Website of the Day: Friday October 29th
>> Blinkx | >> Google Desktop Search
We’ve had loads of enthusiastic emails about Picasa – the free Windows software we featured last week, which helps you find, print, enhance and share your digital photos. Some of those emails have asked why nobody has come up with software to make it just as easy to find other documents or information already stored on your computer’s hard drive. Microsoft are promising that this will be a prominent feature in the next version of Windows, but in the meantime there are a number of downloadable hard-drive search engines already available.
First off the block was search newcomer Blinkx, which has had some very impressive reviews since launching in May. You download and install Blinkx on your PC and as well as searching the web, it will scour your documents and emails for relevant information and links. Once installed it indexes all the information on your hard drive as well as news and broadcast archives. It suggests information and links that relate to the document you are working on, anticipating your future searches and hopefully saving you time. So if you’re typing an email about what DVD to rent at the weekend, it should automatically suggest a range of DVD rental websites, and any other relevant files on your hard disc. Although Blinkx say their product is aimed at home users rather than businesses, it will be most useful to people who do a lot of work on their home PCs…. Using my previous example, I just don’t have that many documents about DVD rental on my hard drive! But If I was writing a business report, it’s easy to see how a tool like this could save an awful lot of time.
Meanwhile, search engine giant Google launched a test version of their Desktop Search earlier this month, and I finally got round to installing it this week. First impressions are really good: Once installed it works behind the scenes for an hour or two to index your PC, and after that it’s every bit as simple, fast and effective as Google’s web searches. Blinkx is probably more versatile and has some more advanced features, but it is Google Desktop Search’s very simplicity which makes it so good. I can see it becoming indispensable very quickly