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DiCheetal Searchelerator ™ - Web Edition

Running with Cheetahs

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How Does This Thing Work??

Contents

  1. What's It For?
  2. Just the Basics
  3. Favs and Why They Matter
  4. Even Trickier Tricks

1. What's It For?

DiCheetal is a web Searchelerator ™ (search accelerator) that lets you produce targeted search results 22 times faster* than ever before. That's a fancy way of saying it helps you get what you want more quickly than any search engine alone can.

How can it do this? By making it far, far easier to create searches that get you exactly what you're looking for. Look at it this way. If you want to find information about a movie like Top Gun, you can just type the title into your favorite search engine, but you'll get some 71,400,000 results pulled from sites ranging from imdb.com to Joe Schmoe's "Why I Hate Your Favorite Movie" blog. You want to wade through all that? We don't think so. And the more specialized your search, the more trouble you're likely to have finding what you want.

All search engines give you ways to make more targeted (read "better") searches. But these are often complex and cumbersome, and are not used by most people most of the time. That's where DiCheetal comes in.

It allows you to store your favorite websites and organize them into groups. You search looking only at those sites. Results come from your favorite search engine and are displayed in your web browser, just as if you had done the search there to begin with. But DiCheetal does the hard work of building an advanced search for you. It saves you a ton of time and frustration, because you're only looking where you want to look and doing so without having to know how to tell the search engine to do it. A Top Gun search targeting just three major movie review sites returns only 151,000 results. That's only about one five hundredth of the untargeted blizzard! Fewer, better results means you're more likely to find what you want on the first page of the first search.

And if you want to search the whole web, well, you still can. You don't have to use any of your favorites if you don't want to. But even then we do something neat for you: you can run your search on up to five search engines with a single click!

The cheetah is the fastest land animal. DiCheetal is the fastest cloud animal!

* Our "22 times faster" claim is based on an analysis of how much typing you have to do in DiCheetal vs. in a regular search engine to get targeted results. Obviously we aren't making the search engine run faster. We can't do that and don't need to. Where we save you time is in making it far easier to create targeted search queries in the first place, so you'll use them frequently and end up with a smaller, better crop of results to choose from. Actually, the more sites you have in the favorites group that you use for a search, the more time we save you. So you may often be searching way more than 22 times faster.

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2. Just the Basics

The DiCheetal window is very simple. It looks like this:

The DiCheetal Search Panel

Want to do a search? Type your search terms into the search terms box and click the magnifying glass. It's that easy. Your search results will open in a new browser tab. If you have more than one search engine checked, you'll get a new tab for each checked browser. If you run another search, the same tabs will be reused, which keeps things tidy.

We give you the five most popular search engines to start with: bing, Yahoo!, Google, Baidu, and Ask. You can search one of them, several of them, or all five of them at once. Just check the boxes for the search engines you want to use. Each result will be displayed in a separate browser tab or window, depending on your browser settings and capabilities. (We recommend a browser that provides tabs and is configured to use them.)

Here's what it would look like if you were searching for information on Albert Einstein using both bing and Google:

The DiCheetal Search Panel

Of course, you'll get all kinds of results for that. What if you wanted to only look for this information on Wikipedia? Well, you can enter a site into the domain name box, like this:

The DiCheetal Search Panel

Now when you search, you'll only get results for Albert Einstein from Wikipedia. And you don't have to know how to tell bing and Google that that's what you want! DiCheetal handles that for you.

Notice that the site name is green. That means you have a good domain name entered. While you're typing, the text will be red until DiCheetal sees that you've entered a valid domain name. (Um, okay, that's helpful. But it doesn't mean it's the right domain name, or even that it's a site that actually exists. It only means you have what looks like a valid domain name, something like xyz.com or abc.def.org. Well, we can't do everything for you!)

By the way, you don't have to type to use a domain name. You can copy a URL from your browser address box and paste it into DiCheetal's domain name box, and it will figure out the domain name for you!

"Okay," you say, "but I search Wikipedia all the time. I don't want to have to enter it every time." Well guess what: you don’t! You can add Wikipedia to your favorites list (favs for short). That's the subject of the next section...

