This morning I had to dig up a series of emails and a script from almost 2 years ago in order to answer questions about what I’d exactly I’d given to someone (it was a digital elevation model mosaic). A 3rd party needed to know the specific datatype and precision of the model. I couldn’t remember, I’d long since deleted the mosiac, and since it was only a 1 day project which didn’t require learning or research I didn’t keep any notes.
After spending some time coming empty in the filesystem and not finding the email exchange I fired up Google Desktop Search and located the specific emails and the quick & dirty script I’d thrown together in short order. From GDS to final answer took about 1 minute. In this particular case I hadn’t deleted either the email or the script, but both of them are exactly the kind of short term info I would throw out if I were a better housekeeper (the kind I’d like to be). No big deal there either as the GDS cache would still have answered the question.
Sounds like a rockin’ success story right? It certainly the kind of event which strengthens the attachment and reliance I put on desktop search, pretty darn close to an essential tool. I’ve a big concern though: what happens when I get a new computer?