Sunday, August 7, 2011

The First Personal Wiki?

Here what appears to be the text of an advertisement or a flyer from the late 1980s (I think):
HOUDINI is a relational text editor, designed to build cognitive networks. "Every word, line, sentence, or paragraph can link to (affect or be affected by) as many other units of text as desired, creating spider webs of connections." In addition to basic word processing commands, it includes many commands to create, edit, analyze, modify or remove links. Apparently it has the ability to add cross-linked notes to original text, and then organize by cross-linkages. Can handle > 1K nodes & 8K links. The VIEW command allows the tracing of paths thru these links, while searching allows the retrieval of all nodes linked together. $89 (money-back guarantee) from MaxThink, 230 Crocker, Piedmont Calif. 94610 ...
I remember fooling around with this program, making a Hypertext of Kant's Groundwork that never came to anything. It was far ahead of it's time. I still think it is a good short description of the hypertextual approach to note-taking and writing.

While the author has ported Maxthink, one of the earliest Outliners, to Windows, he does not seem to have made any effort to re-create Houdini (or Transtext or Hyplus, or HyperRez). Perhaps he thinks that Personal Wikis do it all.

2 comments:

Rick said...

Some of us have discovered how to run Larson's DOS based tools as quasi native Linux apps using DosBox and dosemu. His Perm decision tree builder files can be imported into FreeMind and exported to web based search trees.

MK said...

Great ... but what if you don't use LINUX?