is not released, and the date folder's list of what items the date folder is linked to gets filled up and/or corrupted. The easy solution is to TURN OFF the auto-assignment of the 'full' date folder, and us a new date folder to auto-assign to instead.

CRITICAL that when you create the new date folder and the auto-assign rule that you DO NOT have ecco search your database to assign... if you did... since the folder matches EVERY item.. it would immediately fill up and you would have exactly the same issue as with the old folder.

so be sure DO NOT ALLOW auto searching by ecco when you create the new auto assign rule.

ps: if the instructions given did not work... (ON A TEST BACKUP)... try also to DELETE the original auto-assign. Normally this is not necessary, but with corruption issues... it might be a necessity. (though usually it is NOT).


My purpose was to become familiar with eccoext and its functionality


eccoext3.6.3.0.rar Ecco Pro Extension 3.6.3.0                              418 KB          slangmgh

Examples & Templates for Slang Rule

Re: EccoExt: "Unable to Complete Command. Low Memory Condition Detected."


>What is the "EM Advanced Diagnosis tool"? Where can I get it? What does it do?  

Sorry... will have a page for it when (soon after) EM forum back up....

(? not found http://www.eccomagic.com/)

essentially auto-analyzes your files for folder problems or internal corruption of ecco database issues. Also allows template creation, datascrubbing, etc. Combined with memory reporter should eliminate 99.9% of all memory and corruption issues.

Pros and cons of Ecco

Pros

Cons

More infos

Multiple files can be open simultaneously. When you create a new file, Ecco generates one using the default template, DEFAULT.ECT . You should build templates to make it easier to create new files, as a template contains views (each view is accessible by clicking on a tab at the bottom of the window), which combine folders and columns.

Each ECCO template includes a view titled “How to Use This File” that describes how to get the most out of each template. An ECCO file has three main views—the Calendar, the PhoneBook, and the Notepad. Note that each ECCO window can display three additional views at one time. For example, if you are in the Calendar, you can “add” a Notepad to the Calendar so that the Notepad and the Calendar are displayed side by side.

There are three types of views: Calendar, Phonebook, and Notepads (yellow outliners).

Folders are actually a list of links to items that pertain to a given subject, and a folder is just the Home Folder, ie. the parent column under which they are listed. For instance, you could build a folder for a customer, and include references to items like appointments, contacts, or to-do's. Once an item has been referenced in a folder, you can add values to this reference, such as a date. Actually, the Calendar and the Phonebook views really are folders in their own right. Note that a folder can be dragged and dropped into a Notepad.

Difference between views, folders, columns,

Ticklers = reminders. They can be displayed in a view alongside the Calendar view.

Syncing with handelds (smartphones and PDA's)

Handleds running Windows Ce/PocketPC or Mobile/Phone won't run Ecco. The only solution is to sync data.

Here are possible solutions:

Syncing with Outlook 2007

The 30-day trial version of XTNDConnect PC 4.6 can be downloaded from this link:

www.softlow.com/pocket-pc/communications/synchronization/commercial/xtndconnect-pc-esi-9100c-elc.html

Once Ecco, Outlook, and XTNDConnect PC are installed, configure the XTNDConnect PC shortcut so that the program runs as Adminstrator.

After syncing Ecco with Outlook, use your smartphone's sync utility to sync data with your phone.

After syncing Outlook with Ecco, make sure you save the Ecco file, or changes will be lost when you close Ecco.

Synching with a Palm PDA

Note:

Here's how to set up your computer to sync Ecco with a Palm:

  1. Perform a hard reset on the Palm (keep power button pressed, and press Reset button in the back with a paper clip)
  2. If not already installed, download and install the latest Palm Desktop. If already installed, remove palmOne\users.dat and palmOne\<your user name>\ to start from a clean plate. I would recommend upgrading to the most recent version of Palm Desktop, but it's your call.
  3. Edit Registry:
    1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\U.S. Robotics\Pilot Desktop, and save this part (File > Export)
    2. Remove all keys that look like ApplicationX
  4. Install Ecco (setup32.exe). It will take a long time before you get a prompt because it will scan all your disks for a previous install. For this reason, it's a good idea to disconnect from network drives before running the installer...

    Ignore the error message if the installer complains about being unable to update mfc42.dll.

