Tom “Inter-Alia.Net” Mighell has made positive comments about Copenic Desktop Search, noting especially that the new version 1.2 will index Firefox bookmarks.
I’ve been using both Copernic Desktop Search and Lookout as local hard drive search tools. I’ve slightly preferred Lookout because of its blazing speed, but its indexing does not appear to be as “deep” as Copernic Desktop Search, especially with PDF files.
Version 1.2 of CDS, after limited use, seems to tip the scales in favor of CDS as a local search engine. Lookout’s integration into the Outlook toolbar still makes it my preferred search tool for email messages. Outlook is completely different with Lookout – you will see that your frustration with the “find” tool in Outlook was quite justified.
Microsoft bought Lookout a while back, but I believe you can still download a free copy here.
One warning about Copernic Desktop Search: the indexing can take several hours. While the results are worth the wait, I suggest that you think carefully about indexing for search only the folders where you keep data you want to search for rather than simply indexing your entire hard drive.
I’ll leave the work of experimenting with the Google Desktop to others. That program makes me nervous and, given Google’s track record so far, I’m content to leave the beta testing of privacy and security issues to those who own stock in the company – they are much more comfortable with risk than I am, and they can afford to take more risk.