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Hi Friends,

We just got a brand new 1U blue boxed Google Mini for full text indexing of a new database we are setting up. It took about an hour to get it out of the box, install and index our content set (although we are doing some extra work fixing up our search result templates and scripts to make the output real nice and pretty).

More on our content set later… for now, please enjoy some pictures of Little Sheba the Hug Pug and her newest bestest Google toy.

Since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, I have been absolutely shocked by the magnitude of destruction left in her wake. In California, we’ve experienced our share of natural disasters, including the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. While the damage from that earthquake was extensive, it did not force the evacuation of a major American city or disperse countless families into neighboring states away from their homes, possessions and careers. The manpower, resources and infrastructure needed to handle such a mass migration is unfathomable.

Hurricane Katrina also demonstrated the limitations of our current technologies. Once the power shuts down, the cellular phones go down as well. And, without a communication system in place, the process of contacting family members or coordinating relief efforts proves to be exponentially more challenging.

Fortunately, many Web sites have emerged in the past few days to help survivors reconnect with their family members. Let me share with you some Web sites that I’ve visited to keep up with Hurricane Katrina news.