Thursday, August 23, 2007

Digital Preservation - PST outlook files

I will probably have a big rant about Digital Preservation some day, but today just about personal files - the Outlook PST files.

First - why Outlook PST files, why not KMail/Thunderbird/Netscape/Sun/Whatever mail files? Well, quite frankly you will be hard pressed to find a business in the United States that does not use Outlook. One of those necessary evils as there still is no good open source PIM (i.e. email, contact, AND calendar) desktop tools that are DEPLOYABLE in a corporate environment.

Second - This is more a memo to myself when I have time, have not fully gone down this.

The primary concern I had with PST files was, well, they are proprietary. I want to fix that, and would prefer to be able to re-organize the many, many PST files and related e-mail entries I have (including, I'm sure, many duplicate email entries in different PST files).

-- Change from PST to something not PST.
* - GPL, in C
* - GPL, in Java (still active, ODF conversions)

[XML output] As you can see by the sidenote, I'm leaning towards the ill-named Xena project as it is 1) still active, 2) in java, and 3) *may* be able to export in ODF. I say may, because it doesn't say it specifically regarding e-mail.

[mbox] The other, libpst, will convert the PST into a unix-style mbox format.

[maildir] Maildir would have been my preference, but with the ODF being a very close second. However, the only maildir open source export I could find was, and this required PUTTING THE MAIL BACK ON THE SERVER TO RE-READ IT BACK THROUGH IMAP. Very cool for going-forward projects, not so much as a library to do a simple convert. And, any sysAdmin would have a fit if I put 5gig of PST files back onto an Exchange server.

Managing -
Absolutely nothing yet. Order, remove duplicates, partition to put into CD/DVD media, a simple stand-alone client that can be put on a CD/DVD to read the archived e-mails, etc.

Please comment if you have found an open-source approach to solving PST archival and management.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Humans and Content - Information

This post is based on reading an article on the increase in time people spend reading content. The article link is here:

Now, my own personal opinion is that video content is very time consuming. Although it may be the easiest to digest, it is the most inefficient and getting information. Most of this blog is about getting information, not about entertainment purposes.

If you are reading this blog -- you probably speed-reading and just skipping most of the fluff to get some key pieces of information. That is good -- that is how it is suppose to be.

Video/audio content, however, you do not have that option. Written works have no time component, only an 'order of content' component that you can filter through quickly. However,
Video/audio content DOES have a time component meaning you are limited in efficiently digesting/absorbing information based on the time component established by whoever created the Video/audio.

I personally think podcasts/webcasts are one of the worse ways to send out information (good for advertising/entertainment, but poor for sharing information). I pretty much never watch a podcast/webcast for information -- instead I'll Google for a text version and read through that instead.

Now, that is just me - there are people/audience that do prefer video/audio content for getting information. And, I might be one of those people...if I didn't have to worry about time ;-)