Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Google Search Server

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the you-know-for-kids dept.

Google 178

An anonymous reader submitted a reasonably indepth review of the Google search appliance. The guys from anandtech put it through it's paces, and included a variety of pictures and comments on one of those Google products most of us will probably never play with.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13489901)

MUHAHAHAHA

Neat insides (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489902)

Let's see here:
  1. Took lots of pretty pictures [Check]
  2. Tore the box apart wondering if we could finally find a flux capacitor [Check]
  3. Tried to play with all the hardware and software we've been encouraged to leave alone. [Check]
  4. Actually tested how the device performed doing its intended function? [Why would you want to do that?]

Re:Neat insides (4, Informative)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489953)

These are neat little boxes - we've managed 2 (the yellow appliance, and the blue mini appliance), and the performance of both was pretty nice.

The tools google provides (very easy binary updates, strong web control panel, for example) turn the relatively common task into a dead-simple, point-and-click configuration.

They even provide a decent interface for skinning the search pages, and while it's not perfect, it's certainly adequate for even the best looking sites on the internet.

Re:Neat insides (2, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490234)

I wish we would get one of those google appliances instead of whatever horrible search "solution" we have now. I use google with site:mysite.com to search our website.

When looking at the google appliances, I thought it was really cool how it learns your specific terms and acronyms and it will do the "Did you mean correctspellingword?" like google does.

Pretty slick from what I gather. I have no direct experience except for google proper.

Re:Neat insides (2, Funny)

op12 (830015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489986)

4. Actually tested how the device performed doing its intended function? [Why would you want to do that?]

Quit complaining, it's not like this was being called an indepth review.....oh, wait.

Re:Neat insides (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13489998)

Actually tested how the device performed doing its intended function?

You can do this yourself; try searching the Anandtech site. It's quick, and the results look like Google results.

Re:Neat insides (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490101)

I think what most people were looking for was a little blurb like, "After using it for awhile, we must say that this ROCKS in comparison to our previous search engines!" Or alternatively, "After some testing, we were a bit disappointed in the quality of the results. We really expected better out of Google, and plan to contact them to see if there's anything that can be done to improve the results of the device."

Google is Dead anyway (3, Funny)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489916)

Re:Google is Dead anyway (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490000)

"I'm going to bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to kill Google."
- Steve Ballmer

"Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you."
- Nikita Khrushchev

Did Ballmer take off his shoe and start banging on the podium while he talked?

Re:Google is Dead anyway (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490331)

Balmer confirms, google is dead! ;)

I tested it.... (0, Offtopic)

jshaped (899227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489934)

(I left this comment at anandtech yesterday)

Ok, so I tested it with this query:
google mini search server
- it came back with 18700 useless results.

I also tried the title of the article:
anandtech search goes google
- 712 useless results

how long does it take to crawl?

Re:I tested it.... (4, Interesting)

jshaped (899227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490461)

offtopic?

At anandtech's website,
to test the ability of their google search server,
I searched for the title of that article.
You would think it would point me to the article;
it did not.

AnandTech not very search optimization saavy (5, Informative)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489948)

The Mini considers any unique URL string to be a unique document, which makes sense (but is a bit surprising the first time that you run an index). After four hours of indexing, the Mini had managed to reach its document limit and we had to improvise.
Anybody who doesn't know that search engines consider each url to contain a unique document does't know much about getting their site to be properly represented in search engines.

Their solution was to create a list of urls for the appliance to crawl. If they had to do that for the search appliance, there is no way that googlebot, msnbot, or yahoo slurp is going to be able to properly index their site.

Your public accessable urls need to managed and canonicalized through judicious use of robots.txt, 302 redirects, site wide linking, and just plain thinking out the layout of your site.

Re:AnandTech not very search optimization saavy (2, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489973)

All of your points are valid. But you need to include countless digital photos to make sure that people think you know what it is you are talking about. Just like Anandtech.

Re:AnandTech not very search optimization saavy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490099)

you mean like a sitemap?

Re:AnandTech not very search optimization saavy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490320)

The entire POINT of a search appliance like this is that you shouldn't need to be search-optimization-saavy to get good results from it.

