MobileInfocenter
Contact Info:
krzysztofk@pobox.com
URL: noah.sourceforge.net

PalmInfoCenter.com Bottom Line:

The Pros:
  • Free
  • Four different dictionaries to meet your needs
  • Easy to use

The Cons:
  • Dictionaries take up lots of memory
  • No full-text search

PalmInfoCenter.com Ratings*:
Design:
Cost/benefit:
Coolness:
Overall:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Noah Dictionary review
By Ed Hardy (ed@palminfocenter.com)
5/25/2000


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.
  • mini - 13,300 words, 1125 kB
  • small - 18,421 words, 1329 kB
  • medium - 37,625 words, 2022 kB
  • full - 122,679 words, 5140 kB
Even the smallest of these dictionaries is quite useful while the largest is simply awesome. If you need to know the definition of quodlibet, you will find it in the full dictionary. The definitions are complete, too, listing the parts of speech and several possible definitions for most words, as well as sometimes giving examples of how the word can be used in a sentence.

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.

Article Comments

 (9 comments)

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Thanks!

mikecane@wildmail.com @ 5/24/2000 2:57:24 PM #
I was just thinking about Palmable dictionaries today so this review came in handy. Now if only I can see a review of the Springboarded one for the Visor (I think Landware will be producing it). mc
RE: Thanks!
wonky_da_bear @ 5/25/2000 6:06:13 PM #
I tinking about eating some sugar wit honey sauce, den some said to me, while i was sittin on da street, you should eat some honey sauce wit sugar. aaaaamaze yourself.
RE: Thanks!
mikecane@wildmail.com @ 5/28/2000 4:05:43 PM #
Having a bit of LSD with your sugar, are you?

[ No Subject ]

Ivan Phillips @ 5/26/2000 5:29:27 PM #

Rating????????

TheMoo @ 5/28/2000 9:43:03 PM #
I am really quite surprised that you gave Noah such a low rating. I don't know how many people would put together one Dictionary let alone 4 for the price of nothing. My hat is off to the developer. Maybe I missed something, but I think he deserved a great deal higher rating for his efforts. I have the medium version and LIKE it.

Thanks Krzystof Kowalczyk

bloke @ 5/30/2000 9:01:45 AM #
The best dictionary for the Palm OS.I rate this dictionary 5 stars.I rate ED's review 4 stars, & his rating opinion ZERO. Wake up ED !, It deserves 5 stars.

absolutely great

Michael Medina @ 6/5/2000 2:06:06 AM #
this is absolutely great. i have been looking for something like this for quite some time.

Hello! Are you rating the right app????

Tinuviel @ 6/10/2000 2:26:13 AM #
3 1/2 for cost benefit??? How can the cost (zero) to benefit (100%) get a 3 1/2??? Also, compared to Beiks minusucule English dictionary this just blows the competition out of the water! And Beiks wants $15.00 for their paltry 17000 word dictionary!!! You did notice it's FREE didn't you? As for Coolness, everyone I've shown this program to is always completely amazed-Whenever I'm selling someone on Palm, or converting them from going over to the dark side, This is now one of the showcase apps I pull up (along with CityTime, AvantGo, and AlbumToGo).

And three for Design?? Hello! Do you see anyone else designing a FREE open-source 122,000 word dictionary for the Palm??? Do you even see anyone developing one that large for a price? True there are a few features I'd like to see, like having it remember the last word I looked up and higher compression- but this isn't even version 1.0 yet- And it's been completely stable on my IIIc- wish I could say the same for some of the comercial apps I've tried! Personally I'd give this a 5+ This is one of the most useful apps for the palm I've seen yet. Definately worthy of a much higher rating.

Noah Dictionary & Review

Brette Blatchley @ 6/24/2000 11:28:52 PM #
I've used the Noah Wordnet dictionationary and it is definately a great product. Very stable, very useful, very free. It really deservers a 5+ rating instead of the 3.5 it got here -- too bad.
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