this is a blog by Jeff Perrin, a software developer based in calgary alberta

Desktop Search, Fixing the Problem From the Ass End

Hype. That's all "Desktop Search" (the latest cool thing buzzing around the Internet) really is. I've installed and used Copernic, MSN Desktop Search, and Google's Desktop Search products, and they're really only half way there, because they don't solve the real problem: Why do our files get lost in the first place?

I don't want to need to know where or how my documents and files are saved, I should just be able to tell the system what I'm looking for, and have it appear. I should be able to save a "Search Folder" into My Documents that shows me all the files, emails, contact info, etc, from or about Jim Smith. I shouldn't have to type "Jim Smith" into a dinky little toolbar icon everytime I need to see these files. And how do these search tools know that Jim was the guy that sent me that great nude picture of Pamela Anderson I have as my desktop background? I'm pretty sure they don't. That's the kind of stuff I want, not some stupid collection of toolbars showing me search results in a web browser. Yippee.

The sad part is we're so close. E-Mail clients like Evolution have had "Virtual Directories" for years! The search technology is basically there, so why not go the extra step and actually integrate it into the OS (and no, the toolbars don't count).

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