Re:AnandTech not very search optimization saavy (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490603)

... which flows right into this statement:
A word to the wise: don't let the Mini crawl your entire site without keeping a close eye on it.

The same could be said of any search engine, or any automated process for that matter. We use ht://Dig and the issues are the same, except ht://Dig can be run locally on the server, saving bandwidth (and speeding up the indexing process) by indexing locally and re-writing urls for static files, through apache for dynamic, it's free, and you aren't limited to 100000 documents. It supports the same feature set, minus the Google Gui.

Of course, it does have a steeper learning curve... you actually need to understand how search, url filters, regex, synonyms, etc works.

I'd provide screenies, but most people glaze over when confronted with terminal output ; ) A shell just isn't as hip as an html gui. What else can I say?

L8,
AC

Was this a review? (1, Informative)

defkkon (712076) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489949)

Was this a hardware review, or was this an instruction manual?

I gotta say, I was looking for benchmarks, usability scores, maybe some test scenarios. Even better, compare this to other products available out there.

It looked promising at the start, but when you get to the last page it leaves you wondering if they forgot the hyperlinks for the rest of the article!!

Re:Was this a review? (0, Redundant)

Chaotic Spyder (896445) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489990)

But they took so many pretty pictures.

Re:Was this a review? (0, Redundant)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490007)

I agree, I thought I'd get a little opinion on the device itself, and ended up seeing the only opinion given was that gee, not many people use PIII processors anymore.

That aside, it was a neat looking 1U case though.

Re:Was this a review? (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490031)

The Microsoft search box comes with inbuilt Balmer power conduit!
This revolutionary interface will fire off your search responses as accurately as a plastic chair bouncing around the room.

Re:Was this a review? (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490691)

The only question you have to ask yourself is "will this work to index Taco's porn collection?"

subcontractors (1, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13489997)

So Google subcontracted a company called GigaByte to make this box.
I was disappointed to see GigaByte didn't use MegaByte to make some subcomponent.

Re:subcontractors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490070)

and KiloByte to smuggle the drugs in

Re:subcontractors (0)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490258)

And Byte to pay for the prostitutes.

Re:subcontractors (2, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490228)

I was disappointed to see GigaByte didn't use MegaByte to make some subcomponent.

Maybe he was too busy trying to take over Mainframe? :o)

Re:subcontractors (1)

SCO STINKS (858283) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490511)

The problem is GigaByte's parent company TeraByte has been widely critisized for its use of MegaByte.

Oh come on (4, Funny)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490008)

First, it wasn't a review. They didn't review anything.

Second, it was a Google Mini.

Third, they didn't "put it through its paces" at all.

Lousy article, misleading /. blurb. But it was about Google! Gooooooooogle!

Re:Oh come on (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490221)

Okay Steve, Steve, Steve, you can put the chair down now.

Good, but... (5, Interesting)

hazzey (679052) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490020)

While this is an interesting article, it really isn't much of a review of the Google Mini. All they do is take it apart, take pictures, and tell you that they set it up after a little bit of trouble. There is nothing about how well it actually works. No benchmarks. No comparisons. They just say that it worked well and leave it at that. Anandtech has had more indepth reviews of mice before.

It is more information that I have seen anywhere else though.

Re:Good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490674)

well put. anand's site is a piece of shit. i cant believe he's gotten rich from doing absolutely nothing

Free Google T-Shirt (5, Funny)

nudeatom (740966) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490023)

Thats it, I gotta get me one of those just for the tee.

It's "its"! (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490029)

The guys from anandtech put it through
it's paces

It's really easy: It's "his", hers", and "its". Even a flower [angryflower.com] knows!

--cycling through grammar Nazi mode. Please wait.

Re:It's "its"! (2, Funny)

dtmos (447842) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490113)

Like a perfect vacuum, I believe nature abhors a grammar Nazi post without a grammatical error.

Make that "It's "his", her", and "its".

*sigh*

--completed grammar Nazi mode. Resuming normal operation.

Re:It's "its"! (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490232)

Sorry mate, Grammer Nazi errors are recursive... when you opened the double quote to quotate the phrase containing your own grandparent post error, you didn't close it!