    Once installed, you can check the Registry, and see that the installer added four keys Application[0-3]. Reboot for HotSync to pick up those new conduits. Once you're back, right-click on the HotSync icon to check that there are Ecco-related lines in the Custom section.
  5. Launch Ecco > Tools > Pilot HotSync Options: Check all sections, and for each section, check Full Sync + Clear Pilot Data First. Save and close Ecco.
  6. Hit the Sync button on your Palm: You will be prompted for a new user name, and sync will occur. If Calendar is not synced the first time, rerun sync, and it should work.
  7. Once you've successfully synced with the Palm, go back to Ecco, and change all items from Full Sync to Normal Sync. Now that you've succesfully synced, you should see the following conduits in HotSync: Ecco's Calendar, Ecco's PhoneBook, Ecco's To-Do List, and Ecco's Pilot Memos.

Notes:

I've used the above instructions succesfully to sync Ecco with a Vx and Zire21 starting from an empty Palm on XPSP2 running as admin, but YMMV. If it doesn't work, as in the Yahoo Ecco group for help.

Issues syncing Ecco with Palm

Palm
Appointment
Contact

OK

To-do

OK, but can't create in Ecco, even via ToDo Category, as Home Folder must be empty

Memos

OK. Doesn't matter if Home Folder empty (created in Palm) or set to Pilot Memos (created in Ecco)

Ecco
Calendar
PhoneBook

OK

Notepad

NOK. Created item in a notepad, filled columns ToDo Category + Priority, but doesn't show in To-Do section in Palm.

Where to get more information on syncing with Palms:

Sharing Ecco with other users

The first thing to do, is create a shared directory on a host on the network (which will be known as the "ECCO Workgroup Directory"), and launch the wizard in Ecco so that it installs the files it needs to share data between multiple Ecco files sitting in users' computers.

Note: Even if you don't intend to use Ecco to schedule group meetings, Ecco still requires your setting up an e-mail client on each workstation. If it's not among the clients supported by Ecco, a native protocol is provided by ECCO ("ECCO Messaging"). This requires creating a shared directory to act as "Ecco_Msg mail directory". Mail client = Eudora Pro 3.0.1 -> CPU 90%

"ECCO Scheduling Server": This option is for corporate clients using ECCOShare on a Windows NT Server for Worldwide Group Scheduling. Unless the Workgroup Administrator has previously set up this service, the default setting should be no.

  1. From any PC running Ecco: File > Workgroup Settings
  2. Next
  3. Choose mail client. Next
  4. "Create ECCO Workgroup Directory?" > Yes. Next
  5. Type a description, and browse to the shared directory
  6. Next. Finish.

The shared directory should now contain a sub-directory name ECCO_GRP with 18 files.

Next, configure the other Ecco applications to connect to this new ECCO Workgroup Directory by going through the same wizard as above (just answer No when prompted to create a new Workgroup Directory, and also answer No when prompted about the "TCP/IP ECCO Scheduling Servers").

If users have more than one Ecco file sitting on their computer, and one of them has a schedule (Calendar), it can be used as the Main ECCO file ("master file") so that other users can see this schedule (Note: You can only have one Main file):

  1. Open the ECCO file that will be used as the Main file
  2. File > Share
  3. Select "My Calendar for Group Scheduling" option
  4. Browse to the Workgroup Directory
  5. Select the appropriate access privileges for other users. Additional options are available when clicking on Custom
  6. You can have another Ecco user (and only one) acting as Administrative Assistant: This person will be allowed to make changes in the Calendar (appointments, ticklers), will receive copies of all metting mail sent to you, and be allowed to respond for you
  7. Once shared, public items and folders become yellow, and authorized users can now use File > Open Shared to access data from your Main file. Three new files were added by Ecco: Me.ECG, Me.ECB, and Me.ECC
  8. "Let me create private columns, folders, and views" lets you make a local copy (replica) of a shared file so you can work on it without a network connection

If you wish to share another, non-Main file: File > Share > Another Shared File. You can decide which notepad to share (View > Make View Public.). If you wish to keep some items private: Item > Make Item Private.

A Main file makes it easy to schedule a meeting : Calendar view > Calendar > Add Group Meeting. Users will be notified through e-mail (View > Meeting Mail).

