I never got into the whole ‘desktop search’ thing as I used to know where my stuff was. Â But now we live in the future where not only can you just go out and buy terrabytes worth of storage but downloading 10 years worth of usenet is something you can accomplish in a few minutes (on a good connection) but storing it as flat files only takes 20 minutes to decompress some 2,070,332Â worth of files is a trivial manner. Â It’s really cool to live in the future.
Total Files Listed: 2070332 File(s) 5,429,376,673 bytes 168164 Dir(s) 1,119,884,468,224 bytes free
Now what about finding something in those files?
I should be embarrassed as I was using grep.
Yes in my hunt for obscure information grep was my tool of choice.
So after Frank had mentioned it in passing, if I’d ever usedÂ AltaVista Personal Search 97Â before I thought I’d give it a bit of a test. Â First I unpacked some BSD source code, and had it index that. Â The results were incredibly FAST. Â So the next thing to do was to try the UTZOO archives. Â I should have expanded my NT 4.0 VM’s disk first, but I got this far until I was down to 200MB of free disk space
I should add that I’m sharing the UTZOO archvie over the network. Â Not the fastest way at all. Â And I only made it about 40% the way through the archive. Â Even at this point the search database is only 1.2GB
So how does it run? Â Well it’s a localized web service that resides on your desktop. Â Of course it only works when you request from 127.0.0.1 as they sold a network searchable version of AltaVista, the Workgroup Edition. Â Even this was a retail product at one point retailing for $29 to $35
So you hit the web page, type in your search, and you answers like immediately. Â It really is scary how fast this thing is. Â Although the results can need a lot of tweaking but we are talking 800,000 files.
But needless to say there was the disastrous Compaq buyout of DEC, and the entrance of Google, and it was over. Â From what I understand people are still selling the workgroup/enterprise search. Â I can see why even though the 97 is rough it still has promise.
For anyone who cares, it’s geared to Windows 95, or Windows NT 4.0.. 2000 and beyond is at your own risk. Â It uses a Win16 setup program, so Windows 7 x64 was out of the question, but you can download it here.
Have you tried DocFetcher? http://docfetcher.sourceforge.net/en/index.html
In my experience, if you properly setup it (give the JVM lots of memory) it works quite well.
No I haven’t although that looks kind of modern & supported, unlike AltaVista products from 1997…
honestly, I actually run a shared sharepoint instance for me and friends… and the native search since Vista/Tiger has gotten a lot better
certainly pretty interesting! did they release an alpha version? 😉
I was just thinking of putting one online. I was going to use apache as a reverse proxy and serve a bunch of legacy stuff off of this box.
maybe someone can dig out the workgroup version… and i’m curious if it ran on Alpha NT (maybe VMS?)
From what I can find the workgroup and enterprise versions were very expensive. And ran on NT and Unix. But it was all sold to some Finish company (not Nokia) who was bought by Microsoft and basically shut down.
I don’t think there was an Alpha NT version.
It’s effectively all dead now. What I need is a good reverse proxy for NT.
can’t IIS do something like that? maybe an inetd hooked up to netcat?
now that I think about it, you could hex edit the executable to force it to listen elsewhere
I think part of the magic is in the PWS to AltaVista link…