Have you heard about the new Google Desktop search utility? It’s a cool new download from Google that let’s you search your entire hard drive for pictures, web pages, email, MP3’s, documents, or anything else you’re looking for. No more of those frustrating searches using the cloddish file search feature built into Windows in a futile attempt to find that letter you wrote to Aunt Mabel last year. You download this free, nifty little program from desktop.google.com and install it. After it indexes your hard drive, you’ll find that letter to Aunt Mabel in less than a second. Oh, and it gets better…
Google has integrated it into its regular web search. So, let’s say you’ve installed the desktop search program and you go the Google homepage to find a recipe for chocolate-covered cockroaches, just like Momma used to make when you were a kid. Well now, in addition to the web page and image searching, you’ll see a tab to search your desktop right there. So if you’re not finding what you need on the web, you search your desktop and, BAM!, there’s that forgotten recipe for chocolate-covered cockroaches that yo Momma emailed you two years ago.
After I installed this handy utility and was playing around with it, I took a step back and was blown away at how Google has become such an essential, even indispensible part of my internet life. Here’s a list of all the Googlets that I use:
- Web Search: Google is, hands down, the killer search engine on the web and it’s the one I always trust to give me the best results when searching the web.
- AdSense for Search: I use Google’ site search as part of its AdSense program. This search utility gives excellent results for on-site searches. As I continue to add content to this website, I find myself increasingly relying on this site search to find things that I wrote last month, last year, whenever.
- AdSense for Content: This is Google’s revenue-sharing ad program where you place context-relevant ads on your site and has been an extremely significant source of revenue to keep Fixitnow.com going. So, if you see any interesting Google ads while you’re here, feel free to click away and check ’em out!
- Blogger: This website is published and powered using Blogger. It makes publishing updates quick and painless. You don’t need to buy a webhosting plan because they’ll even host it for free. (I do use a separate host for this website because it gives other benefits like file sharing and email addresses that I wouldn’t have otherwise.) And it’s so easy to use, even my 12-year old daughter maintains a blog. “Push-button publishing for the people.” But, in addition to standard text publishing, Google provides tools for multi-media publishing such as…
- Audioblogger: This free service lets you make spoken audio posts to your blog. I can be on top of a mountain and phone in an audio post from the summit. Or, sometimes I just call up with a weird noise and write a goofy story to go with it. It gives a whole ‘nother medium to create with. And, of course, no website is complete without pictures. Google has this covered, too…
- Hello BloggerBot: Yet another freebie that let’s you quickly and easily publish photos. You just pick select the picture on your hard drive or CD that you want to upload and BloggerBot does the rest: uploads it, resizes it, makes a clickable thumbnail that opens a larger view of the picture, does all the HTML for you and then publishes it all to your site. It takes what used to be a tedious half hour task and reduces it all to just a couple clicks and few seconds.
- Google Toolbar: This is like a Swiss Army knife for your browser. I’ve used this toolbar since it came out over a year ago and use it constantly. I like always having a Google box available right there in my browser for quick searches. The popup blocker initially was extremely effective but the new generation of popups are getting good at faking it out. The other feature it has is a built-in Blog This button that let’s me make posts to my blog on the fly when I’m surfing and come across something noteworthy.
- Deskbar: Not to be confused with the Desktop Search that I started out talking about, this is a separate utility that goes into the Windows XP toolbar and adds Google search, a dictionary, a thesaurus and other reference utilities to your desktop. The results all open in small, built-in mini-browser. I use the dictionary and thesaurus functions a lot when I’m composing posts.
There are lots of other Googlets but I’ve only listed the ones that I use most often to illustrate just how much my work on the web depends on Google in some way. If anything happens to Google, I’m screwed. I also do a lot of Yahoo’s but I’ll save that for another post.
Come git me, Mother, I’m through.