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Search tools revisited September 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

I decided to go ahead and revisit the Desktop Search tools available. Most of them are out of beta so things have changed. Does Copernic still rule my desktops, lets see shall we:

Copernic Desktop Search: Not much has been done to this tool since its release. It has had some minor bug fixes and more formats added but its pretty much the same. It still doesnt index .sxw (Openoffice format) or .odt (OpenDocument) format so you cant preview those files. On my main desktop its still king because I can index Network drives with it.

Google Desktop Search: While much has been done with this tool, and alot of the work has been impressive. GDS still sucks. I dont like Webapps like this, especially ones that install a seperate web server makes me nervous. Due to security reasons I dont suggest GDS. It does have plugins available and its a very opened community and people like it. If it was an actual local application, I would say yes but I cant do it.

Windows Desktop Search: Still a good application and I used to use it on my tablet. Fast, extensible through iFilters but many features are hidden. I like the add-ins featiure for the MSN Toolbar suite. It also indexes network drives. This app is much more secure than GDS and clearly defines how a rich application should behave. Its a perfect mix of a local application yet embedding some web function into it.

Yahoo Desktop Search: Perhaps the most improved desktop search tool of them all. When Yahoo first came out with YDS it for the lack of a better word (sucked). Since it came out of beta it is much faster at indexing than Copernic and Windows Desktop Search. It has an expansion pack that indexes other filetypes and its just a much better system. The UI is very clean and easy to understand and use. Even with having indexing set at aggressive it runs very smoothly and doesnt hog resources. Its also a riuch application that integrates web fuctionality. The only downfall to this application is that YDS does not index network drives. I have switched to Yahoo Desktop Search on my latop and TabletPC because I dont use my network that much whilke using the mobile devices.

Of all oif the Desktop Search apps, Copernic is still the winner. Yahoo is catching up very quickly and when/if they add the networked drives support, YDS will probably kick Copernic out of the top slot


Microsoft to woo Mobile OS developers September 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Since Microsoft is now a confirmed win in the Mobile space they have decided to woo developers from all around. They released three white papers on porting your mobile apps. All very interesting reads.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

QT Windows Open Source edition September 29, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Well folks, QT has kept their word. Now for crossplatform development I can now suggest the QT toolkit again. When I was on Linux it was one of my favorites so now that its got a free version for Windows we can now start working on those QT apps and bringing em to Windows

Link Open Source Downloads
Windows Open Source QT download

First publicized Linux retail PC’s September 29, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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AOpen is planning on selling a Linux version of its new Mac mini knock off.  Really good news for Linux developers who want a supported Linux mini computer with the same form factor as the mini.  It retails for $399.00 while the Windows XP version retails for $499.00.

Review: StarOffice 8 September 29, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Yesterday Sun Microsystems released StarOffice 8 for the general public and I think Sun did an outstanding job on the release.  I was very excited and downloaded the downloadable version.  After 3 hours, yes it was slow.  StarOffice 8 was mine.  Install was pretty much effortless and just installed. I’m a WordPerfect user so Im not doing a snow job for Microsoft here.

What’s new in StarOffice?  New file formats (the ones that are on a great debate) a new look and feel and a new Access type application called Base.  For migrating Office users you will find a heavy influence from Office on this release.  It can now translate Microsoft Macros and importing Office files is much faster.  StarOffice 8 also opens password protected Office files.  Everything in StarOffice has been much improved and I give it a strong buy rating with prejudice.

Why do I say with prejudice?  First, if you are a previous StarOffice user you have to upgrade.  If you are a WordPerfect user than by all means move, I have.  If you work in a mixed environment with Solaris or Linux with Windows than get StarOffice.  If you are tired of Microsofts forced upgrades than StarOffice for you.  If you are a Linux or Solaris user than StarOffice is for you.  If you use FreeBSD or Mac OS X, sorry, you will have to wait for OpenOffice.org.  If you are happy with Office XP or Office 2003 and can justify the new features of Office 2003, stick with what you have.  I put this release on the technical equivalence of Office 2000 and there is nothing in this release that is justifiable in moving from Office 2003 to StarOffice 8, for me to say so would be a lie.  Office 2003 is still a winner and Office 12 will put Microsoft’s offerings that much more ahead.

