Monday, July 23, 2007

Software review - Surfulater

Here's my review of the software I mentioned last week:

Over the last couple of weeks I've been working with a new programme (new to me) for saving and organizing internet research. Surfulater (, developed by Soft As it Gets Pty Ltd in Victoria, Australia, is a superior product. It downloads and sets up quickly, is easy to use and quite versatile, allowing you to capture not only web content, but anything you select and copy to the clipboard of any Windows programme.

While it integrates with your browser of choice (IE, Firefox, and IE based browsers) it is, in fact, a stand alone application. Using a tree-like structure, it organizes your info into Folders, sub-folders and articles. You can choose between a couple of display modes, which is nice.

Some of its features include the ability to tag and cross-reference items, keep multiple copies in separate folders using cut/copy and paste, and the option to email your collection to others.

You can also import your bookmark/favourite files (though if yours are really big, like mine, it might be overwhelmed - an issue the developer is working on) and other .html files. I imported my Book Catalogue for easy reference and extra back-up.

It serves as a Personal Information Manager, with templates for Contacts and To Do lists, with the ability to create new article templates promised for the future.

The Knowledge Base comes preloaded with a few items so you can play around with it during the Free Trial Period, which is a nice feature. Once you buy ($35.00), you can create as many KBs as you like, providing even more precise organizational options. Articles can be annotated and have files attached to them. And you can use the search feature to retrieve info quickly.

What do I like most about Surfulater? Hard to pin it down to just one thing. The Knowledge Base is super easy to use, the info is presented clearly and is easy on the eyes while the support I've received has been top notch. I had a couple of questions which were answered quickly and in a friendly manner. I've been using it with Firefox, which meant downloading a small add-on, but this really isn't an issue as it's available directly through the Surfulater website. Even better, the license specifically allows for you to have two copies of the programme, meaning you can keep a back up copy on a separate computer. Backing up is easy and there are plans to provide the option to synchronize the KBs on separate computers in the near future.

The Help file is pretty comprehensive, though an Index would make it even better.

Is there anything I didn't like? The only minor thing I noticed is that when I tried to change the font on some text I clipped and copied from the web, it wouldn't allow me to. But that's a minor thing and hardly important compared to the many features and advantages this web/information utility provides.

All in all, it does what it says it will do (unless you overwhelm the poor thing with literally thousands of bookmarks, as I did *g*), integrates seamlessly and loads quickly when it opens. You will, however, need room on your hard drive to store the info, so keep that in mind.

Have any questions about it? You can visit the Surfulater blog ( and FAQ ( or, if you want to know more about my personal experience with it, email me at A discussion forum is also available through the Surfulater web site and you can read it without registering.


Currently Reading: The Jane Austen Book Club

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quick update...

Hi everyone :) Hope you're all having a good weekend. Ours has been rather soggy, though the rain seems to have stopped for now and the sun has even peeked through!

Sean's vacation started Friday and continues till next Sunday, so I'll likely be on line a lot less during that time. Especially as we'll be in Vancouver for a couple of days.

I did, however, find a really cool tidbit in The Times of London from January 1, 1794, something I'm going to use in my ms. Research can be so much fun. Of course, if any of you out there know anything about the Temple of Flora in London (near Westminster) during the late 18th Century, please let me know. I don't have access to any of my London books right now and can't find anything about it on the web. Lots about the Temple of Flora at Stourhead, Wiltshire, but not the one in London. *sigh*.

I'll be updating my house blog after I finish here, so if you're curious about the progress, hop on over there.

Have any of you seen The Matador? We watched it last night and thought it was pretty good. LOVED Pierce playing a completely different type of character.

Happy Sunday!


Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The perfect blog post...

has been lost. It came to me just as I was drifting off to sleep last night, but when I woke up this morning, it was gone. Arrgghh. I'm still hoping it will come back to me. And yes, I know I should have made notes, but I have trouble enough sleeping without purposely waking myself back up to write something down *g*.

Yesterday I got some more research done, storing the results in a new programme I'm trying out, Surfulater. I'll post an official review over the next couple of days. So far, I'm pretty impressed :)

The plot is teasing me, which is kinda frustrating. I know where I want to go with my hero's story, but can't quite nail down the details yet. Once I have things more generally sketched out, I may just plunge into the story and see where things take me. Doing Nano last year proved that I'm able if not to actually fly into the mist, at least stumble around in it a bit with some measure of success *g*.

And Sean has finally pinpointed the problem with our high speed connection and figured out a work-around for now. Yay!

Not much else to report.


Currently Reading: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Link of the Day: One of my fave recent posts from the LOL cats.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday check in...

Well, here it is Sunday afternoon and as I have a few minutes, I figured I'd check in.

