ZIFFPAGE TITLEThe TaskPower Community

By Robyn Peterson  |  Posted 2003-08-05 Print this article Print

—Join the Crowd"> The TaskPower Community—Join the Crowd

PC Magazine maintains a TaskPower process-information database, and if you subscribe to the Utility Library, you can choose to receive automatic updates from the database and also contribute to it. As noted in the Installation and setup section, all you have to do is click on the Config button, enter the e-mail address and password you use to log in to the Utility Library, check Automatically get updates to activate that option, check Submit any modifications if you want your changes to contribute to the database, and put in how often updates should occur. When you close TaskPower, it attempts to connect, via HTTP, to the ASP.Net Web service we have constantly listening for info from the thousands of TaskPower copies running.

After storing the incoming data in our SQL Server database, we review it and pick the highest quality information to publish to the TaskPower database for distribution to the community. Our Web service scours the database and writes the entire data list to an XML file, then serves this XML file for TaskPower clients to acquire, read, and integrate into their own knowledge bases. When you launch TaskPower, it contacts our Web Service and compares the eTag HTTP header (version number) of its XML file with ours. If the comparison shows our file is newer, TaskPower downloads the file, processes it, and voila! You have the latest information.

PC Magazine collects only the information you have agreed to supply, and as noted, you can choose to supply no information (and, for that matter, to not receive updates).

Robyn Peterson

Robyn Peterson, Vice President of Product Management and CTO for Ziff Davis Media, oversees PCMag.com, GearLog.com, SmartDeviceCentral.com, TechnoRide.com, and the other consumer-oriented Ziff Davis Media websites. He also covers multiple content areas, including but not limited to consumer electronics, car techonology, software and development, and networking. Robyn is also the host of the PCMag Radio podcast (subscribe in iTunes).

Robyn has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News and the WB network representing PC Magazine, GearLog.com, and ExtremeTech. His writing appears on ABCNews.com and Yahoo in addition to PC Magazine, eWEEK, CGW, and ExtremeTech. He has also won the Chairman's Circle 2001 Award for outstanding editorial contributions to Ziff Davis Media (parent company of ExtremeTech and PC Magazine).

Robyn has a masters of science in computer science from New York University (NYU).

He can be reached at robyn_peterson (AT) ziffdavis.com.

Robyn's latest PCMag.com articles:


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