Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tech Notes for April 5, 2007

This will be daily notes on tech stuff I read or find.

Google Desktop for Mac

Google Desktop for Mac was announced yesterday.

I wasn’t really expecting it, though the announcement was probably no surprise to anyone who cared. For some reason I figured Google would somehow show “respect” for Spotlight by not releasing search on the Mac. I think I know better.

In my whopping 20 minutes of use I’m finding each has unique advantages. Google Desktop is a faster way to search Google, my Web history, and Gmail. Spotlight is still for app launching and finding local documents as well as assets managed via the iApps.

I knew better, but I hoped anyway Apple would license Google technology to do desktop search, or would at least integrate Google searching into Spotlight. Instead, as with Windows XP, I’m stuck with two incomplete desktop search tools. Vista’s desktop search sorta works, once you set the default search engine to Google, anyway. (I’ve only got Vista on my unloved personal Dell, so I haven’t spent a huge amount of time using it.)

Yes, I know there are Google Spotlight plugins. I haven’t tried one in a while; maybe I should try again.

Mossberg: New PCs “Ruined”

Walt Mossberg does a nice job summarizing the frustration that’s part of setting up a new Windows machine. I spent seven hours a couple Saturdays back setting up a Windows machine for my Mom. It was infuriating, and I know what I’m doing. The Mossberg article and this one by Ken Rockwell made me decide I should get my Mom a Mac. She uses her computer to browse the Web, write email, and manage her digital photos. Why should I keep putting either of us through phone calls to me about annoying Norton questions and vague errors?

New Firefox Extension

I have to agree with Arrington on this one. I will take extra steps to use anyway, but this level of integration with Firefox is great.

Okay, I just installed it and have barely used it, but I’ve used it enough to be excited about it. It goes onto my XP machines tomorrow.

Old News: Apple TV

The Apple TV has been around for a few weeks now. I’m a lot less excited about it than I thought I would be. I haven’t even gone to the Apple Store to play with one. Having read up on it I’m feeling better about my Mac Mini media center arrangement.

Engadget’s review seems about right. Useful as a simple iTunes extender, but it’s got some growing to do. Still, I may check one out when I’m in Chicago this weekend.

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