Thursday, October 27, 2011

Google Does Evil

This was the last straw for me. Google can do better than to imitate Apple, Amazon, and all the other closed systems with built-in obsolesence and all the other total bad stuff worth ranting about.

We techie lemmings were a disappointment when we killed Palm OS by "upgrading" to iPhones, Windows Smartphones, and Android. Palm was the most elegant, efficient OS I've ever used (and I've passionately explored nearly every imaginable OS from the beginning--Amiga, TRS-80 "CoCo", Apple IIe, Mac, Sun, Linux, DOS, Windows CE, Windows 3.1/XP/Vista/etc.

I still look longingly at my wife's ancient Treo and admire the ease with which she retrieved the most obscure bit of information from her tiny little "brain" (the Palm, not her massively intelligent real brain). I used to be that guy too, the guy you could ask anything about anyone, and he'd tell you in an instant. I could tell you in 1 minute everything I knew about anyone I'd ever met. I'd sync up my palm daily (or more) with lots of offline text data gleaned from corporate servers and my own random thoughts.

I was sure the king of search would eventually do a bang-up job with the Android magnifying glass search button. But it seems to have opted for the short-term buck--using the search button to route users through their online services. What happened to efficiently indexing and searching private, local data, **MY** data -- not **YOUR** user profiling data. I used to be able to find people based on partial birthdays, telephone numbers, badge numbers, you name it. Now I have to remember their name--not any nicknames, or memory crutches like "bald" or "wears glasses", but their full name. Not even their first name will do, because "John" turns up 100's of people I've met in my life and recorded some detail about.

I will spend my last bit of spare coding brainpower supporting open-source alternatives to Google desktop and similar knowledge indexing. Cloud, schmloud. I just want my brain back, the part that is embedded in a Palm Pilot, buried in a landfill somewhere.

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