My Apple Mail application no longer searches its database for strings I type into the search window. Like a digital Wally, it simply disregard the search strings I enter, or returns a desultory two or three recent messages. I don’t have time, at the moment, to search Apple’s site for answers, but if you’re waiting for email from me — this probably isn’t why I haven’t answered, but it’s a good enough excuse for today.
[Later: Kevin pointed to this nifty command-line trick for speeding Mail up; I had seen it and forgotten about it when the report flashed into view ten days ago. Unfortunately for me, my problem is not that the search is too slow, but that it refuses to search thoroughly altogether. If I search all mailboxes for a relatively simple string — say, “the” — it will find many of the most recent messages, but only sporadic instances of the search term as the pool gets older and older. If I’m looking for a term that appears only in old messages, it’s likely not to show up at all.]