Thursday, October 16, 2003
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The Guardian on Tinderbox

In The Guardian, Giles Foden writes about technology, Tinderbox , and the challenges of writing. fiction and journalism.

Windows and other graphical user interfaces might offer enlightenment to some, but for one such as myself they are just another distraction: something else between the writer and language.... I run Eastgate System's amazing program Tinderbox for research and note-taking. It is effectively a relational database with a graphical user interface: so one is able to display or map all the various levels of one's notes, as well as links to the internet and other material.

As a content management system, Tinderbox is very clever and elegant. Tinderbox can automatically scan your notes, looking for patterns, and these can be marked on the screen. Since pattern-making is essential to novel writing, this is quite useful when building up fictional material. It is also very useful for non-fictional, academic and journalistic researches, enabling one to log references efficiently.... Tinderbox can rescue you from information overload.