Hot Disks 9/01
Internet, intranets, tech magazines-this engine searches it all.
Stuck in a search rut? Online search engines aren't your only option. AskOnce from Xerox aims to refine searching by allowing access to all the information available to you via a single query. The program's simple and advanced searches scour the Internet, your intranets, DocuShare (Xerox's Web-based storage space), tech magazines and specific databases. The simple search resembles a typical search engine but accesses more information. The advanced search is less intuitive but more robust-offering tools such as scheduled searches. For finding documents buried in your network, AskOnce is handy, but its online capabilities fall short of a good Web meta-search engine. The price for 50-user licenses starts at $7,000 (street).
Making images pretty for your Web site
You live in the three-dimensional world, but your Web site is stuck in a two-dimensional place. Photovista Virtual Tour can help. This $250 (street) Web-authoring package from MGI contains three applications: Photovista for creating panoramas, Photovista 3D Objects for creating 3-D Web images, and Virtual Tour Maker, which allows you to link the objects created with the two other programs. All three are easy to use, with clear step-by-step instructions to guide your way. The final results are impressive, but the process is far from quick: You have to create the digital images you use for both the panoramas and 3-D objects, which can be a time-consuming photography project in itself.
Liane Gouthro, a former technology reporter at PCWorld.com, freelances from her home in Brookline, Massachusetts.