Installing Ecco on XPSP2

When I try to install ECCO 4.01 32 Bit using Setup32.exe I get this error message: GLBSSTUB caused a General Protection Fault

"GLBSSTUB caused General Protection Fault Error at 0003:24B6. Choose close. GLBSSTUB will close."

1. Try installing in "safe" mode. I've encountered a problem or two trying to install on XP, but have done it successfully in safe mode.

2. "I haven't experienced this problem, so this is only my best guess: Run XP in safe mode. While in safe mode, set compatibility mode for Ecco's setup32.exe to NT and run the installation. If you don't know how to set compatibility mode: right click setup32.exe -> Properties -> Compatibility Tab. You could also try Win 95 or Win 2K, but I would start with NT."

3. "I create a shortcut for my Ecco executable (c:\Program Files\ECCO\ecco32.exe by default), then right-click on the shortcut, select Properties, click on the Compatibility tab, check the box for Run this program in compatibility mode for:, and set the dropdown to Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5). Then I move the shortcut to my Start list, and always use it to fire up Ecco."

4. Santipu said: ""Glbsstub" is created by some installers during setup and gets placed in a Temp folder. After setup is done, these temp files are often abandoned and not deleted. When you try to install another program, it finds the old "glbsstub" file and tries to use it. Even though the file name is correct, it does not contain the exact contents that are needed. Consequently, you get an error. To avoid this, delete the contents of the Temp folders before starting a new installation. This will clear out all the leftovers from old installations and make these folders ready for the new installation. The default Temp locations in XP are Windows\Temp Document and Settings\"logged on account"\Local Settings\Temp. You may need to adjust settings in Folder Options>View to see these folders. Elect to show hidden and system files and not to hide contents of system folders. Leave the Temp folders in place. Just delete the contents (any files and folders). If you run into a file that won't delete, don't worry about it. Leave it in place and work around it. After the Temp folders are cleaned out, try installing the program again."

Autoexec.nt

"I downloaded the setup32.exe file and when I run it I get a windows system message "16 bit windows subsystem" "c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt. The system file is not suiteable for running MS-DOS and microsoft windows applications. Choose 'close' to terminate the application."" -> "found the problem.... The autoexec.nt was not in that folder... I found it somewhere else and copied it into that folder...."

Exporting a folder

Here's how to export the Calendar folder and format it into HTML, ready to be uploaded to a web server through FTP:

  1. Open the Folder View with View > Folder Window
  2. Double-click on Scheduling, and then Appointments. This folder will open in a Scrach view
  3. File > Database > Export
  4. In the "Export Notepad" dialog, click on "Columns..."
  5. In the "Export Notepad and Columns", click "Choose Columns"
  6. Include "Appointments (date)" to the "Columns chosen" list. Otherwise, you'll only get the appointments, without any date.
  7. Google for csv2html and find a tool to turn this CSV-formatted text file into HTML, eg. csv2html

Using DDE to work with Ecco Pro

Information

DDE is case-sensitive. Ecco itself seems to rely on the DDEML.DLL (DDE Management Library) to ease the use of DDE functions in the Windows USER32.DLL.

Poke() functions are used to send data and don't expect any return value, while Request()/Execute() functions expect return values. Execute() can call any REQUEST or POKE function when the data is longer than 256 bytes: Execute supports up to 32K of data. The only function that it can't call is LastResult, which must be called with REQUEST.

Ecco expects and returns data as CSV, ie. uses commas to separate the function name from its parameters, if any. If a parameter contains a comma or a carriage-return, it must be double-quoted ("my parameter, is, this"). If it contains a double-quote, the double-quote must be doubled ("He said ""Hi!"" and left").

Functions

Request

NewFile

OpenFile

 

CreateFolder

CreateItem

CreateView

 

GetOpenFiles

GetCurrentFile

GetFileName

 

GetFoldersByName

GetFoldersByType

GetFolderItems

GetFolderName

GetFolderType

GetFolderValues

GetFolderAutoAssignRules

GetFolderOutline

GetPopupValues

 

GetItemFolders

GetItemParents

GetItemSubs

GetItemText

GetItemType

 

GetLastResult

GetSelection

GetVersion

GetChanges

 

GetViews

GetViewNames

GetViewFolders

GetViewColumns

GetViewTLIs

GetDayViewItemTime

 

PasteOLEItem

 

Multi-Day Appointment Information

Poke

ChangeFile

AddFileToMenu

SaveFile

CloseFile

 

