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Noah Dictionary review
By Ed Hardy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One of the many advantages of the Palm is that no matter how much information you cram into it, it doesn't get any bigger. This encourages many people to pack as much reference material into their Palm as possible to reduce the amount of paper they have to carry around. An excellent example of this is Noah, a freeware app that allows you to carry a whole dictionary around in your handheld.
What Noah does is pretty simple but it does it with elegance. Finding a definition is straightforward. Start typing a word and Noah will scroll itself to the place in the dictionary where the words start beginning with the letters you have typed in. For example, if you put in "ta" Noah will show you ta, taal, tab, tabanidae, etc. Touching a word shows you the definition.
As a handy time saver, if you copy a word to the clipboard and open Noah, the word will automatically be looked up in its dictionary. However, there isn't a full-text searching feature. For example, you can't put in "take" and find all the words and definitions that contain it, like mistake, overtake, etc. But it isn't really necessary. Noah was designed to look up the definitions of words and the full-text search is outside the scope of this.
A dictionary app is only as good as its dictionary databases and Noah's are excellent. It works in conjunction with the free dictionaries released by the WordNet project. There are four different dictionaries available.
An additional advantage is that Noah can double as a handy spell-checker.
The Noah app is a trim 14 kB but naturally, the dictionary databases are significantly heftier and are really the only drawback of the app. But if you find yourself carrying a dictionary around, this is a much better alternative, if you have the RAM to spare. If you have access to external storage, like a Flash memory card, Noah makes a lot of sense.
The developer of Noah, Krzysztof Kowalczyk, has big plans for his little app. He wants to give you the power to carry around a complete unabridged edition of an English dictionary. He isn't there yet but he will be eventually, especially as the memory of the Palm line increases.
By the way, a quodlibet is an issue that is presented for formal disputation.
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