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DIY Skill ... Gathering Internet Information for your DIY Activities

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  • DIY Skill ... Gathering Internet Information for your DIY Activities


    i posted this topic under this section because the use of internet nowadays, is in a way, a skill in itself for a DIYer to know more about the project that he/she wants to undertake before actually doing it. i prepared this topic a few months back when i was doing research for my Home Automation project in the internet. it's only now that i'm sharing it to the group after proving its effectiveness as a tool to easily find information from ones 'old notes'. the assumption here is that you always keep in mind to stick to your preferred 'manual process' of documenting all the information that you have gathered for your project while browsing the internet :-) he he he.

    with the internet these days, a lot of DIYers, have at their disposal a powerful tool to help them in gathering (research) information in a lot of things related to their interest.
    just like any physical tool (e.g. drill, welding machine, etc.), knowing how to use it properly (DIY skill) is paramount to maximize its usefulness to the DIYer.
    in doing research via the internet, to maximize its usefulness to the DIYer, once has to consider a manual process that would be simple and do the following:
    1. be able to save any information of interest to a person for a particular topic or article.
    2. be able to easily retrieve that information related to a particular topic at a later time either to update it or to relate it to a new information that you have just discovered or learned.

    below is a 'manual process' of what i normally do when reading ANY news and/or article in the internet that interest me everyday. all you need is a computer and the windows Notepad program :-). the basic concept is to store all your notes in a text file with hash tags (parang twitter) in a common library and then use the windows search function (File Directory) to locate the information in your old notes (text files). it's that simple :-) he he he

    A. Saving Information:
    1. first, identify a directory where to put all your notes in a text file. i recommend to use the windows default ... My Documents directory ...

    2. create a text file to contain all the hash tags names that you will use for tagging the information in your notes. for my case, i also use this text file to include a project outline of the activities i need to do and the things i still need to find out for a project. i also use this text file to save all the google search condition/s of my research.

    3. whenever you use the internet for searching an information, before anything else, create a text file to contain all your notes for that day like 'notes - Dyyymmdd-999.txt'. the '999' is in case you want to create multiple text files of your notes per article.

    4. when reading articles/topic in the internet that catches your interest. do the following to save the information into the text file while reading the article ...
    a. copy the URL and the TITLE of the article to your notes (text file). its important to a record of the website in case you need it in the future.
    b. make a note of the reason why the article is important or why it caught your attention. its important to remember the reason why you saved the info.
    c. cut/paste the important things you noted in the article to your notes. in case you download a file (e.g. pdf, photo, etc.), also save the name in your notes.
    d. put a hash tag/s that best describe your note in one line of your notes (e.g. #HAS ; #formula ; #convert-mv-to-lux). you can also use multiple hash tags to group your notes. in case you use a new hash tag/s, it's important to also update your hash tag text file (item 2).
    e. once you finish reading the article, save the text file. save it in UNICODE format so that special characters are also save in the text file.
    f. in case of multiple articles, just separate each article with new lines and a long dash line (in between articles). i always add the new notes at the top of the file so that the new info is just inserted into the text file. if the article is quite long, you can also just copy the whole text of the article into your notes for later reading - also saves you on internet usage if your using prepaid :-) ha ha ha.

    NOTE: for items (3) and (4), it really depends on your personal preference as to how you want to document/file your notes. you can create only 1 text file for the day to have all your notes or you can create multiple text files for the topics that interest you. you can include group hash tags to serve as an outline for the info you save. for me, i just create 1 file each day to contain all my notes and then once a week just copy the notes to a separate text file related to a particular topic.
    THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO BE CONSISTENT IN YOUR MANUAL PROCESS OF TAGGING YOUR NOTES ...


    B. Retrieving Information:
    1. using your hash tag text file as a reference, simply use the search function of windows File Directory for the tag/s you are searching. how efficient the search will depend on the hash tags that you use for tagging the information. you can also use the search function to search for specific words inside your text file notes. an added bonus, the windows search includes all the sub-directories within the primary directory so you can really file all your text notes in a systematic way.


    C. About the Information you read in the Internet:
    1. in google search, most of the direct hits of your search will be in the first 5 screens of the result. instead of browsing the results from page 6 onward, it's better to refine your search text and do the search again. also use the date, and country (e.g. more tools) to filter the result of the search.
    2. also take time to read the article's readers comment and feedback (normally at the bottom of the article) as it gives more insight if the info is true or not.
    3. take note of embedded link address (text of the article) and copy it also to your notes (for reference) if you copied the actual text into your notes.
    4. most info after reading a number of articles looks the same. it does not mean their all true, most likely a person posted it after reading another article :-) he he he. which comes to the most important point ... don't assume that everything in the internet is true. always find a way to validate if what you read is true or not.

    D. make a habit to creating a backup of all your text file notes regularly, like once a week. as a standard, use 3 sets of backup files (e.g. Backup-A, Backup-B, Backup-C) and rotate the backup to the 3 sets preferably in separate disk (e.g. hard disk, SD card, thumbdrive, etc.)

    have you notice that the above process is almost the same as what we used to do in the old days when doing research in a library using a pen and a paper :-) he he he. it's just much easier now with the internet and the use of a computer ... if you don't have a computer on hand, the above can also be done using a smartphone or tablet ... cheers

    Boo!

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