Week 1 of the De-Googlization of my life

Posted on 09/05/2011 in misc

Since I actually got a fair number of comments (by this blog's standards anyway) on my Google is the next AOL post, I thought I'd update what I've actually been doing.

The easiest thing to change was my default search engine. I'm using Duck Duck Go, and I have to say, I don't miss Google at all for search. DDG has found a way to filter the splogs that clog up Google. I'm quite impressed by the search results from Duck Duck Go.

Phasing out Gmail is not so easy. I was in one of the first waves of beta invites for Gmail. I've had a Gmail account since back when that meant something! Also, Gmail is still the best damn webmail interface out there. The ODonnellWeb server has Squirrel Mail and Horde available. After a quick look, I decided to go back to an email client - Thunderbird. After a week back on Thunderbird I'm still not comfortable. So tonight I spent about 90 minutes poking around under the hood of Horde. I have to say, Horde is a pretty damn powerful tool, with decent enough calendar, and nicely integrated task list and general note tool. The preferences are somewhat obtuse, and it took a fair amount of searching for me to get simple stuff like filtering working the way I want. But I think it is set up ok now, so I'm going to give it a week.

I'm still using Gmail as my newsletter / web sign up address, for now. I took a look at the new Yahoo Mail too, and I have to say I'm impressed. They have really improved it with the new release. Of course, Yahoo wants to do the same things that Google does, they just aren't nearly as good at it. If you aren't paying for a service, you are the product. I'm going to try to stick with stuff I've paid for, where I can.

I had an interesting issue today with Google + and Picasa integration. I sent a photo to 3 friends by emailing them the link from Picasweb. It is a non-public photo. Later I saw that photo and and a comment on it in my G+ stream. Only me and the three recipients could see it, but it was still a little disconcerting for it show up somewhere I wasn't expecting to see it. I went as far as to check the random web user view of my G+ profile to make sure it wasn't there. That got me thinking about bringing photos back to my server too. The reality is my photos at Picasa get few views and no comments. Zenphoto looks very nice, I'll probably install it sometime soon and give it a test run.

So, this week I'll be deciding if I can be happy living with Horde. If that doesn't work I don't know what is next. Maybe Telnet and Pine?

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