Yesterday was a busy day. We ran some errands, went to the gym, took care of some things here at home, then headed over to the Scouts Pacific Jamboree Garage Sale where we picked up a picnic table at a great price along with other assorted items. Other than needing a good wash and some stain, the table is in great shape. Yay!

After that excitement, we picked up some food and headed to the house site to have a picnic/campfire:

This morning we went back to the house to measure out the area for the wood stove's hearth pad, then Sean went to play ball hockey while I ran more errands.

Our week is just as busy, but on Friday Sean starts week 1 of his summer holiday :) Yay!

Hope you're having a nice weekend too!


Blogged with Flock

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back on high speed full time...

or so it appears. Sean figured out what was wrong and fixed it, as he's generally able to do with most things :) We had some excitement yesterday and Sean took some great pics:

So, what's going on, you ask? Well, there was a brush fire not too far from us on Friday afternoon and the lake nearby was chosen as a source of water. The helicopter made 10 to 12 visits, scooping water up in its bucket. Pretty cool, huh? The fire was under control very quickly, no harm done.


Blogged with Flock

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quick update...

It's our phone line, not the modem. Sean will be trying a couple of things, but it's possible, until we move to the new house, that I'll have limited high speed access. Which could, in the end, prove a good thing where my writing is concerned.

I spent some of today doing research reading and playing with some plot ideas in my head. Tomorrow is errands in the morning, then my library shift in the afternoon.

Plus, our windows still haven't arrived :( So we won't get to lock-up at the new place this week. Grrr. OTOH, the deck looks great. When I have high speed access again, I'll try to post a pic of it.

Back to my research - I'm discovering that a lot of the primary source material that I need for this story just isn't going to be available to me unless I visit England. Which isn't going to happen any time soon. For the historian in me, this is a big issue. I HATE relying on secondary sources. Still, I'll see what I can find out there in cyberspace. Any tips?

Ok - time to clean litter boxes. Oh joy!


Currently Reading: The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Link of the Day: Blogging National

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DSL Modem problems...

As a result, I won't be around much until things are fixed. We still have dial up, but pretty much every site on the web these days is optimized for high speed. And we're only connecting at 45.2 Kpbs.

Hopefully things will be sorted soon and I'll be reconnected at a decent speed.

I can still receive email, though, even on dial up it's not too bad, so contact me at if you need to.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday on the Coast...

Things here are still busy, busy. We're meeting with the electrician this afternoon to go through the house and hope to find our windows/doors have been delivered. If they have, then we could be at the lock up stage by the end of the week. Yay! Move in is slated for late August (fingers and toes crossed) - much will depend on the drywallers (they come in after the electrical/plumbing is done), painters and then the flooring people. But, the roof is now done and the chimney is up:)

I've had to accept I won't get much writing done until things get more settled. There are lots of little things to do that all seem to take up a lot of time. But that's ok, my story is percolating :)

Though I admit to having spent a little too much time over at Facebook yesterday, time that could have been spent writing. However, I found a friend of mine from my CANEX days, someone I lost touch with in the early 2000s. She helped keep me sane in that job. And through her page, I found another of my former co-workers. They're both married with kids now, so it was cool to catch up with them.

It's going to be smoking hot here this week, hot even by my Ontario born and bred standards - up into the mid 30s. I just have to hope it cools off well at night. It certainly was cool enough on Saturday night when we went to a 7/7/7 party/bbq - but not so cool that it spoiled the fun *g*.

That's about it for now. My internet connection is still a little temperamental, but I'll keep trying to make the blog rounds :)

Right. Birth of Venus. It's good so far, reminds me a little of a YA book I reviewed a couple of years ago, The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes (not the book of the same name by Mary Sharratt that's on my TBR list).


Currently Reading: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Another Thursday update...

Wow - the week just flew. We had a wonderful family weekend and our niece is still here, so we've been hanging with her. Went to see Ratatouille the other night - fun movie!

The house is coming along well now - the roof is more than half done. It's hot and sunny here, at long last, so the roofers are already hard at work this morning.

No writing this week, but I did manage some research reading.

This afternoon I'm off to my second training session at the library. Last Friday's went really well, so I'm looking forward to today as well :) It's fantastic doing that kind of work again, plus I'm finding out lots more about the various collections in the library, including those for kids/teens.

Wish I had something more exciting to report, but really - that's about it. In two weeks Sean starts the first of his vacation weeks (he has another two in August) and my sister will be visiting, which should be lots of fun as we haven't seen the family in over a year, since stopping to see them on our drive out here.

Oh, and our internet connection has been a bit wonky lately, so I'm slower than usual making the blog rounds.


Currently Reading: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant