Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zekira Update: Can You Spare a PST?


We're continuing to make very good progress on Zekira, squashing bugs found by our beta testers and adding features you asked for.  We've now implemented the features I talked about in our last update, including click-anywhere searching and filtering by folder.  I think they make Zekira easier to use and more powerful. 

We're also making steady progress on increasing the speed at which we index your files.  Although the performance has improved a lot, it's not yet all the way to where we want it to be.  So this is our number one goal, and we're holding off on the next beta release until we meet it.  There are still a lot of things in indexing that we can tune, so I'm very confident that we'll hit our goal.

Meanwhile, we're learning some interesting things about file compatibility on personal computers.  Although there are many commercial and open source software projects that claim to be able to read various file types, in practice many of them are riddled with bugs.   Even something that you'd expect to be simple and well-defined, like reading a PDF file, can be a minefield of incompatibilities. 

Apparently many of the disk indexing products out there handle this problem by just skipping the files that they have trouble reading, and then not telling you about it.  This makes them look compatible, but you may not be able to find what you need, when you need it.  Unfortunately, there will always be cases of damaged files that can't be read and must be skipped, but in the Zekira project we're investing heavily in fixing as many incompatibilities as we can, and I think we'll have a very high level of compatibility as a result.

As part of this compatibility testing, we'd like to create a collection of Outlook .PST files that we can use in testing.  We have many of our own, but the more we can get, the better.  We know many people are not comfortable sharing .PST files because they contain personal information, and we respect that.  We've set up a procedure under which your file can be accessed by only one of us (Steven Glass), and he will make sure that the file never gets to anyone else.

If you have a .PST file or files that you're willing to share, please contact me at michael.mace@zekira.com .  I'll put you in touch with Steven so you can send the files to him directly.

Thanks for your support.

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