Should've used single quotes there in the first place, and confused everyone cos on computers they're drawn the same as apostrophes ;-)

J.

Re:It's "its"! (3, Informative)

Traa (158207) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490145)

Use "it's" when you can replace it with "it is"

Well, that is what someone told me anyway. English is not my primary language, if the above is not correct then please don't shoot me.

Re:It's "its"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490587)

"It's" can also be used as a replacement for "it has" - but the rule you state above is already a lot closer to correct than what most Slashdot editors seem to use.

Re:It's "its"! (-1, Troll)

dan the person (93490) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490636)

and use its' when it's possesive

john's coming to get johns' hat

Re:It's "its"! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490369)

Thanks for posting the correction. Can you tell me if the apostrophe is placed properly in this sentence?

"I am a prick' for pointing out apostrophe usage mistakes on Slashdot."

where's the raid? (5, Interesting)

Darth_Burrito (227272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490034)

Did it strike anyone else as insane that this thing only had one hard drive? For $3,000, where's the raid array? Ok, sure it's a search appliance and doesn't really hold any mission critical data, but if the hard drive crashes, how long is your search functionality going to be down? You'll need to get a replacement drive and rebuild your whole database (a slow crawl process). What about your configuration settings?

Re:where's the raid? (5, Funny)

horati0 (249977) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490087)

Did it strike anyone else as insane that this thing only had one hard drive? For $3,000, where's the raid array?

Here. [gmail.com]

Re:where's the raid? (5, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490109)

I guess if you want RAID, you pay more than $3,000.

What you're really buying here is closed-source software, wrapped in the hardware that turns it into an "appliance". Assume $2,000 of that $3,000 pays for the software.

By specifying the hardware in this way, and by keeping the BIOS and root passwords to themselves, Google greatly simplify their support role.

This is common practice: an IBM HMC (Hardware Management Console) is a 1U PC with a custom Linux distribution and the management software preinstalled. You don't get the root password; you just use the software as delivered.

Re:where's the raid? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490281)

This is common practice: an IBM HMC (Hardware Management Console) is a 1U PC with a custom Linux distribution and the management software preinstalled. You don't get the root password; you just use the software as delivered.

Just an fyi: There's not much that's interesting underneath, I've looked. Though if you're still using the DVDRAM to make backups, you can put your own DVDRW in - they work much better and you don't have to purchase the cartridges:)

Re:where's the raid? (1)

dan the person (93490) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490679)

And what if the power supply fuzzes out?

And what if a ram chip goes faulty?

What if a capacitor on the motherboard starts leaking?

Just get two of the damn things, place them in seperate data centers, and round robin them if search is a critical feature.

Try searching the site for "google mini" (4, Funny)

openSoar (89599) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490048)

Maybe it takes a while for the documents to be indexed but you'd think they would have added it manually given the nature of the article.

Review? & capacity (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490060)

From the Summary: "a reasonably indepth review of the Google search appliance."

If, by "resonably indepth review", you mean lots of pretty pictures and a narrative about opening the box and the case, then sure.

Rather than calling this a review, perhaps it could be re-titled "One man's demonstration of the Google search appliance."

That said, I'm a little concerned about how many URLs it can handle... 100,000? According to TFA, 40,000 documents overloaded this thing.

The article did not address how this could be overcome, except by eliminating some of the URLs from the crawl. How scalable is it?

Re:Review? & capacity (1)

slim (1652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490137)

That said, I'm a little concerned about how many URLs it can handle... 100,000? According to TFA, 40,000 documents overloaded this thing.


My reading of TFA was that the Mini was encumbered with an arbitrary limit of 40,000 documents.

That is, if you want to index >40,000, Google wants more money from you. It's purely to do with software licensing.

Re:Review? & capacity (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490194)

Anandtech said "The mini allows for 100,000 documents/URLs to be stored in a collection, and AnandTech contains approximately 40,000 articles, news and blog entries."

But if each article is 3 pages long on average, that's 120,000 documents/url's right there.

