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Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by damson34, Jun 20, 2003.
What does indexing your hard drive do exactly? Is there any benifits or downfalls to doing it?
Indexing your hard drive allows you to do a "Find by Content" search--for example, you could search for words that appeared inside text files on your computer. I think this creates invisible files on your computer called .DS_store files, but they don't really do any harm.
Indexing your entire hard drive can take a while (perhaps hours, I don't really know).
Unless you like the Find by Content, I wouldn't bother indexing.
indexing the drive is like using updatedb on linux.
the function is just making a database where all the files, and their path, are written into. Thus, once you search something, it finds them in something like 0.5 secs ;-)
You can for instance update that database every so often using cron to automate it.
actually, you are refering to the database maintaned for use by the "locate" command, which only finds a file's path. indexing particular folders on your hard disk allows you to search the contents of any txt rtf pdf html, etc files, not just where they are located. lets say that you keep text logs of aim chats or minutes for a set of meetings, you can search for particular keywords and find all of the files that contain the phrase. it's time consuming (the indexing, not the searching), but incredibly useful to those who need it.