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Engineering’s Three Rules: Document, Document, Document

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David Ashton
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Re: Managing email?
David Ashton   9/1/2014 12:37:11 AM
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@Karen... "Do you have any recommendations for how to keep your emails filed..?"

I don't, but I recall Max did a blog about it some time ago, and after a bit of searching I found it:

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1285089

Fortunately I am not as famous as you or Max so I don't need to think about this sort ot thing, but Max seems to have found a good solution.  This was in 2011 so maybe we should ask him to update his experiences...Max??

Sheepdoll
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Re: Managing email?
Sheepdoll   8/31/2014 11:55:44 PM
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I like using thunderbird.  This allows for multiple accounts and lots of sub folders.  For mailing lists, I have search patterns which sort the list into it's own digest folder.

Thunderbird sets up a local fork, which is an accountless email client. Useful when working with IMAP hosts.  It is also possible to set up additional headless POP accounts.  Works good for archival mail.

Sent and received messages can be copied to these headless account folders, where little icon allows the correspondence to be see in a threaded view.

I keep a folder named sync, for temporary messages or when I am traveling and need to download emails.

 

 

kfield
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Managing email?
kfield   8/31/2014 9:32:03 PM
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Do you have any recommendations for how to keep your emails filed? I feel overwhelmed and I don't manage it as well as I know I could/should.

betajet
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CEO
Re: Crap, more crap, and even more crap
betajet   5/21/2014 9:30:36 AM
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From Tennessee Williams' Camino Real:
Gypsy: This filing system is screwed up six ways from next Sunday... File this crap under crap!

Who would have guessed that TW would know so much about engineering records?

Anand.Yaligar
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Rookie
Re: Very nice
Anand.Yaligar   5/21/2014 6:54:26 AM
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@wave.forest: Not only that, if an engineer is methodical, nobody is going to stop him from reaching high in the company.

Anand.Yaligar
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Re: Engineering Documentation
Anand.Yaligar   5/21/2014 6:53:13 AM
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@Spike_johan: Interestingly, this is what most trainee engineers suffer from in their first couple of years. "If you didn't write it down, you'll forget it" and "If you didn't write it down, you didn't do it". It is through hardship do they understand the importance of physical documentation. Going tech-savvy is good, but in order to build a technology, paper documentation is required.

Anand.Yaligar
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Re : Engineering’s Three Rules: Document, Document, Document
Anand.Yaligar   5/21/2014 6:51:51 AM
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I like to document my work with the help of a simple technique: locality of reference. This means that I keep at hand those things that have equal importance to a project, even if I don't use them. Not only that, I label each section using the alphabets A,B,C etc, and write a summary of contents on top of every label. If I need a document on Software Post Processing that has been labelled in "T" and if the topics Software String Management in "Z" and Software Code Debugging Models in "R" are equally important to the project (even if they are not needed), I group the labels T,Z and R together. 

Sheepdoll
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Re: Creation and retrieval of documentation
Sheepdoll   5/19/2014 2:07:56 PM
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@DrQuine - The challenge of documentation is that it is usually intended for retrieval in the future.


What I have found using the smaller one inch binders is that this size works for keeping the quick reference stuff.  The few pages of the data sheet one needs to access quickly like the pinouts and footprints.  I also keep the schematic,  and BOM in these thin binders.  I like to think of these as aking to the "pocket program guide." for easy quick reference.

Size does matter here as I like to reference some of these as a bedside reader.  The photograph was taken literately on my bed.  This size is also useful in the bathroom. Granted one can take the laptop, or phone into the loo (head or necessary)  Given that most of these now have Orwellian cameras on them, I am not sure I want to do that.  Or for this natural engineering and salty sailor talk topic to continue.

@Karen - My folders are quarantine, sandbox and guff.  Then there is the evenMoreGuff folder.   Disks and now thumb drives that I sneaker net with are called Noah, and ark.  These then go into quarantine.

 

kfield
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Crap, more crap, and even more crap
kfield   5/19/2014 1:23:34 PM
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I can't pretend that I have any good methods for capturing and maintaining documentation, but I do love the file management system an engineering friend of mine has: I was leaning over his shoulder recently while he was working on his laptop and I noticed he had three folders on his desktop: crap, more crap, and even more crap. He told me that was where he stored the "important" content!

DrQuine
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CEO
Creation and retrieval of documentation
DrQuine   5/16/2014 4:47:00 PM
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The challenge of documentation is that it is usually intended for retrieval in the future. This means that the effort of documentation has little immediate reward and the future retrieval depends upon maintaining access integrity through time. Three ring binders are bulky and hard to search but admirable in their accessible user interface through time, changing computer software, and operating system. Computer files must be created in a format for which future access is assured and the files must be rolled ahead to each new generation of the storage system.  They must also be preserved in a way that is obvious to others.  Most computers are reused or retired when their owners retire or pass away. Few files are effectively captured and mined for the corporate benefit. Lab books are visible which at least forces somebody to consciously decide whether to preserve or discard them. Someday, our ability to create data will be matched by our ability to mine it. In the meantime, most recollections of previous solutions depend upon the memory of the inventor; the documentation merely fills in the fine details. The next generation has little hope of mining the digital records of their predecessors. 

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