You all know about the hits and myths of a Google search. I know I've recently read a detailed 
article on specialty search engines, but in my maximally disorganized paper collection, the 
article has gone to Never never Land. Therefore, when I read about version 1.5 of this software t 
in a Tidbits article by Matt Neuburg, I jumped at the chance to try it out. [Check out 
DEVONagent Rushes In Where Google Fears to Tread, in TidBITS #765/07 Feb 05, at 
http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=07977
]. 
I was especially pleased with Matt's introductory discussion of what I call Google itis, a disease 
I all too often suffer. Quoting Matt,  Finding facts on the Internet is not easy. Google is nice (and 
don t you wish you d bought stock?), but what it gives you is just a list of links. Google alone 
doesn t solve your problem unless the first two or three links happen to consist precisely of a 
complete discussion of exactly the question you had in mind (when you searched), which rarely 
happens. Instead, Google just confronts you with a completely new task, namely, to start visiting 
all those links and perusing them, with hand and eye and brain, hunting for the information you 
want.  
In my experience, even using Google's advanced search features doesn't help much. As Matt 
noted,  The truth is that when you have a question, what you want is not a list of links; what you 
want is content, and in particular, content that answers your question. What if you had an 
application that provided exactly that, by taking the second step for you? Using a search engine, 
it would perform the search, then visit all the top links, download the content, and filter that 
content by relevance and index it so that you could find the particular facts you were looking for, 
quickly and easily. That is what DEVONagent does.  
Working With the Product (In part paraphrased from the users manual) 
Okay, after I dragged the application to my application folder I was ready to start using it. No, I 
didn't, this time around, initially read the manual. I had enough confidence that I understood how 
the software functioned from the summary narratives on the developer's site. I decided a little bit 
of trust in the product was warranted, and I plunged right in. Some of my search experiences are 
reported later in this review. 
To initiate a search with DEVONagent, simply open the application and choose "File > New 
Search..." if necessary, and select a search set from the search field pop up menu (the little 
triangle in the search query field). Then enter the search term(s) you want DEVONagent to look 
for into the search field and click "Start". 
DEVONagent sends your query to one or more search engines, depending on the search settings 
(see manual chapters "Settings" and "Plug ins"). It then collects the results and displays them on 
the "Pages" tab. Then select any of the found pages to display its relevant information as plain 
text in the lower frame. Use the Sort menu to sort the results on any way you need.  
  MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion 
Page 93 
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8 




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