Google Desktop Search

Finding the computer files you want was never easy, even in the days before we had hard drives in our computers, because we still had to look through a major stack of floppy discs before we could find that obscure file we needed.The problem of tracing files has got even worse lately with hard drives smaller than 40Gb becoming increasingly rare. Windows has had a search feature for quite some time but, although better than nothing, it was ponderous and slow, especially when it came to searching within files for a particular bit of text.
Over the years there have been a number of attempts to come up with a better solution and I ended up using one which would go and index the contents of your hard drive including the contents of certain files such as Microsoft Word documents. It improved things but it was also a bit clumsy and I welcomed Google’s recent announcement that they had developed a program of their own which you could download and which would act like a search engine on your computer.
The 400kb file downloaded over my dreadful dial-up connection in a couple of minutes and set about the task of indexing all my existing files in periods when I wasn’t using my computer. The program can index Microsoft Office files, Outlook and Outlook Express mail messages and web pages you’ve viewed.
Indexing doesn’t take more than a few hours and, as you generate new documents or receive new mail messages, they are automatically added to the index as well.
You access the program from an icon in your system tray which brings up a page looking very much like the ordinary Google search page but which says Google Desktop Search. You type in a word or phrase that you’re looking for and it generates a list of all the documents on your computer in which it appears.
The program is still officially in its Beta, or test, phase but I think it’s brilliant and have already begun to wonder how I ever did without it in the past. It worked pretty fast on my previous Celeron 500 machine and now is now even faster on my brand new, and vastly superior, Canopus.
The only potential drawback to the program is that it might catch you out and remember things that you’d just as soon were forgotten, such as that visit to Sabrina the teen porn queen’s home page. You may one day be able to set Google Desktop Search to forget some of the places you’ve been and things you’ve seen but, in the meantime, it would be best to be careful.
You can download Google Desktop Search at http://desktop.google.com/. Please note that it is currently available only in English for computers running Windows 2000 (with Service Pack 3) and Windows XP. Google say that they will be adding to the list of files it is able to index and bringing it out in other languages. They announced, as I was writing this, that there would definitely be a version of the program for Macintosh computers.

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