Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs

Hebbian Recall 1.0 has Windows bent ... Reach out and touch someone ... GNU tames Linux, BSD builds.

Hebbian Recall 1.0 Has Windows Bent

Given the sheer number of competing products, the amount of hype and the presence of Goliaths such as Google and Microsoft, personal desktop search might seem like a scary place to be for a small vendor. But that hasnt stopped small companies such as Hebbian from putting their own spin on desktop searching.

The approach Hebbian has taken with its free Hebbian Recall 1.0 application is to emulate human memory systems. The tool uses standard search methodologies but also ranks files accessible to the Windows desktop by their usage patterns, in an attempt to more accurately rank results in useful ways.

The tools search capabilities worked fairly well during my tests, but what I really liked was Hebbian Recalls Journal feature. Journal works like a browser history and let me view documents, e-mails, Web pages and other files that I had recently accessed in either a calendar view or through searches.

When it comes to integration, however, Hebbian Recall might as well be a Microsoft product. The tool runs only on Windows XP and Windows 2000 and works only with Microsoft productivity applications.

To download the free Hebbian Recall, go to www.hebbian.com.

--Jim Rapoza

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Despite a few aggravating flaws, Zyxel Communications P-2000W_v2 voice-over-IP wireless phone is a sleek, easy-to-use way to keep in touch on the go.

The recently released P-2000W_v2, which costs $249, supports 802.11b wireless networks and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Version 2 for voice signaling. The phone, which looks like a cell phone circa 1999, features a backlit monochrome screen and has a built-in phone book and a Web-based management GUI.

I tested the P-2000W_v2 using BroadVoices VOIP phone service (an unlimited business calling plan is available for $29.95 per month), and I found the call quality satisfactory using the G.729 codec. (The P-2000W_v2 also supports G.711.) The phone successfully roamed between access points on the same network without dropping calls, although I noticed an increase in static before the roam.

I did have to reboot the phone every time I connected to a different wireless network, and the phone doesnt support the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WPA2 wireless security standards. I was also frustrated by the phones inability to notify me when it accidentally obtained a duplicate IP address.

For more information, go to www.zyxel.com.

--Andrew Garcia

GNU Tames Linux, BSD Builds

GNU source Installer is a handy new application from the GNU Project, the folks whove brought us most of free softwares foundational parts.

Source Installer, which became available in July, is a simple graphical utility that puts a friendlier face on the typical Linux and BSD software build process, making it much easier to identify your compile options and to keep track of the hand-built applications youve installed.

For more information on Source Installer, including a nice overview article, check out www.gnu.org/software/sourceinstall/article.html.

--Jason Brooks