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Google Desktop and Sidebar

Cool Tech

August 23, 2005 04:33 PM PST

Anyone check this thing out? I can see why Yahoo ran to buy up Konfabulator now.

Also includes a sidebar that you can write plugins here:

Note the cool clock plugin:

Comments (11)
J, August 23, 2005 04:51 PM:

I'm running it now. I like that it's optional for Google Desktop Search. Microsoft wants to force toolbars and widgets into everything when you install their desktop search.

So far I like the auto-hide sidebar. I'm not sure I'll actually use the information for much, but we'll see how it goes. This sidebar/confabulator stuff reminds me a lot of PointCast or ActiveDesktop - fun to play with for a bit, but not really an essential tool in the long run.

Regardless of how many people install this, when Longhorn includes it - it will take over. Even if there is a sweet extension on google sidebar that isn't on MS's, someone will port it over (MS should hire a little team to do nothing but write free plugins for their various platforms).

I do have an idea for a sidebar item though... I'll have to do a little research to see how hard it would be to do.

John, August 23, 2005 06:17 PM:

Compelled to reference a similar thingy that's been out for a long time now:


J, August 23, 2005 10:08 PM:

Sweet Jesus best taskbar plugin ever... Down goes Skype.

J, August 24, 2005 12:34 AM:

I've hooked the slideshow sidebar panel to some cool flickr tags, but it's not smart enough to load the actual picture behind the thumbnail. For example: So I see these cool shots, but they're all really low res. Hope they release the source, or someone modifies it to drill down one level. I'm finding this is a problem at a lot of photoblog sites in general - showing only thumbnails vs. the actual image.

The potential is huge for this type of flickr integration. That and "auto show image on desktop every 30 minutes".

J, August 24, 2005 06:01 PM:

So I broke down and installed the sidebar alongside MSN desktop search at work. The basic reason was that the google talk app just sat there taking up space vs. autohide if it's in the deskbar. So I installed all the indexing services and everything just to get the autohide deskbar. I disabled all types of files from the desktop search agent (since I don't need the overhead of indexing every file twice), but the overhead of the 3 indexing apps is still about 30MB. It seems you can't completely turn off the Google indexer. We'll see if it's worth it. So far, I like the auto-hide friends list, the gmail notifications and the slideshow feature.

John, August 24, 2005 06:20 PM:

I'm I the only one that finds the idea of logging and indexing all my chat sessions creepy? I always turn this stuff off. In fact that was one of the first things I did when I installed Google Talk.

Paul, August 24, 2005 07:35 PM:

You are probably one of a few. I like the idea of archiving conversations, since the idea flow in a conversation is proportional to the feedback time.

Hence, long distance collaboration via email is really hard. Sitting in the same office makes design and coding super easy. IM is sort of half way there, and being able to go back and search for things that were discussed is really valuable.

Besides, it's only indexed on your machine. It's not like we upload your chats and post them to our intranet and snicker.

J, November 11, 2005 01:40 PM:

I'm having the 100% CPU usage bug in Google Desktop now. It seemed to happen after I did the latest Picasa update on my laptop and desktop. Not only does the Google indexer use 100% cpu, the offending process starts again as soon as you kill it. Even pausing indexing doesn't help. It's so bad, that even ctrl-alt-delete takes several seconds to bring up task manager, and it's so slow, it's hard to kill. The only solution I found was to exit Google desktop and then manually killing the index process. Ugh... At least Google knows about the problem.

Paul, November 11, 2005 04:25 PM:

Are you running the beta? I had this happen on my home machine when I was running the beta and went to specific sites (usually a blog with lots of comments). It didn't happen at work. I uninstalled and re-installed and it worked properly again. I haven't seen this with the full release though.

J, November 11, 2005 10:24 PM:

Yeah, I didn't want to go through that but I guess I will. I don't think I'm running the beta, but I can't really check because my machine will bog down if I run it up to check. I guess I'll uninstall and re-install. Probably will lose my indexes and have to remember all my config settings though. Fun. This is where it's easier for Google than MS. GOOG can add stuff that's essentially an OS feature without the stigma of having broken the os if it has bugs.

J, November 12, 2005 09:05 AM:

I uninstalled and it let me keep the index around. I rebooted and reinstalled the latest, and the problem went away. The software UI looks a bit different, so I did get a new version. I really wish more software was like firefox, and unobtrusively let you know when updates were available to the app or any plugins, without running a crazy agent in the background. Anyway, it was more painless than I thought and Google even presented a nice web form for me to tell them why I was uninstalling.

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