Two Desktop Search Tools are better than one

Previously I’ve been tossing up between a few desktop search tools. Google’s Desktop Search sidebar and rss collection features kept me on it for a long time. Unfortunately, the performance hit on the system was too much for my liking. Using Systernals Filemon tool, I found it would constantly make reads from the disk. Sometimes it would begin indexing even though I was still using my machine. It would also take about half a minute to stop indexing when I returned to my machine, and due to the constant hard disk access, would make it difficult to start new apps or switch between running ones while the indexing was finishing up.

I had been using Copernic at work and found it a reasonable alternative. It boasts speed of response and returns the ‘dont index while on batteries’ feature that I missed when I switched from MSN Desktop Search. It can’t be extended through plugins in the same way GDS or even MSN can, but its fast. I’m not too certain if Copernic has picked up, every email, or every reference in each document, the GDS results seemed a little more relevant, in the order of 0.01%, but because of the speed and responsiveness returned to my system, as well as the free disk space (smaller index files) it doesn’t matter in the slightest. Though this critique could be down to the UI of Copernic, it’s a windows application, again fast, but I’m still used to GDS (again, this used-to ness will probably fade as I use Copernic more.)

Realising that desktop search tools allow you to specify what files you want to index, I simply installed Copernic on my laptop, alongside GDS. I disabled most of GDS filetypes such that it would only index Web History. I got Copernic to do everything else (even index Onenote’s .one files as text files) except index the history from Firefox and IE. I then deleted the index file using TweakGDS which freed a couple gig of HD and let copernic take over.

Best of all, my system runs better than when I had GDS alone. Copernic satisfies my desktop search needs, and I’ve got the excellent sidebar and web clips tool that google provides – and its still picking up rss feeds and popping them up from new sites I visit, as it always has.

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