Re:Review? & capacity (1)

cmallinson (538852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490742)

My reading of TFA was that the Mini was encumbered with an arbitrary limit of 40,000 documents.

The appliance can index 100,000 at the lowest licencing level. Even if you only have 40,000 documents, you need to keep an eye on the crawler, and make some changes if it starts counting pages twice (printable/alternate versions, or multiple pages of single documents perhaps).

RTFA more closely (1)

jbellis (142590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490203)

http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2523&p= 4 [anandtech.com]
The mini allows for 100,000 documents/URLs to be stored in a collection, and AnandTech contains approximately 40,000 articles, news and blog entries.

When we first set up the Mini, we told it to start in each of the website's sections (for example, http://www.anandtech.com/it/ [anandtech.com] ) and in the web news area. The Mini considers any unique URL string to be a unique document, which makes sense (but is a bit surprising the first time that you run an index).

After four hours of indexing, the Mini had managed to reach its document limit and we had to improvise... A word to the wise: don't let the Mini crawl your entire site without keeping a close eye on it.

In other words, spidering the entire site led to the Mini wasting space on stuff other than the ~40k articles they really wanted indexed and running into its 100k limit.

Re:RTFC more closely (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490275)

I am aware of what TFA said. My point is this: 100k URLs is not a lot; I was merely pointing out that 40k docs can be > 100k URLs, and this means that capacity become an issue very quickly.

I guess TFA being from the you-know-for-the-kids-dept explains it pretty well.

Re:Review? & capacity (2, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490220)

RTFA (and actually read it). The Google Mini has a built-in limit of 100,000 documents; it's not that it can't index more because of a lack of CPU power or HD space or whatever, it's just that if you want (or need) more than that, Google wants you to buy their regular Search Appliances instead.

All this info can also be gotten from http://www.google.com/enterprise/ [google.com] , which is exactly 1 (one) click away from Google's index page.

Re:Review? & capacity (2, Insightful)

Manitcor (218753) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490550)

If your not careful when setting up your crawlers many search engines will index every link they find in a document. Including the headers and footers on the page that point to About, Legal, Copyright, Sponsors and Links.

Depending on how you have configured things it may also go ahead and read your banner ads and such as well. If you havent expliclty told your crawler to stay within someurl.com then it will go ahead and index the links that go to outside sites as well.

The solution that was presented in the article is a very common one when you want to simply index a subset of site content. Another common method for crawl systems that support scripting (like Plumtree's Ripfire or Verity) is to parse out the various urls you are looking for explicity as well as handle for things like pagination.

The former is perffered as it can easily be adapted to work with other search engines without re-writing custom scripts. I would not be surprised if anandtech now detects when GoogleBot is crawling thier site and presents GoogleBot as well as other search bots with the same page that thier applicance sees.

Google ate my server (5, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490078)

A few months ago, we asked for a demo of the product. My main involvement was to help compare with our existing search strategy. Just to cut to the chase, we generally had a very positive experience with it. Searches would bring up what we wanted more often than not. Our existing search system, which was based around IIS and custom SQL code, was pretty good, though it couldn't beat Google for pulling up relevant pages. We did have a few quirky things happen, though.

We had a couple times when the appliance locked up and had to be rebooted. That was probably the most distressing as it had to be on 24x7 to support our organization and I wasn't looking forward to the help desk calls.

More amusing, though, was the way it crawled content. Google works like any other crawler - it goes around and clicks hyperlinks. Unfortunately it's not too bright, not paying attention to the text of the hyperlink, like if it said "delete" or something like that.

Unfortunately I had a poorly secured application that Google was able to sneak into via another link I wasn't aware of. It held the custom links for each of our departments to display a personalized set of links on the home page. Unfortunately it went through the admin tool and clicked every delete link it could find. I was paged the next morning and was fairly unhappy. My fault, though.

The irony is that the budget money evaporated and we aren't getting it after all.

Re:Google ate my server (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490140)

Unfortunately I had a poorly secured application that Google was able to sneak into via another link I wasn't aware of. It held the custom links for each of our departments to display a personalized set of links on the home page. Unfortunately it went through the admin tool and clicked every delete link it could find.

