Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 8:45:54 AM by Newman
If you haven't noticed, Google Desktop quietly came out of beta a couple weeks ago. I didn't install the beta because there was no support for Firefox, but Google Desktop now supports Firefox, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer, as well as Thunderbird, Netscape Mail, and Outlook.
I just installed it last week and it's truly astonishing - not to mention a bit creepy - to find every file, every Word doc, every image, every email, and every newsgroup post that contains the word you're searching. Even conversations you don't remember having! Surprisingly, it doesn't search your Gmail account, but maybe that option will be added to a future version.
Like other Google inventions, Google Desktop changes the way you think of personal computing. For example, you can install Larry's Any Text File Indexer plug-in and use it to search your ActionScript files. You can use the Developer Search API to generate a slideshow or an MP3 playlist from a query. What about using GDS to maintain a personal journal? Just send an email to your Gmail account every day and you'll have a threaded, searchable diary.
If you're thinking of installing Google Desktop, check out these terrific tips. I used this tip to move the index file from my C (6 GB free) to my E drive (80 GB free). Unfortunately, Google Desktop didn't index some folders on my E drive, so I'm going to use this tip to force a re-index.
Here's another tip. If you want to search Google Desktop from Firefox, Mozilla, or Netscape, download our free Community MX Sidebar. This Flash-based extension (requires FP7) adds a tabbed sidebar that displays the latest CMX articles, and enables you to create and save custom searches. Once the extension is installed, here's how you add Google Desktop to your list of search engines:
- Select the Search tab on the CMX Sidebar.
- Click the down arrow next to Go to reveal the search editor.
- Click the Plus (+) button to add a new search.
- Enter "Google Desktop" in the first text box.
- Enter your GDS URL in the second text box.
- Click Test Search.
What is your GDS URL? When you conduct a Google Desktop search, you'll notice it has the following format:
The easiest way to add this URL to the CMX Sidebar is to search a word with Google Desktop, copy the URL from your browser's address bar, and paste it into the second text box. Remember to replace the search term - cmx in the example above - with %s. The revised URL looks like this:
When you're finished, simply select Google Desktop from the combo box, type your query, and press Enter. The results of your GDS search are displayed in the main browser window. You can also search Google Desktop by creating a bookmark keyword, or by installing this free search plugin for Firefox.