Want the convenience of FILExt on your desktop? You can have it if you have the Google Desktop installed. FILExt now has a Gadget that works with the Google Desktop.
The FILExt Gadget is basically a window into the FILExt database. The database remains on the Web but the Gadget allows you to query it for basic information and then, when you've found the information you require, come directly to it on the FILExt site via links from the Gadget. Get the Gadget here...
How to Use the FILExt Gadget
Download the Gadget from the link above. If you saved it on your hard drive and have the Google Desktop installed and running then just double click on the filext.gg file and the Desktop should take it from there. Just say "Yes" that you want to install the Gadget. If you don't already have the Google Desktop see the paragraph later on this page.
For the following I'll be using the Gadget in standalone mode but the information applies as well if the Gadget is installed as part of the Sidebar feature of the Google Desktop.
There are three basic ways to use the Gadget to search the FILExt database:
Any of these methods will send a request to the FILExt website and data will be returned to the Gadget.
Note that the returned data has two components:
Double clicking on any of the entries that are returned will open a browser window and take you to the page on the FILExt website that describes the file extension in question. In the case of Program IDs, scroll down the page and you will see the specific .EXE file that registers the extension. If no programs are listed for an extension but an .EXE file registers it that can give you a strong clue as to what the file might be.
Submit Your Program IDs to FILExt
By using the Windows assoc and ftype commands you can generate a list of all registered file extensions and program IDs on your system and submit it to FILExt. A batch file to do this is described in this FAQ. But, if you have the FILExt Gadget this process can now happen automatically! Simply open the menu on the Gadget and select the option "Submit my file extensions..." from the menu. A dialog will appear asking if you want to do this and when you click Yes on that dialog the Gadget will run the Windows commands assoc and ftype on your system, record the output to a temporary file, send that file to FILExt, and then delete the temporary file. There is no personal information in this submission, it only identifies the IP address the submission came from (as do all Internet connection requests), and it will be merged with thousands of others. The Gadget will show you the status of this process.
The Desktop is an information application that will help you search both the Internet and your own computer should you wish to index the information on your computer (you don't have to; the option is yours). The Desktop also provides a mechanism by which various Gadgets (mini-applications) can help provide you with real-time information either on request or constantly.
If you don't have Google's Desktop installed, get it here as part of the Google Pack of essential software (you can install any or all of the applications via Google's setup program)...
Frequently Asked Questions About the Gadget
The FILExt gadget was developed for Computer Knowledge by Aaron Feuer / Airbear Software.