This was the second entry taken from my "private journals" back in October of 2007 when I began my earnest optimization effort.
Last entry I spoke about finding a desktop theme that among other things, matched the satin black look of Google Desktop search's sidebar and gadgets. Now I'll go into Google Desktop search.
Most of my cravings had come from Lifehacker, which I'd become addicted to of late (I still need to read the archives and check out the other software tweaks I've been missing)
First I tried using a program called Launchy that was supposed to streamline launching apps and folders by having me type in a shortcut of the program name. But it didn't index files nearly fast enough, and I couldn't find a suitable skin for it (this was even before I got desktop themed out). Then I saw Rainlendar, a calendar app, that looked promising, and for a while I had both of them running.
Then it turned out Google Desktop search could do all of these things, and have a more unified look. I never used it before because it seemed like a huge tax on computer resources, but with most of the hard processing work being done here at TO, most of the stuff I do at home has been just moderate. Immediately I fell in love with the little gadgets it offered, and eventually rearranged the entire 2nd monitor to maximize information (currently a big clock, a run program launcher, weather, calendar, and a scratch pad for notes).
Desktop search itself hasn't been that revolutionary for me yet, but I don't think it's done indexing. I'll give it a few more days and see if it does indeed make it easier for me to find stuff I want, but I've heard its database can grow to be gigantic, and if it becomes an impediment, then I might jettison it and keep my gadgets.
Finally, I switched over from AIM finally to Trillian, which I'd tried before but found to be TOO full featured to be worth replacing AIM with, but since I'd been using deadaim for logging, I couldn't skin it, due to DeadAIM not being compatible with the newer AIM versions that supported skinning (the newer versions of AIM also look awful and slow).
Skinning was important because with all the black in my screen now, the huge white buddy list window stuck out like a sore thumb. The new versions of Trillian are great because they offered skinning (and I found a good black skin) as well as a more full-featured logger. I'll have to get used to not being able to immediately search logs from the past few years via DeadAIM, but otherwise it looks like I'll be sticking to Trillian Pro (Trillian Basic was pretty crappy, so I went with a cracked version of Pro).
Next I'll get into backups, remote access (which I haven't set up yet), and Firefox and Thunderbird.