X1 desktop search – Better than Google Desktop?

Jason at theUnofficialGoogleWeblog seems to really like X1 search software.

In fact he likes it so much that he’s arranged to give us bloggers some free copies. I’ve tried X1 a couple of times and have always ended up uninstalling it because -as most desktop search software- it consumes too many resources (i.e.: it takes over and makes my computer really slow while it’s indexing).

But I’ll give it another try. You can’t really beat free stuff. I’ll try and post some of my impressiones with it. So far I haven’t seen any adverse effects from Google Desktop Search, but I only installed it yesterday.

Here’s the link to Jason Calacanis’ post:

Free *full-version* version of X1 software… much better than Google Desktop search. Value=$74.95!!! – The Unofficial Google Weblog – google.weblogsinc.com

Google Desktop Search is out

Google has released Desktop Search today. Download it at:

Google Desktop Search Download

From Google’s About Google Desktop Search:

Google Desktop Search is how our brains would work if we had photographic memories. It’s a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you’ve viewed. By making your computer searchable, Google Desktop Search puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails, and bookmarks.

More info at “The Unofficial Google Weblog” and “Search Engine Lowdown“.

Major Bug in Creative’s Zen Touch MP3 Player

I’ve found a nasty bug in Creative’s Zen Touch portable audio player. I’m surprised to find a bug like this one in a third generation product (at least).

Suppose your music library has a few songs that you don’t really know which album they came from. Let’s say you write-in “” in the song’s ID tag.

Now suppose you decide to clean up some songs from your Zen Touch. Perhaps you don’t want all those Nirvana songs playing when you hit “random play”. Now, if you go to “Artists“, select “Nirvana” and choose “Delete Artist” then great, all your Nirvana songs will be erased from the Zen Touch.

But if you select “Nirvana” (or any other artist, it doesn’t really matter) and select “Show Albums” and then select the “” and “Delete Album“, ALL THE SONGS IN YOUR ZEN TOUCH THAT COME FROM AN ALBUM NAMED “” WILL BE DELETED… REGARDLESS OF WHICH ARTIST SINGS THEM!

This happened to me this weekend with songs tagged as “” and “” in the album field. I have yet to try with other album names (i.e., what happens when two or more artists have albums with the same title?), but this is really unacceptable behavior from a seasoned product.

One other thing really bothering me lately is the “CTPdeSrv.exe” process launched by Creative’s software once you connect the Zen Touch to your computer. The process will hog all resources even after you disconnect the player from your computer. I’m checking to see if there’s a conflict with Redchair’s Notmad Explorer, which I’ve also installed.

Music & File Sharing, the GMail way

I wonder how long it’ll take before someone does this, and how long it’ll take the GMail team to stomp it.

What you need:

If on Linux: GmailFS (GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium).If on WinXP: GMail Drive (GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google GMail account, allowing you to use GMail as a storage medium).

A bunch of music files or videos (limited to 10MB each).

A bunch of friends to share your files with.

1. Simply set up your system -using the above software tools- to mount your GMail 1GB account as a local drive.
2. Copy your music collection to the virtual drive: this will upload each file to GMail as an attachment.
3. Share your login information with your friends (or better yet ask them to install the above software on their system) and let the file sharing begin.

I haven’t tried this yet… but I can’t see why it won’t work. Also, if you need more than 1GB, simply use your GMail invites to invite yourself (ad infinitum) and create more accounts.

Note: Though Google has usually been very open about user extensions to their systems, I believe the implications of this file sharing system -and Google being a public company now- will lead them to actively shut down these initiatives (even if the system has legitimate uses as well).

Thank you, Microsoft

Well, Microsoft finally sent me an email informing me that my account was being upgraded to 250MB (which I noticed last week).

Here’s MSN’s message. Thank you, MSN, for the extra storage!

Dear MSN® Hotmail® Member:Congratulations on your storage upgrade from 2MB to 250MB!

As a valued MSN Hotmail Member, you have been specially selected to receive a special storage upgrade – at no cost to you. We’ve increased the storage capacity of your Hotmail account from 2MB to 250MB and increased your attachment size from 1MB to 10MB .

So what does this mean for you?

Well, now you can store even more emails and share larger attachments such as photos, music and video clips and more. Please note, you don’t have to take any action – we have taken care of upgrading your account for you. Your storage meter should now read 250MB.

Take a look at the table to the right to see how we’ve upgraded your Hotmail Account.

We’d like to thank you for being a valued MSN Hotmail Member and enjoy your increased storage!

Thank you,

MSN Hotmail Member Services

Google to offer RSS email

Well, everything seems to point to Google offering a new way to check our mail: RSS (more exactly, ATOM).

The link to the ATOM version of my GMail was up this morning but had been removed by tonight. I can still access the feed page, but have been unable to read it using a regular RSS reader (tried Bloglines, Rocket, RSS Bandit and SauceReader).

Presumably you’d be able to check your e-mail using any news reader (or a Google-specific one, perhaps but unlikely). Clicking on a message would open it in a browser window, with all the regular GMail functions for replying, forwarding, etc.

At this point, this is just speculation based on having seen the actual feed link.

GMail adds new features, XML/ATOM support.

This morning Google has begun offering new features for GMail. An upgraded Contact Manager (no easy distribution lists yet, though) allows you to easily see all conversation with each of your contacts. It now displays on a full webpage instead of the old pop-up window.

But the most intriguing new feature is the “ATOM” button/link on the left-hand column, below the labels. Click on it and you get an RSS feed for your e-mail. I’ve been unable to get it to work with bloglines – I’m assuming it has to do with login/password issues, but stay tuned as I try a different RSS reader.

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