Sunday, February 12, 2012

From Dogpile to Duckduckgo...

After treating my PC to a slimming course with Lubuntu & a bit of muscle-building with extra RAM, I felt up to giving it an internal spring-clean.

Not that it is spring here yet -  12 nights in a row with temperatures between -8°C & -13°C.

One of the areas obviously needing a clear-out was browser bookmarks.
My bookmarks are well organised, but who needs 3500 bookmarks?

Like clearing out the attic, this exercise  brings back long-forgotten memories & it is only too easy to get side-tracked into re-opening chapters from way back when.

One area I didn't expect to reminisce over was the folder of Search Engines.
For the last 5-10 years (seems like always) I have almost exclusively used Google & had forgotten what came before.
But in my folder, I found all my previous favourites, like Copernic, NorthernLight, AltaVista, Lycos, LookSmart, Webcrawler, WiseNut, AllTheWeb, Go, MetaCrawler and of course the inelegantly named but effective DogPile.
More surprising was to find that most of these are still working, though probably just as fronts for Google, Yahoo &/or Bing.

I still find the performance of Google, particularly, to be amazing.
But I get more & more uneasy about their ubiquity.
I suspect their excellent motto "Don't be Evil" may be going the same way as Ubuntu's "It Just Works"...

I use Google's Blogger & Picasa photo-handler & Google Maps because they meet my needs best, but I don't really want to live in a Google bubble any more than I wanted an AOL bubble years ago.
So I am now using the ludicrously-named Duckduckgo as my main search engine.
The comments about "track" & "bubble" on their front page, maybe over-done,  do give food for thought.

But Google is only a click away - for the tricky stuff, where it is still best.

Parting thot: "It's better to be uninformed than ill-informed." - Keith Duckworth

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