Google Desktop Search vs Tracker

29 06 2007

After reading Mohammad’s blog post about Google Desktop, I thought I’d take it for a spin since I’m a GDS fan when I’m on XP. Though I’ve only been using it for two days, I soon realized that I am going back to Tracker. Here’s why:

1. Memory Footprint

GDS is costing me 50MB+ for the search utility, the indexing process, and the tray icon. Tracker peaks at about 4MB for me – and that includes the indexing process.

2. No Deskbar Integration

With tracker I can integrate it into my deskbar. I can launch apps, search the web/desktop, and run system level commands from one place. GDS is limited to only searching the web/desktop, so as a power user I’m still stuck using 2 applications, when I can be using one integrated solution. I hope in the future we will be able to integrate GDS into the Deskbar, but it seems unlikely since GDS is a closed-source binary.

3. Firefox Results

GDS displays search results in Firefox. Though this is nice, we all know that FF isn’t the fastest loading application in our toolbox. Tracker has its own native GTK+ search window which loads up a lot quicker.

3. Privacy

If enabled, Google can monitor your usage, which they claim is non-personal information. I’m still a bit weary about anyone collecting my data for that matter, even if its Google who sees, hears, and speaks no evil. Tracker just does its job, it searches. No fuss or hassle.

One thing I will note however – GDS is blazing fast. It picks up search results as I type, faster than Tracker. The speed difference isn’t enough to outweigh its large memory footprint though. I am indexing my root folder which is the culprit for GDS eating up my memory, but if Tracker can do it efficiently, I expect the boys at Google to do so as well =).


Secure Your Connection With Open Source

25 06 2007

You never know who may be watching your connection. With constitution violators like AT&T and other service providers your data can be in the hands of big brother. Here are a few tips for securing your online experience, so you can enjoy the web in peace.

1. Encrypt E-Mail Messages

Assuming you use GMail, FireGPG is a great Firefox extension that encrypts your messages. It can only be decrypted with a GPG key that only trusted parties will have access to.

2. Encrypt Instant Messages

GAIM is the most popular instant messaging platform on the internet. Encrypting your messages is cake with the gaim-encryption plugin. Nobody likes an eavesdropper.

3. Encrypt Torrent Downloads

With bit-torrent activity coming under heavy fire from the RIAA and Hollywood, encrypting your torrents is important. Azureus allows you to enable Transport Encryption which will make it harder to track what you are downloading.

4. Block Suspicious Incoming/Outgoing Connections

Peer Gaurdian is a great tool that blocks incoming and outgoing connections based on IP blocklists. Government probes, RIAA bots, and and spyware won’t be able to enter or exit your computer.

5. Anonymize Internet Surfing

Who really needs to know exactly which sites you are visiting? Xerobank Browser (previously called Torpark) lets you browse the web anonymously so that your IP is not exposed. You can even get a portable version that runs off of your flash drive, in those times where you can’t browse the web from your own computer.

Security has its limitations. There are no patches for human stupidity, however there are open-source technologies that will suffice.

Post Scriptum:
For those of you interested in how the government and companies are sacrificing your privacy, be sure to check out the CNBC special Big Brother Big Business.

Dia – The Microsoft Visio Alternative

22 06 2007

This post is now available on my new blog The IT Report:—the-microsoft-viso-alternative

Ubuntu Performance Tip – Preload

14 06 2007

This post is now available on my new blog The IT Report:—preload

Listen – The GNOME Amarok

11 06 2007

I recently discovered Listen, a GNOME music manager that outclasses Rhythmbox which comes standard in Ubuntu. I like Listen because it is very similar to Amarok but without the KDE. I can browse lyrics, get album art, and even get suggestions from Audioscrobbler. Oh yeah, it organizes my music too =).


Listen is available in the universe. Load up your terminal and enter:

“sudo apt-get install listen”

HOW TO: Write to NTFS Drives in Ubuntu

8 06 2007

Ubuntu by default can mount NTFS drives but does not support writing to them. However, there is a driver in the universal repositories called ntfs-3g which allows you to mount NTFS drives as well as write to them – making dual-booting Windows even sweeter:

“sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g ntfs-config”

ntfs-3g is the driver that lets you write to NTFS drives, where ntfs-config is the GUI tool which should appear under Applications > System Tools > NTFS Configuration Tool that allows you to select if you want an internal or external device to be writeable.


Enable Tracker Live Search in Ubuntu

30 05 2007

With the advent of Feisty Fawn, we now have Tracker which does a much better job of finding files than the standard GNOME search utility. One thing that bothered me about Tracker was that I was never able to get it to integrate with my trusty Deskbar applet – until now:

“sudo apt-get install libdeskbar-tracker”

Not only does it enable the Deskbar to search using Tracker, but it does a live update of the search results a-la Google Desktop Search.