Monday, January 22, 2007

21 - Search Engines

My computer at home is beeping at me and not starting up. I've been meaning to search out the BIOS error codes that correspond to those beeps all day, and I'd forgotten until I started working on this post. I searched for dell bios post codes - no quotes - in Exalead first. I really liked the "refine search" window that popped up, because they aren't really post codes, they are beep codes - and Exalead let me know that! I found the answer (I tried to install more RAM the other day and apparently didn't reseat my original RAM stick properly - the computer has to be opened once again...), but I'm going to keep trying on the other search engines - just to see if something new comes up for future reference!
When I tried the same search on Gravee, I got the same result for the first "hit" (with the exception of Exalead's "sponsored search" result which was on top of that result set), but the rest seemed to be different. I think I like the idea of tagging search results, but it seems like a lot of work unless everybody is doing it...
Last, but not least, I tried Kartoo. I have to say that I really didn't like that one at all. Not only because I couldn't tell what the "top results" were to compare them to the last couple of result sets, but because I had no way to tell which results were going to get me what I wanted. Most search engines give you a snippet of content, the full URL and possibly a date to use for checking the "freshness" of the information. All of these clues are useful when evaluating search results - Kartoo doesn't provide any of that!!
With the exception of Kartoo, none of the search engines were particularly more difficult to use. I like the idea behind Gravee, but Exalead seemed pretty comprehensive and easy to use, too!
Robin Hastings

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