From the October 17, 1997 ComputorEdge (Issue 1542)
By Jim Trageser
Filez is a new search engine dedicated to finding downloadable computer files on the Web. Based right here in San Diego, Filez claims to have a database of 75 million different files for all kinds of systems: the pull-down menu on their site lists Windows NT, 95 and 3.X, Mac, DOS, OS/2, Amiga, Atari, Newton and Unix as operating systems. You can also search by type of file: cursors, fonts, sounds, games.
It's fast and deep, but not always accruate. For instance, since my hard drive crashed on my backup system last month, I've been trying to find a copy of Atari's freeware mouse accelerator. I searched for it here, and got about 20 hits, but some included a Windows designator in fact, they were drivers to allow some Atari computers to use PC mice. A little confusing.
And depending on the time of day, it can be a little slow getting search results to you.
In terms of the depths of files available, it's pretty unlimited. But that's because, as with many file search engines (other popular ones include www.shareware.com, www.download.com and www.windows95.com), the files you download are not on the search site: You simply are hotlinked to public ftp sites elsewhere. Which when you think about it is a pretty darn useful service most of us will never have the time to search for all the files available in cyberspace; much better to have an advertising-driven search site do it for us.
Filez is fast, it's effective, and best of all, it's local.
If you like volleyball and can get past the annoying background music at this site, you'll probably find it pretty interesting. This is a local company that makes and sells volleyball sportswear no different than what the golf companies are doing for their sport.
The site is colorful, fun and, as mentioned, noisy with Muzak. The webmaster, Robert Lucas, has done a nice job with frames, linking you to various other volleyball-oriented sites (including USA Volleyball, Olympic Volleyball, Volleyball Worldwide, Association of Volleyball Professionals, etc.), a volleyball news group if you have a news reader in your Web browser, and a couple of pages that give college and pro volleyball scores and results.
As I've mentioned in this column several times, I've been busy most of the past year building the Web site for the North County Times newspaper. It's tougher than I thought, and for a variety of reasons we decided to go with our online arts and entertainment guide, Preview, first. We went live with Preview in mid-September, and it can be found at the above URL.
Obviouly, I'm not going to review it ... but you can. First five to send me a review good or bad, so long as you don't work for the competition -- will run in a future column. E-mail responses to email@example.com.
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