The Remembrance Agent
Because serendipity is too important to be left to chance...

[Download] [Papers] [License]

What is the Remembrance Agent?

The Remembrance Agent (Remem) is an Emacs plug-in that watches over your shoulder and suggests information relevant to what you're reading or writing. While search engines help with direct recall, Remem is a tool for associative memory. Suggested documents are displayed in a buffer at the bottom of your Emacs window, and are updated every few seconds based on the last hundred or so words surrounding the cursor. Documents are pulled from your own text documents, and Remem's internal indexer can parse email archives, HTML, LaTex and plain-text documents. It runs under most Unix systems (and maybe even properly souped-up Mac or Windows) and both Emacs and XEmacs.

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Download Current Release (2.12)

Below is the source for version 2.12 release of Remem (tarred and gzipped). It should compile on any Unix platform including Mac OSX (let me know if it doesn't), but you'll need Emacs-20 or XEmacs-20 to run the front-end. I've heard it also compiles on various flavors of Windows using Cygwin, though there are still issues with getting the front end and back end talking to each other. I've also included RPMs and Debian packages for version 2.11, which is functionally identical to 2.12 since the only changes were for compiling on the Mac.

Remembrance-Agent V. 2.12 (February 16, 2004):
[ tar-gz | i386-RH7.x-rpm | i386-RH6.x-rpm | srpm | debian package | mac OSX image

Changed from v. 2.11

Made a few changes so Savant will compile on OS-X:

Known bugs/issues

See the historical ChangeLog for links to previous versions

Papers on the Remembrance Agent:

RA License info

As of version 2.09, the RA is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). For commercial licensing under other terms, please consult the MIT Technology Licensing Office. If you have other questions, feel free to email me at

The RA is maintained by Bradley Rhodes ( Let me know what you think, and as usual please send all bug reports, suggestions, and comments to

Thanks, and watch here for future releases! -- Brad

Last modified: Mon Feb 16 19:36:12 PST 2004