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Discussion in 'macOS' started by ichiroboston, Oct 14, 2004.
Whats a great idea, So now people have 5 different search engines on the computer like they have 5-10 different spyware and anti virus programs.
Intel loves it since it pushes the need for more CPU power...
Google is getting their hands into everything lately. Sounds good for those that use Windoze. I can't wait to use spotlight.
I downloaded and installed this on my work PC today. It's great. Very simple to download and install, uses the standard Google interface (in your web browser, no less). And its very fast. Much faster than the native searching options available in Windows XP and Outlook 2003.
I can't wait to have something like this on the Mac. It's now one of the few places where I feel like my Windows platform is ahead of my Mac one.
As someone who has used Spotlight, I can say with confidence that these Windows search utilities can not possibly be better than Spotlight. Personally, I'd be extremely impressed if they were even as good as Spotlight.
In other words, Spotlight seems to be absolutely wonderful, and I was extremely impressed by it. Do not fear.
Not that I use Wintels, but it makes me nervous about what kind of information Google could gather about local file content. . .
Would Google search pop up ads when you search your *own* HD?
Why wait for Spotlight when you can use Quicksilver today (for free too!) http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/
I love this app!
I agree, Quicksilver is awesome. I'm sceptical that I'll get as much use out of Spotlight. I like being able to hit Cmd-Space and type "calc *enter*" to get to my calculator, rather than either have it clutter the dock or dig through the Applications folder.
I'm indexing my work PC with the Google search. The install rubbed me the wrong way... it asked whether I wanted it to index my AIM chats and index all the secure sites I goto and right under that it asked whether I want to send data to Google. I opted out of all of them of course, but seeing that screen didn't give me any warm fuzzies.
It says it indexes "text" files among the files that it indexes... I wonder if that includes source code. That would be quite useful.
Google Desktop apparently doesn't give instant results as you type--you must submit your query. Search-as-you-type is GREAT in iTunes, panther Finder (somewhat), Address Book, etc.... and it will be great in Spotlight. Even that one factor keeps Spotlight in another league.
But it's good to have someone beat MS to their own market And it's good for Tiger and Mac sales if people are paying attention to searching as important.
And you don't have to worry about privacy I don't think. Google says they don't gather any info, and if you don't believe them, there are ways to test that. (I suppose the "Patriot" Act might be used to try to make them to collect info and then lie about it the way ISPs have been told to do. But those days are numbered.)
I agree with you guys. First thing I thought when I read the headline is "so windows users are finally getting quicksilver."
On OS X 10.3 - try launchbar
LaunchBar is fantastic. Can't live without it. I'm convinced that Apple was inspired by this little app. If you're reading this and havn't tried it, you should. It's free to try and use in a limited capacity. And just for clarification - I have absolutely no connection with the company, it's just a great app.
Sounds like a great idea. I'll have to download it at work and see how good it is. I'm itching to try Spotlight out more though.
There's no way this will even compare to Spotlight, but for us that still use Wincrap machines, this is wonderful news!
I hate the native search function in windows, it's just horrible. I'm really excited to get home and download this puppy on my PC.
Anyone else having issues getting to google's desktop search page?
So you are going to download a Google program that can search every file on your computer and possibly send it all back to someone else...
Sounds scary to me!
Having used it for a bit, I must say I'm impressed with Googler Desktop search for what it is. It is definately not a Quicksilver, nor does it claim to be. Still, a web interface will probably pale in comparison to Spotlight.
just to point out, Spotlight will surely eat some CPU power too. For example, when adding lots of files on the HD, it will slow down the system temporarily for a moment, because it has to crunch all the data to be used with the Spotlight feature.
I think this google thing is ok. windows users get a good feature too, but I don't believe it's as good as what we're getting soon, because it's still not integrated to the system. The idea with Mac is that it's all there, no need to install this and that.
There won't necessarily be a slow-down. Indexing can be done using idle CPU time (like Folding@Home).
Apple on indexing: "This process occurs transparently and in the background, so you never experience lag times or slow downs during normal operation."
(From the Spotlight tech details page:
Agreed. I have used spotlight, and though I haen't tried the google program yet, as soon as I saw it used a web interface and didn't do instant searching I realized that people won't use this nearly as much as spotlight. When spotlight comes it will take over the average person's use of the finder. I can't remember if it was Steve or Phil who said this, but it simply cannot be overstated.
