March 31, 2002
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Taking Notes on Engelbart

Gordon Meyer describes a unique experience: learning to use Tinderbox to take notes at a lecture by hypertext pioneer Doug Engelbart. (Engelbart's NLS/Augment was probably the first full-scale hypertext system; the same project also invented the computer mouse, the outliner, and groupware).

Sometimes, an application just comes together; it sounds like Tinderbox is at that stage. Meyer recalls that:

"Engelbart discussed how technology should be used to augment our abilities, to extend what we can do. Automating the mundane does not move us forward -- we should be building tools that augment our human capabilities -- making connections, thinking, communicating, and extending our knowledge.

"I laughed aloud as I realized Tinderbox had just done exactly that for me. Its "agent" feature was allowing me to gather a better understanding of this view of "smart agent" technology. How wonderfully recursive!