Google Desktop is a free software which is develop by Google team. This software have a lot of function, but one of the most important think that the ability to index all or some files in our harddisk, so next time after index progress finish, we can search any file faster than use Windows default tools such as Find at Windows.
Download Google Desktop from http://desktop.google.com/, than install the software to Windows XP. Google Desktop also available for Linux and Mac OS. For Windows version, this software only support for 32bit. After finish install the software, Google Desktop by default will index our computer. The index time will take some time, but it depend on how many file at the hard disk. While index, the computer still can be use like before, but if the computer have minimum resources (memory or processor) than the computer will be more slow to run, better to stop work, or stop index, than start to index again without doing anything at computer, maybe late night is good to start Google Desktop index.
At my computer, with about 30G full data (this is estimate also with Windows XP filesystem), Google Desktop need about 5 hours to index, this job done at late night, so I start index at 00.00 and at morning about 07.00 the indexing already done. We can also choose which folder to ignore for index, and we can choose for index or not our email message. Once after index progress finish, we can start find our files by filename or content inside file.
We can choose Google Desktop appearance with some way, start from sidebar, deskbar, and floating deskbar. Choose from Google Desktop menu to change the appearance to find which is better for you. I like using sidebar appearance, but I think this way only better if we have wide screen monitor, if not, the sidebar will bother our working display at monitor.
Google Desktop have many other function, the function of Google Desktop can be choose from Add Gadgets menu for add the plugin to Google Desktop. There are so many kind of plugin that we can choose that can be selected to meet our needs. Find it at http://desktop.google.com/plugins/. The Gadgets Plugin can be create by anybody, that's why the development of the plugin become so fast.
By default, when installing Google Desktop, it already have some plugin: Analog Clock, Web Clips Gadget (for RSS reader), Photo Gadget (can slideshow the picture at My Picture folder), Scratch Pad Gadget (this is really important for me).
Google Desktop can be integrated with browser, at my computer the Google Desktop can work with full function if I integrated with IE and Firefox. When I try integrated Google Desktop with Opera 9+, than the red warning will appear like this “Your browser is not currently supported by Google Desktop.”