I was wrong. My apologies to Microsoft

This is just so typical of me. I finally get accepted into a shiny network on the basis of great content and… I stop writing content. In my defense, enough manure has hit the fan at work today to fertilize the entire of the Home Counties. But that really is no excuse. I’ve set myself a goal of trying to do a post a day (or at least every other day), and I do hate to fail at things, so —

I’ve been a bit mean about Windows in the past, and I stick to my guns — I much prefer the Apple experience. But I always admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about something.

With the Tiger version of OSX, Apple released something called ‘Spotlight’ that searches the entire hard drive in new and exciting ways. It automatically searches for any instance of a word WITHIN documents. Know you saved something, sometime, about “yellow submarines” but can’t remember what the document was called? What sort of document it was (jpg, pdf, txt or doc)? Or where you saved it? Type ‘yellow submarine’ into Spotlight, and it will find it for you. Quickly.

(Ok, in the case of my machine, not too quickly, but that’s my bad for having an elderly PowerBook without the RAM really needed, and installing the new OS over the top of the old, instead of a fresh install. I know I have to at least wipe the HD and start over, upgrade the memory, but… *sigh* Part of me is experiencing an almost masochistic glee in seeing how far I can push the poor computer).

Spotlight was a feature I fell in love with the moment I used it — whilst I am quite anal about filenaming conventions, there’s always that one document you can’t remember what you called or where you saved it. Since I started using Spotlight, I used Finder (a bit like Windows Explorer) less and less to drill down through the hierarchical folder structure.

And I gloated over Windows users, saying that they didn’t have this option to search within files.

Um. Turns out I was wrong *blush* In XP at least, it is possible. So the process is not as simple and intuitive as with the Mac – five to ten mouse clicks and keystrokes as opposed to two – but then that’s hardly new when comparing Windows and Mac. So yeah, I was wrong. It is possible to search within files using Windows Explorer. If you’re curious, the option is lurking somewhere in the advanced search settings. In the process of discovering this little feature (all because Moose told me to stop gloating because Windows users actually already had this functionality) I also managed to turn off the annoying little dog that pops up when you do a search on the computers at work.

Bit of a win-win situation really, even if it does mean my geek hat is slipping slightly.

Bugger. Something about Windows I can no longer complain about.

10 thoughts on “I was wrong. My apologies to Microsoft

  1. Aha…see. Just because most people don’t fully explore Windows doesn’t mean it can’t be what we would like it to be. All this Windows and Mac bashing is pointless. Even though I hate the Mac from the pits of my soul, I say if it works for you, then it works for you. Windows works for me.

    So let’s get Linux instead. Then again…they do have a penguin for a mascot. Damn. 🙂

  2. I have no problem with the two platforms because I am not really into tinkering and tweaking business. I just use fairly basic features. But how I envy folks like you who could discover a lot of things by digging deeper. I think it’s time for me try out some new stuff. How about dismantling my own computer without the help of the manual? Geez, I wonder if it would still look like a computer after my very own hands set it up. [Grin]

  3. Welcome Edrei and Neil 🙂

    Yes, I know I should be nicer to Windows, but it does drive me up the wall most of the time. To be sure, Mac infuriates me as well, but a lot less often. And they look so pretty! Then again, I can’t do everything I need to in my computing life on a Mac, so I use Windows. It does have it’s uses (damn).

    I’d use Linux, but… I’m too fond of my nice GUI. Spoilt, I know. Their penguin is a good selling point however 😉

    Neil, new stuff is always fun! As a rule I discover things more by accident than design. Or asking people wildly more intelligent than me. Dismantling your own computer without the manual… That is a scary, scary thought. I prefer the entrails of my computer to stay the entrails, not be spread all over the desk. Memories of the time my brother tried to build his own computer. It worked eventually, but not quite in the way he planned!

  4. While Windows XP does have that option, it’s not a “live”/dynamic search like it is with Spotlight.
    Nor does XP have “Smart Folders”.

  5. its also not extensible. Try using Windows to search your Outlook email. Now try using Spotlight to search for your Entourage email.

  6. Honey, I’m not caving here and saying Windows does it better – because it demonstrably doesn’t – but it is possible up to a point.

    It is useful for me at work at the moment. We’re scanning 22,000 images into the computer, and each picture has an associated text file containing name information. It is nice to be able to find the picture of “Joe Bloggs” without manually opening each and every one of those 22,000 text files…

    But yes, Spotlight is oodles upon oodles better.

  7. Wow. That sucks. I’m just sitting here thinking: if that was on a Mac they wouldn’t even NEED an asociated text file…

    c’est la vie

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