Copernic Couples Search Engines for Enhancing Document Searches
Kellner, Mark, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
By now, almost everyone on the planet - and certainly just about every last man, woman and child in North America - knows that 10 days ago, the Internet became the repository of one of the most-read documents in history.
This column is not about that. Finding the report of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr on line is not at all difficult, as millions have discovered.
But what if you want to find something just a bit more esoteric? What if you want to search using more than one "search engine," such as Infoseek, Yahoo, Excite and so on?
How can you easily refine a search to weed out documents that may contain the words you're interested in, but may not apply to your search?
There are perhaps two ways of doing this. One is to methodically plod through a bunch of on-line search services, blurring your eyes as the hours drag on. The other is to spend $29.95 for a copy of Copernic 98 plus, a handy little program from Agents Technologies Corp. in Sainte Foy, Quebec.
The software will go to about 10 different Web search engines and report the results, complete with hyperlinks to the documents found. This can be displayed as a Web browser page and saved as HTML, for your own use or for e-mailing to colleagues and friends.
As it searches, Copernic eliminates the repetition of results found on multiple engines. The software scores each match, as a percentage or graphically, for relevancy and timeliness. There's a user-search history to help locate information and further download documents or refine searches. Copernic can also automatically remove dead links and download found documents for off-line browsing. In addition, the software and its channel sets are automatically updated.
In short, this is "agent technology" at its finest: a software "robot," if you will, that searches the Internet and keeps things updated. I've been using Copernic for a few weeks - a free version that only does Web searches is available - and the expanded features of the "plus" version seem well worth the price tag. For one, the expanded software breaks down searches by category. If you want to find out material on actor Cary Grant, for example, you can have Copernic plus search only movie-related Web sites. …