Scott Hardie | October 8, 2003
This morning I got a spam email offering to list on over 300,000 search engines. I thought, Good God, that's impossible, there can't be that many! It got me wondering just how many there are. I found one company offering to list customers on over 809,000 search engines, and then one offering 1.2 million search engines. Oh, please. In my searching, I also found this page, which confirms what I already figured: There are only a few hundred legitimate, general-interest search engines, but forget all those, because there are only a half-dozen that anybody actually uses.

Still, I don't think all the search engines in the world could have helped me last night. I searched for over an hour for the proper term for an escape artist, as in Harry Houdini. I know there's a technical term for it, like "prestidigitator," but the closest I could find was "escapologist." I know there's another word because I read it in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and I even read sections of that book last night trying to find the damn thing, but I finally had to give up. Reverse dictionaries were helping, regular dictionaries weren't helping, and Google was as useless as I've always found it to be (most overrated search engine after AskJeeves). Blah.

K. R. | October 19, 2003
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | October 20, 2003
Oh, I'm well aware of the high esteem in which Google is held by most people. It's just that whenever I've tried to use it to find something, whether searching for a web page or an image, it has always (!) failed to get me what I want. To be fair, that's mostly due to the fact that I turn to Google after other search engines have failed me, which often means that what I want is not actually out there to be found. But my own experiences with Google have fallen far, far short of the buzz.

Scott Hardie | November 15, 2003
Now I'm officially done with Google for a while. After enjoying the Google Toolbar on Matt's computer, I decided to install it on my own. AutoFill is all right, the Search field is better, and the PopUp Blocker is great. Problem is, the piece of shit crashed IE frequently. I could not access IMDB or this site without IE crashing! I tried various solutions and finally threw my hands up and deleted the software, but even then, the problems persisted! I got Spybot and Ad-Aware to solve that problem, but then, I still had a webshow hijack running, which created links out of words on web sites I visited, like "games" and "cruise," taking me to advertising sites when I clicked the artificial links. Eventually I figured out how to disable these in the IE options, though I think the software remains on my computer. Well, nobody prevents me from accessing my own site, takes over my computer, makes me fight to regain control, and gets a free pass for it - I'm fucking through with Google.

Denise Sawicki | November 20, 2003
This sounds kind of like the problem you were experiencing, it doesn't sound as though it is google related though I could be wrong.

Scott Hardie | November 20, 2003
That sounds like it, indeed. I don't know if it came with the Google software; it's possible that it was included with the zip as a trojan, but unlikely. What's more likely is that it was already lying dormant on my system when Google required me to turn on "browser helper items" (aka "third-party browser extensions") in the IE options. Since it went away as soon as I turned off that option again, it's probably still on here. :-| Thanks for the link; I'll use this cwsshredder I think.

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