Five new programs that let you search your hard drive without having a seizure.
By Paul Boutin Posted Friday, Dec. 31, 2004, at 10:33 AM PT I can find anything online in under a minute, but it takes me days to find an e-mail address on my PC. Lucky for me, the leading Web search companies are falling all over themselves to create free programs that dig through your hard drive. Google, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, and MSN have all released desktop search programs in the past few months. (Slate and MSN are both owned by Microsoft.) AOL's application, which is based on software from a company called Copernic, is now in customer trials, and Yahoo will join the fray early in 2005. Desktop search applications work a lot like the search function that's already built into the Windows Start Menu, but they're much quicker. They're also smarter about sifting through your e-mail, music files, browser history, and other special data formats. You probably won't find all the Steely Dan songs in your iTunes library or every PDF with the phrase "owner's manual" using the Windows search. If you use the right desktop search application, it's a snap. And as I reported back in November 2004. Upstart Blinkx
debuted version 2.0 of its desktop search software. Worth a look also. Link included.