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     Net Prospector

Preferences tab

Preferences tab

Preferences tab

This page shows the many different running options you can select for Net Prospector.

  • Searching options
    • Case sensitive search - If checked, case will be considered in matching a page. For the term 'Elvis Presley', if checked 'elvis presley' would not match but 'Elvis Presley' would.
    • Browse matching sites - If checked, each matching site will be browsed in a separate window. This can be interesting to watch while the program runs. But it will use more memory on your computer as each page is downloaded to the browser window.
    • Use Web browser for links - If checked, a web browser will be used to retrieve pages during the search. This is much slower, and can subject your computer to possible viruses on web sites encountered, but it does render pages more accurately in some instances. This is the default when starting a search from a web page (see Search one site/page/list).
    • Control downloads - If files are being searched for, and this is checked, the Net Prospector will download the files found while the search runs. This is handy if you want to see all the found files immediately, but of course the downloaded files take up space. If not checked, you can use the 'Download files found' button on the same 'Preferences' page.
    • Number of sites at once - This controls how many web sites Net Prospector downloads at once to process. The default is 5. Setting it higher may work ok, but beyond about 10, it may not work so well. In this sample it is set to 1, which is OK, but slower.

  • Memory options
    • Low memory restart trigger - If the memory in the computer drops below this number, (MB), the program will restart and continue the search. This is useful as sometimes Net Prospector consumes more memory as it runs. This should recover the memory and allow the search to keep running. Default is 300 MB.
    • Restart every x sites - This will restart the program after it checks a certain number of web sites. This can be used as a safety measure, just to cause the program to clear out memory by restarting. Default is 5000.

  • File download and reporting options
    • Download files found - This button will cause the program to initiate downloading files which have been found in a search. This is not necessary if 'Automatically download files found' is checked, as the program will download files while it runs. You can press this when the program is stopped to force it to start downloading files.
    • Show report - This will initiate making a report to show the files or data which has been found. If the report doesn't show, press the 'Report' tab. It may take a minute or so for the report to run if a lot has been found.
    • Report all files - This makes a report showing all the files in the 'downloads' folder for Net Prospector. For example, if you searched for pictures of the grand canyon, and music files by Mozart, and pdf files for 'taxes', this button would make a report showing all files regardless of what the current search topic is.
    • Report columns - For listings of files, this controls how many columns of files will be shown in the report. Default is 4.

  • Basic program settings
    • Restore default settings - This will restore the default settings which came with Net Prospector for all these options. It won't erase your registration number, so you can use this option any time.
    • Status - This will show 'Registered' if the Net Prospector has been registered. If a demo, it will show how many days left until the demo expires, such as (4 days until expiration)
    • Erase - This will erase the unlock code. The program will revert to whatever status it had when you first installed it. The unlock code will have to be entered again.

  • Exporting and reporting options
    • Report/export filter - If you check 'Sites with data found', you will only see web sites in the reports which had other data you are searching for, such as files or addresses. 'Show all matched sites' will show all sites which matched in the report, even if nothing else of interest was found on the web site.
    • Export duplicate data - If not checked, each, for example, phone number, will only show up once in the reports, even if 10 web sites showed that number. If checked, every site which had that phone number will be shown. Same for files found.
    • Export if address present - If checked, only web sites which had some kind of street address will be exported.

  • Memory use
    • Memory available - shows how much memory in megabytes is free in the computer. This can be used to decide what to set the 'Low memory restart trigger' at.

  • File maintenance
    • Database folder - By pressing this you can open the folder where the databases are kept (each database has 3 files of the same name, except they end in _matched.sdf,_track.sdf, or _contacts.sdf. If you manually delete databases, delete all 3 parts. Reports are also stored here.
    • Files downloaded folder - By pressing this you can open the folder where all downloaded files, such as music files, or whatever you are searching for are kept. Each downloaded file has a matching (.xml) file which describes it. This is used in reporting, if reporting on all files downloaded up to this point by the program. The files names should match except for the suffix, example: 'elvis.mp3' would have 'elvis.xml' listed with it.

  • Restarts
    • Number of restarts allowed - The program automatically restarts and continues the search if it encounters certain errors. It can get into a situation where it keeps restarting due to the same error. For this reason this limit is included. You can set it higher that 5 ( the default ) if you want.

  • More report options
    • Show thumbnail images in reports - If you are searching for 'Raster Image Files', more commonly known as: .jpg or .gif or .png files, the report will automatically show the actual file in a reduced (or enlarged) state if this option is checked.(It is the default) This is helpful so you can see actually what the images show, and choose one that suites you. This only works for image files, as they are the only ones which should be displayable on a web page.
    • Size in Pixels of Thumbnail Images - If you are searching for image files ('Raster Image Files'), and the above option is checked, this option will decide how large to display the images in the report. If you want them very large, you can select, for instance, 300 pixels. The default is 100 pixels.
    • Filters for filenames in report - This is a simple way to limit what files are shown in the report. In this example, any file with 'chok', or 'mobile' or 'twitter' in the name will be shown. This could be a good way to narrow the report down to only pictures of exactly what you want to find. Remember to remove these filter words, or all future file reports will be limited by this.
    • Filters for file captions in report - This is a simple way to limit what files are shown in the report by what caption is shown. This is usually the title of the web page where the file was found. For instance, if you want pictures of Elvis, putting elvis here will limit the display to images from pages whose title contains 'elvis'. This also helps limit the report to only pictures of exactly what you want to find. Remember to remove these filter words, or all future file reports will be limited by this.
    • Report Item Limit - If many items are in the database, because many items have been found, this will limit the report to a small number, so you don't have to wait for Net Prospector to go through the whole database.
    • Download all files found - (not just the ones that have matched your filters for either file names or file captions). In this way you will have the option later of seeing more files that have been found. Otherwise, if checked it will download less files, but they will be the ones you wanted anyway. And it will take less disk space and time.
    • Automatically prepare report of last search at startup - If the last search had a lot of results, preparing a report can take a lot of time. To limit this startup time for Net Prospector, you can uncheck this box. You can run a report later by clicking 'show report'.

Note: Hovering your cursor over any of these options will cause a brief description to be shown.