Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gmail Allows 20mb Attachments

Google Operating System's blog is reporting that Gmail now allows 20mb attachments. Originally capped at 10mb the email system is now ahead of many of its competitors in file attachment size. It should be important to note the GOS comment that many email providers will not accept emails with attachments larger than 10mb so the 20mb addition might only work with other gmail users.

As file sizes of the average attachment continue to grow larger with the influx of higher quality digital cameras and larger office documents it will be interesting to see if the rest of the intraweb follows Gmail's lead and increases attachment file size.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Google Supports the Wii

ZdNet has an interesting article about Google updating their Google Reader software to support the wii remote.

"To try the new interface in your current browser if you don't have the Wii, visit In an attempt to be as cheesy as possible, I'm going to call it: Google Wiider."

With Wii Support, it will be interesting to see if xbox and ps3 browser support is added next.

Will the web continue to adapt to console browsers?

Google Improves Analytics

Google has started to roll out what it calls an improved version of its web analytics software. The site is now designed to make reading the numbers and charts a bit easier/cleaner and quickly presentable.

Although the update has been made to some, Google explains that they'll be sending emails to the individuals who have accounts with the program when they have been updated to the new system. They are also allowing temporary use of the previous version of the online software if you can't find the numbers you're looking for with the new flashy reports.

After quickly scanning through some of the reports for website I have with Google Analytics its clear that they have made things easier to understand. The previously combined report of pageviews and visits with different scale numbers made it difficult to view how your site is doing in both those categories. The new improvement makes selecting data ranges and comparing them to other data ranges that much easier. Now you can tell how your numbers look compared to a month ago at the same time quickly and easily.

It isn't as easy to find the locations of all the previous information provided in Google Analytics but I believe its all in there, even if its hidden in the back. Check out some of the features from the Google provided demo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

iGoogle & Personalized Gadgets

Google released yesterday an update to the Google Personalized Home Page that they've been offering users. Your home page is now named iGoogle and you'll notice the lowercase "i" in front of Google when you login to your home page. While the name adjustment is small it will help Google to market this site to increase additional traffic and at position themselves against other major "home page" websites like one's offered by AOL or Yahoo.


In addition to the new name for the personalized home page, Google has started offering personalized gadgets that users without any programing knowledge can create. Initial gadgets include ones that display pictures, sends digital notes and digital flowers to ones you love, a personalized "status" gadget, free form, YouTube channel for watching those videos you love, A to do list, and a countdown to any event of your specification.

Google has quickly realized that what makes a home page is the ability to make it your own. With the tab features, themes, and now personal gadgets Google is quickly offering users a powerful search tool nicely placed above the custom features of each individual user.

Expect to see more and more users adapt their home page to the new iGoogle.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Windows Vista: Its not that bad

A flood of reviews about Windows Vista have spread to the far reaches of the internet mostly detailing new features that are included in Windows Vista and how this is a great or terrible new Operating System from Microsoft.

As soon as Apple released bootcamp 1.2 I quickly grabbed it, a copy of Windows Vista Premium Home edition and then spent some time installing Vista onto my iMac. I wanted to see not only how realistic some of these reviews about the system were but how it ran for a normal average user.

Initial Feel

Having originally participated in the public beta for Vista I was surprised at how much had improved in the OS by the time they released it publicly. Applications actually worked as expected and often ran faster and more stable than what I had experienced before. Not only that, many applications seem to work better than they do on XP.

I must admit that while many features have improved since the original Beta or even improved on the stable system that has become Windows XP, I quickly turned off User Access Controls (UAC) that constantly warned me of anything my system was doing. My friend said it best when describing UAC:

It's like forcing me to make a 25 character password, upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters to sign into my hotmail account.

Yes it is that bad and often pointless.


My iMac was rated a 4.5 out of 5 by Vista's custom analytic tool that will rate your hardware and how optimal it is for the Operating System. Booting up the system is as fast as ever but it still gets beat my OS X. Shutting down seems to take Vista a lifetime.

Standard applications that people will use everyday perform great. They open quickly, shut quickly, rarely lock up, and don't crash as often as they do in XP. Getting to your files and applications is also easier.

Although the integrated search could be more powerful, it does make it easier to find the applications you're using for. I know that with XP many users quickly switch the start menu back to windows classic mode. You won't need to do this with Vista as you'll never use the navigation tree to find an application. Click start, type in Word, hit enter, and Microsoft Word 2007 will quickly open. It really makes it easy and quick to find and launch the files or applications you're looking for. The location of the search is what makes it so useful. In contrast, I believe spotlight for OSX is underused because it is located poorly. Most users go to finder or their Hard Drive to find files. If Spotlight was somehow better located and available in these locations I believe people will use it as often as I expect normal Vista users to use the built in search feature.


ReadyBoost is a built in feature to Windows Vista that allows users to use USB based flash memory to increase the performance of their system by caching portions of their hard drive for quick easy reference. by the Operating System. I will never be able to say enough about this feature. It is the best thing that Microsoft has done with Windows Vista. With USB based flash memory readily available to every user, Microsoft has provided users a way to increase their systems performance without having to use a screwdriver or install anything complicated.

Insert your flash memory, set it to be used with ReadyBoost and you'll quickly notice how much faster your applications open, close, and perform. Additionally finding files and saving items to the Hard Drive takes that much less time. Its like giving your Computer a dose of caffeine followed up with a shot of steroids.

I hope Apple and Linux developers quickly follow the lead with this Microsoft idea and implement it into their own Operating Systems.


Windows Vista is an improvement on what Windows XP does well. The UAC is intrusive but can easily be turned off by the user. While some people feel Vista has under performed I would say that most of the areas it is lacking are with features or ideas previous versions of Windows has not provided. The system for typical users is improved upon and I expect Windows to make right what is lacking through feature updates. If they can get ReadyBoost right there is still hope for Windows!