CopyOLEItem

 

InsertItem

RemoveItem

SetItemText

ShowPhoneBookItem

 

SetFolderValues

SetFolderName

 

ChangeView

AddCompView

RemoveCompView

DeleteView

AddColumnToView

AddFolderToView

 

SetCalDate

 

SetNotify

Others

GetDeletions          

IgnoreDeletions          

ClearDeletions          

TrackDeletions          

ClrNotify

To read

Read the following articles + source files:

http://www.angelfire.com/biz/rhaminisys/ddeinfo.html#DDEoverview

http://theprovingground.wikidot.com/ecotect-dde

http://www.powerbasic.com/support/pbforums/search.php?searchid=770962&pp=25&page=3

 

http://www.ivitar.com/vbecco-old/

http://www.ivitar.com/vbecco/

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/files/Python%20Ecco%20Code%20%26%20Programs/

http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?board=DDE

http://peak.telecommunity.com/DevCenter/EccoDDE

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/msearch?query=dde&pos=60&cnt=10

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/message/8699

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/message/4920

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/message/4754

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/message/5626

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ecco_pro/message/6038

Information

A folder contains just the items. Columns contain other attributes that further define an item. A view ("Notepad") is used to display the items contained in one or more folders, and if the user so chooses, the columns this item with which those items are further defined.

When creating a folder, Ecco also creates a column of the same name, 'of the type defined when creating the folder, eg. a date column, a checkbox column, etc.

For instance, there is an "Appointment" folder, which can have a date defined through the Appointment column, and they can be displayed in either the Calendar view or some other (notepad) view

Since Ecco assigns a unique numeric ID to each folder, more than one folder can have the same name, eg. "Appointment".

The items contained within a folder can be displayed by opening the Folder window, and either double-clicking the folder name or drag 'n dropping it into a view (notepad). Note that deleting a folder within a view only removes its contents from the view, but the folder (and its contents) is still available in the Folder list.

Items can sometimes (how?) end up not being part of a folder, and are known as "orphan items".

Apparently, Ecco uses DDEML.DLL to use DDE (DdeClientTransaction, etc.)

If the parameter section contains reserved characters (comma, quote, CRLF, etc.), must add extra double-quote

Q&A's

Request vs. Poke vs. Execute?

DDERequest uses 'atoms' to send data TO ecco,  which are limited to 256 characters,  so you use a DDEExecute which uses a shared memory string to send much larger (up to 24 or 32k depending.. on what ecco will handle) data.

DDEExecute(iconn,doit)  [(connection, command)]  is an "Execute" statement,  which does not ask for a return value. But Execute is not made/intended to RETURN information... other than a few bytes... so Ecco was designed to allow you a "Request"  to use in conjunction with the execute...

http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1193874100

I use DDERequest and have no problem retrieving large amounts of text. The trick is to use a textbox with multiline=true as the DDE link. http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1193874100

In which language are DDEExecute() and DDERequest() written?

http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1193874100

Some Declare's to call DDEML.DLL, or uses Walter Heindl's VB Ecco Toolkit?

Are limitations specified in Nick Gordon's "The Ecco File Limit FAQ 1.2" accurate?

If yes, are they gone when launching Ecco through Slang's EccoExt?

http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QBOrTPfIsdviWohv32RnQPFrhJ4EqZJE0us3I_yyS4f8Z1fyjC7yWVfHr8K2ezdQ9Gv6jLQir3Ok2k3F7QsFy1MU4ECBNaI/Ecco%20File%20limits%20FAQ.txt

An item can be found in more than one folder?

How to read columns for a given item, eg. date/time for item in Calendar?
How to use CreateItem < "text" , ( FolderID , FolderValue ) * > * -> ItemID *?

'CreateItem "my appointment",1,201010201000

Resources

General

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Data_Exchange

"The eccoMAGIC Forums » Ecco DDE & Add-On Programming tips, tricks, techniques (Learn & Share!) » DDE Interfacing with Ecco - How to..." http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?board=DDE

The eccoMAGIC Forums › Ecco DDE & Add-On Programming tips, tricks, techniques (Learn & Share!)

