Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, July 27, 2000

Zapper - Interesting and promising tool

Zapper (PC only)
= breakthrough tool
Delivers a number of innovative and useful features, such as the ability to share search collections, to load specific "search libraries", and to create customized meta-search engines of your liking which will query the specific set of sites you want.

Zapper is another tool that has proved to have a range of technical abilities and purposes. It works from any desktop application or web browser, and functions similarly to Gurunet by allowing the user to point to words or phrases with the mouse and then link up to the Zapper search tool by hitting a specific key combination (Ctrl + Right-mouse click).

The Zapper technology also uses in-context search algorithms which allow the utility to understand the context and significance of any specific search.
The user in this case is allowed to control the amount of text utilized by the technology. How many words before or after the selected one is considered by the engine in its attempt to best interpret the information request.

Once a word/phrase has been identified and Zapper has been called up, the user can select within the Zapper window which "Zaplet" he/she will want to utilize and use to form Zap Packs.
Zap Packs are collections of Zaplets or agents/search engines/bots and other search services pre-selected and collected together according to specific interest areas. They are just like the extra search functionalities downloadable in Copernic2000. These do extend in fact to include comparison shopping bots, translation services, reference, news, financial info, bookmarks, major search engines, and topic-specific web sites. One can then customize and create any number of Zaplets or Zap packs with the exact type of content one would want to search.

By itself these various functions, which are completely customizable by the user, make this tool a standout.
Any web site that has a search engine can be made into a Zaplet with this tool, which will effectively and secretly hook into as many site-specific search engines as you desire.

Let me give you an example:
If I were a fisheries researcher working for a NGO and in need of a custom search engine which would provide me with relevant results on pressing topics, I would utilize Zapper. With the program I would create a Zaplet for each one of the Fisheries and Aquaculture web sites that I deem interesting and relevant, plus I would search in the Zapper library for existing Zap Packs with related info. I could then edit them together to create a custom-meta-search tool that no one could rival.

I can now effectively get relevant results in my searches as I have personally pre-selected the specific search engines and content sites that I want to utilize. This does indeed make an enormous difference in the quality of the findings I get.

Zapper is like Copernic2000, but better, with a rich database of pre-selected content, and the capacity to offer its users the capability to further customize their Zapper tool by downloading specific Zaplets or Zap Packs from its extensive library.



The Zapper library is at:
This will provide specific search and scouting facilities in niche interest areas. Also any user can share his whole Zapper or specific Zaplets or Zap Packs with friends or colleagues by utilizing a specific function called Share.

Of course a product this outstanding can only mean there must be a flaw hidden somewhere. In this case I think it is the fact that in offering so much, the program is not as immediate and intuitive as it should be. There are however, a lot of new concepts and grounds covered which allow me to execute projects now that before would have been almost impossible. If you recently thought that the search engine Google had an edge in your search preferences, think again. You may want to take the time to learn this very useful tool.

Find out which are the best present-day tools and techniques to stay up-to-date without moving a finger.

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, July 27 2000, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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