Steve Johnson's Blog

Has Steve Johnson’s blog come up on this board, or am I way late? :frowning:

In any case, for those who missed it, his 500-word sweet-spot concept is intriguing. … 00230.html


Hi, Jeff. Yes, Johnson’s blog has been discussed in a number of threads.

I will note, however, that I store all of the more that 21,000 documents in my database “whole” and still find the AI features useful. My documents range in size from abstracts to book-length PDFs. Their average length is roughly 1,200 words.

There’s a neat feature called See Selected Text (a contextual menu option) that performs much like See Also. When I’m reading a long document and wish to see a list of other documents that are contextually similar to a paragraph, section or chapter of the long document, I just select the relevant text and use that contextual menu option.

Excellent tip. Millions of features like that to be discovered. Someone should do a “Dummy” book on DT.

That said, I searched this site for Steve Johnson and got nada. Where would I find the discussion on him, Bill.

if you search for “steven berlin johnson” on this forum (search for all words), the posts appear

Thank you. Cheers.

Am I search impaired? I tried searching on his full name – Steven Berlin Johnson – and drew a blank. Could the content have been erased?


Slightly off topic, but I agree. I’m sure there must be lots of us out here who really do need a guiding hand with many DTP Office features.

Maybe the guys at the Take Control ebooks for the Mac published by TidBITS should be asked to take on the project.

They did an amazing job on Take Control of Now Up-to-Date & Contact.


Yes, another good spot like Tidbits might be In some ways Devon Academy is doing the job, but too slowly (for learners and those with an interest in capturing market share), and the Academy is working from the “inside”: That is, an outsider who’s “learned” the ins and outs of the program – re: – has a far better idea of needs of us mortals (as opposed to Gods and Evangelists). And by mortals I mean middle-aged brick-and-mortar intellectuals who turn to software to manage information, as opposed to a younger generation of computer-tuned scholars who grew up as MAC embeds and understand the innards of the OS. Sorry, I’m babbling.


What a great feature.


Hi, ishear. I’m afraid that, as I’m 75, you still seem like a young whipper-snapper. :slight_smile:

My dear Bill, if you’re 75, I’m 120. BTW, my solution to getting certain items to pop up higher in search scoring was to employ the “comments section” of the “info panel” to copy the “key word” over and over, raising it’s word score. Inelegant but effective. Any better idea?


Hi, Jeff. I really am 75. And I don’t think you are 120. :slight_smile:

“Salting” the Comment field is probably the best way to boost weight for a term.

Astonishing. I say this because you’ve kept up with a technology that was “avant- guarde” just 27 years ago … that would have made you age 48, a time when most people prefer to get cozy and not cutting edge.

It also explains how you’ve collected 21 K files!

BTW - I’ve reached that point in my book project and DTPO database when the time has come to do some serious top-down, bottom-up organizing. I’ve thought of duplicating the entire database and letting DTPO organize itself by AI, file by file. Tedious, but intriguing. Any thoughts?


Didn’t start kicking around with computers until about 1968, but had taken graduate courses in logic back in the 50s and 60s.

Worked with Lynton K. Caldwell, coauthored several publications on science and environmental policy. In late 60s early 70s was project director of the Environmental Systems Applications Center at Indiana University, a spin-off of the Aerospace Research Applications Center.

The concept of ARAC and ESAC was to facilitate transfer of the results of federally funded research. Most clients were large industries and governmental agencies. The concept was exciting, but the limits of technology at the time made searches for useful information a slow, expensive and labor-intensive process. I’ve continued an interest in the management and analysis of information, especially interactive, computer-aided procedures – which is why working with DEVONtechnologies is fun. DEVONtechnologies leads in providing tools to interactively assist the user to find and analyze “connections” of information in document collections.


Have you ever considered working with users to help them customize databases, or has Devon ever thought of offering to work (for $$$) with users to optimize DTPO for their project needs?


We’re not IBM; we don’t have the time and personnel to do much of that – and I’ve never been convinced that IBM’s business model was all that great. :slight_smile:

But the forum is a good place for user’s to discuss database design to achieve a goal, and we’ll try to help such discussions. There have been threads like that in the past, and it’s probably timely for someone to start another.

Actually that’s an intriguing idea… Perhaps an add-on to the forums: “DTPO Design,” where users suggest their approaches to the perfect database, kind of a home for designs like that fellow who suggested a GTD design on DTPO. Yes?