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SEARCH ENGINE TRICKS

How to search your PC with Google Desktop
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-11-04

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    How to search your PC with Google Desktop
    by Nowshade Kabir

    In this era of Internet, most people are frequent users of
    computers. Many of us use computers through out the day,
    accumulating morasses of information in various formats, which
    include email, digital photo, word document, spreadsheet,
    presentation file, ebook, article, other downloaded files,
    music, visited web pages, and many others. We stuff them in
    multiple folders in our PC. Before we know it, our hard drives
    become a storeroom of misplaced items. As a result, finding a
    needed file of information some times become a daunting task!

    The search function integrated to Microsoft Windows is not a
    big help either. It requires you to know, albeit vaguely,
    where the file could possibly be located. If your data storage
    is significant and you made a search on your whole hard disk,
    it might take ages to get search results and, then again, there
    is no guarantee that you will find the right file. Frustrating?
    Thanks to new Google Desktop Search this is about to change!

    What is Google Desktop Search?

    Google Desktop Search is a free downloadable small program,
    which will quickly and easily find your files no matter where
    in your hard disk they are stored. The great thing about this
    program is by making your computer searchable, this program
    frees you from having to manually organize and sort your files,
    emails, and downloads. You no more have to mull over where in
    your PC the information you are looking for is residing – in
    your email, files or web pages that you browsed recently.

    At present Google Desktop Search works only with the full text
    in Outlook and Outlook Express email, text, HTML, Word, Excel
    and PowerPoint files, AOL chat, and Web pages viewed through
    Internet Explorer. Other files like PDF will be probably added
    in future version.

    How it works?

    Google Desktop Search is fairly easy to download and set up.
    The address for downloading the program is http://desktop.google.com.
    Once you installed the program, it begins initial indexing
    process of your hard disks. This may take several hours for
    an average size disk. The one-time indexing process only works
    when the computer has been idle for more than thirty seconds.
    Indexing for Google Desktop Search is an ongoing process,
    new files and emails get updated automatically. The search
    index created by the program resides on your own computer.

    On your system tray you will see a swirled icon in Google
    colors, by clicking on it you will open the regular Google
    search page with the addition of Desktop along side with other
    search areas. Once the indexing is done, files are searched
    in under a second and the results are impressively precise.
    The top bar shows quantities of files found under the four
    categories, which include emails, files, chat and Web history.
    The results are shown in much the same way as regular Google
    interface. You can choose to see relevant results from all
    or any of the categories. You can also sort results by
    relevance or by date. By clicking on any result you open
    the file in respective application software.

    The email query results are the best! No longer have you
    had to remember in which folder you stored the email written
    to John in reference to Peter. By searching for Peter or John,
    you will find all relevant emails and related correspondence.
    You can read and answer to any of the discovered email from
    the thread. This really saves time when you need to follow up
    to a large numbers of emails each day.

    There are two more text buttons next to the search field.
    One is Desktop Preferences and other is Remove Items. Desktop
    preferences allow you to choose the types of files you would
    like the program to include in its index out of available ones.
    You can also point out not to index specific folders from
    your hard disk. If you share your PC with others, it’s a
    good idea to eliminate your private folders from the Desktop
    index. You can also specify not to index certain websites
    from your cached web history as well. The Remove items
    button allow you to eliminate selected results from the
    index.

    The advance search option allows you to search by phrase by
    putting the phrase within quotation marks, to eliminate a word
    from search by putting a minus sign in front of the word, to
    search by file type, and to search within a web URL. A neat
    feature is to integrate your desktop search with your web search.
    This is very handy if you have already done an extensive search
    for some information and after a few days doing search for
    similar information once again.

    Privacy question

    By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount
    of non-personal information from your computer and sends it
    to Google. This includes summary information, such as the
    number of searches you do and the time it takes for you to
    see your results, etc. You can opt out of sending this
    information during the installation process or from the
    Desktop preferences later. According to Google Privacy Policy
    no personally identifying information, such as your name or
    address, will be sent to Google without your explicit prior
    permission.

    What is missing?

    I bemoan not having PDF files in the search process as yet.
    I have dozens of e-books and PDF whitepapers residing in my
    PC, and I really would prefer to have them indexed. That way,
    I’d have been able to read materials, when I needed them most.

    The other thing I want to see is clustered result of my query,
    which shows organized search results into meaningful
    hierarchical folders similar to the way Vivisimo search engine
    works. This clustering is particularly helpful for desktop
    search, as this allows us to see other relevant documents
    connected to the searched word.

    Conclusion

    Due to Google’s immense popularity as a search engine, it’s
    logical that most users will prefer Google’s desktop search
    program as oppose to other similar programs, such as Copernic
    and Hotbot. Finally you can search your very own computer
    with similar ease and preciseness as you have been searching
    the Internet for quite some time.

    About the author

    Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present
    CEO of Rusbiz.com. A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he
    has wide experience in Business Consulting, International
    Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace
    with solutions to start and run online business.
    You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at]rusbiz.com,
    http://ezine.rusbiz.com/archivenews.html?nl_oid=46

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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