What Is Unique About Boswell?

For one thing, you can be a slob. Boswell does not mind at all.

While Boswell can handle formatted information like names and addresses, it was made for the sloppy stuff. Give it poems and e-mail and articles you found on the Web along with your research notes and drafts of your term paper, and Boswell will happily take care of it for you.

The secret is that Boswell's notebooks are not as precise as the categories and keywords of databases. If you have a notebook devoted to your co-worker named "Doug" it may also contain articles that mention Douglas Fairbanks.

In the database world, this is a terrible situation, but in the Boswell world it is not only unimportant, but normal and accepted. You do not need to go through your notebooks cleaning out entries that you think do not belong. You do not have to decide exactly where every entry will go. If an entry contains "Doug," it will go in the Doug notebook and if it winds up in a bunch of others as well, that does not matter to Boswell and you do not need to bother about it either. Don't bother looking for "misfiled" entries like these; just let them sit there.

You see, when you want to retrieve an e-mail from Doug, you do not read through all the entries in your e-mail notebook or your Doug notebook; in fact, you probably never open them up and look inside them at all. You simply refer to them when you create a query in the Manager dialog and let Boswell read through them for you. You specify what you want in as much detail as you care to: get me all the entries that are in the e-mail notebook and are also in the Doug notebook; and that existed before this time and after that time; and that are not in the Bob notebook; and that contain these words.

The notebooks may be sloppy, but your queries and their results can be very, very precise. You will get what you want. The worst that might happen is that you could get a little more than you want, but that just reassures you that nothing was overlooked. The trade-off is that all you had to do was set up your original categories as notebooks and filters; Boswell did the work of filing things away for you. When Boswell was a little too precise and saw a category that you did not really intend, you were freed from verifying the decisions or cleaning up afterwards. In the long run, that results in excellent search results with much less work for you.

Also, Boswell has auto-archiving so it does things your way (unlike Artificial Intelligence) but spares you the work of doing it, unlike hyper-text linking.

Finally, much software is written to have a life span as long as that of a lucky insect or a small unlucky mammal. After all, what software that you bought five years ago are you still using? What software that you are using now do you honestly expect to be using five years from now? Not much, right?

Boswell is different. It was created to handle a lifetime's worth of text. Boswell is in it for the long haul. If you expect to last longer than a small unlucky mammal, then Boswell will be there for you.


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