What do you know about the story of ZooWorks?
A few days ago I have published a page on my site called "Crutches for short term memory". In this page I wrote that I want a program that will index the text of every page I visit so that if I ask myself "Where Did I See This" I could search the index and the program will find me the pages with this text.
I have sent the link to John Rhodes of webword.com and he published the link to my page on his site. I got several answers for my request. One of them was about a product called iRemember (for the Mac, which I don't run) and another one was very surprising.
Apparently, in 1996, there was such a product. It was called Hitachi ZooWorks Research for Teams that also had a personal version. What it did was to act as a proxy that sat between the office network and the internet. It was also an indexer, a search interface and a web server.
CIO magazine wrote about ZooWorks in 1997 (see "It's a Jungle Out There" down the page). The magazine has interviewed David J. Toth, then vice president of Hitachi Network Products Group who later became president and chief executive officer of NetRatings.
Through the miracles of the Internet Archive, I was able to find the manual of Zooworks. This is what it said:
"Did you ever find a great piece of information on the World Wide Web and then forget where you saw it? You probably spent a lot of valuable time trying to retrace your steps - searching on keywords, revisiting various URLs - trying to find what you already knew was there. If you visited a lot of Web sites and had no record of what you did, your information may have been lost forever.What's amazing to me is that a piece of software that I need now, was produced six years ago and is totally gone.
I wonder what happened to ZooWorks Research and why it failed.
If you have any information about the story of Zooworks Research, please write me and I will try to complete the puzzle of this amazing piece of software that no longer exists.
People are more important than computers.