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Friday · October 15 2004

The Google Desktop

The Google Desktop is your own private little Google server. It sits in the background, slogging through your files and folders, indexing your incoming and outgoing email messages, listening in on your instant messenger chats, and browsing the Web right along with you. Just about anything you see and summarily forget, the Google Desktop sees and memorizes for you.

So you can't even hide things from yourself. The search data is not sent anywhere — Google promises full privacy — but even I'm a little paranoid about this. What's to stop a new virus aimed squarely at the data in your private Google stash? I'd feel like I'm giftwrapping private data for an intruder.

I'll hold off for now.

Archived: Techie » October 2004
What you had to say:
October 15 2004

I'm doing this on my work computer. It's amazing. I'm impressed.

October 15 2004

I should have mentioned that I turned off "Send non-personal usage data and crash reports to Google."

October 15 2004

If you don't use Outlook or IE (the only mail and web clients supported), I don't see how useful it can be. What sort of search jobs has it helped you with that would be a pain otherwise?

October 15 2004

Actually, you're right. As someone who knows pretty much exactly where everything is on my computer, I don't really need this.

However, I became impressed this morning when I searched google.com for something (now I can't remember what it was), and the first result was that file on my hard drive displayed on the Google.com page.

I must say, it is a lot faster than searching within each application individually, or using the Windows search function.

For instance, I send a lot of flowers for my boss through various on-line services (with e-mail confirmation), or if not online, then on the phone, but I always keep a record of it in a word processor file. I typed the word "flowers" into the search box, and in 0.01 seconds, it came up with all 26 results in Outlook Express, Word, and Excel.

Of course, it helps than when I loaded the thing, it automatically indexed files in the following programs:

Outlook email
Outlook Express email
AOL IM
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Text and other
Web history
Include secure pages (HTTPS) in web history

(I should note, in case anyone is wondering, because everyone knows I use WordPerfect instead of Word, that I save a lot of WP files as Word files so I can share them with my boss's family.)

I hope this makes sense.

October 22 2004

This is awesome. Taken from the Dow Jones Newswires:

Take the desktop search software Google revealed recently, which helps people find files and information in their PCs. The software is free, making the revenue implications somewhat unclear.

But the "functionality seems like one that probably should have been bundled into the Windows operating system long ago, and provided by Microsoft," said Mr. Rohan. "Google has yet again improved upon a functionality provided by Microsoft and other players in the Internet and software space."

I don't have the application monitor my IM chats or a few other things that I changed in my preferences. However, it is unbelievably easy & convenient to search my word files for law school class notes.

Example: Steve gets called on in class to explain a rule of law from 3 weeks ago. Steve types in "Dormant Commerce Clause" and hits 'search' and gets the definition from his class notes in 1 second. Steve wins.

A huge benefit is the ability for you to know what is on your hard drive and easily delete or search for those things. I wanted to get rid of a bunch of files that I had saved here & there over the last 2 years dealing with some law topics that I thought I may need. After searching & deleting, it's freed up more space. I think it's a great organizational and informational tool...but some say I may be biased.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz