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Use Watson as your personal internet assistant Apps
I spend a fair bit of time on VersionTracker and macosxapps.com looking for new software. Last night, I downloaded a program known simply as Watson. I wasn't quite sure what it did, but it had glowing reviews on VersionTracker.

It's hard to describe everything that Watson does, but it does it all quite well. It's a very nice Cocoa application that includes interfaces to Internet movie finders, images, phone books, stock listings, and eBay auctions. In addition, there are planned future plug-ins for things such as TV listings, maps, flight finders (available already), automated teller machine finders, ski resort information, and sports and weather. Yes, you can do all this yourself by hitting the various websites, but Watson does the hard work for you and presents the results in a very Mac-like manner.

Take a look at Watson's home page to get an idea of the interface; it's extremely well done and takes advantage of drawers in a great manner - settings drawers slide out of the right side of the main window, and a detail drawer drops out of the bottom.

Watson isn't free - it's a $29 shareware program ... but I've just sent in my fee after only 15 minutes of usage. The interface is useful and intuitive, the functionality is perfect, and it does exactly what you'd expect it to do. I can see this quickly becoming an indispensible tool.
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Use Watson as your personal internet assistant | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Pretty cool, but...
Authored by: sjonke on Nov 28, '01 11:12:00AM

I like it, however sometimes when I do an ebay search it freezes for a fairly long period of time, then unfreezes. Also the image search hasn't produced great results for me - they need more and better sources of images, particularly high resolution images. The moviefone lookup is great. Much better than using the web page, though not every theater is covered (not that that's Watson's fault, but perhaps they could come up with a way to fill in the gaps by utilizing other sources of info as well.)



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Watson's Shortcomings
Authored by: eduo on Nov 28, '01 01:46:59PM

I liked Watson a lot, at least conceptually. I tried using it and, of course, it didn't work because I am behind a proxy/firewall. I can't understand how a tool that claims to be so MacOS X compliant can be skipping the internet services built right there in the system.

I liked the fact that development of modules is made through Cocoa, instead of some weird scripting language, that ensures not only solidity but also that not everyone and their brother will try to make modules that will only clog watson, as it hapenned with Sherlock (where noone uses plug ins any more).

I just hope it doesn't become a new pointcast. Great premise, poor handling.

Eduo



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First look and feel was good, but ...
Authored by: Chnuschti on Nov 28, '01 07:10:31PM

- the ebay plug doesnt allow refined searches. I live in Canada
and some Auctions only ship to the US.
- the phone plug doesn't find any of my numbers.
Seems ATT doesn't like Sprint and/or Primus Canada numbers?

I realize that not everything is the programmers fault, but it certainly limits
the usefulness of the program.
I wonder if it were possible to allow more parameters as to what source to use
for your search.
I loved the Movie Plugin possibility to see a preview right away no digging required,
but no movie theatre in my city showed up.
Which leaves me with 2 useful Plugins. The currency exchange and stock watch.
I get those for free on myYahoo.



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Well
Authored by: bhines on Nov 28, '01 10:02:51PM

That's what you get for living in Canada. :)

Anyway, there will be many more plugins in the future, i expect.

For a 1.0 release, this is pretty impressive.

-Ben



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so what if service provider changes format?
Authored by: loren_ryter on Nov 29, '01 05:48:07PM

watson looks great but i can't imagine that these service/information providers will be happy with by-passing their web sites. they want to show you the ads after all.

so as perty is watson is i'm reluctant to shell out 30 bucks if half of it won't work in 2 months.

options?



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Love this!
Authored by: theodelinda on Dec 02, '01 01:17:23PM

I also registered Watson after a remarkably short period of usage. So far I'm totally in love. The developer is very nice and helpful (I spent a while emailing back and forth with him after Watson crashed suddenly on me), and seems open to feature suggestions. So far, I've made use of the eBay tracker (though additional limiting and search criteria functions are absolutely needed) and the flight status tracker. If you look at the list of upcoming modules (maps, tv listings, etc.), there's a lot of good stuff on the way.



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