Sounds like it wasn't much of an admin tool if it required no authorization...any employee could have done what Google did, just not as quickly.

Re:Google ate my server (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490291)

Don't ridicule his misery, AC, unless you're willing to post your name. Someday, once you graduate from high school, you will encounter this situation and you'll wish you weren't so critical.

Don't use GET to modify application state! (4, Informative)

Augusto (12068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490293)

The problem is not google, is the way your app is designed!

Universal Resource Identifiers -- Axioms of Web Architecture : Identity, State and GET [w3.org]

In HTTP, GET must not have side effects.

In HTTP, anything which does not have side-effects should use GET

If somebody visited your site with a pre-fetching tool like the google web accelerator, you will also find the "delete" button being checked automatically like this. Change those deletes to use POST instead.

Re:Google ate my server (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490308)

Sigh, the exact same thing happened to me, except it was a non-google search engine (I forget which) that explicitly disobeyed robots.txt. Ditto as to my fault. Still annoying.

Thank god for backups..

Re:Google ate my server (1)

BetterThanCaesar (625636) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490381)

The HTTP spec says that a GET should not perform anything, i.e. not change data. This is why "delete" hyperlinks should at least have an "are you sure" page with a posting form before actually deleting anything. Just a hint for your next project!

interesting review. (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490092)

This was an interesting review if you had never seen what a google appliance looks like, but it wasn't very in-depth at all.

I was certainly looking forward to some overclocking and linux installing. I mean, I'm sure they voided whatever agreement they had with google just by opening the case up, so why no go all out and give us the review we really want to read.

I didn't even realize the review was over until I realized there was no "next" button on that last page.

Re:interesting review. (1)

herrison (635331) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490121)

Add the above and get it indexing an ipod and it'd be the ultimate fanboy story...

very google-like (1)

teodz (902275) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490188)

go to http://search.anandtech.com/ [anandtech.com] and do some googling. a bug?? http://search.anandtech.com/search?q=hardware [anandtech.com] To access the search results, you must issue a GET request to the Google Search Appliance via a search box. You can do this by copying and pasting the following HTML code into a Web page. Enter your server name and your collection name where indicated in the code. <!-- Search My Google Search Appliance --> <form method="get" action="http://enteryourservernamehere/search"&gt [enteryourservernamehere] ; <table> <tr> <td> <input type="text" name="q" size="25" maxlength="255" value=""/> <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Google Search"/> <input type="hidden" name="site" value="ENTER_COLLECTION_NAME"/> <input type="hidden" name="client" value="ENTER_COLLECTION_NAME"/> <input type="hidden" name="proxystylesheet" value="ENTER_COLLECTION_NAME"/> <input type="hidden" name="output" value="xml_no_dtd"/> </td> </tr> </table> </form> <!-- Search My Google Search Appliance-->

Hmm, they didn't find a sandbox? (1)

DhinkTifferent (905331) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490095)

The Google Sandbox [searchengineguide.com]

Who cares about the hardware, let's see the algo ;)

it's (0, Redundant)

troon (724114) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490096)

Maybe CmdrTaco could use it to search for tips on apostrophe usage [plus.com] .

Sweet (1)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490108)

Just a matter of time before it's reverse engineered :)

GPl compliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490130)

I heard that this google mini is using a modified Version of a linux distribution. Is the source code given by google somewhere?

Re:GPl compliance (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490201)

Save $3000 with site:anandtech.com (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490133)

I can search the 63,000 online documents with http://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.anandtech. com

Re:Save $3000 with site:anandtech.com (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490330)

Except that google takes a long time to reindex recent changes and you can't "personalize" your search ie: for a given section of the web

does anybody know the best way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490135)

to manage/limit file access? we just got one to index our companies docs. their (the files) access is managed by permissions. i've googled the web and not found a clear "how to" doc that helps the problem of IUSRs (yes i'm using MS IIS...:(... ) permissions opening the door for anybody who clicks a link to a doc.

OS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490153)

So what os does this thing run and why is it not mentioned anywhere?

