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Browsing the Net...

Sigi Rindler

Browsing the Net...

by Sigi Rindler

When I started browsing the net about a year ago, I was pretty excited since it was like playing a computer game by climbing down the dungeon while never knowing what's going to happen behind the next corner. Of course, I encountered a lot of junk and wasted hours sifting through all of that. Later on I learned to use search engines more efficiently and started to neglect promising links when searching for a specific item.

After a while my enthusiasm faded since I grew tired of the usual search procedure. My search engine of choice is AltaVista, but the procedure is basically the same for all search engines:

First you type the word or word combination into the search field of the AltaVista main screen and press Enter, or your click on Open, type your desired URL and load the corresponding homepage. Some people download the entire homepage and read it offline, but those who have unlimited Internet access and use NTT's Telehoudai will read online. You might only read the homepage (more or less), then return to the search engine and type in the new expression to search for.

Around Christmas 1996 I found a reference to a very nifty software on the AltaVista homepage called "SearchPal". It brought me back to web surfing since it safes me so many unnecessary steps. I downloaded the trial version, but registered it for $24.95 one day later.

How does it work?

Well, just read a homepage and an expression like "coffee" catches your mind. Move the cursor to the beginning of "coffee", press the left mouse button, highlight the expression, then click onto the search icon which sits on the taskbar (lower edge on the desktop). Two sec later the list with the first 10 new "coffee" websites pop up (depending on your search engine settings). Click on one site, and you might get a reference to "Brazilian soccer teams". Suddenly you associate Brazil with Pele, the greatest soccer start of his generation. Forget the coffee, highlight "Brazil", and in no time you'll get the first list of sites that contain the word "Brazil". See what I mean? The troublesome backstep to the search engine and the even more bothersome retyping of the search expression falls entirely flat!

This function works not only in active web sites. You may open a saved web page, or highlight text in your word processor or in Wordpad, do it within e-mail messages, etc.

I have talked to veteran surfers, but nobody of them knew about this goody. They still browse the same old-fashioned and time-consuming way.

That's not all! SearchPal can do more...

There is a button than brings up a list of the most popular search engines which you can launch. One button will launch your default browser and another one gets you a list to select among your favorite contents site (Hot Wired, Wall Street Journal, etc.). Of course there is an Option button, too, which lets you customize everything to your liking.

Try it and you'll love it!

Demo site:

Everything and more will be explained in a very funny demo. Click on it and enjoy. You can order this goodie online if you have a credit card and $24.95 on it...<g> Less than 24 hours later you are set for happy and most efficient browsing!

Acronym Funnies

Collected and contributed by:

Stuart Woodward

PCMCIA People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms

ISDN It Still Does Nothing

APPLE Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity

BASIC Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control

IBM I Blame Microsoft

DEC Do Expect Cuts

CD-ROM Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months

DOS Defunct Operating System

OS/2 Obsolete Soon, Too

WWW World Wide Wait

MACINTOSH Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating System Hangs

Greg Caldwell

MICROSOFT Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software Only Fools Teenagers

DOS Defective Operating System

WINDOWS Will Install Needless Data On Whole System

PENTIUM Produces Erroneous Numbers Through Incorrect Understanding of Mathematics

NEC Never Ever Compatible

LISP Lots of Infuriating +ACY- Silly Parenthesis

MIPS Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed

SCSI System Can't See It

ISDN It Still Does Nothing

PnP Plug and Pray

© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

October, 1997

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN