14 October 2004

My little google

I hate browser tool bars and add-ons. I love the concept that an application can be so open that you can plug in third party utilities and widgets, but I hate that those widgets are location-specific. I use a browser at home, work, to a limited degree on my phone, and less-frequently-but-occasionally elsewhere. It's a hassle, although small, to have to install those widgets all over or to do without. Maybe if widgets could be distributed and activated while you're browsing ... maybe.

Anyway, against my better judgment but based on the good enough judgment of bump and others, I installed the Google Desktop Search. Not exactly a browser add-on, it's a indexing engine for your home computer(s). I think this may become my tool of choice for looking up anything--anything--on my computer.

The preferences are simple:

Google Desktop preferences

It apparently doesn't scan mapped drives or network shares. That kinda sucks since I keep a good number of items (including this blog) on a shared 160 GB hard drive. However, most of it is non-indexable media files, so that's not too much of an issue. I don't understand why that's not a part of preferences though.

A particularly intriguing option is its indexing of my AIM chats. I can't show you an example because the one test was with the wife, and it was dirty, but I can say that the results display the whole conversation and include the time of the conversation, the screen names of each person, and the option to begin another IM session with them. Very, very cool. "Remember that thing I told you when we were chatting the other day on AIM...?" No, no I don't, but I can search for it! I've got emails from years and years back, why don't I have my AIM sessions? The downside is that I do most of my chatting from work.

Which brings us back to why I hate tool bars and add-ons, except from that logic I should hate any utility that I have to install. Maybe if any type of widget or utility could be distributed ...

[ posted by sstrader on 14 October 2004 at 11:20:09 PM in Science & Technology ]