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When I entered engineering school almost forty years ago (is that possible?), I used a slide rule and engineering reference manuals. I think of that as the first of three generations of using engineering and scientific data. The second generation was web-based data with PC’s for standalone and separate analysis. Knovel Corporation (pronouced nah-vil) has introduced the third generation — “Knovelized” data with deep search and a high degree of interactivity. Knovel brings boring reference manuals to life and in the process saves engineers and scientists many hours of effort. It is a good example of an information service that is available “on demand” from anywhere — and anywhere has new meaning, thanks to WiFi. The Danbury News-Times ran a nice story about Knovel in the business section today.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Knovel Corporation and a member of the board of directors.