Google’s Shutting Down Desktop

Well, what a bummer this news way. Google announced last week that it was stopping work on Google Desktop and a host of other programs they’re normally working on. That depresses me because I loved Google Desktop, loading it many years ago and happy once again when the latest version came out for 64-bit.

Of course I saw this coming, but was still hopeful. Just like many other programs they put out that worked well with Firefox, I knew that as they pushed their own browser more that things they were working on with the Mozilla people was going to come to the end. And if they’d added Desktop as part of their Chrome browser, I might have at least used Chrome for that.

Their reasoning is that people can search for almost anything on their computers now through our operating systems. That’s not quite true. If there was a reference to a golf program in an email I’d send 2 years ago it’s not coming up on a Windows search, and I doubt it would come up on a mac search either. However, that part of the Desktop program seemed to shut down last July anyway, and I’ve been trying all sorts of things to get it to index newer mail, all without success. Search will find things in programs, but I still need something to help me find words within my email (I use Thunderbird).

This comes on the heels of their announcement in July that they were shutting down Google Labs, which allowed people to go in and test things Google was working on, then report what they observed.

They’re also shutting down a company they purchased last year, Slide, which made games and social media apps. They gave no reason for this move except to say that all the employees of the company would be merged into Google and that the creator of the company was moving on to do some other things.

The questions are vast here. Is Google suddenly tightening their belts because they’re getting competitive pushes from other companies? Could it have something to do with G+ and all the machinations about it, including claims from some (like me) that it might be just the latest “dog” of social media? Could it be the lawsuit against they for patent violations that’s threatening their HTC line of smartphones? Or could it be that they realized their operations were getting a bit unwieldy and they want to sharpen focus on their main lines of business?

Don’t know, and I’m not sure I care. I knew nothing about Aardvark, and I never downloaded Google Pack. I will miss Desktop, and probably will kill it soon since email is my main thing. But they move on, I move on; it’s a fairly symbiotic relationship in that manner.
 

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Thunderbird 3; I’m Not Impressed

Suffice it to say I’ve always loved Thunderbird by Mozilla. I loved it from the first time I saw it, probably mainly because it wasn’t Outlook. I know other folks loved Eudora, but it just wasn’t for me. I found Thunderbird gave me everything I wanted and more, and was happy.

Then came this latest version, and I find myself less than impressed. Thunderbird 3, which is now 3.0.4, has made some significant changes, which they say make it easier for new users, and offers some features they’ve never had before. But they’ve also messed up some interfaces, and if you ask me, there’s only been one good consequence from it.

First, they set up the default so it looks like Outlook; what’s that about? The idea behind Mozilla was that it was the anti-Outlook; if I’d wanted Outlook I would be using it. Maybe that’s the “easy” part for new users, using something they’re familiar with.

Second, they changed how you could save email addresses. Instead of opening up one of those Properties menus so you could add information and put it in any special mail category you’d created, now when you click to save the email address and you get the edit form you can add information, but you can’t place it anywhere special. Everything goes into a personal address book, and you have to open your contacts and move it to where you want it after the fact.

Third, let’s talk about the Contacts for a bit. That wasn’t even included as a default in the toolbar, and now that I’m calling it Contacts, let me back up for a minute. When I added it to the general program toolbar it was called Address Book. When you’re in an email you’re writing it’s called Contacts. And I had to add both; that was irritating. Sure, it will remember email addresses you already have if you just start typing it in, but if you’re doing multiple emails, and you want to BCC them, then typing each address individually can take up a lot of time.

Something they changed, which is why they didn’t put it on the toolbar automatically, was putting those tabs onto the email you happen to be reading. That’s not so bad if you want to keep all your email at the normal size it defaults to. I’m one of those people who likes opening emails to the full size of my browser so that I not only can read it easier by making it larger, but that way I only see one email at a time so that I’ll focus on that one email. Thing is, when you open an email all the way, those tabs aren’t always there. Oh, some are, but not all of them all the time. I find myself every time having to open it up, close it back, then open it again to get all those tabs back. If they’d just left it alone in the toolbar I wouldn’t have had to deal with it.

What did they add that they consider something good? They added a search bar which will search through your email to find something. When you do it a new tab opens in the program, something like if you click on some links in Firefox, and it will give you lists of where that word appears throughout the program. To the right it’ll give you 10 choices in a particular folder, then More will be there so you can click it to get 10 more. It’s actually kind of freaky; I like to have a better way of doing it.

And that leads to my one very good thing. It works much better with Google Desktop, which y’all know I love. Now when I download new email, it instantly indexes it, so that I can immediately find that email. Yeah, I know you’re saying who’d have a need to find something that fast. Well, I have 9 different inboxes set up in Thunderbird, so sometimes I’m not sure where an email actually went.

Now, the Mozilla folks are smart, so I figure in the next update, whenever it comes, they’ll have addressed at least a couple of my issues. When that happens, I know I’ll be a happy camper once more. For now, though, I’d have to say that I’m less than impressed with Thunderbird 3, yet it still beats Outlook by a mile.

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Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird

For about two weeks now I’ve been trying to figure out why Google Desktop wouldn’t index any of my email in Mozilla Thunderbird. I searched all over the place, and just couldn’t figure it out. I’ve finally figured it out, with some serious searching online and some testing on my own, and I’m going to tell you how I did it.

The first thing you do is close Thunderbird. The second thing you do is open up your Explorer window. Then go into your Program Files, Google, and then whatever is next; on my computer it’s Google Desktop Search, but on some computer it’s Google Desktop Directory. Once there, highlight whatever files you have that say “GoogleDesktopMozilla“; you probably won’t need them all, but copy them just in case. Then go to the Program Files for Mozilla Thunderbird, and paste whatever you can into the Components folder; if a file is already there, you don’t have to copy over it.

Then you go into your Thunderbird profile, which you access by C:DocumentsandSettings(username)/ApplicationData/Thunderbird/Profiles(unique profile). Once there, delete a file called “compreg.dat“.

That’s it. Open up Thunderbird, and Google Desktop should start indexing your email files in the background. You can check it by opening it up to see if it says it’s indexing. If not, just start the indexing process. Of course, if you’re starting from the beginning, indexing could take a long time, which means while you’re doing things your computer might slow down. But I love Google Desktop, and if you do also, give this fix a shot.

And there you go. By the way, if it’s not indexing your Firefox files, you can do the same process, only go into Program Files and then Firefox.

Satellite A305-S6857 Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 2.0GHz Notebook

Satellite A305-S6857 Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 2.0GHz Notebook






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell