Bye Bye Google Desktop Search 2

I was going to simply [update the old entry](http://www.momathome.com/viewfromhome/2005/08/google_desktop_search_2.php) but I have enough to say on the subject that it warrants its own space (and now that MovableType lets you send trackbacks to internal entries, I can say what I want and still update that entry with a trackback).

In short, I nuked it.

I put back [X1](http://www.x1.com) a few days ago. Still not in love with X1’s interface, but it does the job like no other. Here’s the thing…if I’m on the phone with a lawyer, client, vendor, etc. and I have to pull something up from an email as part of the conversation (which I do **often**) I need to be able to click a few keys and find that email. With X1, nine times out of ten I can get that email without skipping a beat. “nancy quotation widgets” and a click on the Attachments button instantly gives me the email I sent to Nancy with the quote from the printer about the widgets we wanted to order. The other person thinks I had that email sitting on my lap the entire conversation. X1 also indexes PSTs that aren’t part of the active profile. That’s big. Bigger than I gave it credit for. I try not to let my current PST archive file get larger than around 700MB. When it approaches that size, I start a new data file for it and save the old PST file to a backup location. Then I tell X1 to index the PST from the backup location while it’s going forward with the fresh email. That way I’ve got 2 years of email at my fingertips but only the last few months or so active. When I want to search something older, X1 doesn’t care if it’s active in Outlook or not. It finds it. That was worth the $75 I paid for the software alone and I’m good to remember that the next time something new & flashy comes along.

Suffice to say, Google Desktop Search couldn’t find that old saved email. It had enough trouble with the new saved email. Yes, it’s faster. I’ll give it that. But if it pulls up the **wrong** information, who cares if it got there first? “nancy quotation widgets” was just as likely to give me a web page on how to write an essay about widgets as it did that email. It certainly didn’t know I was looking for a PDF file that was attached to an email and not the email itself (which only says “Your quote is attached”).

When I say to someone on the phone, “I have that in an email, let me pull it up and see…” if there’s anything more than 3 seconds of silence while I go find it I’m using the wrong search tool. With GDS, it was quite literally, “um, one second…let me see…oh, no, that’s not it…I know it’s here somewhere…can I look that up in a bit and get back to you?” Nope, won’t work.

So once X1 was indexing my email again GDS 2 lost a lot of its appeal. I thought I would use it for file searching. But it was lackluster there too. I couldn’t get specific enough with boolean terms **and** what I knew about the file (location, size, etc.) to make it worthwhile.Google Talk? Eh. I’m happy with Trillian and I can add Google folks through the Jabber plug-in. Google’s sidebar is nice…but there wasn’t anything in there that I wasn’t already getting in Firefox extensions (Adsense monitoring, weather) or FeedDemon (RSS/news) or OneNote (ScratchPad).

Worse, my system was slowing down. A little at first but then more noticeable. Quitting GDS 2 brought things back to normal, and that’s when I ran Add/Remove and said goodbye. Maybe version 3.

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2 thoughts on “Bye Bye Google Desktop Search 2

  1. matt says:

    Great observations on X1 v. GDS. I’ve been an X1 user for years but I’m giving GDS a shot – have you tried GDS3.0? Any luck with archived PST’s? We’re using the same backup methodology for email – plus with X1 it makes you look like the most organized person ever!

    BTW – if you want to try new stuff without breaking your system, creat a virtual machine for free. More details at http://www.vmware.com.

  2. Judi Sohn says:

    I think I’m just holding on until I can install Office 2007 with the promise of better searching in Outlook 2007. That’s the whole issue. I have 44,000 saved emails across 8 .PSTs including the active profile and using Outlook to search for a particular message is painful.

    I was using Copernic Desktop Search beta 2 for a while, until the indexing just died on me. Took days for tech support to get back to me so in the meantime I went back to Google Desktop Search.

    Version 4 is much, much better than the version I reviewed in this entry. For starters, you can now filter down email by who it is from/to which works very well. I’m also impressed at how fast it is. I can save a file, and literally a second later search for a related file and the one I just saved is already in the index.

    I can’t stand the sidebar or gadgets. A lot of eye candy for little real use, so I just use the little window in the taskbar or from within Outlook and it’s working out well so far.

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