It's no secret that searching for information on the Internet is turning into a bit of an art. There are so many sites with so much information on every topic imaginable that the number of hits you get using a single engine can be draining.
To help us information gatherers, Symantec has released Internet FastFind which is claimed to "solve Internet search frustrations". Unfortunately, this is not strictly true, although it does make trawling through the Web a little more accurate and a lot more fun.
The search tool locks into the top seven search engines (Lycos, Alta Vista, Excite, Web Crawler, Yahoo, Magellan and Infoseek) and interrogates them for the information you specify. Using the options panel you can instruct each engine to produce a maximum number of hits in a set time.
This is useful, but not the best search helper available.
The Notify tool is a better example of what FastFind is capable of and makes keeping track of Web site activity extremely easy. Simply tell the Notify engine which site you want watched for updates and away it goes.
It's simple and is very useful, particularly for sites that promise regular installments of data.
The File Find utility is also useful, especially if you need to locate a program quickly, a viewer for example. Once you've typed in the name of the program, or what you think it is called, the utility sends out an agent to hunt it down and brings back a comprehensive list of all the sites that may have what you're looking for. This is very powerful and pulled up dozens of listings when we searched for zip.exe, complete with URLs and file sizes.
A useful zip agent identifies and works with zipped files at the click of a right mouse button and is better than most shareware utilities.
Our favourite extra was Web Launch, which sits in the right hand corner of your screen. When clicked, it reveals all your favourite Web locations (as listed in either Internet Explorer or Navigator), so you don't have to launch the finder first before you locate.
For #49, FastFind could well prove a worthy investment. It's simple to use and, if you use the Internet a lot, will prove a valuable accessory.
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