GOOGLE DESKTOP….Thanks to Cameron in comments, I decided to give Google Desktop another try on Thursday. Regular readers will remember that I gave up on it several months ago because its indexing functions caused so much hard drive thrashing that my PC froze up several times a day.

The new version seems to work much better on that score, but I don’t know if that’s because the software itself is better or because I added half a gigabyte of memory to my machine a few weeks ago. A controlled comparison is no longer possible. In any case, it doesn’t seem to freeze my PC anymore, so I’m happy on that score.

What prompted me to try it again is that Beta 2 has a new feature: it allows you to do a normal Google web search that includes only sites you’ve visited in the past few days. (I think this is a new feature, anyway. I sure didn’t notice it the first time around.) Web history searches show up as part of your overall search results, and you can also click a link to narrow down the search to only web history results:

More screenshots describing other Google Desktop features are here. I haven’t checked them all out, and I’m not using the Google sidebar, but it looks like there’s a lot of handy stuff there.

But the web history search is what really sucked me in. I scan hundreds of web pages a day while I’m writing the blog, and I’m forever trying to remember where I saw something a day or two ago. This should give me a quick and handy way of augmenting my increasingly faulty biological memory banks. Thanks Google.