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Google Desktop 2 Live 275

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the out-the-door dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Combining desktop search and the Google Sidebar, Google Desktop 2 is now available for download. Dozens of new third-party sidebar panels are now available, Google said. Also launched was Google Desktop for Enterprise (free)."
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Google Desktop 2 Live

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  • by MadChicken (36468) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:08PM (#13947401) Homepage Journal
    Can I insall it vicariously?

    Anyone?
  • Google (tm) Air (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MandoSKippy (708601) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:13PM (#13947428)
    Breath fresh Google Air (tm) as you drive you your Google (tm) Car will sipping on your Google(tm) latte while... And we are worried about Microsoft?
    • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aaza (635147)
      But Google says Do no evil. Where does it say that for Microsoft?
    • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      I imagine it won't be much longer before it becomes fashionable to hate Google around here. Judging from your post and the subsequent moderation to it, it's already started to happen.

      That's not to say I think your concern is unfounded. Actually I agree with you. I still can't believe how often I hear their corporate tag-line parroted any time somebody criticizes Google's growth. "Google's getting pretty big!" "Yeah but they do no evil!" Heh.
      • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Omestes (471991) <omestes@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:46PM (#13947576) Homepage Journal
        What nasty thing has Google done, yet?

        I LIKE Google, and don't see how this service can make them suddenly evil? Look, we made a desktop search app, and a bunch of other really neat gagdets! And all we ask of you is to look at an ad that might actually be interested from time to time! That sounds pretty vile, much more vile than Microsoft.

        I guess, though, unlike most /monkeys I need an actual reason to hate a company, not just the fact that they are big, and most people use them. MS does nasty things, Google hasn't yet, and that is enough for me.
        • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Interesting)

          by miffo.swe (547642)
          "I guess, though, unlike most /monkeys I need an actual reason to hate a company, not just the fact that they are big, and most people use them."

          If you havent noticed /. is pretty much under seige by Microsofties and astroturfers. Not many dislike google since they have done nothing wrong yet. Except ofcourse your average MS fanboy who hates everything that MS hates. It would be a sweet task to break down the visitors IP and do some tracking. I suspect a fair number of google hating IP goes to MS VARs, part
          • by ergo98 (9391)
            If you havent noticed /. is pretty much under seige by Microsofties and astroturfers. Not many dislike google since they have done nothing wrong yet. Except ofcourse your average MS fanboy who hates everything that MS hates.

            Are you kidding? This place is overflowing with Google juice, with endless ranks of Google fanboys falling over themselves to praise whatever it is that Google has done lately to push ads more intrusively into our lives. I find it remarkable that an argument that "all Google wants is to
            • It's late/early, so I'll be short, and hopefully coherent. Though the latter is doubtful.

              Being that your replying to someone who is complaining of MS fanboys, I find this encouraging for the /. crowd. I think that there is a mix, though the MS kids are "slightly" outnumbered by the Linux/Google geeks, and might come close to the number of Apple geeks, though are over shadowed in zealotry. Nice to know they exist though, good to have a mix.

              As for Google vs. Doubleclick. Doubleclick is JUST ads, large fla
        • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Insightful)

          by osbjmg (663744)
          I'm down with google too.. but what about the other big company out there (Uncle Sam) asking google for all these nicely documented users, er - citizens? They may be forced to hand over information that the government hasn't been able to correlate. Google stores it all, they don't have a policy for deleting old data and that is the main problem for me anyway.
          • I've got the same problem.
            I find all the stuff that Google does quite interesting, their tools work well, their business model seems to hold for now, they appear to be the good guys so far, however they are storing an awful lot of stuff and it does make me a bit uncomfortable as well.

            They may not be doing anything weird with it right now, but nobody knows what the future holds and they could well be bought by some other entity in a few years.

            Of course, the same data they collected is still mostly there for
        • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mhale2243 (415016)
          The fundamental reason I like Google and dislike Microsoft is that I like being a Google customer their stuff works well for me. Microsoft on the other hand frequently frustrates me.

          You could say apples and oranges, Google only makes simple little search engines, while Microsoft makes operating systems and office suites. However it is possible for any company to release a product that they don't sufficiently understand no matter what the size. Microsoft simply bit off too much to maintain greatness, whil
        • Google Evil ? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by andr386 (703803) on Friday November 04, 2005 @06:41AM (#13948960) Journal
          I wish you were right about Google...

          More and more all my private life is scanned by google.
          Google knows everything about me.
          Via gmail they know who are my friends, where I work, what I do, ... everything.
          Via google search history they can even gather more informations, they can even guess when I was in front of my computer.

          I don't wanna draw a dark picture, but they are gaining more and more access to our private life. What do they do whith all the data they collect ? Targeting advertisement ?
          I really hope they have the best intentions and they only do that !
          Because If a I were the CIA investigating somebody, google would be the first place to go to retrieve informations.

    • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:3, Insightful)

      by miffo.swe (547642)
      Google is into search technology, Microsoft is into everything profitable in the desktop market. They sell a bunch of other things like Xbox, keyboards, mice etc. Google is into open source, Microsoft wants its head on a silver platter. Microsoft has been convicted atleast two times for being a predatory monopoly and has bought itself free from countless of charges and trials. Microsoft is working hard at killing any competition or startups threating to bring new cool stuff Microsoft doesnt have. This while
      • Re:Google (tm) Air (Score:4, Insightful)

        by simong_oz (321118) on Friday November 04, 2005 @04:12AM (#13948662) Journal
        Google is into search technology, Microsoft is into everything profitable in the desktop market.

        Google is a company, they exist to make profit for their shareholders.
        Microsoft is a company, they exist to make profit for their shareholders.

        They may use different strategies to make the profit, but to think otherwise is being naive IMO.
    • Um, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't get this paranoia about Google. Why is it a concern that they have lots of different products? Would you not buy a General Mills cereal because they make several other kinds of foods too? If you don't like Google products, don't install them, nobody forces you. Last time I checked, going to their website was optional, too (and I don't think that's going to change).
    • yeah but:
      gAir would smell fresh with the ocasional seafood aroma. MS-Air would have the essence of stale dog crap. The gCar would produce gAir as it's exhaust, and as we all know the MS-Car would crash and get broken into easily. gLatte amd MS-Latte would actually be re-branded Starbucks, but nobody would know that.
    • Microsoft is anticompetitive and monopolistic. You liked Netscape? Tough. You couldn't buy a computer with Netscape installed because Microsoft wouldn't let computer dealers install it if they wanted to keep their discounts. You prefer a different movie player to Windows Media Player? Same thing. Want to have an open office document format? Well there is one, but if you don't buy MS office anyway (which chooses not to support it), you won't be able to read documents created by most others. It's not
  • But... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jesselnz (866138)
    Will it run on my NetBSD toaster?
  • Slick... very slick (Score:5, Informative)

    by lamasquerade (172547) * on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:14PM (#13947443)
    I installed the original Desktop search, but since moving computers hadn't bothered to reinstall. I have just installed this new version and it is one very slick little app. I don't usually like giving up screen real-estate but I decided to try the sidebar and so far I'm impressed. I can see a lot I'll be able to use, not least the scratch pad instead of opening up notepad for one-liners. The to-do list is cool too - I know it sounds so simple, but my workload comes from two service desk queues, plus other projects, plus ad-hoc email requests - and I think just jotting down a few tasks to get done today in the morning might help organise things for the day rather than flitting about between tasks all day.