What didn’t I like about it?  There wasn’t much I didn’t like there are some things I would like to see added.  First, heavily formatted documents especially spreadsheets and presentations still have their quirks.  I would also like to see Viewer apps, like Microsoft makes for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, available for StarOffice and OpenOffice.

Overall, exciting release and I wish Sun well with it.  If you fall into the categories of users I mention above with the exception of happy Office users definitely try the suite.

Great Laptop vs Desktop debate September 28, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

The Great Laptop vs desktop debate, an article by Alex Scoble.  Alex is the brother of Robert Scoble.  Personally I agree with Alex.  Desktop systems are much more powerful, much more flexible and even more secure.  More secure I mean that Laptop locks are not perfect, they can be broken and its easier to put a Tablet or a notebook into a bookbag and walk out than it is to walk out with a desktop unit.  Also, upgrading hardware is much easier on a desktop than it is on a laptop.  Mobile devices have their place, but for sheer flexibility and reliability keep those desktops around a bit longer.

Open Letter to Yates of Microsoft September 26, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Everyone has an Open Letter to write these days.  Open Letters seem to be popular among the Open source community.  I don’t know if they feel the need to establish self worth.  Anyway, here is another one from the KOffice team.  Apparantly, they feel the need to explain that Koffice and others share the StarOffice.org/OpenOffice.org code base.  Well excuse me, Microsoft seems to think so.  I have one question, who the fuck cares?  KOffice is not very important.  Its the equivalent of Pages on the Mac.  Basically, it may be good for home users but not a business setting in my opinion.  But, they want to port to Windows which cant be an all bad thing but since Office 12 will be released with true, stable XML document standards Why oh why would I use that?  My advice, you better make use of the office 12 XML schemas.

Windows Vista: The Final Countdown Begins September 24, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Another Homerun by Rob Enderle,  Brings up some rather nice points.

I have a fan. September 24, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Today I was at a Linux installfest in Virginia when I got approached by a guy that reads Channel9 and recognized me and my blog.  He actually likes my content, thanks dude.  I need all the fans I can get.  

Yes I was at a Linux installfest.  No Im nut a sudden convert, hell I cant use Blogger for Word on Linux :P.  Anyway, its an event I often go to because this one isn’t all about Linux.  We not only help with Linux related stuff, we also help with the BSD’s, Windows, Mac  and tech in general.  Most of its Linux  but we are diversified.  Its sponsored by a tech school so we get a lot of turnout.  When you say geek congregation everyone tends to flock with all kinds of computer problems.  It was nice, I was iout there until about 4pm.

Who prefers the Office and Windows interface? September 24, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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CRN has an article on Google and the internet blah, blah blah bullshit.  Great.  They do ask a valid question though:

….But seriously folks, who prefers the Windows or Office interface to Google?

I prefer the Windows interface and Office interface to that of Google.  I hate browser based applications and often times refuse to use an application if it has a web interface.  Browsers are very insecure and if you think Im going to trust critical personal information to go over the internet just to use Googles applications you have lost your fucking mind.  I like rich applications and if Im going to use remote apps I would prefer to have them on my own servers not a company like Googles.  Also, what happens if your network goes down and you have some people who use Gmail for word processing, what happens if its not my fault or the IT departments fault?  Youd have employees sitting there jerking off, not doing a thing and it goes on their list of excuses.  Bandwidth needs to improve, reliability and security need to be improved. Before I would consider Google as a enterprise solutions provider and no, they aren’t going to improve all that much in Googles timeframe.