True, the people whom I visit who can benefit from my taking a look into their
computers don't need these system optimization tools. If their computers run
slightly slower because they haven't defragmented in a year, the couple of seconds
they may lose are hardly felt. They'd lose more time on the defragmenting than
on their computing time. But those aren't the only tools they don't need. What
I find rather frustrating is that they don't need most of the tools that I find
essential to my daily use of the computer.
Google Desktop, for instance. For me, the opportunity to forget about filing and instead to rely on search in order to access any document that I want to find on my hard drive is something I've dreamed of. It makes perfect sense, and though I haven't kicked the filing habit (after all, a document has to go somewhere, no matter where that where is, so I might as well make a quick choice as to what seems to be a logical place to store it and move on) more often than not if I'm looking for a file, I'll use Google Desktop to find it. But when instead of thousands of files I'm dealing with people who at the most have tens of them, a tool like Google Desktop is sort of like using an elephant gun to kill flies. Basic hierarchical filing, which anyway is built into the operating system, makes quite a bit more sense. What's more, the basic metaphor of search is much more threatening than the logic of filing which has an identifiable physical counterpart than someone new to computing recognizes quite readily.