Google's privacy policies are beyond reproach. I'm not saying they may not lie, but any company could lie with any program you install on your computer whethere it is ostensibly for searching or not. I'd trust google before I'd trust most other companies.
good news for Apple
I think that this is very good news for Apple. This (with the other offerings by AOL, etc) will substantially knock Microsoft off their stride (not that they apparently needed much help with Longhorn).
The big difference here is system integration. While Google may do a great search utility on its own, it won't be fully integrated. Remember that Steve was touting that Spotlight would be addressable by all programs (with the appropriate hooks, presumably), and so will change how people use the entire system (e.g., recall the integration into Mail). This is in contrast to a specific useful search utility.
If Microsoft gets preempted by these other guys (which seems to be the case given that they have stripped this out of Longhorn for now), then the integration/ease of use ratio for OS X goes even higher.
I know that I'm going to use Spotlight a ton. Might not need the open dialog box anymore.
You can make that native searching options faster by turning on indexing. It handles searches the same way by creating an index of the files. Works well assuming you have a fast enough comp since Windows Indexing is ALWAYS running.
Initial Thoughts and enhances that need to occur
First and foremost after install the app should bite the bullet and just index everything. Period. Get it over with. As it stands I'm sitting at only 112 items indexed. At this rate it might be done by the time it comes out of beta. If it is process intensive the app at the very least should be smart enough to query the CPU speed, amount of RAM, etc and determine if it can do a comprehensive scan immediately on install. We aren't talking brain surgery here.
Second the prefs are way to neutered. This could partly be because this is beta software but even beta usually suggests the core components of the app are present. I think it somewhat stupid that you can't specify how much idle time must occur before the app starts indexing. I should be able to select something like 1 minute, 5, 10, 30, 45, 60, 1 hour, 2 hours, etc.)
Beyond that there is the whole browser experience thing. I do like that its compatible with FireFox out of the box. Thank you Google. However I hope Google cleans up the interface before it's officially ready to go. If this is supost to be a desktop search it should be seamless. A simple browser window with a Google search screen in it feels. Hard to describe. Too webish. Get rid of the buttons, the bookmark bars, the status bar on the bottom. Make it look more like an app instead of a simple webpage because you can be sure as hell that when MS comes marching in with whatever solution they have its going to look a lot cleaner then this. That being said if I go to Google and click desktop sure. I'm initiating this from a browser. You shouldn't expect Google to screw around with an existing browser window but when its spawned from Windows itself? Yah a little cleanup is in order here.
Third the data results are in the form of your typical Google results. I'm a big fan of Google. I like it. It works well. But the layout doesn't get the job done for local file searches. There needs to be a data: created and modified field. There needs, and this is personal pref I guess, a physical snapshot of the file to the left of the entry that is slightly larger then MS's thumbnail view in their File Explorer. You shouldn't have to click on the cache link to get a basic idea of what is in the file. We have come a long way from the days of simple text results being spit out from command lines. Results deserve more then simple text overviews. The GUI OS is there to give us visual feedback. Lets use it! As for the previously mentioned cache link. What is there to say? I'm going to be picky about how my data is being formatted and especially picky about how my data files are being previewed. Call me silly but if I click a cached link on google I expect a web page not a dump of the text. I understand that this is going to be very difficult to achieve but frankly, to be blunt, if you don't do it I'm betting Microsoft will. I don't think basic formatting of xls, word, and ppt text is uncalled for. At least give us an idea of what we are looking at instead of a pure dump of the text.
Also and this is a big one. The searchable items are WAY too rudimentary. Right now it only supports: Outlook and Outlook Express, web pages in your history, AIM, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text files. That's a good start. How about PDF's? How about saved HTML\XML documents? How about picture names and descriptions? How about Lotus Notes or even G-Mail searches? (Yah there are other mail clients out there guys.) How about iTunes or simply music file searches? There is a whole host of data types out there to be queried and while this util does an adequate job at getting the basics covered its hardly comprehensive.
Overall for a beta its somewhat disappointing. If Google is planning on enhancing the features vs. simple bug cleanup, which beta software typically encompasses, then I'd consider it a solid start. As it stands there is A LOT of work that needs to go into it before I would use this consistently.
I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars right now.