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Desktop search review


I like to read articles online. And I will save the webpages to my computer, especially programming tutorial. Sometimes I don’t have time to categorise what I have downloaded. So, I just drop them to some of the folders. But, when I want to search the file, there will be the problem.

We can search the content of a text file by using built-in “find” function of Windows. However, the searching will always slow because it searches file by file. Therefore, the files need to be indexed first. To do the indexing service, we just need to install desktop search software.

So, there are many desktop search software. X1 Enterprise Client, Google Desktop Search, Yahoo! Desktop Search, Copernic Desktop Search, Windows Desktop Search. Now, I just give some comment for these desktop search programs.

X1 Enterprise Client
I don’t know it is freeware or not for the current version. But I know the version 5.6.3 is free. I personally don’t like X1, because it is quite slow to load. Besides that, I cannot disable the “startup” function even the program provides the function to disable the startup. What I comment is for version 5.6.3. So, I don’t know whether the startup problem is fixed in newer version or not.

Google Desktop Search
It is very small and simple. However, you must make your computer “idle”, sot that the program will start indexing. Why can’t we do indexing whenever we want?

Yahoo! Desktop Search
I didn’t try this. Because it is based on X1 Enterprise Client. No comment.

Copernic Desktop Search
It is clean when install. Will not change the startup every time start the program. Can add in any file types you like. However, the only problem is, it cannot index the MHTML (MIME HTML or web archive) file properly. You can set .mht file to be indexed, but it will only index the file as the text file, not a web content. For me, this is a problem, because I always save the webpage as .mht. And I often use Firefox. There are two extensions (or addons) that can save the file as .mht: UnMHT and Mozilla Archive Format.

Comparison of UnMHT and Mozilla Archive Format: .mht file saved by UnMHT can be opened faster by using IE, while .mht file saved by MAF (Mozilla Archive Format) is slower to be opened by IE. However, by UnMHT, the content are encoded by “base64”, which means we cannot search the text using Copernic. By MAF, the content of the html file is encoded in “quoted-printable”, which you can still search the content as the text file by Copernic.

Windows Desktop Search
This can solve the problem of .mht file. And you can install IFilter to index the content of several types of file. However, I found that, maybe because I use OpenOffice portable version (which means I don’t install OpenOffice), even though I install IFilter for StarOffice/OpenOffice, I still cannot search the content in the “.odt” file (OpenDocument Text). To solve the problem of OpenDocument file type, we can use Copernic. Copernic can search the content of .odt.

So, depend on your favour, you can install whatever you like.

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About Allen Choong

A cognitive science student, a programmer, a philosopher, a Catholic.

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