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Ultra Recall is DEAD!

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Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Oct 31, 2008 at 08:22 AM

 

Re UltraRecall: I’ve been a loyal UR user since version 1, hesitantly switching to it from the now defunct HyperClip, whose developers simply vanished one day from the web after long term silence.

I have been very satisfied by Kinook, both in terms of development and user interaction. I respect their decision to freeze development; I much prefer that they stay in business through hard times and believe that they will indeed resume development when financial issues get better. Contrary to other such company decisions (such as DogMelon Studio http://www.dogmelon.com.au/nsblog/ ) I have the impression that UltraRecall had captured a significant market segment.

Moreover, UR is indeed a mature product and has nothing like the lock-in related to many other information managers that we discuss here. It uses compressed SQLite files and I recall that Kinook provided instructions on how to access UR files through SQLite. It can export just about everything in useful formats. It doesn’t have one-click HTML export as other products do but I have found this to be a much less useful feature than advertised.

I have been so happy with UR’s features and stability that I didn’t even realise it initially when version 3.0 came out. Unlike other products, I used it productively without missing something promised in the roadmap. Notwithstanding, I found quite a few new features of significant benefit.

Over the years, I found that using a limited set of imperfect tools gets much more work done than waiting for the perfect one(s). Thus, I intend to keep updating my personal project data in UR for quite some time—at least until Windows 7 comes out and I find that it doesn’t run there. Actually, even that is unlikely to make a difference: I still haven’t upgraded to Vista and am seriously experimenting with Linux instead.


Re InfoQube: I am delighted at Pierre’s approach which has stood out from day one. Through his program, he has provided unbeatably versatile access to SQL power—just compare IQ with any SQL based database to find out what you’ve been missing on.

As a consultant myself, I find that the product+services business model is the way to go—after all, it is what has supported the development of brilliant Open Source software including Linux. (Mind you, it is not a guaranteed approach: Sycon did the same with IDEA! but stayed too much behind in actual development). I bought a license to SQLnotes several months ago and am investing in learning the program’s capabilities. Indeed, it is the main candidate for my own company’s database—as soon as my partners realise that we need one!

If there’s one thing I miss, that’s cross-platform support, which I think will be more and more required by business oriented programs. In the meantime, we’ll have to do with Windows boxes.

Cheers
Alexander
 

 


Posted by Q
Oct 31, 2008 at 09:00 AM

 

Alexander,

A most thoughtful and detail oriented post! I am particularly a fan of your point on work with imperfect tools than waiting for the right one…..it reflects my decisions with postponing writing!

 


Posted by Graham Rhind
Oct 31, 2008 at 10:49 AM

 

I admire Kinook’s honesty - more companies should take that approach.

There are very few companies which can live from the money made out of software development and sales.  My own software (16 years old and still going strong!) doesn’t make me enough money to keep me in tea bags - it’s a loss-leader for the rest of my business. There are numerous companies producing information management software which have had good basic products and major aspirations which just disappear or freeze because they have expectations of huge sales - a real waste of ideas and code.

It’s certainly a reminder to choose a product which allows easy export in usable formats - when I moved from UR to Zoot moving the data was a cinch (easy).  Programs such as OneNote and The Brain don’t have these easy export routes, so one needs to be wary of how one uses them and what one stores.

Graham

 


Posted by Jan Rifkinson
Oct 31, 2008 at 11:47 AM

 

Altho this is greatly disappointing….. & frustrating….. this action does not come as a surprise to me. In fact, I suggested it’s possibility once before & was shouted down. So be it.

I strongly believe that besides having a great product—like UR—open, kindly, friendly, welcoming customer support is just as essential to the potential success of any product.

Yes, for those of you who are technically oriented, kinook has always been prompt in replying to technical questions posted here. Now I suppose this is all that should be required of technical support, ie.. ask a question, get the answer.

But, to me, both the information & the approach has always been highly technical & cold & frequently over my head.

A smile goes a long way in this world. IMO, UltraRecall was never going to break out of its small technoworld with that approach.

Like Agenda, Ecco & ADM before it, UR leaves behind a mature, unfinished product & a bunch of users who now have a tough decision to make…. and if they decide to move on….. hours & hours of work before getting their life back in order.

None the less, I don’t wish Kinook any ill. I hope they succeed as I do all other small software companies whom I have spent thousands & thousands of dollars supporting over the years.

Happy Halloween.


Jan Rifkinson
Ridgefield CT USA

 


Posted by Eduardo Mauro
Oct 31, 2008 at 11:52 AM

 

That’s sad news. As a developer myself I know how difficult such decision is. The time spent developing, studying, trying to figure out the best approach, answering complaints just because we have a dream of what can be useful for other people. Most time software is a dream we envision. That’s the easy part. Make it come true is not easy. So I fell sad for Kinook folks and hope that is only a small hiatus.

Many times I received emails asking how many people work in ConnectedText, the size of our company and similar questions. I understand their worries. The investment in using a PIM is not measured only by the price of the license but also by the time spent adding information in it, polishing and editing. So it is natural that the end user needs to fell safe when he selects a program to store his work. Big companies also discontinue products. I have many examples. For instance: Brief an excellent programmer’s editor. Borland bought it and discontinued it soon afterwards. Talking about ConnectedText, it is not our main income, far from it, but it is always in development. Version 3.1 is almost ready and we have many plans for it. But as I said, as a developer, I can grasp the mixed feelings of Kinook people. I wish the best for them and that they can continue developing great products.

 


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