More Google fun


Yet more Google fun and festivities. If you're into this kinda thing they've got what they call Google Desktop, a mini search engine for your personal documents. You can use it to search for documents, images, web pages you've viewed, email, etc, and it works with Outlook, Thunderbird, Firefox and a whole host of other programs. Traditionally it worked as a window that hovered around your screen but the new version 2 includes what's called a "sidebar", a window that fits on the side of the screen to show you a variety of information. The sidebar can show you web page news, stock prices, weather, email and more. Two really cool features are a Photos plugin that cycles through your pictures, and a status display for Google Talk to make using their new chat program even easier. To make life even better, they have an enhanced version designed for use in businesses called Google Desktop Enterprise that lets you set it up for everyone to use in your corporate network and centrally control their preferences. Very nice indeed.

Google Talk, further comments


A few other quick things about Google Talk.

  • Firstly the program only uses about 2mb of memory while loaded, very little in comparison to most chat programs.
  • Secondly you can use GoogleTalk (GTalk?) using either Gaim or Trillian Pro (not the free Trillian Basic) so you don't even have to install Google's software if you don't want.
  • To actually use Google Talk you need to have a GMail account, let me know if you don't have one and I'll send you an invitation.
  • Once you get on you can get me at

Google's new IM program


Google has just released an online chat program, dubbed Google Talk, that has three noteworthy features:

  • The program is tiny, the installer is only 900kb whereas most chat programs these days run 10mb or more. This means that even modem users could download it quickly.
  • It has built in support for doing voice "calls" to other users, you just need a microphone.
  • Its based on open standards so it can easily work with other chat programs, and in fact they even explain how to use many existing chat programs to work with their service!

Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

I'm a tech hog


Today at work the network started behaving very oddly. We didn't have any network management (SNMP) tools on hand so I figured I'd boot up the Linux boot disc I had to use its tools, except that it doesn't have any as standard.

At that point I decided that it would be worth while installing it straight onto a spare machine (one of the old machines we're replacing, a tiny HP e-PC) and download the tools I'd need afterwards. Well, as part of doing that I also needed to set up some extra power outlets on my cube so with the help of my manager I've now wired it up so I have eighteen outlets under my desk. A little nuts, but some of them are positioned close enough for my manager to use on the cube next to me.

So connected to them I have my desktop PC with two 15" LCD screens, the older e-PC machine with another LCD, and a PowerMac G4 which I'll swap with the e-PC's screen when I need to use it. I also took the time to add another over-head cupboard to hold my books, and it had the side effect that my picture of Aidan (and wrapper from some Cadbury's chocolate) now stands out more.

I guess I'm just a tech hog.

HostMySite are awesome!


I don't actually have our domain with the company Host My Site but I am constantly reminded how awesome they are. They must be one of the most reliable and helpful web hosting companies out there with 24x7 techn support where the geeks are always eager to please - unlike many other companies they have the goods to back up their enthusiasm! I've been looking for backup MX services (backup email) for work and while they don't have a formal package worked out for it, they're going to get back to me in a few days with an offer. Neat-o!


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