Too bad (1)

sdirrim (909976) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490186)

We need people to use the google toolbar, because that is one more bite out of Microsoft. Although Google works best with Microsoft, the more accessable and usable it is, the better equipped Google will be to do battle with Microsoft. It will finally be a relatively balanced (well more balanced than others) battle between Microsoft and Linux.
Read the article in PC Magazine (I think) "Why Google scares Gates".

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490879)

I found the article online here.

http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/articles /0,15114,1050065-1,00.html [fortune.com]

Thanks for the lead... Here are some interesting snips...

-----
Gates says that when Microsoft is done integrating search into future versions of Windows and Office, the world will look back at the way we are now "Googling" for stuff on the Internet and laugh. "The idea that you type in these words [in the search box] that aren't sentences and you don't get any answers--you just get back all these things you have to click on--that is so antiquated," he says, later adding, "We need to take search way beyond how people think of it today and just have it be naturally available, based on the task they want to do." For example, if you wanted to look up a factoid while you were writing a document, you might search for it without ever leaving Word.
-----
In spring 2003, Payne pitched Gates on buying Overture, a move that would have given Microsoft search engine technology out of AltaVista as well as an advertising business that was generating huge profits. But Gates shot the plan down, convinced that Microsoft could do a better job for less money on its own. Instead, Yahoo bought Overture, a move that, together with its earlier purchase of Inktomi, enabled it to catapult itself successfully into the search game in a year.
-----
In fall 2003, Microsoft briefly considered buying Google, only to realize that even if Brin, Page, and their board could have been persuaded to sell--which seemed unlikely--Microsoft would have been left to explain to the world why it was now running a search engine built entirely on Linux instead of Windows.
-----
Privately, Google's executives understand exactly the impact they are having on Gates and his team. They project a carefree image in part because it makes business sense. One blunder by Netscape was that it let Andreessen tell the world how he intended to put Microsoft out of business. Count on Google not to repeat that mistake.
-----

That last part seems to be only a theory that the reporter came up with, a pretty valid one, but just not one with any factual support.

Anyway a very worthwhile article.

From TFA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490189)

The screw is threaded - it just can't be undone with a regular screwdriver.

Right.. Only unthreaded screws can be opened by a regular screwdriver.

Where are the pigeons? (2, Funny)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490195)

I thought Google used pigeons ...

Re:Where are the pigeons? (2, Funny)

Alias00 (912415) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490624)

"I thought Google used pigeons ..." They do! Why do you think they don't want people taking the covers off the servers? Plus, it does say in the manual that you're supposed to push seeds through the cooling vents every day.

For those who're interested... (5, Informative)

Homicide (25337) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490207)

I admin a full blown Google Search Appliance, the mimi's big brother.

If you want the specs:
Dual Xeon 2.6GHz
12GB RAM
4 250GB HD's in RAID(something) with a hot-swap spare.

Never tried taking off the cover though, since we want to keep the warranty.

All of the money you pay is a license for the software on the box, the system itself is effectively free, so once the 2 year warranty expires, you've effectively got a nice powerful linux box for free. You can keep running the software, but without any support.

As for performance, this thing works great, we have about 250,000 pages that it can index, both public and private (and it can do searches cleverly checknig username/pasword to see if you should have access to certain results), and we've had nothing but positive responses from our users. The results come up quickly, they're the results people want, and the results that management think should be at the top, are at the top.

Re:For those who're interested... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490298)

What does it use for user authentication AD or some other LDAP implentation?

Re:For those who're interested... (4, Informative)

Homicide (25337) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490315)

It submits a HTTP HEAD request for the URL to the server the page is on, with the username and password supplied, so the server at the other end decides if you should be able to see the search results, thus saving you from having to faff around telling the google box who can get to what pages.

Re:For those who're interested... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490562)

So long as the username and password are entered through an encrypted portal there should be no problem. If not may the sniffers not find a juicy admin password that gives your college students control of your entire school's computing structure down to the smallest laptop. Lol.

Re:For those who're interested... (1)

picklepuss (749206) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490319)

Thanks. Your single slashdot thread was more insightful than TFA.

