Thursday, April 22, 2004

Welcome to my Gmail equipped blog. Except actually it's not, as when I took up Blogger's offer, I stuck in my real name, and because Gmail is still in Beta testing, I can't add another account yet.

So what is Gmail? It's the new email service from Google. It gives you 1 gigabyte of storage [and I bet I still manage to fill that up in 6 months], and in return it scans your emails to provide relevant ads [much like Google ads do for Blogger and related sites].

My initial conclusions are: it's quite click intensive, but that might just be me not knowing how to use the thread system. The spell check does do English English, but has slight problems with many uncommon words (like spatchcock, any biological/chemical term, and some place names - but it does do Popocatepetl [always thought it was popA…, but given my problems with the RA Aztec thing, this just be a me thing]).

It would be nicer if they could integrate it more with Google, so one could look up either what Google makes of the original, or the suggestion. It also gets stuck if you click on a red misspelled word, then on Edit, as that creates the word in a text-box, which you then can't leave without quitting the spell checker.

So if, for example, you type "arkayc", run the spell checker, and click on the red "arkayc", correct the spelling to "archaic", and then click on another misspelled word (if there is one), the corrected word stays in the text-box, as editable text. So one has no idea if the word you just corrected is actually correct, as it treats "archaic" and "archaick" as the same. So to check the amended spelling, you have to leave the spell checker, go back to the compose window, and restart the spell checker.

And I'm not sure how well the searching instead of filing thing will work out.

Hmm, and I wonder why they don't want people to delete messages - could it be it limits the number of advertisers they can use on you?

And in case you're wondering how you too can get an account, you have to log-in to Blogger, and then there should be a link in the right-hand sidebar (above the "edit your blog" link).

Once again I get distracted by the options on Google's page. Wow, I can search catalogues online! Except the ones I looked at are all 2003. And the University search only has American Unis listed (despite being on the site).

And it would appear that Google is becoming Yahoo, with accounts for one feature being able to be used for another.

I can also do personalised searches. So I create a profile, and then search. And the results can be displayed with any degree of bias towards your profiled interests that you wish for. So searching for Exeter normally brings up the uni site, but with personalised bias, it brings up the cathedral site first (I'm guessing that's because I ticked "architecture").

I'm not utterly convinced of the usefulness of this yet, but I can see it could be useful, but it could also be very annoying. I think the categories need reviewing as well [Skateboarding is Sports, sailing is under Boating in Recreation. Not very consistent].

Oops. Google's Glossary section opens with a link that asks for the definition of clew. Except the fourth result is a link to the example page of the Google's Glossary, because it contains both the words "define" and "clew"[1]. And here was I thinking a clew was the often loose, bottom rear corner of a sail [or the hole in that corner]. It's the one the sheet is attached to on a foresail, and the one the outhaul is attached to on the main. The front-most corner is the tack, and the uppermost is the head.

[1] Yes, I am aware that the same might happen to this page, but somehow I doubt I'll get to be 4th result, so I don't suppose it matters much. Anyway, Google could always pick another word.

Despite all this, I still think would be easier.

Anyhoo, I'm off to email myself more.

PS. Oh bugger, I just realised that query I sent off to Google about the problems with the spell checker, made frequent use of the word "mispelt". Which of course should be "misspelled". Oops. (Or should that be: of course I chose to use that spelling to heighten the irony. Doesn't sound convincing, does it?).

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