TUCOWS ARTICLE

Dealing with junk email, Saving sites to your local system and more

Reviews of Zaep Antispam, SurfSaver, Directory Opus and more
Published: May 24, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan

Zaep, by RhinoSoft.Com is a program that deals with SPAM, which is the Internet term for junk email. The program utilizes what's known as a "challenge-response" system. What's that? Well, the first thing you have to realize is that basically all the spam you get is sent by software programs. Yes, people program the software and gather the email addresses, but they use bulk-emailing software to send out millions of emails. And that's where Zaep comes in. When someone not known to you sends you an email Zaep sends an email back. That's the challenge. The email tells then that you've implemented this system and that they can either go to a URL (universal resource locator) or respond to the email. The catch is that since nearly all spam is sent by robotic software, there's not going to be any response to the challenge. And all of this takes place without your intervention. Sweet! Zaep works in the background and keeps trying to contact those that have sent you email. After a certain period of time with no responses, it deletes the original email and adds that address to the "Black List." If a real person writes, all they have to do is respond to the challenge the program sends and they'll never have to do that again. They get added to your "White List". You can also add all of the people in your address book to the white list and those people will never even see a challenge. There's also a database you can add to that contains subject words. So, for example, if I want to receive any email that has Tucows in the subject, I can just add it to the subject list and never think about it again. Really slick. Since I started using Zaep, 22 days ago, I haven't gotten any spam. I haven't missed any emails I wanted to get and Zaep has deleted thousands of junk emails with no intervention from me. That's a huge savings in time. I get a lot of spam, in part because I have a number of email addresses and I've been online a long time. Many of the other anti-spam programs I tried were good, but most required that I manually approve emails, or put thing on the black list. I found that I was spending about two hours a day just dealing with spam. Not anymore! Zaep has worked so well for me and I'm so pleased with it that I've added my wifes email address and a few more of mine to the Zaep account list. Zaep is relatively easy-to-use and the company, RhinoSoft.Com, has excellent technical support. They also have an impressive array of online help that will answer your questions. Zaep comes in two versions - a "Standard" version which is more for personal use and also a "Professional" version that can be used to eliminate the spam on multiple email addresses. Perfect for a business. I'm so impressed by Zaep that it's not only a Pick, but it's a Dr. File Finder Favorite and there aren't very many of those. So, if you have a problem with SPAM you might want to consider giving Zaep a try. It has my highest recommendation -- Well done!
SurfSaver Pro, by askSam Systems is a nifty add-on for your Web browser! And if you surf the 'net as much as I do, I think you'll like this program. What's it do? Well, it lets you save Web pages, on-the-fly, to your hard disk. Speaking for myself, I'm busy and often don't have time to read everything I see on the Internet. At least not right at the moment I see it. And that's where SurfSaver comes in. For example, you're on a news page, but you don't have time to read it. Simply have SurfSaver Pro save it, and then you can read it later. And SurfSaver Pro saves everything -- all the graphics and all the links. It can be weeks from now and you can still have access to a news story you saved. Very slick! The program lets you archive anything you want off the Internet -- news, game tips, recipes, sale items. You name it! SurfSaver Pro, as I said earlier, is an add-on for your Web browser. It becomes a part of your browser toolbar, so it's always right at hand. And what it's really doing is creating a database of Web pages right on your computer. And a database that you can easily search! The search feature is extremely powerful. You can search for text, like "News". Or, you can search on a range of dates, like November 1, 2004 through November 22, 2004. You can also use Boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT. Search by the Web URL (Universal Resource Locator), or a list of keywords. SurfSaver makes it easy to find exactly what you want. And besides being great for everyday things, SurfSaver is wonderful for anyone who's doing research. Think about it. Go out, find what you're looking for, and save it all to your hard disk. It's all there, waiting for you to read, to print, to search, and more! Nothing could be easier.SurfSaver Pro, by askSam Systems, is a powerful tool the becomes a part of your Web browser. It lets you store the contents of Web pages right on your computer. At the same time, it has the power of a database and it lets you search, and find, exactly what you're looking for. The power of the search function is impressive. I'd say that SurfSaver Pro is a handy tool for anyone and it's a must-have tool for anyone who's doing research! I've looked at a lot of "browser add-ons", but this is one that has become a permanent part of my browsers. If you're busy, or doing research of any kind, take a good look at SurfSaver Pro! I give it my highest recommendation!