After BIOS and before web-interface? (2, Interesting)

Anakron (899671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490211)

What happens after the BIOS screen and before you "log in" to the web interface? Surely it runs some sort of operating system?

Re:After BIOS and before web-interface? (3, Interesting)

Homicide (25337) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490282)

If it's the same as its big brother, then it boots up into RedHat Linux. You can watch all the usual bootup things happening, just not interfere with them, as the keyboard is ignored.

It does end up at a login prompt, but you're not given any usernames or passwords to access it.

Daily Dose of Google News^WAds (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490230)

Boy, here it is almost noon EDT, and nothing about Google yet! I was getting worried. Should we start a pool now, betting on which Internet trend the Slashdot fanboys will pick? Apple is now passe, I think. Google will fade soon. Tivo is WAY passe, at this point.

product review: the yellow GSA (3, Informative)

msblack (191749) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490277)

We evaluated on of those yellow Google search appliances (GSA) and experienced very mixed results. The appliance is very easy to set-up and launch an initial scan of our website.

The GSA will blindly search all web servers in your domain. When setting-up the GSA, you give it an initial page from which to start crawling and baseline domains. For example:

Inital page: http://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]
Domain(s): .slashdot.org,slashdot.org

The leading dot on the first domain entry says to search all hosts in the domain.

Problem: GSA does not provide very good status of where or what it is searching. It only has a dashboard light to say it is crawling. No details.

Problem: We found that the GSA would get caught in an endless loop if it encountered a user website controlled by a database. It would endlessly follow the next and previous links to find every database entry.

Our university library subscribes to a number of electronic databases, such as, EBSCO PsychINFO, etc. The GSA indexed every possible look-up.

Our eval licenses was limited to 1.5 million pages. Some of these databases contain hundreds of thousands of pages. Solution: Those setting up their own web server must employ proper robots.txt files or risk having their entire server blocked from indexing.

Re:product review: the yellow GSA (1)

jcuervo (715139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490566)

Problem: GSA does not provide very good status of where or what it is searching. It only has a dashboard light to say it is crawling. No details.
*shrug* Hook it up to a Squid proxy.
Problem: We found that the GSA would get caught in an endless loop if it encountered a user website controlled by a database. It would endlessly follow the next and previous links to find every database entry.
I have a bash.org-style quotes page (originally written in Perl, ported to PHP for a Wordpress plugin). One of the sort options is "random"; it embeds a random seed into the link, so you can still use prev/next page links, and so you can click random again and get another page of randomness.

Google (and other search engines) got hung up on this for a while -- not to mention the karma +/- links. I ended up keeping track of who requests robots.txt (by making it a CGI), and just leaving out those links for those hosts.

Why some places won't buy this (5, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490287)

The pictures are pretty and I'll assume the thing works. Some folks, however, won't buy it because they don't want their intranets to work like you or I might expect. Let me explain.

I work for a large TLA govt agency. I've begged our people to get something like this. I know, from working with our folks and doing my own digging, that we have a wealth of knowledge tucked away, here and there, on local group shares and out-of-the-way internal web sites. And yet our internal search function is ludicrously bad. It works off "key words" that are simply a manually maintained (I think) list of useless, often off-the-mark descriptions of approved sites of general interest. Special-interest pages are not indexed in this way. The crawler, if you want to call it that, is terrible at doing its job. Enter a string of text and get a hit on a known, universally accessible web page containing that exact string? Not a chance. I test it occasionally and find that it remains as ridiculous as ever, with a level of functionality that would have been technologically uninteresting the better part of a decade ago but is, in this day, infuriating to users.

The reason for all this is that if our intranet were automatically crawled, well indexed, and truly searchable, people would be able to find things. People in Work Area A would be able to see how they might be impacted by something going on in Work Area B. Horrors! That would mean that management would lose much of their ability to keep employees selectively in the dark.

All this came to a head a number of years ago. At that time, our intranet content was maintained by IT. Anybody that wanted a site (literally anybody) could just get their first-line manager to approve the request and they'd get server space and some help setting up a page or two. The exchange of information that started happening was highly disruptive, so a "Communications and Liaison" office was set up that wrenched control of the intranet from IT and required (what seems to be essentially political) approval of the business case for anything that went online. No web sites unless the Communications gods approved.

