GigaBlast, the search engine has an interesting history. Matt Wells wrote the code for GigaBlast from scratch in C++ after quitting InfoSeek. Thus for a long while GigaBlast was managed by Matt alone and also quoted to have been running on “Eight Desktop PC’s” (more on the rants and raves here) while indexing billions of pages and serving millions of queries.
At the outset, it does (as one can guess) lack the scale of Google or the other biggies, but with the rate of indexing and the power of scalability that it has showcased (optimum performance squeezed of the hardware), I wouldn’t be surprised if it manages to get somewhat mainstream in the course of time.
There are many nifty features packed in the engine, such as GigaBits, which provides bits of information relating to what the user is searching for (at the top of the search window). The engine also includes the feature to customize your search to a particular site. They also market themselves to businesses as an enterprise search solution.
The success of GigaBlast has a lot of awe and wonder in it. First, it takes less manpower to really get an engine going (in this case it was Matt alone). And just when you may think that GigaBlast is on the road to topple search giants, think about the number of immensely talented people hacking away at the code running the search biggies. None the less, Matt’s bio will make an interesting read for folks bracing to launch their online projects.