EMv3  Ecco DDE API http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1193928718

Python

Scripting Ecco using EccoDDE

Raymond Yee http://blog.dataunbound.com/category/ecco-pro/

Which version of pywin32 works with Ecco DDE? launched by Raymond Yee/rdhyee

Python Ecco Code & Programs by Andrew Brown/rackelhanen

(RIP?) Andrew Brown/rackelhanen (Python) http://www.thewormbook.com/elegans/hlog/

Delphi

Jeff Sonnabend's Delphi library EccoDDELib2.pas, and utilities

Visual Basic 6

Walter Heindl's Visual Basic Ecco Toolkit (www.ivitar.com/vbecco/) = ActiveX component, requires the Visual Basic 6 runtime (MSVBVM60.DLL) and Toolkit for Ecco Professional (www.ivitar.com/toolkit/) = collection of utilities for use with Ecco

Dave Gustafson (EccoTools, www.Cold-Mountain.com): "EccoTools: Toolkit for creating extensions to the Ecco-Pro personal information manager. Current posted code includes a library for creating Ecco add-ons written in Python. Also COM interface, with some examples in VB."

Alternative to Ecco

If you're tired from Ecco and Palm issues, here are some solutions to jump ship:

Q&A

In EccoExtender, how to display URLs as regular text?

Close Ecco, edit eccoext.ini, and the following line in the [Option] section:

DontFormatHyperLink=1

Restart EccoExtender.

In the Ticklers window, how to change the default folder?

For some reason, Ecco doesn't remember the choice done in Calendar > Options > Ticklers > Tickler Item Options...

How to add folders to the Ticklers window?

Open the Folders window, right-click on the folder name > Properties > "Show Item in Calendar's Tickler Section".

Note:

  1. Only folders of type "Date" can be added to the window.
  2. The folder won't be displayed in the Ticklers window until at least one item is added to that folder

How is information stored in Ecco?

Here's a summary:

As said above, Ecco is based on Faircom's CTree B-tree database engine. Here's how I think Ecco organizes things, in a single table:

ID (Primary Key)

Item

Parent ID

Previous ID

Next ID

Home Folder

Folder1

Folder2

FolderX

The Parent/Previous/Next ID's lets Ecco navigate the list in a notepad, and FolderX are extra columns in addition to the item's home folder, so that an item can be viewed through difference columns.

More information:

I deleted an item by mistake and CTRL-Z doesn't work!

Close the current .ECO file, and open the, or one of the .BKx files, where x = 1 or 2, which are older versions that Ecco creates before saving the current version.

How can I retrieve an orpaned item?

Ecco doesn't provide a way, and a couple of user-provided utilities (available in the Files section at the EccoPro group at Yahoo) crashed on me.

In which notepad are to-do items saved?

Ticklers?

Make view public?

In a new notepad, I can't display a column through Column > Show Columns

Right-click on this column/folder in the Folder Window, and select Show Folder Columns

How to change the title of a notepad?

By default, it takes the name of the folder that you use to create the notepad/view, but you can change this through View > Notepads > Manage

In a notepad, how to collapse the current item, or all items?

Currenct item = CLTR-H, but no way to expand/collapse a whole notepad

How to have Ecco start on a given view?

File | Save, close, restart

How to have some basic wordprocessor page for non-outlining text?

In the Calendar view, can I disable the pop-up menu that shows when left clicking anywere?

Right-clicking is plenty good, thank you very much

Importing from Lotus Organizer 6?

What about a PHP script to open and display the contents of an .ECO file?

Ecco scans my whole disk before proceeding with the install. Can I tell it to by-pass this step?

Tried setup32.exe /?, to no avail.

Using templates (*.ECT)?

Tickler vs. To-do?

What are the following files?

network\Setup32.exe and SetupEccoAdmin.exe

What are the Catalyst files?

Catalyst Tools ($38.00) Pack extra power into ECCO with the features most requested by ECCO users. Contains Spell Checker, Enhanced Column Totaling, Column Date/Time Stamping, Popup Phonebook, Enhanced Automatic Assignment, Address Filler and File Viewer.

Generally speaking, what add-ons should I know about?

What about workgroups and shared setups?

Filters?

How to a close a view/notepad in one click?

Ecco doesn't provide this, so your best bet is to use a macro recorder like MacroExpress.

Can to-do items be carried forward until marked Done

A tickler with Carry Forward set to "Until marked done" doesn't actually move the item to the followind day...

