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4. Internet Search Engines

I frequently use a Search Engine to retrieve helpful or necessary information from the 'net. These engines catalogue pages from commercial, personal and academic websites, as well as Mailing Lists and the like.

There are several good search engine. It is worthwhile becoming very familiar with the operational details of at least one non-directory engine to maximize the efficiency and efficacy of your search efforts. You probably already have a favorite - I like Google.com, and will discuss it in a little more detail.

The key to a successful search is to use a good set of keywords. If you're getting a specific error message, you might search for its text. Otherwise, you need to find a few relevant words describing your problem. Then, by trial and error, you should be able to find some pertinent information.

4.1. Google.com

This engine has several novel features that are described in its Google Technology page. In particular, the engine often returns the most useful pages first; in fact, I have often found that the first listed page contains the information I need. Because it caches web pages, it is relatively fast at displaying requested items. It has a so-called GoogleScout™ feature, activated by clicking on the "similar pages" links, that provides additional relevant links with each item returned.