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A forgotten hero in Desktop Search

When every other company is busy proving themselves in the desktop search market, there is one great piece of ancient software which seems to be lost in the hype. AltaVista Discovery, from Altavista whose assets were acquired by Terra Lycos, finds little or no mention on the net though It was the first tool which introduced the concept of desktop search through a toolbar which could be docked to the top of the screen.

AltaVista Discovery features Active Setup (a 328K file), which requires that you maintain your Internet connection after you double-click on avdsetup.exe. AltaVista Discovery brings the power of Compaq's AltaVista Internet service to your own personal files. It allows you to quickly find files and mail messages anywhere on your PC's local disks, and on any shared network disk to which you are connected. Using the same interface, you can perform searches of the Internet with Compaq's AltaVista Internet service. AltaVista Discovery Version 1.1 extends the functionality of indexing and searching your hard drive to indexing and searching your favorite Web sites.

By simply adding your favorite Web sites to the built-in Web Site Indexer you can index them as often as you specify, and search for up-to-date results in the same way that you can search your local hard drives or AltaVista Internet Service. You can also explore your favorite Web sites using a site map created by the Web Site Indexer. Using a built-in Web Site Navigator (created using Inxight Software's Hyperbolic Tree for Java), you can see which pages are new, modified and deleted since the previous index, and can view the pages in your browser by clicking on the map.

Download the app here.

CNet has a related newsstory "AltaVista debuts Discovery search app"
AltaVista today launched AltaVista Discovery, an application that allows users to search the Web, email, and other document and file types using a customizable toolbar that attaches to the browser. As previously reported, the free add-on also highlights key search words within a Web page, summarizes the content on a Web page, and helps users find similar sites, among other features.

AltaVista Discovery is available as a free download from the search site. It utilizes application distribution and management technology from push firm Marimba, summarization technology from Inxight
, Inso's filtering technology, and Teragram's language processing technology.