I never got into the whole ‘desktop search’ thing as I used to know where my stuff was. 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 2,070,332 worth of files is a trivial manner. 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 used AltaVista Personal Search 97 before I thought I’d give it a bit of a test. First I unpacked some BSD source code, and had it index that. The results were incredibly FAST. So the next thing to do was to try the UTZOO archives. 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. Not the fastest way at all. And I only made it about 40% the way through the archive. Even at this point the search database is only 1.2GB
So how does it run? Well it’s a localized web service that resides on your desktop. 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. 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. It really is scary how fast this thing is. 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. From what I understand people are still selling the workgroup/enterprise search. 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. It uses a Win16 setup program, so Windows 7 x64 was out of the question, but you can download it here.