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3. Favs and Why They Matter

DiCheetal wouldn't have much of a claim to fame if it didn't help you get to your search results faster and easier than you could by just using a search engine. That's why your Favs list is so important. With it, you can not only quickly and easily limit your search to just one site, you can create lists of sites and run searches against them.

We don't know who you are or what you like to search for, but just imagine this. Suppose you're into science fiction role playing games, and suppose there are maybe ten websites you regularly visit to find out about your favorite games, gamer organizations, and the like. You could go to them one at a time while hunting for information on a particular topic. Or you could turn the hunt over to an expert hunter: DiCheetal.

At the bottom of the Dicheetal web page, you'll find three panels. Each of these can be expanded and collapsed using the button in its upper right corner. To save space, we show them collapsed to start with. Now look at the middle panel, the one called "Favorites." If you click the button to expand it, this is what you'll see:

The DiCheetal Favorites Panel

This is the Favorites Organizer. It shows you two lists: Targets and Groups. The drop-down list on the Search panel lists your sites and groups so you can actually use them. Here in the Favorites Organizer, you can add and delete sites, add and delete groups, and shuffle sites around between groups.

We'll tell you how to do all that in a moment, but first, notice that the targets list has a checkbox in front of each domain name. These let you tell DiCheetal to either show or hide each target in the drop-down list in the Search panel. You might only want to show targets that you haven't added to a group, for example. In that case, you can uncheck all the targets that you've placed into groups. You'll probably find this helpful as you add more and more targets to more and more groups. It will keep the drop-down list from becoming too long.

Okay, so let's say you want to add a new target. Just type the domian name into the Target Name box and click the + button. You can also copy/paste a target name from your browser's address box here. DiCheetal will figure out the domain name for you.

Want to add a new group? Type the name into the Group Name box (it can be whatever you want, so make it meaningful to you) and click the + button.

Want to delete a target or group? Highlight it and click the red x button next to the appropriate list.

Okay, so you created a group. How do you put targets into it? Simple. Highlight the target you want, then highlight the group you want to put it into, then click the >> button. You can put one target into more than one group.

That's all there is to it. We give you a small set of targets and groups to get started. You can use them, modify them, or delete them to suit your tastes. All of your groups and any targets you have checked will appear in the drop-down list on the Search panel. Select one to use it for a search. Simplicity itself!

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4. Even Trickier Tricks

DiCheetal would be quite powerful as it is, but sometimes you might want to do even more with it. And that's where those other two panels, Default Search Parameters and Search Engine Preferences, come in. If you open up the first of these, this is what you'll see:

The Default Search Parameters panel

You most likely have a search engine or two that you like to use all the time. Well, you can tell DiCheetal about it here. Just check the ones you want DiCheetal to use by default and you're all set. You can also select a default Fav if you want. When you're done making these selections, click the green button to save your preferences.

The last panel, Search Engine Preferences, lets you specify search engines other than the five we've built in. You may never use this, but if you do, it's pretty simple. Here's what it looks like:

The DiCheetal Search Engine editor

Click the + button to add a new search engine. This clears the form so you can enter settings for the new engine. Or you can select an existing search engine to modify it. When you do this, the form will be filled in with its current settings.

The form might look a bit scary, but the instructions in the yellow box will tell you how to do enter a new search engine the easy way. Basically, do a two-word search in the engine you want to add, then copy and paste the resulting URL into the Search Engine Base URL box. DiCheetal will figure out the base URL and the search terms parameter name for you. You supply the name (which is used internally by the software), the display name (what shows up next to the checkbox for the search engine) and the color for the display name. (Click in the color box to get a graphical color picker; you don't need to understand the code that is displayed, although if you do you can enter the code directly.)

When you're done adding or editing engine settings, click the green button in the bottom right corner of the panel to save them.

You can also delete a search engine by highlighting it and clicking the red x button, or you can shuffle the order in which search engines appear in the Search panel by highlighting an engine and using the up and down arrow buttons. Shuffle around the engines all you want, then click the green button next to the list to save the order.

One thing to remember: DiCheetal shows you five search engines at a time. You can have more of them in this list, but only the first five will be used.

And that, believe it or not, is pretty much everything you need to know about DiCheetal. We hope you enjoy using it. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement!

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