Qube2 Desktop Client
While most browsers integrate search engines into the browser in some way, I ran across Qube and thought I'd give it a try. So first, what is Qube? Their site calls it "a third generation desktop client providing instant, browserless access to information from the collective index of traditional search engines." To me, that business speak for a browserless search client (I think this is a bit misleading, but more on that later) that allows you to perform one-click searches and has a built-in "previewer" (so you can view the web page…sounds kind of like a web browser to me ;))
I decided to put the search engine through it's paces. The first thing I noticed was the fact that there's auto-completion…nothing new or exciting there (see Google Suggest). The speed was pretty fast, but I don't think it's necessarily any faster than any web engine out there. With that said, let's get down the nitty-gritty.
I did a few searches…first "american colonial architecture." I got a decent number of results back, the first being a page from the Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute. I'm really more interested in Virginia colonial architecture, so I did that search. Looking over the first screen of results, I notice (incorrectly I might add) that there are only five results. The preview pane has taken over the bottom of the screen. The results are reasonable, with the first result "Virginia Colonial Vernacular Architecture in Historic Chatham."
I took a look at some of the other features. One of the cooler "gee-whiz" things was the search history. It shows you the search you performed (with permutations of the search) with the pages you visited from the search. I could see this being useful , but it sure would be nice to be able to search that history also. I next checked out the RSS Reader. Again, there's nothing really new here as it only allows you to add/remove feeds. The fact that you can't search the feeds you aggregate in an application that is a search engine is, well, lame.
While I think this is a neat little program with a couple of cool tools, I don't see this as a replacement for my tried-and-true Firefox/Thunderbird/Google combination that allows me to do everything the Qube does, but also search my RSS feeds for that one entry someone wrote a few months ago about that thing I need to do now. Anyway, this will probably get uninstalled here pretty quick.