Monday, April 18, 2005

Couldn't resist...

Okay, so I wasn't going to review Desktop Search engines, but since I'm trying another one I'll give my views on it...
After uninstalling the Yahoo Desktop beta in disgust, I looked around at the other ones out there. I decided to try Copernic Desktop Search, even though it doesn't index ZIP files. Version 1.5 had just come out of beta, so I installed that one. The machine that I intended to use it on wasn't a fast one (a 500MHz AMD K6), so I was interested to see what it would do. For comparison, I also tried it on a 1.7GHz Pentium 4. Of course the indexing went much faster on the newer machine.
Copernic Desktop Search indexs in the background, just like it's competitors. There are settings to make it pause when you are using the machine and resume when the machine is idle (default is 30 seconds). There are also settings for when to scan folders, contacts, emails, etc. It is easy to pause the indexing, or to see the indexing status.

I must say that I'm impressed with the search engine's user interface. It clean and well thought out. Under the Search box are dropdowns to refine search by file type, size, date and even folder. Okay, so even Windows 2000 and XP have this. It's the options that Copernic gives you for building the search index which are so powerful. There are options to include or exclude folders and file types from the index: C:\Program Files was excluded by default - which makes sense - but you can remove this exclusion. You can add folders to be searched for documents, pictures or music. In the advanced options is where it really gets fun - you can add new file types to index (as text).

The search results features a preview pane, something that Google Desktop Search is missing.

Copernic Desktop Search is staying on my machines (for the moment anyway).

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