Hot Disks 9/01

A comprehensive search engine and software that helps you create interesting photos
This story first appeared in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Search Me
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).

Photo Finish
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.

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