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Poll
Question: Which Desktop Search Tool(s) do you use? (Choose up to 2)
Google Desktop Search - 15 (7.1%)
Copernic Desktop Search - 35 (16.7%)
MSN Windows Desktop Search - 14 (6.7%)
Yahoo Desktop Search - 3 (1.4%)
X1 Desktop Search - 18 (8.6%)
Locate - 39 (18.6%)
Archivarius - 13 (6.2%)
other... - 45 (21.4%)
none / no comment - 28 (13.3%)
Total Voters: 172

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Author Topic: What is the currently best Desktop Search software?  (Read 271708 times)
J-Mac
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« Reply #525 on: December 21, 2008, 01:27:43 PM »

I've read through most of this thread with great interest, but I confess that I'm now bleary-eyed and still a bit confused.  Currently, my search program of choice is Copernic Desktop Search, version 3.0,0.  It finds just about everything I want except my email messages (because I use Mulberry as my email client); for email I happily use Mailbag Assistant.   What I'm trying to understand is what programs like Archivarius, Locate32, and others do that I don't already get from Copernic.   I feel a little foolish asking this after so much discussion has already taken place, but I honestly haven't been able to figure this out.   Copernic finds my files VERY quickly, it does full-text searches, the price is right....  I'd be more than willing to add another program, even one for which I'd have to pay, if it offered me something important that Copernic doesn't already do.   Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Edbro explained it very well.

I do have need for a file search tool, one that can find text within most of my files, but much more often than that I just need to find all files containing certain text within the filename. Locate32 and Everything both do that well. I have been using Locate32 for a while and I just installed Everything about a month and a half ago. I often search with both, one after another, when I am looking for files. I would prefer just to use one but I decided to give them a side-by-side look for now. And I do come across results in one that are not in the other occasionally - but that has been very infrequent.

It is much less frequently that I really need to search within documents for specific terms.

Jim
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #526 on: December 21, 2008, 01:51:46 PM »

Thanks very much, edbro and Jim, for your quick responses.   I know that Locate32 finds filenames only, while Copernic will do a full-text as well as search for filenames.  I tend to need both kinds of searches.  I may give Locate32 a try to see whether it finds kinds of files that Copernic overlooks.  However, I guess what I'm really wondering is whether there are advantages to some of the other full-text search programs rather than Copernic.  I don't recall coming upon much information about that in this rather lengthy and often very interesting discussion.
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edbro
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« Reply #527 on: December 21, 2008, 02:08:03 PM »

Locate32 will find files that Copernic doesn't because Copernic only finds in the directories you tell it to search.

You might want to give Everything a try. I like it better than Locate32. It is lightning fast and doesn't need to index as it uses the NTFS journal.
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Darwin
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« Reply #528 on: December 21, 2008, 04:37:37 PM »

cyberdiva - Jim and edbro have already answered your question, but it raises a point/observation:

This thread can be distilled down into the following statement: "The best Desktop Search software is the software that works best for you"  Grin

Seriously!

EDIT: I really need to learn how to spell  embarassed
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 04:58:34 PM by Darwin » Logged

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cyberdiva
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« Reply #529 on: December 21, 2008, 04:39:32 PM »

Thanks very much, edbro, both for the clarification about Locate32 and the recommendation of Everything.  I think maybe I'll give both of them a try.  If I learn anything earthshaking, I'll report it here.

Again, many thanks!
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Curt
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« Reply #530 on: December 21, 2008, 04:49:34 PM »

If I learn anything earthshaking, I'll report it here.

- less will do, diva. We're looking forward to read your comments, earthquakes or not :-)
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J-Mac
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« Reply #531 on: December 22, 2008, 12:08:11 AM »

I think that the main thing that you will notice, cyberdiva, is the speed at which both Locate32 and Everything come back with results. Scary fast if you haven't tried them before! At least it was for me.

Jim
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Grorgy
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« Reply #532 on: December 22, 2008, 12:46:38 AM »

Perhaps the main reason i use both locate32 and a full text search like x1 or archivarious is that locate32 and similar search programs will easily search your whole computer. Copernic and the others need to do a full and time consuming indexing which means i limit the folders it looks at.
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Darwin
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« Reply #533 on: December 22, 2008, 09:32:52 AM »

I don't know if this clarification is necessary or not, but here goes:

Locate32, Everything, and SearchGT allow you to search for files by NAME and or extension (filetype). They're all fast, SearchGT impressively so, given that it doesn't index your filenames. Archivarius, X1, etc. index not only filenames but the CONTENTS of those files as well. So, if I run a search on "Neanderthal" with Locate32, I'll get a listing of every file and folder that contains "Neanderthal" in its name. If I run the same search with X1, I'll get a listing of everything on my computer in which the word "Neanderthal" appears...

