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All this info, how do you mentally file it

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  • All this info, how do you mentally file it

    This board is great. There is more info here than anyone could use in a lifetime. It is like having a library at your computer. My question is how do you guys keep track of all it so when you need it you can access it? I have zillions (ok maybe not a zillion) but loads of bookmarks to all this info (links) folders of printed pages (paper)from all the info I find I feel I could use.
    Mentally I can't remember what links or pages I have so much of the time I have the info but either do not remember I have it or have no clue where to find it.

    How do you guys get around this? This is a serious question.
    Life Is Grand

  • #2
    I most often let Google worry about that. I need only remember that I remember something then ask Google to recall it. On this board that might be as simple as:

    Google Search

    "thread dial"

    This will give me every page from this site that has the phrase "thread dial" on it. I expect this page will be there by tomorrow


    • #3
      Many great ideas are so simple. Thanks, I used to be computer literate years ago but the process has bypassed me, so now I consider myself illiterate. I was ok when DOS ruled but I have never progressed from then.

      I guess I need to get a computer out in the shop. I want to setup a cnc lathe soon so I guess it is time to get the box out there.

      Life Is Grand


      • #4
        I occasionally print pages from here but when I do I use the option to show the page in printable mode. Saves a lot of ink.

        You can also get a neat plugin for Firefox that will save the entire web page (or just the visible part) as an image. That makes it easy to capture the page in context with the images that may be on it.

        See here:
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #5
          Cybor, I feel your pain. I have several strategies:

          > I note down links in an MS Word document that is always handy. I put down the link and one line to tell me what its about.

          > I keep a web site with blog. The most interesting stuff from my link list winds up in there as I get time. You may have seen it:

          > I keep a project wish list page. This is the stuff I'm really interested in doing someday. Many of the projects I've seen here are there. I also add notes from other places on similar projects to those pages:

          That list is long, but I do knock a few out every year, and I go back and look over them often.

          > I keep pages on the web site about particular techniques and procedures that I may want to refer to. For example, to get straight in my head the different workholding techniques for a lathe, I went and researched the heck out of it and wrote this page:

          > Lastly, I have some other important "crib notes", such as my Tool Brands page:

          People have so many recommendations about brands I've never heard of, that I write them down with a note or two. BTW, most of the folks on eBay don't seem to have heard of them either. So, I avoid most of the popular brands and try to buy good brands that are less well known. The deals are better!



          Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


          • #6
            Another useful link is a program called Fineprint.


            This allows you to select this as a printer driver and then choose 1 up, 2 up, 4 up, double sided or booklet form.

            When printing web pages you get a preview and a choice to delete certain pages, handy when all you get on the last web page is the address.

            It even gives you a running total on pages saved if you double up or use the other features.
            Not expensive and well worth the cost.

            They also have a pdf printer that's streets in front of Adobe.


            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


            • #7
              I have a photographic memory for machinery, I don't bother taking notes. =)

              I've found that after I do enough reading on a particular subject, something just clicks about how a thing works. Then it becomes trivial to remember the details. When I try to read too many details right off, then stuff starts to get lost.

              For instance, speed and feed equations. Once you understand the core physics of it, it becomes easy to remember the equations. And you now have an adequate understanding to modify the parameters to change your process beneficially. Until I did that research, it was a crappy attempt at memorization, which for me never works.


              • #8
                toasty good point. But one thing I have an issue with is if I do not use it enough I lose it. My #1 problem is I am off on so many different paths it would take a computer to keep it all. I do not have a photo memory for anything. When I was a wee lad I seemed to take it all in and could recall it when needed. I had passion for what I worked on which made it easier. I no longer work for the love of it but because I have to. Loses so much in the transition.

                I want to do everything. I love guns, cars, engines, machining, bowling, hunting, shooting, pool, XBox ( God, I know I am nuts) boating, fishing, video editing, film photography, racing, radio control toys, motorcycles, I will stop here my wife may see this!
                I do all these now at least most of them. It is a little difficult to master all this stuff. But I try, maybe that is the problem.
                What do you think?
                Life Is Grand


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=toastydeath]I have a photographic memory....... QUOTE]

                  I have something similar, but I spell it different......pornographic wife thinks that I "lust" over machinery.........LOL


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BobWarfield
                    Cybor, I feel your pain.


                    I was going to quote the whole thing but I did not want to get run off the board.

                    You certainly have a system. It must take loads of time to keep it up. It is very nice and I do find myself reading over your site from time to time. I do not ever see myself getting anything like that together. Heck I cant even keep my generic website working. I was on today and tried to add a tool and it messed everything up. I think it is the site builder software but I am too stupid to figure it out. If I was wealthy I would pay to have it done but that is another dream.