    As I said, some simple tools, but helpful, and well organised. As for the desktop search itself, we can now specify network drives to index which is really cool for the dis-organised mess of nested folders that is my corporate drive. Gmail search can't get through my firewall unfortunately. The News search is great, it seems to have figured out my habits from history - I haven't visited any news sites except slashdot since installing and it's already got some new stories from my favourite sites... Plus some seemingly random interesting maps and blogs... no doubt these will cancel out any gains to my productivity made by ease of finding things:)

    So all in all, first impression is a good one.

    btw, does anyone know a way to create a firefox keyword to search the with this? It seems to need a session id to work, but maybe there's a way round?
    • yes, I haven't installed it yet, but the ability to index network drives is absolutely key. great news!
    • They have a plugin for searching Google Desktop from the Firefox search bar here [google.com].
    • by Anonymous Coward
      btw, does anyone know a way to create a firefox keyword to search the with this? It seems to need a session id to work, but maybe there's a way round?

      I just made a GDS "Quick Search" for Firefox. Here's what I did:
      1) Do a blank search with GDS in Firefox.
      2) Bookmark it and open up its properties page.
      3) The URL should look something like this --> http://127.0.0.1:4664/search&s=FGJsWAKx2-kWjzxnpdJ wgjkb5lU?q=&ie=UTF-8&btnG=Search [127.0.0.1]
      4) Insert a "%s" after the "q=" in the URL.
      5) Enter something mem
    • Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there.

      Today was my first experience with GDS. (I never installed the first version because it didn't support any of the file formats that I cared about.)

      I did NOT want it to index my mail (I already use gmail)
      I did NOT want it to index my web history (there could be dangerous things hiding in there)
      I did NOT want it to index my C: drive (I don't store any data there)

      All I wanted to do was to index one folder - my ebook collection. Mostly pdf and chm.

      Getting GDS to inde
  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:16PM (#13947452) Homepage Journal
    Keep those press release comming! If it ain't SCO, SCOX, its gotta be Google!

    I needs my fix already!

    Now if google would do something with Natilie Portman.........

  • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:17PM (#13947458)
    It has a couple functions but to call it a desktop is way too early. The question is when will Google stop riding the bear. "Requires Windows XP or Windows 2000 SP 3+".

    • Well I guess RiscOS and OpenBSD users will just have to wait then, won't they?
    • What? It's called desktop because it is Google [for the] Desktop...i.e. NOT Google on the web. The point is that it is used to search your desktop. Not that it IS the desktop.

      On the Windows front, well, yeah, I'm kind of wondering when they'll release a version for my OS.
  • It seems that this would be a boom to open for other platforms, esp ones like Linux who haven't yet been taken over by the Beagle (beta) or any other type of 'overall' search utility. I don't think I need one, but who knows, I didn't think I'd like my ipod as much as I do...
    • Let's be realistic...

      To support Linux, Google would have to support both KDE and GNOME... running on several different distributions, whith different libraries, and different versions. Of course there are several applications that can do it, Adobe Acrobat and Skype for example, but they don't quite integrate with the desktop.

      Google could do it using a scripting language like perl, python or ruby, and have two frontends... one for Gnome and other for KDE. But this would expose their desktop search engine, an
  • Stock Price (Score:5, Funny)

    by kmartshopper (836454) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:19PM (#13947476)
    You would think that they would have put up a screenshot of the sidebar where their stock was up rather than down $4.17.
  • I can't see the advantage of having this funcationality on the desktop as opposed to a browser except it may be easier for hackers writing third party apps that take advantage of unsforeen secuirty problems which then reflect badly on google. What are they thinking? More ads?
    • Name me one browser that can search all files, songs, web history, IM conversations, emails, etc on your desktop by typing in a single search word.
      • Name me one browser that can search all files, songs, web history, IM conversations, emails, etc on your desktop by typing in a single search word.

        In Internet Explorer, type "r00tm3" and you immediately get full access to all files, songs, web history, bank accounts, system files, etc. Is that what you were asking?
  • Google desktop (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RLiegh (247921) *
    I looked at it, and I don't honestly see what the big deal is.
  • Hmm (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Installing it forces a reboot under Windows XP Pro.

