Tired of racking up phone bills and staying online only to be frustrated by the results? Then don’t. Employ yet another web-agent to help. This time, a reptile – a multi-functioned, offline browser called WebSnake for Windows 95 or NT. WebSnake gathers all pages within a web-site, pulls out email addresses, and imports bookmarks. Of course, this is all well and good for those of you into collecting competitive intelligence. But who else might care? Well, it also searches for and retrieves web pages within a specified site, based on several types of keyword searches – perhaps an essential function for those perpetually pursuing people. Or for those who have found a huge site that looks as if it has possibilities for candidate mining, but who don’t have the time to search through it. E-mail addresses are found through a simple keyword search, but bear in mind that the keyword must be in the e-mail address. Thus, it can help find all people at, say, Cisco or Bay Networks, but it won’t find “Cobol Programmers” unless that phrase is within their e-mail address. If you find a site that looks as if it might have many promising pages, and you have neither the time nor the inclination to browse through it online, use the browse function. The site gets copied to your hard drive and you can peruse it later, while offline. Often, if you have a reasonably fast computer, but only a 28.8 modem, browsing from your hard drive is quicker than doing it online. Its most useful function though, is search and retrieve. It can be set to look for keywords within a particular site AND follow all links within the site while it looks for similar keywords. In fact, it is with this function that WebSnake surpasses other offline browsers by a mile. By setting our query, limiting the search to only text files, and asking it to follow all links within one large site, we found several pages – outside the site – which contained resumes of Cobol people. Not bad for little work. You can search all files within the site or you can choose just text files or just keywords within filenames. However you choose to search, make sure to select the properties before you send out the Snake. Within these properties, the advanced function lets you add filters to the search query, limits the amount of pages brought back, and eliminates the bringing back of any image or audio files. System Requirements: 486/33 or higher PC, Windows 95/NT, 8MB RAM, 5MB available hard disk space. Try a free demo or just buy it. It’s only $29.95. Next week: With 50,000 newgroups in Usenet, where do you start? Usenet: An Overview
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