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WIDGETS: Konfabulator is FREE

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">YES! Enjoy it while you can. With Google starting the buy-it-give-it-away craze, other's were bound to join in. I don't know how the business model works, but so what. Cool stuff is now free. Konfabulator has now joined the ranks of free cool stuff thanks to Yahoo!. Go get it now, before they have to change their mind. <br /><br />- Hutch <br /><br /><a href="http://www.konfabulator.com/">Yahoo!, here we come!</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/widgets-konfabulator-is-free.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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NETWORKING: I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">I've often written about various tweaks, hacks, settings, etc. that you can use to speed up your computer. There never seems to be enough speed to go around. Funny thing is, one of the least examined areas on our computers, our network connection, can be a major limitation to zippy online bliss. We just assume that since our broadband provider keeps upping the speed of our connections that means we're automatically seeing the benefits. A recent article by Matt Lake at CNet gives some very basic hints at how to start looking at your network settings and pepping up your communication on the ol' Interweb (see link below). <br /><br />- Hutch <br /><br /><a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6028_7-6274503-1.html?tag=txt&tag=nl.e501">Geeks with tweaks - On the Dot - Internet</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/networking-i-feel-need-need-for-speed.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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GLORY DAYS: What's All the Buzz About?

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Words mean things. Or at least they should. Every few minutes a new tech buzzword is born, destined to live out its short life in relative fame, only to end it in relative obscurity.<br /><br />CNet's Anchordesk has been living in the past this summer, taking time to remind us of what was hip and happening in tech just a short decade ago. In a recent article on buzzwords (see link below), they make the case that our bandwidth really needs a paradigm shift, or we might not get enough eyeballs and end up a dot-bomb. I think you get my point.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.cnet.com/4520-11136_1-6275610-1.html?tag=txt&tag=nl.e501">Top 10 buzzwords - CNET.com</a> <br /><br />P.S. Thanks for your patience during my recent hiatus. Sadly, it wasn't a vacation, but my time away from the keyboard has spurred me on to bolder and bloggier things. He's baaaacckkk....</div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/glory-days-whats-all-buzz-about.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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VANITY: You Love Me, You Really Love Me...

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

Recently I had the privilege of being profiled in TechRepublic's Blog Roundup newsletter (this blog is re-published on the TR website). So in an attempt to preserve, if not lengthen, my fifteen minutes of fame, here's the text of that write-up:<br /><br /><br />
<blockquote>
<p><strong>Blogger Spotlight: HutchTech</strong><strong><br /></strong>Want to read a delightfully tech-centric blog with a great voice? Try <a title="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=" href="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=357067-55218927&brand=techrepublic&ds=5&fs=0" fs="0" brand="techrepublic&ds=">The Hutch Tech Blog - Keeping Tech From Stealing Your Pants Daily</a>. <a title="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=" href="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=357068-55218927&brand=techrepublic&ds=5&fs=0" fs="0" brand="techrepublic&ds=">HutchTech</a> is an IT Consultant from Olympia, WA. He's one of the community team's favorite people because he's usually talking about something we need to know, or something that's just plain cool. For example, he recently posted about free widgets from <a title="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=" href="http://ct.techrepublic.com.com/clicks?c=357069-55218927&brand=techrepublic&ds=5&fs=0" fs="0" brand="techrepublic&ds=">Konfabulator</a>.<br />He blogs regularly and even tags his posts! He's offered answers in the Technical Q & A, and has even posted to a discussion. Great job, Hutch. You make TR a better community. </p></blockquote><br />No, thank you TR and gang--you're response to my musings has made this endeavor worth doing. Just wait until the podcasts begin...you ain't seen nuttin' yet.<br /><br />- Hutch
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/vanity-you-love-me-you-really-love-me.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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VANITY: You Love Me, You Really Love Me...

by Beth Blakely In reply to VANITY: You Love Me, You ...

If you liked that, this news should send you to the moon: Your "Blogger
Spotlight" mention was the most clicked link in that email send. Keep
it up, Hutch!

