Channel oriented internet search tool. It left me wondering why bother? It seemed to me to do little that a regular browser didn't do, and some of that it did very badly. On the other hand, if something from some specific channel was of great use to you, and you didn't know how to do a search for it, the consistent interface to all channels may prove easier to use.
A lot of the channels are very specific to USA interests, even some that claim world wide scope. If you are not in the USA market, Sherlock will be of limited use. I checked the following channels.
- Internet search
- I searched for Installing Linux on IBM Thinkpad R31. This gave a paltry four results, none of them even close to the topic. One was from Amazon, another from eBay. I need hardly mention that Google provided more and better results.
- Channel unavailable - try later.
- I searched for Psion Netbook, and got U.K. results of one for sale, plus multiple ROM replacements to change mBooks into NetBooks. I thought that was a pretty specific and acceptable result.
- I don't know what was happening here. I think it was trying to confine the results to my declared location (the nearest available location being 1200 kilometres from where I live, this isn't exactly a good idea). No record of Proserpine (code PPP), which isn't perhaps surprising considering it is a regional airport. I was utterly astonished however not to find either Los Angeles or San Francisco. I think that channel is broken.
- I tested with the words perlustration, supernaculular and antidisestablishmentarianism (none of them known to the OS X dictionary). Got reasonable definitions, and where available thesaurus entries for these, so I was impressed.
- Given the limits of mechanical translation, I was favourably impressed by the results. The range of languages was larger than I expected. Cutting and pasting of original and results was easy. I wouldn't try translating anything literary, but for rough notes it seems handy.
- Results seemed acceptable and well focused. I didn't try any really tricky searches however.