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October 14, 2004
Google Desktop: First Review
After all the rumors about Google bringing out its own browser (Google FUD, who knew?) we finally found out what software the gnomes were creating over at Google Labs (where the future is being made today).
It's Google Desktop.
Google Desktop is an application (currently only for high-end Windows machines with 128 Mbytes of memory) that turns Google's search algorithms loose on your home PC.
It takes just a minute or two (on a broadband connection) to download it, and the installation takes care of itself. Then you need to wait several hours (you get to use your PC during this time) while Google Desktop indexes everythong you have.
But how does it work?
It works pretty well. You get a cute little icon on the left of every search result, showing what type of file you've found.
It's a great incentive not to dump your Web logs or other temporary files, because now, for the first time, they're accessible and could actually become useful. Just type a search term into the Google search box, click the button Search Desktop, and voila! (Or search the Web from the same prompt.)
You have the option of letting Google know everything it's doing for and to you. I suppose this means they might start advertising on my home searches. If you've got a problem with that, say no at your preferences. Or don't download it at all.
It will take me time to come up with a more complete review (I apologize in advance for that.) How does it stack up against Windows Explorer? I don't know. What's it like to search your own PC with Google search terms? I don't know. Can it get addictive? I don't know. Am I worried that John Ashcroft might find out what is on my PC and name me an enemy combatant as a result? Not yet.
As they say, stay tuned. But so far, it's all good.
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