capsule review

Boswell 1.0

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Picture an assistant able to retrieve text for you in an instant: that's the premise behind Copernican Technologies' Boswell 1.0.2, a database in which you can store text clippings as large as 32K.

Boswell--which requires only 5MB of memory--was designed to be kept running, ready to accept or retrieve text. Boswell's electronic manual warns you not to try to learn the program by trial and error, and that's good advice--it took me two readings to familiarize myself with the terminology. In Boswell-speak, text blocks are called "entries," and they reside in a temporary storage area, the Journal, until they're transferred to the permanent Archive (once you put an entry there, you can't edit or delete it). Boswell's powerful cataloging functions make it easy to group related entries, so it's a snap to find, for example, all e-mail messages from your cousin Agnes that include the word fruitcake .

Alas, the only way to transfer text into Boswell is to cut and paste it, drag it from another application, or import it from a text file, so users who want the program to store all of their Microsoft Word documents or Entourage e-mail messages have some tedious work in store.

Macworld's Buying Advice

Though free utilities such as Sherlock let you search for files by content, having a separate, permanent record of your text has advantages. But as it is now, Boswell may be more trouble than it's worth.

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