Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Google Logo of the day: Samuel Morse's Birthday

At first I thought: “Damned, Google’s homepage is having some sort of problem: their logo doesn’t display right!”

Hovering over where the Google logo should be, I realized it was a Doodle.

samuelmorse09

Today, 27th April 2009,  Google celebrates Samuel Morse and created a great Google logo for its birthday.

Google logo changes once in a while, eventually more than that. Today’s doodle is particulary great. Google displays its Google logo in Morse.

Thanks Google for making my day using Google Search a little bit special. 🙂

Digsby : Is this a great tool?

digsby_196x196 Having commented already on the installation of Digsby (see here),  this article will focus on my Digsby experience.

The first thing I had to do before being able to use Digsby was to create an account on Digsby website or directly from the Digsby application. I did not used the embedded account creation steps in Digsby application but I rather created my account from the Digsby website. Why? Because I fell I have a better understanding of what I sign for.  All right, yet again an additional account created. I stopped counting all the account I created trying out various applications or services.

My Digsby account being created, I configured Digsby Application: adding a couple of IM accounts, emails account and some social network accounts. It is only when I installed Digsby later on a second computer that I really realised that my accounts (IM, email, etc) were stored on Digsby server side which I’m not confortable with. Indeed, signing on Digsby application from the secondary computer pulled all the accounts AND settings of the Digsby Application I set up on my primary computer.  Some people could say: “It is great your Digsby profile follows you from one computer to an other.” A typical application of this is Work/Home. My position on this is that Digsby shall let the user decide if he wants the same config on each computer where Digby is installed (pulling from the Digsby server) or a specific config per computer (local profile taking over some/all settings of the pulled profile). To achieve this today you would need to create multiple Digsby accounts to create profiles on various computer.

Let’s go back and focus around the Disgby config being stored on Digsby server.  I’m not enthousiastic to have Disgby server storing accounts that doesn’t belongs to them on their servers. So I had a closer look at their Privacy Policy and Security Policy. They both seem fair. There is though 1 sentence that retained my attention in the Privacy Policy, section Collection of your Digsby Information: “… your DIGSBY information may includeinformation about contacts on your Buddy List (such as alias, SMS numbers, and email addresses)“. Mmmm… I found some clarification here (read the comments). I also asked clarification to Digsby by email. Here is the answer I got from them:

I sent : Could you please clarify the following (found in your Privacy Policy, section Collection of your DIGSBY Information) ?
“…Depending on how you use DIGSBY Products, your DIGSBY information may include … information about contacts on your Buddy List (such as alias, SMS numbers, and email addresses) ….”
What are the triggers for collecting alias, SMS numbers and email addresses of my Buddy List ? (does is cover also Contacts and Favorite group ?)
More importantly, what is the usage made by Digsby of these collected information ?

Steve Saphiro answered: In the IM window, if you click the “email” button in order to send the buddy an email right from the IM window, you need to enter that email address.  Digsby saves that email address so next time you click on them it will show the email address you entered.  It is the same thing with the “SMS” button in the IM window.  However, the first time you click “Email” Digsby guesses their email address based on their username (that info is not saved).  As for aliases, when you rename a buddy in Digsby it saves that info.  Lastly, if you have multiple IM accounts and you rearrange buddies, the order of the buddy list is saved so it is in the same order next time you log in.

Let’s talk about my experience with using Digsby now (using build 21443).

I set up a couple of  IM, email and social network account. Disgby now receives the updates from all of these accounts via its interface. In the past I had on my machine several tools installed and running to either chat or receive update from my email or social network accounts. I no longer need them. They might be still installed but at least their are not running on my computer anymore: Less processes,  less icons in the taskbar, less assle.

Digging into what does Digsby on your computer…

Digsby installed itself classically under “Program Files”, uses 58MB of disk space and has 2905 files in 316 folders.

Starting the application without logging on with your Digsby account, it uses 26,332 K. After my login, the memory usage grows to 30,900K (I had 3 IM accounts, 3 email accounts and 2 social network accounts defined when I mesured these). Having said that, every time Digsby shows from the side, its memory usage increases. (using Process Explorer and monitoring “Working Set” value). Could it be a memory leak problem ?

I also noticed using Process Monitor some interesting aspects. When starting Digsby from the shortcut created during the installation, Digsby.exe is first launched, then creates a new process (digsby-app.exe) and finally exit. digsby-app.exe creates also twice a cmd.exe process and they both ends shortly after being created. I wonder what these 2 cmd.exe executions are about. Any Idea ?

What features do I dislike about Digsby?

mythumbdownI feel that the conversation window is not minimal enough: too much space wasted. The default skin that approach the most to a minimal space usage is “Smooth Operator”. Though it doesn’t reach the minimalistic approach of Google Talk application for example.

I don’t like my profile to be pulled automatically from the Digsby server when I use Digsby from multiple computers. The IM, email or Social Network accounts  I setup on my personal computer might be different from what I want to see on my computer at work and vice-versa. As a matter of fact, I set up 2 accounts, one for my private environment, one for my professional environment. This might look “oldskool” but if you consider that IT policy can apply at work it makes full sense.

I didn’t like that “Join the “Fans of Digsby” group in LinkedIn” was set by default when adding my LinkedIn account. Opt In would be better.

What features do I like About digsby?

mythumbupBeing able to merge from multiple IMs into one single contact entry is really a plus. You don’t care if you contact is on Google or MSN or Yahoo or whatever, you simply start the discussion with your contact. I have one comment though they is no way to differenciate contact that are merged for those that aren’t. A specific icon would be a good idea.

I like the logo: fresh, colorful. I know it has nothing to do with how good or bad the application is but it is a factor that participate to the fact Digsby will stay or not on my computers.

I like the granularity of the options in the settings. This allow you to customize the experience you have using Digsby. I felt sad not to be able to customize the popup notification like with the conversation windows. It will not ruin my pleasant experience of this tool.

I like the “dock and hide on the side” feature. I recommand docking it on the left. When Digsby is docked and hidden on the right, if you move to genereously your mouse for closing a window that is maximized, Digsby will slide from the right. Pretty frustrating. That why I recommand docking Digsby on the left.

Conclusion:

Digsby is a real adding value tool for people having multiple IM accounts but also for those that whant to regroup their accounts from major IM, email and social network systems (AIM, MSN Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ Jabber, Facebook Chat; Gmail, Yahoo! mail, Hotmail, POP email, IMAP email, AOL/AIM mail; FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter,LinkedIn).

Should you want to install digsby on multiple machines and uses them with the same Digsby account, the settings and IM,email and social network accounts will follow you as well. I understand this can be a great plus for many people. Though It is not something I want for myself.

I have adopted Digsby and I recommand giving it a serious try (without InstallIQ of course).