19 Oct 2001: Walker

I'm using Ceres constantly - I wish it could be my entire operating system!

I much prefer the Map View of all my notes to the dull old desktop. Topics I'm working on sprawl around, comfortably nestled by adornments, while last week's items of extreme interest are tucked into boxes and stacked neatly aside for future reference.

I used to write in Word, generating hundreds of small quickly-forgotten documents. I'm working on a PhD dissertation so I have a lot of writing to do. Now, I'm only using Ceres for writing. I paste articles from the Web into individual notes, type quick comments and link them up. I type quotes from books I think I might need some day (but who really knows?). And I have a more generously sized note, always growing, constantly being revised, that will some day become another chapter, or part of a chapter, in my dissertation.

I can instantly see how much work I've done, research, thinking and writing.

Over in another corner of my screen is the blog section, where I have aliases of posts there that are relevant to my current work over in the sprawling part. I couldn't do that with Word. No wonder I haven't launched Word in days.

16 Oct 2001: Miles

The Hang of this Thing

Getting the hang of this ceres thing. It isn't just working out how to use it to collect and build structure from my notes, or how it works as a very elegant and powerful html content and publishing manager (sort of a pim that knows about what the hypertext systems community has written and wondered about for the last 20 years), but simply how to begin to write in here.

the note below on andrew murphie is when this happened. i wrote it, then realised that all those things needed to be in my link directory - you see i'm also using the vlog and ceres to maintain an annotated link directory of things that interest me. so instead of then adding new notes for the various things that andrew murphie's stuff is relevant to (deleuze and guattari, hypertext, interactive media, and on my list of people links) i just made an alias of the note, put the alias in one of the link categories, added the other keywords, and whacky do, the one note is published on the index page, and in 4 other link directories.

it is the ability to support this redundancy that at the moment makes ceres very useful. information when it becomes knowledge shifts contexts, and cere's agents are precisely this, little multiple context builders.

17 Sep 2001: Walker

Q: I've built a Web log based on the SimpleWebLog package, but my sidebars aren't showing up. (It was quite easy to get started just by fiddling with the web log template you provided. I'm not quite sure WHY it all works yet.....I can't figure out how the exporter knows that some notes should take the item format and some the sidebar format.

A: The key is the HTMLExportTemplate attribute. You should check this when installing the Simple Web Log package, if things don't seem to be working right; you may need to show Ceres where the templates reside on your hard disk. (This will be easier to do in the next release, which has a new HTMLView window)

26 Jul 2001: DG

After seeing the map on Tuesday, and playing with Ceres for an hour or so myself, I feel a little addicted to it. More than a little. Even more than when I first "got" Storyspace (which was different from the first time I used it) and that was really addictive.

It's all a bit disconcerting because I don't normally expect software to be so transparent and so much fun to use. I'd forgotten what it was like to feel such a sudden, fast immersion in a tool. How seductive that is. The learning curve suddenly dropped away. There must be some way to convey this....

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