Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 30

Beagle sniffs out Linux systems ... Iomega revs up NAS 200D ... Conferral provides low-cost collaboration.

Beagle Sniffs Out Linux Systems

One thing that the interesting new desktop search tools from Google, Apple and others have in common is a lack of support for Linux.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read Labs review of Mac OS X 10.4.

Thats all right, though, because for Linux theres Beagle, a data indexing and search tool thats built with Mono, the open-source implementation of Microsofts .Net Framework.

Mono, by the way, has been really gaining my esteem lately as Ive seen more cool applications based on it, such as the Tomboy note-taking application to which Ive become rather attached during the past several months. Fortunately for me, Tomboy notes are one of the file types that Beagle can search, along with program launchers, a handful of document formats, IM chat logs and aggregated RSS feeds.

Beagle can also search through mail, both local and on IMAP servers, but I havent yet gotten IMAP searches to work on my Beagle installation.

Ive been testing Beagle on a notebook running Ubuntu 5.04, after following the directions at the Beagle wiki site (beaglewiki. org/Ubuntu/Installation).

One of the Beagle features Ive found most useful is Web-page indexing, which requires a Firefox plug-in I found at

--Jason Brooks

Iomega Revs Up NAS 200D

Iomegas entry-level NAS 200D storage unit provides file services for small and remote offices.

The most distinctive aspect of the NAS 200D, which shipped in March, is the inclusion of Iomegas removable REV back- up drive. The REV drive has a cartridge form factor, which blends the portability and durability of tape with the random-access capabilities of hard drives. (Tapes provide sequential access to data.)

A NAS 200D with the REV drive and 320GB of storage is priced at $1,899. A single $60 REV cartridge can store 35GB, which should be enough to back up critical documents in a small-office environment. (By comparison, DDS-4 tapes, which are used in small-office environments, hold roughly 20GB to 40GB of data.)

The NAS 200D runs Microsofts Windows Storage Server 2003 and can be configured and managed via a Web browser or by logging in to the unit via Microsofts Terminal Services.

The NAS 200D has a Giga- bit Ethernet port and two hot-swappable hard drives, giving it a maximum storage capacity of 320GB. IT managers who dont want to use the REV drive option can put another hard drive into the REV drives slot, expanding the NAS 200Ds capacity to as much as 480GB.

More information is available at

--Henry Baltazar

Conferral Provides Low-Cost Collaboration

Half desktop-sharing software and half Web conferencing application, XFormxs Conferral 1.0 gives users a way to collaborate for a one-time $299 fee.

I like Conferral as an alternative to Web conferencing services largely because its simple to use and delivers on the promise of Windows NetMeeting application, with fewer firewall headaches.

The presenter software includes three components: a general application for managing content; plug-ins for Microsofts Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook; and a small screen-sharing control tool bar. Attendees need only a Web browser to participate.

The main Conferral application provides a scheduling interface for setting up conferences. One feature thats handy for users but could make IT managers cringe is its ability to not only assign content for conferences but also to share files directly, as well as access them from a remote system .

The plug-ins allowed me to launch a conference directly from an application. The tool bar provides a convenient way to enable and disable screen sharing and to e-mail invitations to potential participants.

XFormx provides a relay for managing connections between the presenter and attendees.

One feature that would make Conferral a more compelling product is remote control. Company officials said this capability will be coming in a couple of months, in Version 1.1.

For more information, go to

--Michael Caton