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Entries From May 2008

May 27, 2008

Vista's Natural Language Search is *EVIL*

Filed under Computers, Reviews, Software

image Vista has a *much* improved search engine over XP. As soon as you create a new file, it is instantly indexed and ready for fast searching.

I found an interesting setting for search called "use natural language search", which is off by default.

You can find it via Start->Control Panel->Appearance and Personalization->Folder Options->Search->Use natural language search.

Sadly, there is no documentation on this page for what exactly natural language search (NLS) is.

This page explains it (about mid-way down).

Basically, NLS applies all your search terms to any possible property without explicitly indicating the property. NLS also does not require capitalization of boolean filters like "AND", "NOT", and "OR."

Here are a couple of example searches without and with natural language search:

Without natural language With natural language
kind: music artist: (Beethoven OR Mozart) music Beethoven or Mozart
kind: document author: (Charlie AND Herb) document Charlie and Herb

The documentation says this about NLS...

Even with natural language search turned on, you can continue to use the Search box in exactly the same way. If you want to use Boolean filters or introduce filters with colons and parentheses, you can. In addition, you can use all the same properties to fine-tune your searches. The difference is that you can enter searches in a more casual way. Here are some examples:
  • email today
  • documents 2006
  • author Susan
  • pictures vacation

Note Some searches might give more results than you expect. For example, if you search for "email today" you will see all messages sent today as well as any messages with the word "today" in the contents.

Let me give some background before I tell you why the above lines are highlighted red.

I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why Vista's search could not find a file I have in my documents folder called "music to get.txt." Other files in the same directory could be found, but this one was problematic. I tried rebuilding the search database several times and narrowing the searchable directories down to just one folder with "music to get.txt".

It didn't matter...Vista's search could not find the file.

Then, I happened to turn *off* NLS today and guess what? Vista easily can find "music to get.txt"!

The issue appears related to the spaces in the filename. If NLS is turned on, then I have to search for:

"music to get"

...instead of...

music to get

NLS would not even match...


...I had to start with a quote to get a matching file...


Those lines in red above are *LIES*!!!

you can continue to use the Search box in exactly the same way.

With NLS on, you must remember to put a filename in quotes if it contains a space. I didn't have to do that with NLS off.

The difference is that you can enter searches in a more casual way

I don't considering having to add quotes to my search more casual than not using them at all.

Some searches might give more results than you expect

And in the case of filenames with spaces, some searches won't give you *any* results when they should.

My advice:


May 26, 2008


Filed under Computers, Gadgets, Reviews

image I finished my first audiobook last week: Freakonomics.

I downloaded "Freakonomics: Revised Edition (Unabridged)" from iTunes for $21.95. The audiobook is about 7 hours long.

I started listening to Freakonomics on my iPod for my walk to/from work.

This is a very interesting, thought-provoking read/listen.

Probably the most memorable topic was about the dramatic drop in crime (40% drop in homicides) in the early 90's and its connection to legalized abortion. It's a touchy subject, but handled in a factual manner without choosing sides in the abortion debate.

Other topics were about what parenting techniques work and which ones don't:

  • Reading to your child every night (doesn't help)
  • Letting your child watch TV (doesn't hurt)
  • Stay at home moms (doesn't help)

The findings are that kids do well when their parents do well, independent of how the child is raised. It's who you *are* as parents that is important, not what you *do* as parents.

Another question the book tackles...which is safer: a house with a gun or a house with a pool? The answer: a child is 100 times more likely to die at a house that has a pool than one with a gun present.

I recommend both Freakonomics and the medium of audiobooks.

I already finished another audiobook, Stephen King's "The Gingerbread Girl (Unabridged)." It was a short listen (about 2 hours) and kept me entertained.

My next audiobook is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

May 23, 2008

Iron Man Trailer to become a Movie?!?! Say it isn't so!

Filed under Funny, Movies

Gotta love The Onion!

Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film


May 18, 2008

PowerShell 2.0 CTP2

Filed under Computers, Programming, Software

The newest version of PowerShell came out a couple of weeks ago. You can get it here.

The command name tab completion now works (it didn't in CTP1) in the Graphical Windows PowerShell...which is the main reason I stayed away from CTP1.

There is a really cool new feature in CTP2's... Out-GridView.

