Why I dont like Google Desktop and why I get to change my mind.Feb 03
There are two things I do not like in the world. Well, there are a few
more of course, but 2 things stand out in regards to this little
article. I Don"t like desktop search applications and I don’t like
gadgets in sidebars. Let me clarify: One of the reasons I hate "desktop
search" programs is because I think they are recourse hungry, processor
churning, memory munching pieces of bloatware that hopelessly try to
index the shitload of data you have on your computer, generating tons
of hard drive access and if you are not careful, network activity.
Somewhere along the line some poor Joe in your company will undoubtedly
think it might be a good idea to index the entire company network on
his net-book. The resulting massive index database (impossible to keep
up to date) hogs his hard drive and slows down his computer. When lucky
this "Desktop search program" will not report its findings to who-ever
decided to write it in the first place but will without doubt be the
sole place on your computer where you "do not find things".
second thing I do not like are "gadgets" When Apple came out with the
"Dashboard" I thought they where flaming mad. Well you DID fork over a
lot of money to get that "dual core processor" on your Mac, you did
spend an insane amount of money for the memory upgrade. Now lets stuff
all that crap up with over bloated crap that runs in the background.
Yes ! Apple widgets keep on running in the background and are
completely invisible to you. If you DO want to work with them you need
to hit one of those function keys so your REGULAR programs kan
disappear and you"re left with a myriad of widgets and gadgets that you
can tinker with. The only reason these little pieces of software exist
in this part of the universe is to make sure that you WASTE YOUR TIME.
Countless hours are spend looking for new widgets, tinkering with the
settings and schlepping them out of your way whenever you need to do
something else. Productivity ? We don"t need no stinking productivity !
Whenever one is finished ranting about widgets on the MAC os, you get assaulted by the ones on the Windows Side. Microsofts
‘Vista’ was already becoming the obese child of the operating system
world. The way it spills out on your hard drive and demands resources
from your computer resemble can only be illustrated with an image of Jaba the Hut on a skateboard. But why stop at the "aero glass" (what kind of word is that anyway !) interface ? Lets burn some more battery power, eat up some screen real estate and hogg
some memory by introducing the ‘GADGETS’ (yes, they quickly gave it a
different name so NOBODY had any idea they stole it somewhere) And to
add insult to injury lets stuff them in the right side of your screen
and eat up valuable pixels. And what do you get ? Some kind of lame
analogue clock (redundant) Some RSS stories (uninteresting) and a "changing picture". Whow.
If the highlight of your day is watching the picture-gadget you might
as well install the suicide-statistics gadget and add yourself to those
stats while you are at it.
But I also preserve the right to
change my mind. Yes , you heard it : "Change my mind". And one of the
reasons for that is that things seem to have evolved. Lets start off
with the whole "desktop indexing" thing. To be honest, I don"t really
believe in that. I don"t believe in the whole thing of looking through
every single part of your files and "googling your navel". If you don"t
know where a document IS and you have misplaced it on your hard drive
.. you are a dumb ass. Or not ! Because after working with Gmail for
the last 2 years I constantly HATE having to "look through" my Outlook
emails at work trying to find something. So search IS getting more and
more interesting, or should I say inevitable. And by using the command
line often enough I have seen that "the keyboard" is mightier then the
mouse. (or should i say , more productive ) I have heard many talk
about QUICKSILVER and how it changes your life and paints your dog pink
if you only know the right key combo.. but that is a little too much
for me. I need something simple. On the Mac I’ve found Spotlight
(Option key + space bar) to quickly launch applications and such. So i’m very pleased with that. I don’t have a lot of stuff parked on my mac ‘locally’ ( A "nas" kinda guy) but I do however love to use spotlight to launch apps and stuff. Love it ! On the Pc side I have also seen the light in the form of "Google Desktop". I know you are saying .. "But Knightwise,
what about the "snitch-factor" ?" but being a Gmail user for years, I
don"t really think there is much they don’"t know about me anyway. But
the main thing i like about the Google Desktop app lies not in its
"search powers" but in its "productivity factor". Tap CTRL twice and I’m presented with a "launchy like" interface that lets me launch applications and search the web. Sweet ! I hated the new start menu since XP so now I don’"t have to use it anymore (and with CTRL – TAB i can even ditch the taskbar
! ) And as a bonus, Google desktop comes with the ability to run ..
Google gadgets. Now I don"t know if they are resource hungry parasites,
but what I do know is that there are QUITE A LOT OF THEM ! 🙂 And they
integrate NICELY with my google-lifestyle. Google calendar ? Widget in
place, Surf over to Gmail ? not needed, got the widget for that.
Dilbert ? Widget available. The abundance of Google gadgets is far
superior to the windows ones, they run on ALL my os’es
and I can STILL see my regular desktop as I’m using them. (did i
mention they are way cooler then the changing picture gadget with vista
? ) With a screen resolution of 1920 by 1200 I don"t even notice they
are there, although I must say I would not want them on my Acer
aspire one because I just need the screen real estate. I might pop them
on a "virtual desktop" but that would get me back to an apple widget
like situation and defeat the functionality of the whole widget thing.
all in all I’m pretty pleased with Google Desktop (and the Google
Gadgets that come along with it) But also LOVE to use spotlight, since
its already integrated with leopard anyway. Google desktop works fine
AND is cross platform (got to love that) so you can install it on your
mac, linux and windows pc for the shier price of your own mortal soul