    I thought those days were over. :(
  • tried three times

    error msg
    "d 8007000320051101- could not upgrade database. " mentions something about possible lack of available drive space,
    I have 3.27, 38.3, and 289 gigabytes free respectively.

    'course, I'm also running in a SBS server enviroment, and have been having problems with reg key permissions lately.

    tried running as administrator, and with the 'safe procedures only' unticked.. but still no dice.

    • by tapo (855172)
      Yeah, I have had that problem too and it's been in since beta and version 1. Google's customer support says they're "looking into a resolution for this particular issue". In other words, sorry, no Google Desktop for you.
  • I've installed every version of google desktop since inception, hoping every time that I'll find use for it. But I never do. It just sits there on my desktop, taking up real estate and looking fugly.

    Other than replacing XP's pathetic search feature, it's really alot of nothing.
    • It just sits there on my desktop, taking up real estate and looking fugly.

      No doubt. I've installed all the new versions too. I just got no value from it. All my e-mail and system files are organized; I don't need any kind of search function. Mod parent up.

      • No doubt. I've installed all the new versions too. I just got no value from it. All my e-mail and system files are organized; I don't need any kind of search function. Mod parent up.

        Then you don't have many e-mails and files. Anyone who has several tens of thousands of e-mails (personal, listservers, etc.) will find Google Desktop search useful. When all that you can remember is that someone sent you something in e-mail that, as an aside, mentioned a problem with program XYZ, you won't be able to find it
        • agreed ... I have in excess of 100,000 emails - google desktop has found me half remembered threads dozens of times. And tbh I've actually got to the point where it's good for just digging out recent emails, as it's quicker than faffing with my folders and the like
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @11:25PM (#13947739) Homepage
      I've installed it on all the family Windows boxes, and it is helpful once in a while at finding documents (my parents are permanently unorganized in file structure). The ability of search your web history is neat, I'd probably use that a lot.

      That said, I spend almost all my time on my Mac, so I have Spotlight.

      I LOVE Spotlight.

      With a quick key combination (based on keyboard placement, it would be like Alt-Space in the windows world) and then just type in stuff. The name of a document. A person's name. The name of an appointment. The name of a bookmark. The name of a folder. Some text in a document that I can't remember the name of. The name of a function in one of my programming projects (then just chose the header file it finds). It is fantastic. I even use it to launch programs (although I would prefer a version of the Run command in Windows, that is the one thing I miss). I know about Quicksilver and such but Spotlight works well enough for this.

      It does seem to have gotten faster with the 10.4.3 update as well. Before sometimes I could type something in and it would take 15+ seconds for the first result to show up (this is a 1.677 GHz PB with 1GB of RAM), now the first results are always there in under a second (note, internal hard drive only; I don't know how it'd deal with multiple 800GB volumes some people use).

      If you get Google Desktop and start using it, I think you'll love it (note: I've turned off the sidebar, just seems annoying to me). All it needs is a key command (Win-G maybe?) to launch it (note: might exist, haven't looked). While not as convenient as Spotlight (Google Desktop pulls up a web browser then you have to click, with spotlight I can use arrow keys, return, and various key combos), it will still be a major boon to you.

      Now I'm a VERY organized person, and I still am. But now I can find that document by typing a few letters, instead of opening a few folders.

      And if you accidently save something to the wrong place, it can be a GODSEND in finding it.

    • I use it to search source code and docs on my machine all the time. It's the closest thing I have to Spotlight on my Windows machine.

      The Enterprise version now indexes Lotus Notes. I don't think I've been this happy in years!! The searching in Notes leaves a bit to be desired, but since it's the corporate standard, I can't do much about that.

      I don't use any of the content stuff, just the searching. I have it as a small edit box on my start bar. Doesn't take much real estate, and is really helpful. It w
  • I remember during the beta google said the news feature would show more news that you wanted and if you told it not to show you certain stories by clicking and removing them it would stop showing those types of stories. Well in the beta i would remove sports stories left and right but the majority of the news i kept getting was sports. Did google fix this problem or is the feature still junk?
  • The big change for me from version 1 is that version 2 does multiple users correctly on Win2k and WinXP. Each user can separately choose to auto-launch and/or index files they have permission to view.

