I run Debian GNU/Linux on my desktop and it is mostly Free Software. However, I do have a few packages that are not fully Free:
Non-free packages installed on nb
firmware-iwlwifi Binary firmware for Intel Wireless 3945, 4965 and 5000
google-desktop-linux Google Desktop: Personalize and organize your own comp
Contrib packages installed on nb
virtualbox-4.0 Oracle VM VirtualBox
2 non-free packages, 0.1% of 1733 installed packages.
1 contrib packages, 0.1% of 1733 installed packages.
I am phasing out VirtualBox because KVM works very well for me in tests and because I would rather not depend on Oracle. I need wireless to work sometimes. That explains the firmware blob. That leaves Google Desktop.
Google Desktop provides a bunch of features for the desktop but I use mainly one, search. I have a rather poor memory and am a terrible paper shuffler (that’s criminal for a teacher…). I cannot even remember where to file stuff, let alone how to find it again. For that, I use Google Desktop. In the browser, I push both Ctrl keys and get a search window which can find my files by filename, path, or contents. It’s fast. While it took hours to generate the index of everything I chose to index updating the index and searching is all transparent to the user. It seems to read my mind. I can generally throw downloads into a project folder but I will be damned if I can know with any certainty what folder/file goes where. I depend on Google’s Desktop to find stuff and from my usual client, Google’s Chrome browser.
I read and write a lot. This handy tool helps me keep it all together and to find stuff when I need it. Just as searching the web is Google’s forte, desktop search with this tool is great.
see Google Your Desktop for a good review of Google Desktop. It is not Free but it works very well. In combination with Google’s Chrome browser, you have a winning combination.
I also use ReColl and Swish-e for searching but Google Desktop is the smoothest. I use Swish-e for web applications and ReColl was what I used on the desktop before I discovered Google Desktop. They are all good products and 2/3 of them are Free Software. That matters.