Nowadays, the employees of one division are only vaguely aware that other divisions exist or have web sites. Each individual fiefdom is protected from the ravages of communications that don't strictly follow the org chart lines. I guess the executives in charge are happy in their insulated little worlds.

If you're going to sell an effective intranet search tool, you're going to have to face the fact that lots of large organization leaders (and you find the same attitudes in both the public and the private sector) would recoil in horror at the thought of having their intranet be effectively searchable. It's too threatening.

Re:Why some places won't buy this (2, Interesting)

gumbo (88087) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490616)

Based on my experiences working in government, my guess is it was more that they wanted to have control over what was on their internal web site more than they wanted to restrict information sharing. Of course, it might be that where you work is just a lot more dysfunctional than where I work.

I set up a search for our intranet at my govt agency (one part of a larger cabinet agency) many years ago. For some reason I never understood, the one guy who controls the intranet site decided that the search link should just be one of about 50 fairly random links on the main intranet page. And way at the bottom. Nobody ever uses it, I think because they have no idea its down there. I think that's his tendency to avoid change whenever possible rather than any interest in stifling information exchange.

I guess we're dysfunctional too, but just in a different way.

Slightly on-topic: you know, I don't know why I never realized it, but whenever I saw Google units in data centers, I always assumed that Google was using that DC for some of their servers. I never thought about them being Google's search appliances. I'm not very bright sometimes.

Re:Why some places won't buy this (1)

barole (35839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490708)

FEMA is not technically a TLA.

Curious... (2, Interesting)

PerspexAvenger (671820) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490368)

Given the actual content of their review, I'm very surprised they didn't pull the drive and have a stroll around the filesystem. They've pretty much toasted the warranty as it is, anyway.

Re:Curious... (1)

huwnet (792061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490745)

Are there any articles about installing other services on the Google Mini?

grammar 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490499)

"its paces", not "it's paces"

Google Applicance Internals, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490666)

Would be interesting to see more info about the filesystem layout, OS and version, and the code. Apart from Google's engine, some hacker should try to piece together an open source solution ;-)

Google Appliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490700)

The team I manage has four of the Google appliances that are the big brother to the mini. These devices provide pretty good search results with minimal effort. They will do strange things when hitting a site that contains another search engine or pdf generation. Google refers to this a a "Search Vortex" and results so far are a death match with Google Device 1 , Web Server 0. Finding the content that causes this problem and removing it from the search can be painful. Overall the boxes are solid.

Better than Google (1)

TyroneShoe (912878) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490730)

A company named Thunderstone based out of Cleveland, OH makes a way better (and cheaper) search appliance than Google's. FYI, they aren't new to the search engine industry either. Up until very recently, they were the search engine for Ebay and a few other significant sites as well. www.thunderstone.com

Re:Better than Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490861)

LOL. Gee, I wonder where thunderstone, er, TyroneShoe, came up with that "white logo on dark blue" trade dress for their "search appliance."

He uses IE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13490740)

If you look at the screenshots, he uses Internet Explorer.

Not surprisingly, his website displays incorrectly when using Firefox.

Nice review (2, Interesting)

zlogic (892404) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490757)

I like this kind of reviews. A bit of what packaging looks like (noone writes that, although it's quite interesting for me personally: how does packaging for a $10000 unit differ from a $300 maching), a bit of a view from the inside, a bit about the software. Nothing too complicated, because that would make the article dull to read. What the article provides is the general feel of the product.
One thing I wonder is that Google can probably use the included modem to download private company data which the server caches (if the company bought the server for internal use).

GPL? (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490764)

It's not clear from the article but I know that Google's server farm runs on Linux. Does the same apply for these machines and, if so, do they come with the source code to the GPL-ed parts of the server software?

Yet another fine piece of trash from google (1)

tacodealer (912327) | more than 9 years ago | (#13490797)

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? This reference to a mediocre article is neither, and should be removed.

Besides, nothing google does is newsworthy unless it's filing for bankruptcy or submitting to Microsoft and yielding to a hostile takeover.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?