Tag Archives: desktop search engines

dtSearch: Not Dead. Not Yet.

Despite my love of indexers (and I’m in Seventh Heaven now that all the big boys are throwing out desktop search engines like it was a Bay City Rollers’ reunion) I still stick for most of my searching with dtSearch. It’s expensive, it’s tough, it’s ugly, but it gets the job done. And now they’ve added a feature which might not get you too excited, but for me is key: better viewers (or file parsers, if you want to get technical) for Microsoft documents.

Version 6.5 of dtSearch Desktop (free to those who are 6.x users) means you can see Word documents or Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations in their original glory. Now folks are going to say, well I can do that with X1 or more or less any of the other indexers that include built-in viewers, but I’d like to correct you: You can’t. Well you can if you don’t have big files, but over a certain size, you will get an error. And I have big Word files, all tabled up, and they nearly always don’t appear. In dtSearch they did come up, but not in with any decent formatting. Now they do. (Other features listed here.)

DtSearch, long the mainstay of a once sparse field, is not going away quietly. Good for them.

The Desktop Search Dichotomy

I’ve updated my directory of desktop search engines and indexers to take into account the Yahoo/X1 tie-up and one or two other changes in the landscape since I created it. Yahoo!, as you have no doubt heard, is basically giving away a free version of X1, quite an excellent file indexer and searcher which would usually cost about $70. A nice deal, but all this leaves me with an odd taste in the mouth.

While I’ve been making a noise for years about this fundamental weakness in our computers (where we can find stuff online more easily than our own computer) why is it only when the super big boys get in on the act does anyone stand up and take notice? Enfish have been offering pretty much all this for at least five years and while they didn’t do themselves any favours by making their software worse with each new release, I always believed that gradually people would realise that finding stuff was important and cotton on.

But no. This episode seems to confirm that only when a big company comes along and pushes something right in our face that we wake up to its usefulness. I guess it being free helps. But how many other great ideas are out there that we are ignoring?

Another nervous twitch I have over all this: Given how jittery Yahoo!’s PR were over breaking embargo about the formal release of a product that had been flagged since December, Desktop Search is clearly big business. But is it for the right reasons? Are companies falling over themselves to get inside our hard drives because they want us to be more productive people, or is there something else afoot? Perhaps privacy concerns might start to return to the debate as these programs proliferate.

Ukraine Weighs In On The Search Stakes

Another addition to my index of indexing programs: diskMETA, from <META> Inc. “the largest search engine provider in Ukraine and a leader in Cyrillic multilingual search engine morphology technologies”.

A press release issued today says diskMETA is one of the fastest desktop search engines, and is available both as freeware and shareware. The program “is intended for extra large data volumes, UP TO 100 GIGABYTES. It can create up to 100 indexes, index up to ONE MILLION various files. The search time is never more than ONE SECOND”. It works on all Windows platforms (98 or higher).

The file search works with Office document formats (DOC, XLS, RTF, TXT), HTML pages, CHM, PDF files, ZIP and RAR archives. There are three versions: Lite (free), Personal ($50) and Pro, which supports morphological English searches and Intranet wide searches ($100)

The search technology used in diskMETA, apparently, “has a long and glorious history. It is used for a decade in the nationwide biggest and most popular web search engine www.meta.ua, in a series of search tools for web-sites and CD-rooms installed in most governmental and financial national institutions” in the Ukraine.

My tupennies’ worth? It’s fast, intuitive and unfussy. You can also view the raw text in a special preview window, but it doesn’t support preview in the same way that X1, dtSearch or the new Copernic Desktop Search do. That said, it’s great to see a new player on the block, especially one so enthusiastic.