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DESKTOP SEARCH: A Journey Into the Dark Underbelly of My File System

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Portals, Search Engines, the Desktop. Oh my! Everything techie seems to be embroiled in some kind of eternal struggle. If it's not Mac crusaders duking it out with Microsoft evangelists, then it seems to be portalists, digital cartographers, or greedy search engine tycoons waging war upon unsuspecting netizen's machines. Need I mention the Linux freaks calling everyone names? This being the case, it should come as no surprise that <em>The</em> <em>Great Campaign for Desktop Supremacy</em> has begun. Here's my take on the big three, with some extra thoughts on some of your other options.<br /><br /><strong>Google Desktop Search</strong> <br />Call me predictable, but I tend to love all things Google. However, this is an area where my playdoh-colored friends and I part company. When we first heard hints that Google would be oogling our desktops, I had high hopes. Remember the first time you used Google Deskbar? Up popped this mini-browser (and rather quickly at that, I might add). You could re-size it and even use it to view web pages if you configured things properly. I dreamed that Google would unleash this same type of search capability upon my hard drive. Sadly, friends, it is not so.<br /><br />In my test searches, I found that Google Desktop Search really wasn't all that quick at returning results. Now, I might be quibbling over a few seconds here and there, but look-and-feel tend to be just as important as function these days (just ask the Windows Vista team about Mac OS X). I found nothing lacking in the actual results returned, but I spend enough time in my browser with Google that having yet another web page full of results just didn't do it for me. Filtering is limited to clicking the categories listed above your search results (e.g. <em>All, Emails, </em>or<em> Files</em>), but if you're just looking for MS Word docs, you're going to have to re-do your Google Desktop preferences to only query for those file types. While you do get a thumbnail preview of some queried files (mostly web/HTML-based files and images), you don't get any usable preview of your files. Maybe they'll get these right in another version or two.<br /><br /><strong>Microsoft Windows Desktop Search</strong> <br />Bucking current trends (and often common sense) I also tend to have high hopes for Microsoft products--if for no other reason than that they know all the <em>secret</em> code and can integrate their apps more tightly into the OS. Even though Windows Desktop Search uses Windows Explorer to bring up results (and I'm using it on a decently robust machine), it still seemed to lag in both returning results and producing previews.<br /><br />Interestingly enough, double-clicking the taskbar icon doesn't launch the search app, instead you're presented with a menu of options, one of which is <em>Search Now</em>--hmmm, maybe that's what I wanted when I double-clicked the icon!? Once you have the window open, search speed is so-so, and while previews take a few seconds to appear, they are indeed fully readable previews of your files (note that large documents will take a while to appear in your preview pane). </div>
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<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">My high hopes twice-dashed against the shore of reality, and with the recommendation of none other than PC World's Stephen Manes, I held my nose and turned to Yahoo!<br /><br /><strong>Yahoo! Desktop Search</strong> [BETA]<br />In our pre-Google universe I used to appreciate Yahoo! more, but once Google caught my eye, I seemed destined to never return to my once and former paramour. I think it was the ugly Yahoo! Instant Messenger that drove us apart. All that aside, Yahoo! Desktop Search takes a different approach to displaying your files. When you double-click the taskbar icon, up pops the app showing a full listing of all your files. The other contenders start with a blank slate to fill, but with Yahoo! as you type your search value in the box, the list automatically adapts, cutting those files which don't meet your criteria. Previews seemed to load more quickly in Yahoo!'s Desktop Search, but every once in a while it would auto-resize the document into a smaller, nearly unreadable size. You can right-click and choose <em>Normal</em> under the <em>Preview</em> heading to set things right, but it's still a glitch--hence it's still in beta.<br /><br />One of the best things about Yahoo!'s tool is how it let's you filter your query results. You can use the handy tabs across the top of the window, or click the refine button to further detail how you want things filtered. While Windows DS has some similar functions they're not nearly as granular, and Yahoo!'s are just handier and laid out better. Another trick Yahoo! manages is allowing you to immediately click on buttons above the preview pane to reply/forward e-mail, or attach and send documents in e-mail immediately. Even Windows DS doesn't allow for that.<br /><br />However, I do have one complaint. When looking for a word document that was an attachment, I had to look under the attachment tab, not the documents tab. Microsoft's tool does a better job of delineating this and looking at all documents (attachments or not) as docs, but I think I can learn to live with this. I'll just keep reminding myself it's in beta.<br /><br /><br />Some users of each of these tools have reported issues with the time it takes to index their drives, but I've been running all three simultaneously for quite a while, and I've not noticed any performance issues, nor any long waits for indexing to complete.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Other Contenders</strong> <br />Copernic Desktop Search was actually one of the first free options out there, but I remember it bogging down my system and not exactly being speedy. I'm probably being too harsh and a bit unfair in comparing their product of two years ago with today's new stuff, so I may give it another chance at some future undisclosed date. Updates to follow.<br /><br />Being a Mac user (about 30% of the time), I've also enjoyed the benefits of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's (yes you have to spell it out this way each time or Stevie the Boy Wonder gets all up in your face) Spotlight. It's quick, it's free (if you own the OS), and Microsoft's going to have its work cut out in copying it for Vista--especially sans WinFS. Of course, you can't use any of the aforementioned apps on a Mac, and you can't use Spotlight in Windows, so while Spotlight is cool, it's no real competition. Unless <em>[insert dream sequence segue here]</em>...once Apple goes fully Intel, and the BIOS guys make it ultra quick to switch between OS X and Windows on a dual-boot Apple system, then I could use Spotlight to find stuff on my hard drive...okay, so it's a bit far fetched, but a guy's gotta have a dream.<br /><br />- Hutch</div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/desktop-search-journey-into-dark.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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HUH?: ZDNet Takes "A Peek Inside Microsoft's Linux Lab"

