Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Sherlock has a ways to go

Author:Doc Searls
Posted:5/14/1999; 4:36:15 PM
Topic:Sherlock has a ways to go
Msg #:6260
Prev/Next:6259 / 6261

I've got a 333MHz G3 with 384 megs of RAM and System 8.5.1. Not the slowest box on the block. And I use Sherlock all the time.

It's three programs in one: 1) a "Search Internet" Metacrawler for your desktop that checks multiple search engines (and other sources) at once; 2) a "Find by Content" RetrievIT-like utility that searches a full-contents index of your hard drive (which can take many hours to index if it's as full as my 9-gigger); and 3) the old Find File utility, now pointlessly integrated with the other two features, so Command-F brings up all of them at once (even though if you make a mistake and start searching in the wrong one, it wipes out your entry when you switch, presumably because Sherlock is the name for just one shallow interface to three highly discrete programs).

My main gripe is with the Find Internet utility that most of us identify as Sherlock (and really should be a discrete program, IMHO). It's buggy and crashy as hell. How?

• It frequently gives me this message: "The following internet search sites have newer versions available. Would you like to update now? It always suggests updating the PalmOS Developer Knowledge Database. If I agree to this, it goes into rolling-arrows mode and stays there forever. The only way to exit is by terminating the program with option-command-esc. Unless it crashes first.

• It usually can't open more than one window (search) at a time without seeing low memory messages, no matter how much I increase the memory allocation.

• Every search is accompanied by an "A network error occurred" message. "There was a problem connecting to one of the search sites you selected. Please try again later," it says. So: which site are we talking about here? I suppose I could hack my way to the answer, but hey, this is Mac software, not Linux. (I just forced this problem so I could transcribe the message. It took me five consecutive clicks on the okay button to make the message go away.)

• It crashes daily, usually with Type-3 errors.

• Sometimes it refuses to allow one of its windows to be selected. It just sits there, gray.

• There's nothing about Sherlock in the Apple Help facility. How's that for something Apple seems to regard as an OS-level utility?

• Re-installing makes no difference.

Other than that, I love it and use it all the time. I just have to make damn sure I save everything else before I do.


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