Copernic - Powerful off-line meta-search tool
Copernic 2000 (PC and Mac)
= must have
Suporting many interesting and useful features. Free (with ads).
Copernic is an off-line meta-search tool, meaning that this is a software program that you download and run for free off your personal computer. Copernic's strongest ability lies in its capacity to search and filter results very accurately, according to a set of rules that one can easily specify.
This search utility interrogates simultaneously all of the major search engines you specify (80 major SEs are available subdivided in seven categories,) while dropping all duplicated results and displaying a clear summary of each item. Being an off-line tool (meaning that you are not using it from a web site but from your hard disk), this tool is also very good at saving custom searches that one may want to run periodically.
I have checked experts opinions at epinions.com at http://www.epinions.com/ cmsw-EmailChat-All-Copernic_2000 and they seem to agree with my feeling that this is an excellent tool. It is also free if you can bear the advertising on the top banner, or it is available for $ 39.95 if you want it ad-free and capable of tapping into 600 search engines in 55 categories.
One significant feature is the ability for Copernic users to download from the vendor site (http://www.copernic.com/addons/engines/ index.html) a number of additional "search engine collections" to use in conjunction with Copernic2000. This allows researchers in specific fields to tap into a very restricted but highly relevant set of pre-selected web search engines specializing in a narrow interest area. Among the ones already available one can find:
Programming (available engines: 16)
Discussion Sources (16)
Antiques and collectibles (13)
and a selection of search engines for different parts of the world including Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Italy.
Among other nice things the program can sport is the ability to accept queries in any format, including plain language, which requires no searching syntax knowledge from the user.
It also offers the ability to automatically check bad links in results, and to offer a nice set of user-customizable interface "skins".
The software has many hot features such as a search wizard, a detailed search history, keyword highlighting, automatic software updating via Internet, and advanced search management functions.
Investing a few extra dollars ($ 79.95) does bring in some key functionalities available only in the "Pro" version, first of which is the ability to schedule search updates and to automatically get e-mail alerts.
The program is small in size (below 2.5 MB) and it exists in versions for both PC and Macs. It is also compatible with both Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers from version 3 up.
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