Yahoo Desktop Search becomes less useful

Friday, April 27, 2007

I’ve been using Yahoo Desktop Search for a couple of years (a relabeled version of a product from X1) and have found it indispensable: I turned off Windows’ unusable and slow disk indexing processes and use YDS many times each day to find email and files on my system. There were a few glitches, such as its tendency to lock open Outlook mail files while indexing, preventing Outlook from exiting properly, so I was excited to hear that there was a new free version available directly from X1.

I downloaded it, set up my indexing parameters, and started enjoying it again, but then noticed something strange: it wasn’t indexing anything on my external Maxtor drive (connected via USB), where I keep a ton of reference information. I poked all over the controls to try and figure it out, to no avail. I went on the X1 site and downloaded every help document that I could find, and embedded deep in one of them was this slightly veiled caveat:

The free X1 Enterprise Client allows you to find, preview and take action upon virtually anything on your local hard drive.

It seems that their interpretation of “local” is somewhat more restrictive than mine: they mean “embedded within the chassis of your computer” whereas I (and probably the rest of the computing world) mean “internal or locally attached”. In other words, if I want to index my reference library, I’ll have to buy some other version that presumably allows local non-internal drives to also be indexed.

Needless to say, X1 is now history, and I’m now running Google Desktop.

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