|Last modified: 17-12-2013|
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.
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 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).
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
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
eccoext184.108.40.206.rar Ecco Pro Extension 220.127.116.11 418 KB slangmgh
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.
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.
Handleds running Windows Ce/PocketPC or Mobile/Phone won't run Ecco. The only solution is to sync data.
Here are possible solutions:
The 30-day trial version of XTNDConnect PC 4.6 can be downloaded from this link:
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.
Here's how to set up your computer to sync Ecco with a Palm:
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.
OK, but can't create in Ecco, even via ToDo Category, as Home Folder must be empty
OK. Doesn't matter if Home Folder empty (created in Palm) or set to Pilot Memos (created in Ecco)
NOK. Created item in a notepad, filled columns ToDo Category + Priority, but doesn't show in To-Do section in Palm.
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.
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):
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).
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."
"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...."
Here's how to export the Calendar folder and format it into HTML, ready to be uploaded to a web server through FTP:
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").
Multi-Day Appointment Information
Read the following articles + source files:http://www.angelfire.com/biz/rhaminisys/ddeinfo.html#DDEoverview
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
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...
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
Some Declare's to call DDEML.DLL, or uses Walter Heindl's VB Ecco Toolkit?
If yes, are they gone when launching Ecco through Slang's EccoExt?
'CreateItem "my appointment",1,201010201000
"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
EMv3 Ecco DDE API http://forums.eccomagic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1193928718
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/
Jeff Sonnabend's Delphi library EccoDDELib2.pas, and utilities
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."
If you're tired from Ecco and Palm issues, here are some solutions to jump ship:
Close Ecco, edit eccoext.ini, and the following line in the [Option] section:
For some reason, Ecco doesn't remember the choice done in Calendar > Options > Ticklers > Tickler Item Options...
Open the Folders window, right-click on the folder name > Properties > "Show Item in Calendar's Tickler Section".
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)
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.
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.
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.
Right-click on this column/folder in the Folder Window, and select Show Folder Columns
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
Currenct item = CLTR-H, but no way to expand/collapse a whole notepad
File | Save, close, restart
Right-clicking is plenty good, thank you very much
Tried setup32.exe /?, to no avail.
network\Setup32.exe and SetupEccoAdmin.exe
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.
Ecco doesn't provide this, so your best bet is to use a macro recorder like MacroExpress.
A tickler with Carry Forward set to "Until marked done" doesn't actually move the item to the followind day...
... 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.
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.
Ecco Manual Install.zip can be found at http://www.sonnabendlaw.com/ecco/
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.
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:
Applications to sync Outlook with an Android smartphone:
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?
Zoë seems to be a Java-based, open-source tool to manage e-mails.
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
As of 7.0.1, still doesn't support hierarchized to-do's
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.
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.
Uninstalling and reinstall EasySync. That should clean up the conduits that it creates within HotSync Manager.
Run OR6REBLD.EXE to compact it and rebuild index files.
The following keys are kept in the Registry even after uninstalling either or both of the above software:
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.
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.
Failed during install
Just a scheduler
Team-based project mgmt
DOS-based program available here. I failed formating any floppy in 720kb, so YMMV.
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
"Stay connected with the Natara Bonsai, a Palm OS outliner application with unparalleled Windows desktop synchronization"
Mark Ballance's Schedule It (simple project manager)
Synconizer (Internet- and LAN- aware organizer)
AltStone ISTD ("Is there something to do?")
"wikidPad is a Wiki-like notebook for storing your thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, or anything else you can think of to write down."