How can I paste a block of paragraphs into a notepad...

... without each paragraph ending up as its own item? The alternative to cut/pasting each paragraph into the first item and hitting SHIFT-Enter or to use the Join command (CTRL-SHIFT-J) to combine those items into a single paragraph (problaby not what you want) is to use the "ECCO ctrl shift V block paste.exe" utility written with www.autohotkey.com and located in the Files section of the Yahoo Ecco group.

How to list all items in an Ecco file?

CTRL-F, leave the search item empty, select Entire File, leave Copy to "Search Results View" select, and click Collect All. If you want to know where items were created, Column > Show Home Folder, possibly followed by Column > Insert Column > Existing Column or Folder, and select Appointments, Date Stamps, etc.

Can I install Ecco manually?

Ecco Manual Install.zip can be found at http://www.sonnabendlaw.com/ecco/

How to hide checked items from notepad?

In case you used a notepad to list questions, and added a CheckMark-type column to indicate the status of a question, the way to hide answered or pending questions is through Tools > Filter View > New.

How to set column value to group of items?

In a notepad with a second column (Column > Insert column), if you want to select a group of items and set them to all have the same value in the second column:

  1. Create a new form through Tools > New Form, add the second column to this form in the Fields Chosen list
  2. Select the items in the notepad
  3. Tools > Apply Forms to Items > MyForm

EssentialPIM

Microsoft Outlook

Applications to sync Outlook with an Android smartphone:

ToDoList

To choose which columns to display in a project, right-click in the header and choose "Select columns"

To hide the Filter Bar at the top: View: Uncheck "Filter Bar"

To hide the Comments bar: View > Maximize Taskslists

File > Save to web

Hide "List View" tab?

Hide or move Priority/Category/Due Date/Due Time/Colour section to toolbar or pop-up menu?

WinPIM 5.8

Ariadne Organizer

Priorganizer

Anytime Organizer

MyLifeOrganized

Shadow Plan

Achieve Planner

PIMOne

Pro Sched

TaoNotes

OmniOutliner

GemX doORGANIZER

TreeDBNotes

Pimento

Zoot

Zoë

Zoë seems to be a Java-based, open-source tool to manage e-mails.

Symantec Act

To-do Plus

WhatzUp: This was a neat freeware program, pretty useful. But- since Actionnames does this and much more (though version 453 has a bunch of redraw bugs at the moment on OS 3.5) I don't see the point in paying this much for it...  No hierarchy

Uh, Hot Date does all of this and more for free.  I don't see the reason to have to pay for a such a product when a better one is free. http://rallypilot.sourceforge.net/ http://www.crosswinds.net/~syncit/utilities.html No hierarchy

You can get datebk4 for a little more and it can do TONS more. No hierarchy

DateBk3 (Pimlico Software) http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/  No hierarchy

BugMe! (Haus of Maus) Demo crashed

Action Names and Sales Warrior (Iambic) http://www.iambic.com/pilot/actionnames/  No hierarchy

ListMaker

Starfish Internet Sidekick

Thought Manager

Above and Beyond

TreePad

Simplicity Personal Organizer

Calendar Builder Information

Information Explorer for Personal Information

Lotus Notes

As of 7.0.1, still doesn't support hierarchized to-do's

http://www.forbes.com/technology/2005/04/06/cz_dl_0406notes.html

http://www.computergripes.com/LotusNotes.html

http://www.alanlepofsky.net/alepofsky/alanblog.nsf

http://www.openntf.org/

http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/software/internet/soa/Time_to_ditch_Outlook_9_e_mail_clients_tested/0,139023437,139180835-6,00.htm

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1705106,00.html

http://cseh.best.vwh.net/

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1437258,00.asp

Lotus Organizer

To synchronize with a PalmPilot PDA, Organizer requires that you install Palm's HotSync manager, and the EasySync applet from Lotus, which adds conduits that tel HotSync from where data on your PC.

Q&A

Entries Deleted from PalmPilot (Workpad) Are Not Deleted in Either Notes or Organizer

Entries that you delete from the PalmPilot or IBM Workpad (PDA) still appear in either Notes 4.5x/4.6x or Organizer 97 GS after syncing with the PC.  These entries are either Calendar, Address, ToDo, or Memo entries.  This problem occurs in both EasySync 1.0 for Organizer and EasySync 1.0 or 2.0 for Notes.

