A Personal Search Engine for the Web and Your Computer

Dynago DART combines a crawler, search engine and content analyzer that lets you organize, re-use and discover new patterns in your own personal information.

DART is a desktop-based product that’s really useful for deep research (as opposed to quick and dirty searching). Like Copernic, DART is a metasearch engine that analyzes and re-ranks documents based on your query.

But like a search engine crawler, the program downloads the pages to your own computer, storing them in “libraries” for future use. The program also allows you to create powerful search filters including content, page size and web site address.

The program automatically extracts the most relevant concepts from documents in libraries, and presents them as abstracts. You control the level of detail in abstracts through different levels of “zoom” on documents. Core concepts are highlighted, with darker highlighting showing areas more related to your search keywords.

When you begin a new search, you start by creating a new library. You have four choices to begin. You can run a traditional internet meta search or a “deep” internet search. This isn’t a search of the invisible web. Instead, the program crawls result pages and extracts links from those pages, and crawls those in turn.

You can set the depth of crawl to traverse up to ten levels of hyperlinks from starting pages. This is a great way to get a comprehensive overview of some subjects, but be careful with this — if your results include link-rich pages your results may number in the thousands of pages, all locally stored on your hard disk.

The third option is called auto navigating (crawling) the internet. With this option, you enter starting URLs and set the depth of crawl, rather than using keywords.

Finally, you can run a local search of your own computer for HTML and PDF files, automatically scanning all files or selecting files manually.

For an Internet search enter your keywords (you can enter up to a full page of text if you like), and set a few more options that vary based on the type of search you’re doing, and the search and analysis process begins.

The process is slow — the program is downloading pages returned in search results and analyzing them at the same time, rather than just fetching results from the engines. But the wait is generally worth it, particularly when you use the refinement tools on previews of result pages.

These tools appear at the bottom of the result window. Click “summary” and you’ll see an abstract of a web page. Arrows let you set the “zoom” level of the summary from 2-100%. Click “highlights” and the core concepts related to your query are highlighted on the page. A “visual abstract” shows you related keywords, grouped into conceptually related categories.

You can click check boxes next to the related keywords that are most relevant and reanalyze your current search results, query other libraries on your computer, or re-run the search on the internet.

DART offers many more features that add up to a very powerful tool for the serious researcher. If you’re interested in learning more, the online documentation features an introductory demo, a user guide, FAQ, and useful how-to’s to get the most out of the program.

The program comes in two versions, standard and professional (here’s an overview of the differences and screen shots). DART costs $67.00 for the professional edition and $47.00 for the standard edition.

A free trial of the professional edition is available for download.

DART System Requirements:

Minimum System:
P-II 200MHz or equivalent, 64MB RAM, 100MB HD, IE5 or greater set as the default web browser, Windows 98/Me/XP/NT/2000.

Recommended System:
P-III 500MHz or equivalent, 128MB RAM, 2GB HD, IE5 or greater set as the default web browser, Windows 98/Me/XP/NT/2000.

Note: No Mac or non-windows version available.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

MSN Next to Hook Up with Reuters
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Building a better metasearch engine – DogPile.com
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Suit filed over VeriSign domain redirect
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