    I don't have much use for the sidebar, but the Outlook (what I use at work) search is exceptionally good . Nothing like typing a few key words and finding that email from 6 months ago in 2 seconds. Puts the built-in search in Outlook to shame.
  • I agree with a few statements already made this should not be called "desktop" yet. As for the bar itself... him I do believe I've seen this before http://gdesklets.gnomedesktop.org/ [gnomedesktop.org] or perhaps http://members.dslextreme.com/users/billw/gkrellm/ gkrellm.html [dslextreme.com] When I did run gdesklets it was setup with a lot of the same features, quick notes, email, time, weather, calander and the list goes on. Nothing really new except it has goggle branded to it.
  • by boozewah (317616) <mbourgeo.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @11:26PM (#13947746)
    I installed the original Google Desktop Search when it first came out. The application was not bad, it just crashed my computer anytime I left it up overnight. After I narrowed the number of folders it indexed the crashes stopped and I now use it alot. I have found it very useful and am not annoyed by the sliver of screen space it takes up on the right side monitor. It seems the newest version is a little more stable and the new maps plugin is nice since I am a map junkie.
              The real neat capability is the ability they give you to write plug-ins now in javascript. I have only been playing around a little so far but it seems like Google is trying to turn Javascript into the new VBA! I was very interested in creating a Google Desktop Plug-in before they added the new Javascript programming capabilties, but I was going to need Visual Studio 2003 and navigate through Visual C++.net. In just playing around the Javascript it seems both simple yet powerful enough to get done what I want. The comparison to VBA is not meant to be a put down. Between the Google Maps API and the Sidebar API for Google Desktop I never though I would be using Javascript so much.
  • I've always wanted to try out Google's desktop, but running it on wine on my linux box just doesn't convince me enough. Google has been labelling themselves a "Digital Services Infrastructure Company" (Stahlman) and provide a good number of services accessible through a browser. I do understand that facilitating a desktop search requires native access to the platform making a completely browser based solution unsuitable or insecure. However, it would be nice to see Google at least provide a framework or API
  • RSS Feed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rm69990 (885744) on Friday November 04, 2005 @12:41AM (#13948096)
    Slashdot has an RSS Feed for front page stories. I think they should add a second one for Google stories. It would look something like this:

    -
           
    Slashdot : Google News, 24/7
    http://www.googledot.org
    -

    Google this, Google that, Google Google Google blah blah blah

    en-CA
    Copyright 2005
    Wed, 02 Nov 2005 24:08:49 GMT-07:00
    Wed, 02 Nov 2005 24:08:49 GMT-07:00
    http://everythinggoogle.com
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss
    -
           
    Google Employees Go To Work
    -
           
    Today at 9 AM Approximately 2800 Google Employees went to work. 200 called in sick. There was a traffic jam in the parking lot.

    -
           
    http://fakelink.com/ [fakelink.com]

    -
           
    http://fakelink.com/ [fakelink.com]

    Google
    Mon, 31 Oct 2005 24:29:01 GMT-07:00

    Google Farts
                     
    At 12 PM today, Google Farted. (4500 comments thus far)

    http://fakelink.com/ [fakelink.com]

    http://fakelink.com/ [fakelink.com]

    Google (what else would it be)
    Mon, 31 Oct 2005 24:29:01 GMT-07:00

  • by yulek (202118) on Friday November 04, 2005 @12:45AM (#13948112) Homepage Journal
    i used gd for a while, but it didn't find nearly as much stuff as X1 (which later became yahoo desktop). for example, it wouldn't index my gaim logs for some reason. i had to install some third party text plugin that ate the cpu like mad.

    so i like the way gd works, in general, but i didn't like that it searched so little of my world. Y! desktop, on the other hand, is an ugly app, but man, it finds EVERYTHING.

    as far as the sidebar, i just don't get what the fuss is about. y'all should check out konfabulator [konfabulator.com]. it's amazingly cool and works the same on windows and the mac (i use both) and does all the stuff gd's sidebard does and a lot more and in much more open ended manner (transparent float mode is unbelievably useful).
    • last time I checked, Yahoo didn't index Thunderbird's Maildirs. K.O. criteria for me.

