SurfSaver 6.1

IE users can save and search your Web wanderings offline with a couple of clicks per page or Web site. (Courtesy: Desktop Pipeline)

February 17, 2006

2 Min Read
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SurfSaver, from askSam Systems, does just two things, which sets it apart in this age of do-it-all PC search tools. First, when you right-click on a Web page, SurfSaver lets you save the page to a folder of your choice. Second, you can search all SurfSaver folders for matches to your terms.

It sounds simple and easy, and just about everything about SurfSaver 6.1, from its quick, simple installation to its clean implementation as a sidebar in Internet Explorer, supports that impression.

Users of SurfSaver 6.0 may not find the upgrade to 6.1 worthwhile, even though the upgrade is free. However, for $9.95 users of earlier versions may appreciate the improved user interface and the ease by which you can create folders from the SurfSaver’s toolbar and organize saved pages into folders.

The downside is that in the eight years since SurfSaver 1.0 first appeared, the program has grown a tad long in the tooth. My evaluation of the program surfaced a number of inconveniences that ranged from small to larger. Examples:s

  • It's not a Microsoft world anymore, but Internet Explorer 5.5 and above is still the only browser that SurfSaver integrates with -- no Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, or Opera.

  • In dialog boxes, I found that pressing the Backspace key did nothing. To delete characters, I had to use the left-arrow key, then the Delete key. A program that's gone through six major versions should at least support the Windows UI conventions by now.

  • Sometimes, the SurfSaver pane in my Microsoft Internet Explorer window, which displays folders, disappeared. Restarting the browser was the only solution I found.

  • Somewhat commendably, SurfSaver saves everything. Some competitors lose content. But at the same time, I didn’t enjoy responding to dialog boxes such as whether I want to install potentially dangerous plug-ins every time I return to a Web page offline through SurfSaver after I had repeatedly rejected the plug-in during my online visit to the Web page.

Of greatest concern, sometimes SurfSaver’s search feature failed to find matches for terms that I confirmed were there by manual inspection. Because efficiently finding anything on my computers is part of my livelihood I wouldn’t bet the farm on SurfSaver. At the same time, its free trial period and modest cost may make it an excellent choice for some people, especially on a family PC.

J.W. Olsen has been a full-time IT author, columnist, editor, and freelance book project manager with more than 1000 editorial credits since 1990, and has provided computer, Web site, and editorial services to other clients since 1985. He welcomes feedback via the response form at www.jwolsen.com.

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