Need a little help with your gadgets? You dont have to call tech support anymore. Ive run across two applications recently taking different approaches to solving your gadget woes.
The first is Retrevo. Launched at DEMOfall last month, Retrevo is a vertical search engine that lets you look up your devices to find product documentation, reviews and articles, manufacturer info and coverage from forums and blogs. Michael Calore at Wired asks, Why not just use Google? Aside from the user interface, which gives you category filters on one side and a preview pane on the other, Retrevo gives you instant access to useful little items like product manuals. I searched for my Sony Cybershot DSC-P10, and a PDF version of the user guide came up first on the list. On the other hand, I searched Google for Sony Cybershot DSC-P10 manual and the guide didnt even make the first page. I love the idea of not having to save a zillion product manuals anymore. I can never remember which drawer I put them in
The second application is su.pport.us which I discovered through David Berlinds blog on ZDNet. The idea is great. su.pport.us is a wiki that anyone can contribute to. Know something useful about your cell phones features? Got tips on how to get a certain networked printer up and running? su.pport.us is the place to post it. Like I said, the idea is great. Unfortunately, theres very little content so far. Consider this a rallying cry. Go put your knowledge to work! There are people out there who need it.