Don't know if that's clear or not...   ohmy But I know what I meant to say  tongue See signature  embarassed
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #534 on: December 22, 2008, 10:07:33 AM »

Locate32, Everything, and SearchGT allow you to search for files by NAME and or extension (filetype). They're all fast, SearchGT impressively so, given that it doesn't index your filenames. Archivarius, X1, etc. index not only filenames but the CONTENTS of those files as well.
Thanks, Darwin, but I do understand the difference between a program like Locate32 that will find a filename and one like Archivarius that will do full-text search.  As I said in an earlier message, I do both kinds of searches.  What I really would like to know is what a program like Archivarius, X1, etc. offers that Copernic does not.  Since Copernic is free and these others are not, there must be something compelling that makes them worth the money, but I haven't been able to figure that out from the discussion here.  You, of course, are an ideal person to comment on this if you have time, since you've used so many of these programs.  (Let me add that I'm not looking for a program that will search my email files, since Mailbag Assistant already does that very well, and few other programs seem able to handle the Mulberry email client.)
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Darwin
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« Reply #535 on: December 22, 2008, 12:10:16 PM »

What I really would like to know is what a program like Archivarius, X1, etc. offers that Copernic does not.  Since Copernic is free and these others are not, there must be something compelling that makes them worth the money, but I haven't been able to figure that out from the discussion here.

Well, this really goes back to my earlier point about the best search engine is the one that works best for you. Ultimately, this is a personal decision. I have used Copernic and like it. However, there are alternatives, such as X1, that I find more intuitive and that have features that I value. If I provided you with a list of those GUI elements and features it would make perfect sense to me, but likely little to you. I'd say that if you are happy with your current setup - Copernic and Mailbag Assistant - stick with it!

Just to note, though, I love X1 because of its ability to preview so many filetypes AND index my Outlook psts. Archivarius is great because it is so quick and light on resources but isn't as powerful WRT either file previewing or pst indexing. At the moment, I use X1 exclusively (though Archivarius and dtSearch are still installed and I update their indices periodically). dtSearch is right in between the two, but ruled out for just about everything because of its shocking price (I wrote to the sales department asking about an academic version/academic licencing and was made a very generous offer, otherwise I wouldn't be running it)! The greatest thing about it is how easy it is to search networked drives and folders - even without it being installed on the target computer. My wife often has trouble finding things on her computer and I have successfully found them for her using dtSearch - it's SLICK. X1 has similar funcitonality but dtSearch does it so easily that I haven't even tried it.
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edbro
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« Reply #536 on: December 22, 2008, 12:19:53 PM »

I'm straying a bit here but I am going to give Google Desktop another whirl. They came out with a drag/drop upload to Google Docs widget. That, combined with their Gmail widget, makes GDS stand out from the rest.
Lifehacker article
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mwang
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« Reply #537 on: December 23, 2008, 04:56:15 AM »

For me, Archivarius stands out for its ability to handle text encoding properly most of the time. This is especially true when it comes to email search. Many searchers, including the one by Google as well as email search specialists like MailStore miss a lot when I search for Chinese or Japanese terms in email. Even Archivarius isn't perfect, but it comes the closest at finding them all.
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vitali_y
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« Reply #538 on: December 23, 2008, 07:57:12 PM »

StopKa desktop search:
http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=15990.0
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vitali_y
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« Reply #539 on: December 23, 2008, 08:10:30 PM »

StopKa desktop search - is much better than - Locate32 and Everything for direct search.
StopKa desktop search - can perform index search as Google Desktop Search, Copernic Desktop Search, MSN Windows Desktop Search, Yahoo Desktop Search, X1 Desktop Search, Archivarius.
as i see these are leaders:
Copernic Desktop Search  32 (22.2%)
Locate  31 (21.5%)
i ready to compare / to compete with both of them
Copernic Desktop Search - index search
Locate - direct search
by speed / index size / search results quality
what is else?
if it is intresting - i'll compare and will public unbiassed results here
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vitali_y
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« Reply #540 on: December 23, 2008, 08:25:40 PM »

StopKa desktop search - has a stable release! - so now i'm ready to compete with best others;
sorry for such first look promote writings - i think this is true - if you argue about it or if you have questions - please
i'm ready to answer here -> http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=15990.0
i'm author - and my program is ready to you critics.
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vixay
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« Reply #541 on: December 23, 2008, 11:14:49 PM »

woohoo!
My vote counts! smiley
I just switched my vote from Copernic to Locate, since I've absolutely stopped using Copernic and use Locate exclusively now, and now Locate is number 1 smiley

Anyway to answer some other questions, performance is the key difference between content based search and filename search.

