Monday, June 25, 2007

Zoom Search Engine

I recently purchased a copy of the Zoom Search Engine to replace the existing site search engine that I was using on I have previously tried several site search engines, but I was not particularly happy with any of them.

However, Zoom is simply outstanding and is streets ahead of other search solutions I have tried. It is highly configurable, and allows webmasters to set up a very professional internal search engine that blends seamlessly with the design of your website. Most importantly, it produces reliable and relevant search results for users.

Zoom comes as a software package that installs on your computer rather than a fully web-based script and control panel like others I have tried. This means that you can configure your search, index your site and upload the necessary files from software installed right on your computer.

Moreover, the support offered by the company is excellent. After I bought the program, I encountered some quite server-specific problems with Zoom's logging function. Even though the problems were caused by the way my hosting company's servers are set up and were not explicitly caused by the Zoom software itself, Zoom's support staff went out of their way to help and even rolled out an updated version of the software that addressed the issues.

Zoom is free for small sites with other fee-based versions available depending on the specific needs of your website. I opted for the professional version and I consider it worth every cent and more.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SyncToy - Folder Synchronization Tool

Recently, I was looking around for a program that would allow me to easily synchronize two folders across two computers on my home network. While there are a number of applications that will perform this fairly simple task and a lot more, Microsoft's SyncToy v 1.4 turned out to be just the ticket for what I required.

This free little PowerToy makes it simple to keep the contents of two folders in sync with each other. Once you create your desired folder pair or pairs, you can then just click the "Run" button and the program will update the folders so that they both hold the very same contents. If you add, rename, delete or modify a file in one of the folders in the pair and then run SyncToy, the changes will be reflected in the second folder.

SyncToy v 1.4 works on Windows XP and Vista.

SyncToy interface

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Google Buys Feedburner

For the past few weeks, I've been using Feedburner to manage my new Hoax-Slayer New Articles feed. Feedburner offers an excellent service, especially for those of us like Yours Truly who are still fairly new to the heady world of RSS.

Soon after I signed up for a Feedburner Account, rumours began spreading that Google was in the process of buying Feedburner. Turns out the stories are true.

Overall, I'd say that the change in ownership will be positive. Google's reach and resources will probably improve an already excellent product.

Still, it is a little concerning how many companies Google has managed to acquire.

Where will it end? Maybe, one day Google Earth, will REALLY be Google