Sarasota PC Monitor

WebWhacker 5.0

A Software Review
by Vinny La Bash
Member of the Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group, Inc.

WebWhacker 5.0 is an offline browsing and searching tool that lets you save Websites on your hard disk or CD ROM, and organize them into categories. Developed by Blue Squirrel Software, WebWhacker 5.0 downloads entire Web pages or sites, including text, images, and other objects. It then stores them on your local desktop machine, server or removable media such as CDs and ZIP disks. Sites that are downloaded or "Whacked" provide a locally stored mirror image of the original Web site, which can be navigated, viewed, annotated, and searched locally with a standard Web browser. After downloading, you can search using WebWhacker's search tools.

WebWhacker can be useful for the road warrior who wants to examine a Web site while waiting at the airport, or to anyone who needs to give a Web presentation where Internet access is limited or not available. You can download favorite Web pages or whole Websites directly to your own laptop, hard drive, desktop, zip disk, CD or storage device for distribution. You can then browse the sites as if they were online, and at highly accelerated speeds. Offline browsing eliminates waiting for Web pages to load. It doesn't matter if you own a Windows based PC or a Mac. WebWhacker happily runs on either platform.

We all know that the Web has become a powerful resource. At the same time, it can be a dangerous playground for children. Any concerned parent can use WebWhacker to download only the information he or she decides is appropriate for children.

To understand what WebWhacker does, you need to know that every page viewed on the Web is "requested" by your browser through the electronic protocols established by the World Wide Web. These "requested" pages are then sent by the Website to your computer screen. Any graphics on the page are sent by the site as separate files. The time needed to do this depends on the number of files, their size, and the speed of the connection. Every time you click a link, the whole process starts all over again.

Let WebWhacker transfer material to your PC hard drive while you do something else. After downloading, browse the material as if you were online. Everything happens a lot faster, and your dependency on reliable Web connections is reduced.

Don't be concerned about working with out-of-date information. You can tell WebWhacker to check for new or revised material at regular intervals. Once you set the desired interval, the program scans the site or sites automatically, and updates information as needed.

Like all silver linings, there is one cloud that needs to be addressed. You have to understand the tree structure that Windows based machines use to store information in order to accurately configure WebWhacker. Tell it how many levels deep to transfer. Then tell it if you want it to access links to other sites and transfer them too.

Once you get past this, you can use a powerful and handy AutoRun feature that automatically opens a browser, and launches a Web page of your choice when the CD is inserted into a CD-Rom drive. This allows complete parental control over what Web content children can access.

You may also customize a CD for distribution to customers, prospects, clients or anyone you choose. Download a Web page and edit the HTML in your favorite editor including Notepad, Homesite, Front Page, etc. This makes it simple to change or remove text and graphics.

Blue Squirrel, 686 E. 8400 South , Sandy, UT 84070, Voice: 801-352-1551, Fax: 801-912-6032, $49.95. :

Copyright 2002. This article is from the August 2002 issue of the Sarasota PC Monitor, the official monthly publication of the Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group, Inc., P.O. Box 15889, Sarasota, FL 34277-1889. Permission to reprint is granted only to other non-profit computer user groups, provided proper credit is given to the author and our publication. We would appreciate receiving a copy of the publication the reprint appears in, please send to above address, Attn: Editor. For further information about our group, email: Web:

The Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group, Inc. has 1,300+ members and was established in 1982. We are members of the Assoc. of PC User Groups (APCUG), the Florida Assoc. of PC Users Groups, Inc., and we are members of the America Online Ambassador Program.

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