MindRetrieve Blog

MindRetrieve - an open source desktop search tool for your personal web

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A life time archive?

One thing that MindRetrieve does differently is there is no limit on how many webpages it archives. That may surprise some people intially as a disk hungry application. But after one year I collected about 120MB of archive. Project this number for 10 years would result in mere 1.2GB. You can buy a flashdrive today and have enough capacity for the next 10 years. There is rising awareness that technology has advanced to a stage that we can record everything we ever read or done, documents, emails, digital video, phone calls, etc, and keep an archive of you entire lifetime. MindRetrieve is designed with this idea in mind.

That said I find MindRetrieve current works best finding webpages you have just recently viewed, perhaps on the same day. Like things that are a few clicks away from a google result but you forgot how you get there. What about thing you've seen 6 months ago? Initially I think MindRetrieve would work like google of your mind. You enter a keyword and the desired result shows up on top. Actual experience is a lot less effective. One issue is you've simply used the wrong keyword. Memory fades. You might try to search for the article about the Vietnamese restaurant you went six months ago in vain. Turns out you didn't go to a Vietnamese restaurant six months ago. It was really an Indian restaurant you are looking for.

Beyond that there is a deep user interface problem for us to solve. Having a TiVo of you life is one thing. Being able to rewind over hundreds of thousands of hours of recording and find the exact one moment is a different thing. Full text search is helpful. But that alone is not the solution.

So I am still adding to my 125MB of web archive. And I believe sooner or later we'll find some interesting ways to explore the memory land.


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