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Google's Precipitate Rains Your Docs Down From The Cloud

Have a mish-mash of files spread between your PC and the cloud? Searching both for a document because you can't remember where you stored it costs time ... unless you use Google's new search tool called Precipitate. Precipitate is a desktop-based search client that scans your local machine and the cloud for your stuff so you only have to search once.
Have a mish-mash of files spread between your PC and the cloud? Searching both for a document because you can't remember where you stored it costs time ... unless you use Google's new search tool called Precipitate. Precipitate is a desktop-based search client that scans your local machine and the cloud for your stuff so you only have to search once.For the last 18 months, 100% of everything I've ever written is stored in the cloud. Previous to that, however, everything is stored on my machine(s). Some files from the cloud are backed up on machines, most are not. Searching the cloud (i.e., Google Docs) for my stuff generally yields results because most of the stuff I am searching for was written more recently. But there's that transitionary period, between December 2006 and February 2007, where I was using both. Remembering where files I wrote in that time frame are stored is a definite source of frustration. Well, it was until I started using Precipitate.

Precipitate is a desktop client that ties into Google's Desktop for Mac. (Sorry, Windows user, but this product is only for Apple machines at the moment.) According to The Official Google Mac Blog, "After you install Precipitate, you can use Google Desktop or Spotlight to find files online (such as those in your Google Docs list) just as you would find files stored on your Mac. Then, you can open them in your browser with a single click. Once Precipitate is set up, it stays out of your way, regularly getting the latest contents of your documents automatically, so you'll never need to think about it -- or where you store your information -- again." Precipitate works by creating files on your machine that are imported by Spotlight, then periodically checking in with the server and updating the local files to reflect any changes. I downloaded and installed the client. Truth-to-tell, it took forever to catalog everything the first time I launched it. That's what I get for storing thousands of files online, I suppose.

After it finished cataloging my online files, it was as easy as opening Precipitate and keying in a search. I tried searching for something that I know is both online and on my machine. It showed me all the results for both and where things were. Neat-o.

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