Screen shot of Inmagic

A Strange Object of Nostalgia

In the mid-1990s, I spent some time temping as a legal document coder. Those were the days when it was so expensive to scan and OCR documents that it was cheaper to hire armies of temps to read documents and type the names in those documents into a database optimized for searching names. One of the first such databases I learned how to use was the DOS version of Inmagic.

A number of libraries use Inmagic. When the product evolved into the Windows world, the manufacturers made the DOS version available for free, so that libraries with small or zero software budgets could use it.

I have a project where I thought it would be useful to get a quick idea of word frequencies in a text, including names. (More on this project shortly.) I wondered if the Inmagic freeware was still available. It is – click here. Kudos and thanks to its current owners, Lucidea.

It’s surprising how this interface takes me back to that time.

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