Archive for the ‘Memory Mate’ Category

Memory Mate

I think it was 1986 when I first discovered a program by Bruderbund called “Memory Mate.”  They had purchased it from Brown Bag Software who authored it and issued it as shareware under a different name that I can’t seem to remember right now.

Memory Mate is a DOS program.  It runs in a window under all version of Windows up to but not including Vista 64 bit.  (I have not tried it using a 32 bit version.)  I have Windows 7, 64 bit now so I run Memory Mate in a Virtual Box using Windows 2000 as the client and it still works GREAT.  Because it is a DOS program, it resides in a single folder and can easily be moved from one computer to the next or even stored on a thumb drive or in a shared folder on a network.

Memory Mate is a unique program.  I have never seen anything quite like it.  It is a totally free form data base.  There are no fields, no attributes, just a blank sheet of paper with a menu at the top.  A record consists of anything you want to type into it or anything you can cut and paste from another application.  When a record is saved, every word in the record is indexed using a hyper-text method.  When you want to find the record again, you must think of some word in the record and search for it.  When you do, every record that contains that word will be found.  The program is lightning fast.  Searches are instantaneous and accurate.

The program is designed to work with your mind to store anything that you may want to recall someday.  Although it has some print functions, they are limited.  It is not a program that you would easily use to neatly print mailing labels although it could be done with a little tweaking.  When it comes to remembering anything, it excels.

So what do I use it for?  Passwords, phone numbers, promises that I have made to people, stories about things that have happened to me, games that I like to use with the kids at church, ideas about anything.  You can type anything on a blank record and single record can be up to 5 pages long.

The best part is this.  I have been using this program since 1986 and moved it from computer to computer as I upgraded.  During this time, the program has never crashed and never lost a single byte of data.

Down side?  There are only two problems.

1. The program is NOT Y2K compliant, so the program lost its ability to remind you of dates and appointments.  Not a big deal I don’t often use it for that anyway.

2.  You can’t buy it anywhere and Broderbund acts like they never owned it.  Brown Bag has come out with a windows version, but frankly, it sucks.

Dos is not dead

I hate slow computers that crash.  For that reason, I sometimes recommend using DOS 6.22 instead of using Windows anything.  If you have a few basic computing needs and want something fast and reliable, why put up with all the fuss that Windows can bring.  Suppose, for example, that you want to manage an inventory, or take orders, or just write and print notes and outlines, DOS may be the ticket.  Maybe you pay an employee to manage your stock of goods so you want a program that is fast and does not provide a way to waste time with email, internet, chat rooms etc.  Good DOS programs are still around if you look for them and you will not believe how fast a modern computer will go if you ditch windows.  In fact, you wouldn’t even need the fast computer.  You can take an old clunker that you obtain at a garage sale, fix it up with DOS and a good program, and run circles around a Windows machine.  The trade off is that you cannot do all the fancy things that can be done using Windows, but if you don’t need that stuff for a certain task, why be chained to it.  Once you are up and running using a good program to perform a specific task, it will keep working year after year with no upgrades and very little upkeep.