The Shareware Review People


Type of Program: Offline HTTP downloader (shareware)
Supported Platforms: Win95, Win 3x, Macintosh
Version: 2.0
Price: $29.95
Installed Size: 4MB


With the cost of the Internet over this side of the Pacific, I'm always trying to improve my productivity online, and to lower online time. Whenever I saw an interesting page to read I always used the Save As function in MSIE3 to read it later (over here the net ticks at 2.5 cents a minute so be grateful y'all over there!); while that worked for individual pages or maybe a set with a few links, it'll be crazy to do that say, for an online book, with 10 chapter each with 10 subchapters of their own.

I never suspected there was any other way to do it until one of those ProStream (reviewed somewhere here too) new software messages caught my eye - a software to download a whole site onto the harddisk for later online reading. As you probably would predict, I quickly hightailed my way over to the nearest Websearcher I could find.

This was the first http offline reader I found, at a reasonable size of 3MB zipped up (there were smaller ones but I'm always suspicious if it looks too small) and downloaded it with glee. Unfortunately with the condition of the lines here it took me three attempts at least (I hate isps which hang up half-way, don't you?) but at least it finally appeared on my hard disk.

It has the standard stuff (as I found out later after downloading a couple more). The most important standard features: * A variable update frequency (hourly / weekly etc.)* * Stay on-site (not to venture to links on other servers) * Level depth (how many levels of links to download, 1 being the page itself only and 2 being the page itself, plus any other links on it, and so on) * Categoriser (groups downloaded pages into categorical folders)

Now some stuff that makes it more unique: * A "Never" update frequency (for pages which aren't meant for news and all) * A self-hiding toolbar running independently of the program itself * A separate file manager * Comprehensive download status * An import / export function

That said, there was one small bug: it didn't work (for me anyway). The file manager had some problem of not being able to save my folders, so as it turned out after downloading a whole motherlode of a site, I couldn't even view them. Unfortunately I have a short temper for shareware programs, so after around 5 uninstalls and re-installations with different computer configurations, I decided to scrap it (at one point it started giving invalid commands and all that). However, if it had worked, it would have been one heck of a program. Maybe the best.

(I'm rating it according to the assumption that it had worked; I saw enough
of it to see what it could do if it really did.)

User Friendly (Really easy to use)
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Betanik

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