The Reinstallation Diaries Episode IV: The Search Engine Query
Before I get to a discussion about which search engine I use, let me go back to the application installation for a moment. In the previous post I listed the key apps, divided into two priority levels. Those in the first priority tier I need and use every day.
The Microsoft Office Suite, OneNote, Onfolio and Active Words each have data that I’ve saved on the portable hard drive. After installing each app I bring the documents over to the newly reinstalled computer, checking to make sure things are up and running appropriately. Here is a small bugaboo for me. XP sets up documents underneath each user. Since my Tablet PC is only used by me, I have documents and data mainly in two places. Most hang under a Documents and Settings directory with my name on it, and some hang under a shared documents directory under All Users.
But each of these user file trees also contains other directories and some apps throw data under the Application Data directory, some under the Local Settings/Application Data directory. There are also directories for Favorites, Start Menu, etc… It seems logical to me, that one should be able to grab the top most directory from the root drive (Documents and Settings) and copy it entirely. Or at least grab each user directory and copy it. But this unfortunately isn’t the case. Several hidden files that are in use get stowed away in these directories and they keep a straight copy from happening. I know some backup programs can circumvent this, but, in addition to backing up or imaging, I would like to be able to copy these directories in their entirety. If developers could also standardize on where they place their special data files it would also make things easier on the end user.
Ok, the first and second tier apps are installed. Data is moved over and everything is working. As a side note, to get Office and OneNote updated with service packs and security updates took a total of three more trips online. A big key to making the installation of applications successful is having the unlock keys or passwords handy. Thus the printouts I mentioned back in Episode I.
Another pet peeve here. While I know the reasoning behind breaking the security numbers into smaller chunks, in this day and age when so much software is downloaded and unlock keys come via email, it would be easier to follow the leads of companies that allow a quick cut and paste of the entire unlock key.
On to the search engine query. For awhile now I’ve been using Google’s search engines as my default and using Lookout in Outlook. I’ve tested the other engines in the search engine wars but kept coming back to Google. I did not have much luck with Microsoft’s new search tools when I recently tried it out, so I thought I would use the opportunity of a clean install to see if the issues I had were related to some of the bloat on the old install. I can report that those issues disappeared.
That’s the good news. I have however decided to go back to Google. The Microsoft engine offers a lot, but, (and maybe I’m just a creature of habit) things just feel quicker and smoother with the Google engine. Google also makes less of a hit on system resources and obviously is less bloated with options. After app installation and indexing, with Microsoft’s engine installed I’m up to 324M. With Google I’m at 298M. I think my opinion on this will change once Search isn’t an add-on and is included in the OS in Longhorn. But for now, I’ll stick with Google. While the search engine wars keep on keeping on, I’d prefer something simpler, faster and less cluttered.
Ok, I’ve got my first and second priority apps installed and I’m ready to rock. But first I make another image for emergency purposes. I’ve now got two images to fall back on depending on the situation.
Next Up: The Security Solution