      The 5000 character limit that Google's desktop search has (had?) was a K.O. criteria as well. So I still use my plain old desktop ...

      Bye egghat.
  • Can you install the sidebar without having to install the desktop search component?

    I had the original google desktop, and it slowed my system significantly...
  • They may think that's the point, but I don't want some extra app to search and index my computer - I'd like just to have their RSS modules - but in the previous version you couldn't disable it, and so i didn't use it. I suspect this one is no different.
  • Didn't like it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Friday November 04, 2005 @04:56AM (#13948749)
    I tried Google Desktop about 3 months ago and didn't like it. One problem was that I had little use for the sidebar which just took up a load of desktop space. The subscribing to every pages RSS feed sounds like a nice idea until you end up with 3000 subscriptions of which 30+ update every single time the feed is pulled.

    But the major problem for me was that *gasp* the searching wasn't very good. No seriously. Here's why:

    1. If you move a file from one location to another, it can take weeks before GDS re-indexes both areas and realises that its moved. During this time you either get pointers to the wrong location or (only slightly better) two entries showing the old location and the new location.
    2. Ditto for email. I move emails from my Outlook inbox into folders according to project. Weeks later, I still can't find the email because GDS claims its still in the inbox (but cannot open it).
    3. When GDS cannot open an indexed file because it no longer exists, GDS doesn't do the sensible thing and remove the database entry so that it no longer appears in subsequent searches. In fact, in an ideal world, GDS should check the existence of all the files before it lists them to you.
    4. Without doing some convoluted stuff, you can't force GDS to re-index everything again. This is essential after a couple of weeks because your index is too inaccurate to be any use.
    5. You can't tell GDS to re-index certain things (email, certain folders) more frequently because they change more often.
    6. Hell, you can't increase the time GDS re-indexes full stop.

    In the end I gave up and installed Copernic which is far better. It is most definitely not perfect, for example, it can't just search everything (you have to specify files, emails, contacts etc.), the toolbar search isn't as useful as Google's (you can't just type something and your results start to appear in a menu), the IE and Firefox plugins don't actually search your desktop (only the web) and that there is no integrated search bar for Outlook (I do miss this).

    However (and this is the big one), it re-index's far quicker and more often than Google and I can set it to re-index certain things (like my email) once every day which means that my results are always correct.

    It wouldn't take much that GDS would need to change for me to revert back because I like the integrated search in Outlook and the toolbar - but the database inaccuracy means that its next to useless for the way I work.

  • I present here an email from a friend of mine, edited only to change the names of the people involved:

    I sent that email at work, as you know, and then
    decided not to go in the following week. I phoned the director I sent the
    mail to and said that I couldn't work with my boss anymore and that I wanted
    to be made redundant. He negotiated with Clive and they agreed to make my
    position redundant. So far so good.

    Pete and I go to Dublin on the Thursday to meet up with some American
    friends of ours and come ba
  • In my gov agency the only reason they have not officially supported google desktop is due to not having paid support. With this, and the next version of XP not out yet I would bet that google is going to get a LOT of sales to med/large organizations that want desktop search and support for it.
  • Actually I tried Google Desktop awhile ago. I found it somewhat annoying and it seemed to slow my machine down. I guess I am in the minority - you folks must have lots more stuff to search than I do. I rarely find myself "searching" for my own stuff. Searching is something I do on the internet, and for that Google works just dandy. Do people really need this wonderful search capability to find things in their own files? What am I missing here? To keep things organized, I put my stuff in folders and give the

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