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New Software Programs Can Manage A Scientist's Two Lives

Over the years, microcomputers have proved to be a great help to scientists, who are, in a sense, in the information business, and need all the automated help they can get in managing their research data. But scientists often lead busy private lives as well, and therefore can benefit greatly from a system that supports the efficient management of personal as well as professional information. During the past year, the computer press has identified a class of IBM PC-family software intended for

Barry Simon

Over the years, microcomputers have proved to be a great help to scientists, who are, in a sense, in the information business, and need all the automated help they can get in managing their research data. But scientists often lead busy private lives as well, and therefore can benefit greatly from a system that supports the efficient management of personal as well as professional information. During the past year, the computer press has identified a class of IBM PC-family software intended for this purpose and has given this genre the label PIM (for Personal Information Manager). The category is a broad one, to be sure, since it comprises a wide variety of tools, ranging from telephone directories and programs that allow the collection of random jottings to what I’ll call the “hard-core” PIMs, which can be compared to scientific notebooks.

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Here I’ll review the current main entries...

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