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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The State of Desktop Search

Everyone might be talking about the cloud buzz and all that but there are still a significant lot carrying around laptops and desktops with monstrous hard disks. The Register paper has an interesting article on local search  in the light of Google's dropping support and EOL'ing of Google Desktop software.  The author bemoans the lack of good alternatives or rather the options one has,(if one was not happy with Google Desktop) that at present don't seem to be good enough for the task at hand.

It's not pretty.

We get 2TB HDDs for about $100 and given the hoarder mentality that makes people fill it faster and faster compared to the earlier HDDs, we have a big problem.  An insane amount of file clutter and no good methods to find the document with a specific text, photo or information.

On the XP machine that I use, the local search interface is....well...sad and could do with a dedicated tool to help users search.  A bit strange that Microsoft does not seem to have anything to address this. hmmm...though I vaguely remember seeing some papers on semantic filesystems and other stuff by Microsoft back in the days when NTFS was being hyped about.

The unix find, locate, slocate, rlocate  custom built scripts seem to be what passes for cutting edge for rooting through your HDDs; makes you look victorious in the smugly, sad, nerdy way. Which, truth be told, is what I end up doing when I'm not working with Microsoft files.

I looked up a few pieces of software mentioned in the forums but it all seemed a bit much while a few posters in that forum carped, "organise the stuff beforehand".

Very helpful, that.

What do you use to root through your hard disk?

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive STAC2000100 (Black)Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0/2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (Black)