My work computer's hard drive crashed the other day. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but, as the saying goes, there's always a silver lining. And my silver lining was a handsome new desktop replacement, flat screen monitor and upgraded Blackberry. It's taken a little time to get familiar with all this shiny new equipment, but I soon forgot all about my old computer with its cluttered hard drive and boring exterior.
Of course, now I have to re-install any "non-standard" software, which would include Google Desktop Search. (GDS) On the other hand, perhaps this is just another opportunity to play the field. GDS is a wonderful product, but since it's release, several other desktop search engines have surfaced.
But which one should I download? Choosing a desktop search engine is a commitment; you really can't install and run more than one. It would simply take up too much in terms of system resources. Apparently even one can sometimes takes its toll as some desktop search products are, how shall I say it, high maintenance. So background checks on prospective candidates seemed like a prudent idea.
I've read the recent reviews in PC Magazine and PC World, but the detail provided is necessarily limited. That's why I decided to buy an online PDF book, The Desktop Search Handbook, by Peter Deegan. There's a lot of information there for $9.95, though you have to provide your own paper and ink.
For example, right up front (p. 17) they address one of my concerns, the lack of support for Microsoft OneNote. It's not my imagination...according to Deegan none of the desktop searching programs support the .one format, not even Microsoft's product. The solution? Treat .one files like text files in those programs that allow you to define your own file types. Though GDS doesn't accommodate this, there's a plug-in for GDS that will do the job. (p. 40)
I had just about decided to go to the dark side, and install the Microsoft product. But I got cold feet when I realized I couldn't JUST get desktop search, I had to take the whole family, the complete MSN Toolbar Suite. Nuh-huh, not me, I'm not ready for that.
After all this research, I'm leaning towards PC Magazine's Editor's Choice, Yahoo Desktop Search. Though I'm a little nervous about installing anything on my pristine hard drive. On the other hand, I really miss the ability to actually FIND emails and files, so I"ll have to take the plunge soon. I'll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, I'm still open to suggestions...