August 22, 2005
Google Desktop Search, Version 2 Beta
Posted by Gordon Smith

After numerous failed searches, I deleted Google Desktop from my computers last year. Now it's back in Version 2, which includes a new product called Google Sidebar. Yaaaaaaaawwwwnnnn.

Sidebar is another piece of software designed to bring news, weather, stock quotes, email, and a photo to my desktop. No, thanks.

Does anyone remember PointCast? This is a sleek version of that, with some extra bells and whistles. (The features are very much like MyYahoo.)

As you look through the features, consider how to get all of this information now, without Sidebar. If you are like me, you have a system for gathering and retrieving, and the only question is how much of that information you like to have on your desktop at once. I tend to keep my desktop display simple, and the thought of adding a sidbar of clutter is not appealing.

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Comments (6)

1. Posted by Matthew Goeden on August 22, 2005 @ 7:54 | Permalink

I'm not try'n to be a windows hater....

...but Mac's OS X's system-wide search (Spotlight) has worked very well for me and the Dashboard solves the problem of hiding a useable information display so that it doesn't clutter the desktop.

Nevertheless, Windows Vista should have a good system search (and "virtual folders") built into the OS when it comes out....

The hot topics in information organization are tagging and system-wide searches -- both based on the idea that users are going to be confronted with too much information to organize usefully themselves.

I have already found this to be true while going through law school. I organize everything meticulously; however, I often cannot find what I am looking for. And that's when I use the system-wide search.

For instance, I was looking for the certain calendar this morning to see when I had to actually get out of bed. I looked in the right folder (Documents-->Fall 2005-->"Student Org"-->), but I couldn't find the calendar. So, I typed calendar into my system-wide search (Spotlight) -- BAM -- the calendar was embedded into another word document that didn’t have “calendar” in its file name.

It is too bad that Google’s system-wide search has failed for you. I promise that system-wide searching will be a part of your daily computer use routine sooner than you think.

2. Posted by Gordon Smith on August 22, 2005 @ 9:01 | Permalink

Matthew, I love the idea of system-wide searching, but Google Desktop did not work very well. After a few failures, I did a number of test searches for documents I knew were on the system, and it failed to locate the relevant documents with nearly 100% efficiency. I tried this on two different computers and even re-installed the program more than once. Once they (or Microsoft) get something that works, I will be happy to use it.

3. Posted by Gordon Smith on August 22, 2005 @ 9:19 | Permalink

After reading Matthew's comment, I decided to stop being so prickly and give Google Desktop another chance. I just downloaded the program, and it will index my files, if my computer is ever idle. Then I will report back.

4. Posted by Matthew Goeden on August 22, 2005 @ 11:18 | Permalink

Professor --

I didn't mean any offense, and I apologize if you took any. I was just touting the usefulness of system-wide searches, specifically Apple's flavor.

-- Matthew

5. Posted by Gordon Smith on August 22, 2005 @ 12:18 | Permalink

None taken, Matthew. Quite the opposite. After reading your praise of system-wide searches, I developed a case of software envy, and decided to give Desktop another try.

6. Posted by Nathan Nelson on August 22, 2005 @ 13:24 | Permalink

I remember PointeCast and I want to stay far away from any similar software!

As far as file searching goes, have any of you seen "FileCenter"? I have been thinking about demo-ing it.

Any thoughts?

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