May this bird bring some sunshine on Thanksgiving Day! Not looking like that is going to be the case here in the mountains of Virginia, but know you'll be praying for us. :) Republicans will be anyway, I'm sure - not sure about you heathen Dems.
You might want to take a good look at Blinkx . I had been using Google's Desktop Search, but this seems to go it one better and then some. It works with IE, Firefox,Mozilla, Outlook Express, and Outlook. It will index all the files on your computer and deliver them up lighnting fast whenever you need to find something. It will index .doc,.txt,.html,.jpg,.mp3,.pdf files as well as others. It will scan the web pages you're viewing and figure out other sights that might be of interest and are related - you don't have to do a thing. It will do P2P searches so that you can download music from many sources. Really is quite the bundle. It's pretty slick to type in, for example, a medical term and see instantly every email you've sent someone on the topic, all the web pages you might have saved about it, any pdf files, diagrams or pictures. Try to find those on your own! You'd be hunting around forever. It will at this time index up to 100,000 items. It indexed my system and hit about 35,000 items, but then I save practically all my emails and have 2 or 3 years worth. Need to whittle that down of course, but if you're trying to look something up, what a boon this is! I should add that it does let you install it wherever, so if you don't want it on your C: drive, you can put in on another Partition. Google's Desktop Search doesn't let you do that, nor does it let you use Firefox. Give it a try - it's FREE.
Other worthwhile free computer programs to try
AVG Free Anti-Virus Updates automatically for you - no yearly fees!
Roboform You'll wonder how you ever did without this. Free 30 day trial, after which you can still save up to 10 passwords, pay a small fee for unlimited password savings. Best password saver out there.
Clipomatic Wish you could remember that item you copied a few minutes ago, but overwrote with your last copy and paste? No problem anymore. This program is sweet.
MW Snap Want to snap a picture of what is on your computer screen? Very handy device to show someone else what you're looking at when you're trying to solve a computer problem. I use this all the time - marvelous and free.
JavaCool Spyware Blaster Protect your computer from Spyware! Don't let it on in the first place! Has blocked over 3000 items on my computer. Allows you to do a system snapshot, so if your computer malfunctions due to spyware, you can restore it to its state before the corruption. Free (if you manually update) or small fee if you want auto-updating.
Search and Destroy! Want to make absolutely sure you have no spyware on your system? This is the tool for you then. Easy to run test and fix problems.
Zone Alarm Everyone should have this on their computer. Did you realize your computer is constantly being scanned while you are on the Net? Yep, sometimes nasty folks are out there looking for a security breach on your system, so they can rob you of all your identity info. Keep yourself protected and download this free version of Zone Alarm - easy to use - simple tutorial. Click on the top link on the page - it's the FREE version.
If you've got some "must have" programs, please offer them up in the comments section!