Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rummage finds the needles in your haystack of files

11/23/2014

A computer is like a storage bin that never fills up. You can throw in photos, documents, videos, music albums and just about anything else that lives in digital form. If you need more space, just add a larger hard drive.

The hard part comes later when you try to find something. Maybe it's a PDF from a business presentation in 2004 or a letter you wrote when you were in collage. Built-in tools like the Windows search box can take you only so far, and sometimes it takes you down a dead end.

The people who developed Rummage are confident that they've found a better way to help you find the needles in your haystacks. Rummage approaches the mission the way a corporation with a big library of documents might. It indexes all the stuff on your hard drive and Dropbox, noting not only the title, author and date but also the content inside the document. When it finds something important, it generates a tag. You can use those tags to focus your search as Rummage sifts through your labyrinth of folders and subfolders.

When I turned Rummage loose on my computer, it found and examined almost 100,000 files, a process that took almost a full day. When it was finished, I had everything sorted into tags grouped under People, Folders, Dates and File Types. That made it easy to find the spreadsheet I built for Larry, the letter I wrote to Maureen and the photo gallery I built for George in 2006.

Rummage for Windows 7 or 8 is available at getRummage.com. It's free, but the Rummagers will be happy to accept your PayPal donation. Get a close look at Rummage in the video below and keep up with new additiona on Rummage's Twitter feed.

The software is in its Alpha stage, so not everything works as completely or as quickly as you might like. But even at this early stage, Rummage is a very useful utility and one that will clearly keep getting better.




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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.

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