                    PSSSS I was looking on ebay for the face driver you mentioned but was not able to find it. Sounds real interesting and lately I have a need to turn between centers. Ran into a problem with my camlock which I had to fix. That pic of yours looks real interesting. It would fix another small problem I have been pondering.

                    I think I will post some pics about my run in with the camlock, could help others.
                    Life Is Grand


                    • #11
                      Google Notes

                      If you use Gmail, you have access to a tool called Google Notes. It may still be in the "labs" section. With that, all you need to do is install the browser plug-in and you can select and right-click any pictures or text and choose "Save to Google Notes." After that, it's yours.

                      You can open up Notes in full-screen and organise them into notebooks or just tag them for easier searching. You can edit a notebook, print it off, save it as PDF, or import it into Google Docs. I have so much stuff in there, organised into all kinds of notebooks (and subtopics of notebooks) that backing it up to PDF is starting to be an issue. Lots and lots of stuff, all searchable via Google of course.

                      Actually, once you start using Notes, it rapidly reduces then number of pages you bother to bookmark. Each note keeps the link to the original page, and it's way easier to scroll through a notebook on a subject, seeing pictures and snippets of text you found interesting, than trying to remember what a particular URL contains. Oh, and if you use Gmarks (Google's online bookmark system - which I also highly recommend), then Notes just become online Bookmarks. They are seamlessly integrated.

                      You can take it even one step farther, by running iGoogle ( and setting up your own personal homepage. In that, you can put gadgets for Gmail, Gnotes, Gmarks, Gcalendar, Gnews.... and on and on and on. Firefox has a Gmarks plug-in that seamlessly allows your Google Bookmarks to integrate right into the browser. All hail Google.

                      By going totally online in this way, I can go from work to home and there is NO difference. I have all the same email, notes, bookmarks, etc.. It looks the same. BTW, I use Windows at work and Ubuntu Linux and Mac OSX at home -- once I'm in Firefox, everything is the same, the transition is seamless. Everything I've ever seen that interested me is right there, a click or two away. Computing the way it should be.

                      Last edited by fixerdave; 01-04-2008, 12:36 AM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan
                        I occasionally print pages from here but when I do I use the option to show the page in printable mode. Saves a lot of ink.

                        i learn something every day. i have never looked under that tab, but now i see it does make a difference for printing. THANKS, Evan!

                        andy b.
                        The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                        • #13
                          Actually, once you start using Notes, it rapidly reduces then number of pages you bother to bookmark. Each note keeps the link to the original page, and it's way easier to scroll through a notebook on a subject...
                          ... All hail Google.
                          I suggest you read their privacy policy and the EULA you agreed to when you install that software. They are peeking over your shoulder every step of the way and use that information in many ways. I wouldn't touch those online services with a ten foot keyboard. I am opposed to such privacy invasions as a matter of general principle no matter how harmless it may seem. While it is nearly impossible to not leave "footprints" while online I think it best to minimize those footprints when it comes to revealing personal information that can be used in something such as identity theft.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                          • #14
                            I don't even begin to try to remember all the good stuff I read here.

                            I have text documents dedicated to several different topics. For instance: MetalFAQ, Cast_FAQ, ModelEng, etc. All of these files have shortcuts I keep on my Windows desktop.

                            If I come across something useful, here, I merely highlight it, cut it (Ctrl-C) and paste it (Ctrl-V) to the appropriate file.

                            Whenever I need to retrieve information I'll merely open the file, and do a digital search (Ctrl-F). I can get what I need in seconds. It is much faster than keeping hard-copy files. It would take me weeks to flip through all the pages if I did that.

                            So many projects. So little time.


                            • #15
                              I am working with a beta of a CAD program at the moment that has a similar line to Google notes but it's all on your machine, no net connection needed.

                              As it's beta I can't say much but basically you have a main screen thats' just under the screen you are using. It can be made semi transparent or visible at points. When you come onto this screen you them see transparent open pages of documents that are active as you move over them.

                              Although it's a CAD program you don't need to be using the CAD part.
                              You can have a word document open and a photo file at the same time, both show as semi transparent icons.
                              You move over the photo icon and it opens up, grab a photo, move off the page and it shrinks back to the main page, move the photo over Word and it opens up and accepts the picture.
                              Move off word and it shrinks.

                              the same idea applies to spreadsheets, web pages etc.
                              You can have as many folders / books open as you like so if you were using this forum you could grab the post on cars and drop it into a car book, milling tips into a milling book etc.

                              It's a bit scary working with semi transparent pages at first but as you get used to it the speed and ease of use makes it easier.

                              When it's fully evolved the idea is to bring in different drawings from other pages to form assemblies and also use these in things like the machine manual or bill of materials.


                              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.