Digging out the information you used to have, but no longer remember where you put it


Perl Wiki as a System Administrator Tool

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Information is not knowledge Information Overload Drinking from a fire hose -- informing ourselves to death Coping with the toxic stress in IT environment Toxic Managers  Humor  Etc

The key here is to have all you information as plain vanilla html of other "easy" text format. 

In this case you can use generic tools for search. Such search can be done on multiple level

There are also more specialized tools.

Three types of search

What is called unstructure file actually contains a lot of strcuture. Bused of this struture we can distinguish three typical types of information about a given file: But the most common use of the term “keywords” in HTML is as meta data. This is typically thought of as the meta keywords tag, and is written in HTML like this:
<meta name="keywords" content="keywords,html keywords,meta keywords,keyword data" />

This meta tag is pretty useful is you put you information in relativly small HTML files. Otherwise it is less important.

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A first look at Tracker 0.6.0 by Ryan Paul

Jul 26, 2007 | Ars Technica

Tracker 0.6.0 was released earlier this week. The latest version of the open source search and indexing system includes an assortment of long-awaited features like support for indexing chat logs and e-mails, a graphical preferences dialog, and an improved search tool user interface. I tested Tracker 0.6.0 on my desktop computer, which runs Ubuntu 7.04.

Tracker, which is designed to have a low impact on system resources, has a smaller memory foot print than Beagle, but occasionally hogs CPU. The Tracker daemon's processor consumption sometimes spikes to 100 percent and remains at that level for brief periods of time during indexing. Unfortunately, Tracker doesn't seem to come with any tools that provide insight into what is currently being indexed at any given time, so it's hard to tell what kind of files are causing the indexer to behave erratically. After the initial indexing process, resource consumption reduced to an acceptable level.

Tracker doesn't yet provide indexing support for as many file types as Beagle, but still seems to be improving. At the present time, E-Mail indexing support is currently not available for Thunderbird, but Evolution is now relatively well supported. Pidgin chat log indexing also seems to work well in Tracker 0.6.0.

The new preferences dialog is very nice and easy to use, but certain preferences-like the checkbox for toggling indexing for the home directory-don't seem to work. I had to manually set the WatchDirectoryRoots value in the configuration file in order to get it to index just my documents and programming project directories.

The new user interface for the Tracker Search Tool is a big step in the right direction, but it's still rough around the edges and lacks the polish of Beagle's front-end. My biggest complaint is that there doesn't seem to be a way to sort the results by modification date. With chat logs and e-mails, this deficiency is particularly frustrating. When I'm trying to find recent chat logs, it doesn't help me much when I get conversations from 2004 at the top of the result list.

My favorite thing about the interface is the convenient category list in the left-hand pane. Rather than grouping all text files together, it uses mimetypes to distinguish between documents, text files, and development files. When I'm looking for a Ruby script, for instance, I can just select the development category to find what I'm looking for with less effort. The other thing I like about the Tracker Search Tool interface is the helpful metadata panel at the bottom of the window, which also allows the user to add tags to files.

The addition of support for e-mail and instant messaging logs are a very promising sign that Tracker has the potential to be a viable solution for desktop search and indexing in the future, but it isn't quite there yet. Despite significant improvements in recent releases, it still isn't good enough to displace Beagle on my desktop. With additional bug-fixing, interface improvements, and better desktop integration out of the box (Tracker 0.6.0 doesn't integrate with Nautilus in Ubuntu 7.0.4) Tracker could become a good choice for desktop search.

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