The Magic of Desktop Search

Every once in a while, something comes along that changes the way people relate to objects or information.

Philips VCR Model 1500

For example, everyone who uses TiVo says it has permanently changed the way they watch TV.  Time-shifted TV viewing has been possible since the invention of VCR’s (like the 1972 Philips 1500, pictured above).  However, it had to cross a tipping point, some kind of magical threshhold of usability before it actually changed the way we watched TV.  I guess VCR’s were just too hard to program.  TiVo is easier. This may be a bigger change in the way people watch TV than the change from black & white to color.

Digital cameras are another example.  They change the way we think about pictures (take as many as you want, you’re not wasting film, see results instantly).  Another example: iPods let you have all your music anywhere.  Portable music has been possible since Sony’s walkman, but iPods represent a tipping point in usability for portable music.  That’s why they’re so popular.  My 3 housemates and I all have iPods.

Search engines have changed how we relate to the internet.  Before Search engines, people thought we needed vast organized directories of web sites (that’s what Yahoo! tried to do in the early days, hiring hundreds of people to categorize web sites by hand)

I believe Desktop Search could bring about a similar change in the way you relate to your data.  Everything will be much more findable.  Trying to organize all of your data neatly into categorized folders is okay, but it’s like the Yahoo! efforts to categorize the web.  Once you can do indexed searches, finding documents, email, and data will be much easier.

3 Responses to “The Magic of Desktop Search”

  1. Brian Pedigo Says:

    So what are you using for your Desktop search? The Google Desktop?

    BTW, I added Thirty-Eight to my firefox toolbar by clicking on the rss icon next to the URL and telling it to add it to my Bookmarks Toolbar. Now I can see when you’ve added stuff without actually going to the page (kinda like a newsreader would do too).

  2. Brian Pedigo Says:

    Oops, ignore my previous question. I just read about your preferred X1 at

    But, since I use Ubuntu Linux I don’t need any of that. :)

  3. Nathan (Shack) Says:

    Sounds a bit like apple’s spotlight. Very cool!

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