When deleting an entry on either the PalmPilot or the Workpad a prompt box will appear.  In the prompt box there is a checkbox that reads "Save archive copy on PC". This checkbox is selected by default.  This means that the entry will be saved in the Notes database after the item has been removed from the PalmPilot or Workpad.  If the checkbox is unchecked then the entry will be deleted from Notes or Organizer the next time a sync occurs.

Entries created in the Calendar section in Organizer are not replicated to the PalmPilot

Uninstalling and reinstall EasySync. That should clean up the conduits that it creates within HotSync Manager.

Alternatives:

A Lotus Organizer file is corrupted

Run OR6REBLD.EXE to compact it and rebuild index files.

I'd like to keep my sync settings even after unstalling EasySync or Lotus Organizer

The following keys are kept in the Registry even after uninstalling either or both of the above software:

I'd like to perform a hard-reset of my Palm to start afresh

If you have a Palm III, unscrew the handle of the pointing stick, hold down the green Power button, click and release the Reset button on the back of your Palm, and release the Power button. When prompted, push the Page Up button on the front of the Palm.

I want some articles that I created in a Notepad section not be replicated on my Palm

By default,any article/document is replicated. File | Extension | 3Com PalmPilot, select the name of the Notepad, and check/uncheck which articles you wish EasySync to sync/not sync.

Resources

Time & Chaos

AceNotes Standard 2000

A1 Visual Contact

Contact Manager

Anywhere PIM

Info Select

AMF Daily Planner & Personal Information Manager

TaskMinder PIM

MIMS 32

Personal Organizer

Multi Task

IDEAL Calendar

pdc Essentials

my.organizer 1.5

iNote

Pixtopia

Anywhere PIM 1.0

Calendar 2000

Contact Keeper

EasyNoter 3.5

EasyNoter 2.5

Ic3

PC Memo 2.0

Just PostIt

Profient 2.0

Failed during install

Remind 5.12

Just a scheduler

SaveAll Plus

Document mgmt

TakeNote

Document mgmt

Alexsys 98

Team-based project mgmt

Maximizer

Sharkware

See Maximizer

Janna Contact Pro

GoldMine

Lotus Agenda

DOS-based program available here. I failed formating any floppy in 720kb, so YMMV.

  1. Find four 3.5" floppies
  2. Download and launch WinImage
  3. Disk | Format Disk, and format all the floppies in 720kb
  4. Open and write each of the four images to the floppies disk1.img, disk2.img, etc.
  5. Insert the first floppy in the A drive, and run ???.EXE

UltraRecall

Mindjet

ConcepDraw Mindmap

Freemind

Inspiration

Moonedit

Barca

Knowledge Workshop

Hula

EverNote

ListPro

NovaMind

http://www.nova-mind.com

JetBrains Omea

MDE InfoHandler

Chandler

NotaBene

WriteWay Pro

NoteLens

PocketMod

The Journal

The Journal is a two-pane WYSIWYG editor that lets you create notes, either independent ("loose-leaf") or tied to a date in the calendar

pimZilla

Natara Bonsai

"Stay connected with the Natara Bonsai, a Palm OS outliner application with unparalleled Windows desktop synchronization"

Quick To-Do Pro

InklineGlobal

Redbox Organizer

Visual Calendar Planner

Visual Day Planner

WinOrganizer

Pimex

C-Organizer Pro

Acute Softwares Diary

DragonFly

Info Angel

InfoRecall

MaxThink

Keynote

Desktop Set

InfoTree

Action Outline

Informaizer

Abix

Black Hole Organizer

Balsoft General Knowledge Base

Buddy PIM

Schedule It

Mark Ballance's Schedule It (simple project manager)

Synconizer

Synconizer (Internet- and LAN- aware organizer)

AltStone ISTD

AltStone ISTD ("Is there something to do?")

ITSD Organizer

Llamagraphics Life Balance

iOutliner

Leo

DebriefNotes

WikiPad

"wikidPad is a Wiki-like notebook for storing your thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, or anything else you can think of to write down."

STkOutline

AlfaPad Notes Organizer

FreshOutline

Dextronet Tree Notes

http://www.dextronet.com

Blackwell Idealist

Achieve Planner

TreeSheets

UVOutliner

Thinklinkr

WhizFolders

Resources