Ex. My copernic database was about 500 MB in size for my 250GB harddrive... and this is because i'd included name only indexing for a whole bunch of folders (almost my entire drive)...

My locate database is about 20MB for all filenames in entire hard drive. (didn't check what it is for "everything" program, i assume smaller though)

Copernic's indexer run's almost all the time while idle, while locate i run once everyday during lunch and doesn't take more than 5 minutes (including scanning network drives)...

those are the performance considerations, but they do offer different things. I think the best combo now is probably CDS + Locate/Everything.
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vitali_y
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« Reply #542 on: December 24, 2008, 06:41:13 AM »

vixay! what about StopKa? i expected it will be your number 1 after you test it
onece more sorry for such promotional sentences - but StopKa needs your attention - please ask all questions here
http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=15990.0
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Dormouse
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« Reply #543 on: December 27, 2008, 04:06:38 AM »

what about StopKa

OK. I thought I would give it a go.

Problem 1
What I expect to see when setting up an index is a number of obvious options to select. At a minimum-
  • location(s) of files/documents to index
  • types of file/document to index
  • location to save index to
  • name of index

I did not find this. And in my initial looking around the menus, I could not even find the location in which the index would be placed.

Problem 2
Never mind, I thought. I'll try an index and see how it goes and then should be able to find the index file easily enough.
I did the index; drive C. Indexed lots of files; only just over 3 hours. Found index in C:\Stopka\. But however I tried to search, I couldn't get it to find any documents.

Problem 3
Never mind, I thought again. I will move the index location to a suitable place. I will index most of the internal hard drives. And left it to run overnight.
In morning, a visual C error message. And a Windows message saying windows had run out of memory and had switched to a paging file (first time that has ever happened to me in recent years, and not a lot was running apart from Stopka) - and it was obviously running like treacle. Restarted machine. Deleted Stopka.

Sorry to be negative, but I do expect a much easier path into testing out a Search program.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 05:02:09 AM by Dormouse » Logged
muntealb
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« Reply #544 on: December 27, 2008, 04:19:29 AM »

It looks nice, but it's extremely unstable.
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Darwin
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« Reply #545 on: December 27, 2008, 09:05:42 AM »

Sadly, this has been my experience as well. The setup is very confusing and indexing takes forever. Once indexing has completed, nothing I search for is found! Like dormouse, I wound up deleting the Stopka folders.

I can't stress this enough: the initial setup routine MUST be made more clear. For example: on trying to setup a new index it is not clear from the dialogues whether one is being asked to define the location of the index that will be created or folders to be indexed! After trial and error I realised that it is the latter...
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Crush
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« Reply #546 on: December 27, 2008, 09:32:03 AM »

I made the same bad experience as my predecessors. ItĀ“s not very reliable, too complex to setup and not easy and intuitive as other search programs.

Compared by speed & search results quality (please explain, what is the quality of results?) with Locate32 and Everything I see no big advantage using StopKA.
I didnĀ“t took a look in the index size, but the others are in these two points winners compared to StopKa.
You should really bush up the user interface to be more easy and intuitive to use.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #547 on: December 27, 2008, 11:11:52 AM »

Methinks you may all be wise to run a deep AV/AS scan.

Not saying you have a specific problem, but you never know till you really look. Certainly can't hurt.

Jim
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Crush
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« Reply #548 on: December 27, 2008, 11:29:46 AM »

@J-Mac:
I do regularly AV-scans with different products and have a scanner running in the background the whole time with hourly updates. I think the most also will do so. I run a lot of different programs a day and had no instable system or anything like that in the last two years - only at the moment with stopKa. Why do you guess this could be the reason for our problems with this specific program?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 11:32:38 AM by Crush » Logged
J-Mac
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« Reply #549 on: December 27, 2008, 11:56:22 AM »

@J-Mac:
I do regularly AV-scans with different products and have a scanner running in the background the whole time with hourly updates. I think the most also will do so. I run a lot of different programs a day and had no instable system or anything like that in the last two years - only at the moment with stopKa. Why do you guess this could be the reason for our problems with this specific program?

Oh, no special reason, no inside knowledge. Just that the developer dropped in suddenly and made over a dozen posts pushing this hard - and kind of "pushy" about it, and then it seemed that most everyone here who installed it had some significant issues with their systems. Not necessarily an indicator of an infection but it is certainly a possibility.  Wink

Jim
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