Mac: Alfred, one of our favourite app launchers, just updated with a ton of useful new features. As it's name suggests, Alfred is like a butler for your Mac, and he just got a new tuxedo.
Tagged With desktop search
Whether you have the files on your computer neatly organised or they're all over the place, a good desktop search utility makes finding the file you need when you need it a super-simple proposal. All of the major operating systems have built-in search sustems, but there's usually a better option out there that's faster, has more accurate results, or offers other useful features. This week we're looking at five of the best, based on your nominations.
Windows only: If you have a system search tool you prefer over Windows XP's default—the Hive Five on the topic would indicate many of you do—RerouteXPSearch makes your Start menu use that app. Using the tool is as simple as downloading it, running the stand-alone application, and plugging in the location of the executable for your preferred search tool. In the screenshot to the left, the start menu link is being redirected to the lightning-fast search tool, Everything. After being introduced to the tool by LH AU (via Kevin) last year, it has become an absolute indispensable part of my daily work flow. RerouteXPSearch is freeware, Windows XP only. RerouteXPSearch
By default, the latest version of Ubuntu comes with the Tracker search and indexing tool installed, enabled, and, as the How-To Geek points out, occasionally eating up some serious CPU cycles. Over at his blog, the Geek shows newcomers to Ubuntu (and other Linux distros with Tracker installed) how to scale back Tracker's needs, limit where it searches, or just uninstall the thing entirely. Ubuntu users, are you finding Tracker useful on your desktop, or do you hope to see it downgraded to an optional installation in the next release (which is right around the corner)? Let us know in the comments. What is trackerd and Why Is It Running?
As hard drives grow ever cheaper and capacious, keeping track of every file single file is a job suited to no one. Luckily desktop search applications have improved in leaps and bounds beyond the useless Windows file search dialog of yesteryear, leaving users with a wealth of free and diverse desktop search tools at their fingertips. Keep reading for a detailed look at the five best desktop search applications as chosen by our readers.
You can do a lot of things with Google Desktop, and use it as an advanced widget and sidebar engine—but what if you really just want a better system-wide search tool? The Google Operating System blog drills down on the latest Google Desktop release to get better performance and speed out of its file-finding function. From staight-up preference changing to registry hacking, you can force the handy app to focus only on those things you want to retrieve later even before installation, but the author recommends at least one change for new and existing users alike:
Windows only: Microsoft has released a new version of their Windows Search tool out into the wild—an update to the desktop search tool that comes baked into Vista. Aside from promises of having squashed most reported bugs from the original and improving search times by about 33%, the Windows Search 4.0 Preview also includes support for XP. That's right, XP users, one of the best things that Microsoft did when they made Vista is now available for your XP desktop as well. Of course, if you haven't already found a competent desktop search app on XP (like Google Desktop, for example) while Microsoft has been taking its sweet time, chances are you may not really need one to begin with. On the other hand, if the promises of the 4.0 Preview sound worth a shot, head over to Microsoft and grab the free download.
By almost every account, Spotlight on the Mac has improved tremendously in Leopard, so in an effort to re-introduce the usefulness of OS X's built-in desktop search application, the UsingMac weblog dives into the nitty gritty of building precise and powerful searches in Spotlight. Fantastic tricks abound, like searching files by filetype using the kind operator (e.g., kind:music). You'll also find a handful of hugely useful keyboard shortcuts, like revealing the file in Finder by pressing Cmd-Return (rather than launching the file with Return). Whether you're just returning to Spotlight in Leopard or you've always enjoyed the desktop search options of Spotlight, getting to know the keyboard shortcuts and search operators built into the app can do wonders for your file-searching productivity. Leopard - Optimizing Spotlight Search
Linux only: Search through and launch programs and Microsoft Office documents from the new Google Desktop for Linux Beta 1.1, released Friday. The update to Google's Beagle alternative also includes better image search and customisable hotkeys.
Google Desktop for Linux 1.1 Beta