Browsing the Net...
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!
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!
Collected and contributed by:
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