With so much superfluous junk posted on the Web, ferreting out useful information requires a lot of time and patience. Although search engines are helpful, embedded meta tags can make your search results out-of-date. IntelliSeek's BullsEye Pro 1.5, a client/server-based search engine, can end your futile searches.
After you pop in BullsEye Pro's CD-ROM and click through the setup dialog boxes, you're ready to start searching. The software lets you tell BullsEye Pro which engines to prowl the Web with. By default, the software uses 39 search engines. You might expect a search that uses 39 search engines to degrade system performance. However, BullsEye Pro uses meta-searching (i.e., it simultaneously hits multiple search engines), which makes it almost as fast as a single search engine query. Although meta-searching can result in duplicate hits and artificial tallies, the software uses intelligent filtering to work around this problem.
BullsEye Pro lets you create filters for customized search requests. The program uses the default search channels to let you run requests through several filters, such as Health Answers, Business Finder, and Job Finder. For more personalized searches, you can set filters to sort through dates or relevance rankings. Another useful filter is the Eliminate bad links option, which removes any invalid pages that the search engines find.
To test BullsEye Pro's search skills, I created a test search template to find information about how to trick Windows NT 4.0 into using DirectX 5.0. I selected the Search the Whole Web option and used the Query Wizard to fine-tune my request. The Query Wizard prompted me to enter terms that must exist in the search results (e.g., NT and multimedia), terms that the search results must contain at least one of (e.g., DirectX), and terms that I don't want in the search results (e.g., all Windows 9x derivatives). I clicked OK, and 30 seconds later the software returned 91 matches that it rated for relevancy.
After you complete a search, BullsEye Pro can email the results to you or save the results for future reference by exporting them in HTML, ASCII, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). In addition, the software uses a two-pane design to let you annotate each hit on the results list, as Screen 1 shows. BullsEye Pro also presents brief summaries of returned hits, which helps you find the pages in the results list that contain the exact information you need.
BullsEye Pro also includes BullsEye Tracker, a tracking program for researchers. BullsEye Tracker saves you time by automating the search process. For example, to set BullsEye Tracker to retrieve the latest news about Windows 2000 (Win2K), create a new job, define the search engines you want to use, specify how often you want BullsEye Tracker to run the job, and set the software to email the latest headlines to your inbox.
Aside from the fact that BullsEye Pro and BullsEye Tracker consume a total of 14MB of RAM, the only real problem I discovered was that BullsEye Pro's powerful features are hidden. Although you can perform simple searches as soon as you install the software, the interface lacks a useful toolbar, which makes discovering the product's advanced features difficult.
Despite this drawback, BullsEye Pro is the most powerful and thorough search engine I've encountered. The software retails for $149, which makes IntelliSeek's solution cost-competitive with other search engines on the market.
|BullsEye Pro 1.5|
Contact: IntelliSeek * 513-772-6900
Price: $149 for BullsEye Pro and BullsEye Tracker
System Requirements: Pentium processor or better, Windows NT or Windows 9x, 16MB of RAM, 15MB of hard disk space (50MB recommended), 256-color display adapter, 28.8Kbps Internet connection