Out-GridView takes console table data and displays it in a GUI that has these features:

  • Search (lines that don't match are removed as you type)
  • Sort by columns
  • Group by columns
  • Filtering

Here's what it looks like when I asked for a list of running services by typing "get-service | out-gridview"...


I like that *way* better than the traditional/non-interactive console output that looks like this...


Filtering is very helpful for getting to the data you want. Here it is in action:


I'm *really* excited about Graphical Windows PowerShell.

With this release, I'm going to start using it as my standard shell on my home PC and once the final version comes out, I'll probably start using it at work. This is software that will make you more efficient the better you know how to use it. Start learning it now!

Highly recommended!

New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging


Good times! Check it out here.

May 15, 2008

Mario Theme Played by an RC Car

Filed under WTF

This has to be seen to be believed...

Chevy Chase

Filed under Celebrity

image I was on my way to a screening of "Speed Racer" (don't waste your time unless it is free...and even then just go for the eye candy) tonight when a couple asked us for directions to a nearby restaurant. While my buddy was 'splaining how to get there, I was trying to figure out how I knew the familiar looking man.

He was tall, had dark glasses and a ball cap...but I could still recognize him. It was Chevy Chase and his wife.

As soon as I made the connection, I said, "Hey Chevy!"

I tried to shake his hand, but his wife jumped in the way and yelled, "What are you doing?!?"

I said, "I just want to shake his hand."

She rolled her eyes and said, "Let's go, honey."


Actually, I made up everything after the "Hey Chevy!"-part because I realized I don't have much material for this post...but I did see Chevy Chase tonight and helped him get to his restaurant...which is pretty cool.

May 12, 2008

Amazon MP3 Downloads

Filed under Music, Reviews, Web


Last year I switched from using iTunes and Rhapsody for my source of music back to CD's. The main reason: convenience.

I'm switching again...to Amazon MP3.

They have a really good selection of music. Singles cost 89 or 99 cents.

The *big* difference over iTunes and Rhapsody: you download music as MP3, not a format that will only work on certain devices.

I have two iPods, an MP3 player for my car, phone with a media player, and my computer. MP3 is the only format that will work in all places (and any future devices I get). MP3 support is a requirement for me.

Anytime I bought from iTunes/Rhapsody, I'd immediately burn the DRM'ed songs to CD and then extract them as MP3's back to the hard drive. It was a painfully slow process...especially filling in all the missing information.

Amazon MP3 avoids all of this...I just pick a song and it is downloaded directly to my library AND it has all the song information and cover art!

Amazon MP3 is better than CD's because your purchase is immediate (no waiting for CD delivered by mail) and there is no need to rip the MP3's from the CD.

It is pretty addictive...I bought $40 worth of singles tonight.

If I can't find it on Amazon MP3, then I'll use CD's as my backup option.

Highly recommended!

May 11, 2008


Filed under Gadgets, WTF

Pleo is a robotic pet dinosaur. I saw one in person at GDC this year. They are hard not to like...which is why this next video is so disturbing...



Shortly after I saw this video, someone posted this video. It should help you forget the terrible things done to poor Pleo. Skip ahead to the 1 minute mark to get to the good stuff.


May 4, 2008


Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360

imageI picked up Grand Theft Auto IV this week.

This is reported to be the most expensive video game ever made...$100 million...and I'd believe it based on what I've seen. You can tell a lot of work went into this game.

When I started playing, it brought back memories of playing the previous versions...but with much better graphics in HD and more attention to detail.

And that's a good thing...because the previous versions were already well done.

One of the most fun things to do in GTA 4 is just explore and see what you can do and the consequences for your actions.

One new feature I really like...if you are trying to get to a location in town and you steal a luxury car, the car's GPS voice instructions will let you keep your eyes on the road instead of looking at the map.

I'm going to be playing this one for a while.

May 3, 2008

Ironman Review

Filed under Movies, Reviews

imageIronman is awesome!

One of the best comic book movies ever made...up there with the original Superman and Spiderman movies.

Some of my favorite parts were the dialog between Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. Robert has a great screen presence and is the reason this movie works. I think the focus on the characters will attract a broader audience than most comic book movies.

The end credits had a really cool effect...definitely worth checking out.

...and the special effects weren't shabby, either. :)

Look for a cameo appearance by Ironman/Robert Downey Jr. in The Incredible Hulk June 13th.



About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to David's Blog in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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