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">From somewhere in Bizzaro World in the distant realm of the oxymoron there is a place called the <em>Microsoft Linux and Open-Source Software Lab</em>. I find this as amazing as I'm sure our Linux-touting friends find it vexing. Take the red or blue pill, it doesn't really matter, just give me something for this headache.<br /><br />ZDNet's done a full write-up which you can read at the link below.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://news.zdnet.com/2102-3513_22-5829512.html?tag=printthis">ZDNet: Printer Friendly - At Microsoft, the yin and yang of Linux</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/huh-zdnet-takes-peek-inside-microsofts.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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MACINTEL: Wired News - Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">This one speaks for itself--I think it's time to fire up VMWare again... <br /><br />- Hutch <br /><br /><a href="http://wired.com/news/print/0,1294,68501,00.html">Wired News: Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/macintel-wired-news-mac-hacks-allow-os.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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PODCAST: Anticipation...It's Making Me Wait...It's Slow Good

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Okay, so there still isn't a podcast posted...yet. I hope you'll continue to patiently wait as I slog over the mundanities and realities of life hoping to one day broadcast my golden voice from this lofty perch.<br /><br />In the meantime, we do have a new Hutch Tech Blog logo [take a peek to right-hand column]. So we hereby give a very gracious "Thank You" to Ms. Megan Irving whose diligent effort paid off: I got a logo; she'll be getting the very first Hutch Tech T-Shirt we produce. Thanks again, Megan.<br /><br />Now back to the podcast...I have received several written questions/topic ideas, and would encourage you to continue sending them to <a href="mailto:HutchTech@gmail.com">HutchTech@gmail.com</a>. However, I'm also looking for some audio questions to share in the broadcast. I've established an account with Gizmo (similar to Skype) which can receive your audio questions. I chose Gizmo over Skype for several reasons: Voice mail is free (and let's face it, this blog doesn't pay the bills), it seems to be less system intensive than Skype on my PC, it's cross platform, and did I mention the voice mail was free? You can get your copy at <a href="http://www.gizmoproject.com">www.gizmoproject.com</a> (Windows and Mac versions are available now, Linux will be supported in September). Leave a message in the Gizmo voice mailbox HutchTech, and who knows, if you're question is used in the podcast, you could end up with a HutchTech T-shirt.<br /><br />That's the update for now. More to come...<br /><br />- Hutch</div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/podcast-anticipationits-making-me.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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CROSS PLATFORM: Killing Two Keyboards with One Open-Source Project

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">I love my Windows laptop. I love my Mac iBook. But who wants to have two keyboards and two sets of mice cluttering the desk. Now, since they're both laptops, I don't need the video portion of a KVM switch to share single KB/mousing bliss, nor do I need the expense. Instead, I've found Synergy (see link below).<br /><br />Synergy allows me to setup multiple (and I mean multiple, up to 9 I believe) systems, each with their own independent monitor, yet share one keyboard and mouse directly over the network. That's right, friends, no fuss, no muss, nothing further to buy. You simply setup one of the machines to act as the synergy server and let it know where the other machines' monitors live in relation to itself (e.g. my Windows laptop is on the left, my Mac laptop is on the right). Once you've got everyone else running the client software (which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux), you're home free. Now you can use that single keyboard and mouse to dash around to which ever screen you want. It even copies clipboard text from machine to machine, yes, even cross platform. The latest stable build made a huge difference for me--I was experiencing a lot of dropped connections previously. Oh, and yes, the Mac keys maintain their position on my keyboard (the key directly to the left of the space bar is the command key, etc.)<br /><br />Check it out, because free beats KVM any day, in my book.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/">Synergy</a> </div>
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<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/08/cross-platform-killing-two-keyboards.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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