1   Tell me about Tonto2.

Tonto2 is a list keeper.

It is a Python3 script that uses Qt for its graphical interface. It runs on Windows desktops as well as Linux desktops. It does not interact with cloud-based services. If you want to import or export data to the cloud, you need to do that outside of Tonto2.

1.1   What does Tonto2 do?

It keeps lists.

You can use lists to keep in touch with family, friends, and cow-orkers.

Tonto2 is quick to learn, easy to understand, and simple to use.

Tonto2 keeps four kinds of lists:

  • You can use an address list to keep track of contacts' phone numbers, mailing addresses, and eMail addresses.

  • You can use a calendar to remind you about events and appointments including date, time, and duration. You can add notes about finding the location and other prerequisites to attendance.

  • You can keep separate passwords in a password list for every website you visit and every piece of gear you own.

  • You can keep links to favorite websites in a bookmark list.

Additionally you can make a list of bibliographic entries for writing research papers and for saving well-formatted footnotes for Web sites, but this is an arcane topic that will probably not be of general interest.

The information in these lists is at your fingertips.

You own it, and you can keep it. You can share it piecemeal with other people and computers without having to trust anyone or any thing with the whole enchilada. This is the idea of Tonto2.

1.2   Is that all it does?

Well ... yes.

It doesn't spill its guts to Big Media, Big Government, or Big Crime, if that's what you're asking.

It won't necessarily keep you safe from threats, but then it won't try to monetize your information, either.

It's free: There are no registration fees, no membership fees, no storage fees, no usage fees, no access fees, and no service fees.

The information you put into lists is stored in comma-separated-values (csv) files on your computer, not in the cloud. You can import these files to spreadsheets if you want. If you run programs that generate csv files, you can read those files in Tonto2.

1.3   Who am I to use Tonto2?

I wrote Tonto2 for geeks because I am one. If you are a geek, you'll love it. If you're not, you need to pretend to be one to appreciate the technical details that follow.

In this Age, most folks use cellphones. They entrust all the most intimate details of their own lives and the lives of their family, friends, and cow-orkers to their cellphones. Yes, they do! They put a lot of sensitive information into a portable device that may be lost, damaged, or stolen. And — further — all that information is ingested and monetized by the curator of the ecosystem that manages the software that runs the cellphone.

It's very insecure. I deal with customers facing the loss of their cellphone information nearly every week at work. You can look at the customer as having lost control of his information. It's sad. I'm not saying everyone should get rid of his cellphone. I'm just saying he shouldn't entrust his cellphone with more than the minimum amount of information. To use a cellphone, you have to put in contacts, of course, but there is no need to go overboard and put in more than a handful, for instance. Likewise, your calendar should be for work-related appointments and not much else.

What happens to people is that they use different apps. They use different apps from time to time. They use different apps than their family, friends, and cow-orkers use. They use different apps for different things. Hardly any of these apps allow exporting the users' information. Hardly any of the apps can fully read the information exported by other apps. Information interchange is a fantasy.

People don't manage their relationships with their cloud-based service providers well, either. However good their intentions, people just can't seem to remember their cloud passwords, and they're pretty much at sea when it comes to establishing and maintaining a cloud identity, so regaining access to private information may not be possible after losing or damaging a cellphone.

I, myself, use a bevy of apps to do the same things on my cellphone that I do with Tonto2 on my desktop. I use a calendar app, an alarm app, and a memo app. (Come to think of it, my memo app, Memento Database (MementoDB) is functionally a lot like Tonto2, although Memento Database on cellphones is profoundly more sophisticated than Tonto2 on desktops.) I use a couple of browsers — one more secure and one less so — just as I do on my desktop. I mention the separate browsers because they keep separate lists of bookmarked links. The phone itself keeps my contact list, but I keep two phones. You can see that, if I were to put too much information into these apps, I'd have a difficult time of moving it around between apps, so I just don't. I wish I could say that Tonto2 could help. It can't, and I apologize for that in the Appendix.

What Tonto2 aspires to do is to provide consistent repositories for different kinds of lists. These reside on your PC, which, if it is a desktop machine, is bound to be more secure than a cellphone. You should, of course, take steps to make sure it is more secure: powering it from a surge protector or an uninterruptible power supply, creating backups on schedule, not running any server-side software if you can help it, and restricting physical access to it. By acting as a central repository for your lists, Tonto2 helps you avoid the pitfalls of moving information from machine to machine and between apps.

By using Tonto2 to store your information in csv format, which is simple and well understood, you can abandon Tonto2 whenever you like and move your information into other paradigms such as databases or spreadsheets.

If you are like most people who use a desktop computer, Tonto2 is for you.

It may be worth a try.