Directory Opus, by GP Software, Inc. is the most full-featured file manager that I've ever used. I'll make it easy on myself and start out by saying that I can't possibly talk about all of the programs many features in one, short, review. This is a program that you have to see, and try, in order to appreciate, but I'll touch on just some of the high points. To begin with, the interface is intuitive and easy-to-use and that makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. It's a perfect replacement for Windows Explorer and gives you so much control over your files. The program offers full support for ZIP files, so you don't need any other program to work with compressed files. And one of my favorite features in the "Viewer Pane" that lets you view all kinds of files without having to load them in their native application. I love it for peeking into Word documents, graphics files, Excel spreadsheets, text files, PDF documents and more. Very slick!Directory Opus also has built-in FTP support that's very cool. When it's time to "publish" this review I'll upload it to my review site using the built-in FTP function. And it's so easy, it's like working with another "drive" -- drag files from your PC to your FTP site and drop it, all from within Directory Opus. Another favorite feature is that virtually everything is configurable. That's right, you can configure the toolbars, the menus, even hotkeys. So, you don't like the toolbars that come with the program? No big deal, just configure them to be how you want them. The ability to make a program do what you want it to do is important, and this program is dazzling with all the things you can configure. In fact, it even has its own command language so you can create your own commands and functions. Now that is what I call configurability! And there's so much more. For example, the program includes special support for all of your digital photos and digital images in general. You can "see" all of the hidden little details like aperture, distance, shutter speed, and more. Excellent! Directory Opus by GP Software, is, in my opinion, the most powerful file manager available. It's range of features, functions, and configurability put it on a level above all the rest. From configurable menus and toolbars, to built-in ZIP, FTP, and file viewing, it just doesn't get any better than this. You can take the program "as is" or you can literally make it be whatever you want it to be. It has amazingly powerful search functions, configurable hot keys, and so much more. This is one program you owe it to yourself to try. I give it my highest recommendation.
Hx - In the early days of DOS, there were no "file managers." You were the file manager and you managed things from a DOS prompt. As there were more and more files, some software authors started to create file managers that would let you do things more easily. The best DOS era file manager was, in my opinion, Hard Disk Director by Dan Baumbach of Canyon Software. In the Windows era that program became Drag And File and then Power File. Personally, since the first file manager came out, I have always used one. I'll use Windows Explorer on a friends machine if I have to, but I try to convince all of them to buy a file manager. A real file manager. The things that can be done with a product like Directory Opus are really quite amazing, and 20 years ago I'd have never have believed it. Of course 20 years ago my computer had a 20 megabyte hard disk and I kept everything I needed -- file manager, communications program, database, text editor, and lots more, on about half of that. Now, there are many programs that are bigger than 20 megabytes. My how times have changed. -- -- Doc
HotBot Desktop Toolbar, by Lycos, Inc. is a FREE product that lets you search for things on your computer. Search your own computer files just like you search the Web. The program puts a handy toolbar right in Internet Explorer so it's easy to access. Using the toolbar you can search for files, email that you've done in Outlook or Outlook Express, the Web, a page, RSS feeds, and more. All of your search results are displayed in a "pane" that runs along the side which means you can keep them there and easily refer to them while you work in your browser. One unique feature is that HotBot doesn't automatically index anything, but rather lets you tell it where to search and what file types to include. This approach is great if you know exactly where and what you want to search. The program is easy-to-use, has an intuitive interface, and gives you a number of configurable options. You can use it with Word, PDF, Excel, and other file types. A feature that was impressive to me was that it lets you add additional file types for it to index. So, for example, I added HTML, HTM, PHP, and a few others. Cool. And, the program highlights your search term so you can find it easily in the results. HotBot is a neat search tool that's quite different from the others. Showing the results in a side pane lets you work without losing your search results. The program indexes the folders and file types that you want which will be an appealing feature to many. Your search results are clear, concise, and easy-to-read. And you can search everything from files on your own computer to your Internet "history". So, if you're looking for a way to make finding things on your computer a bit easier, this may be what you're looking for. Check it out!
Dr. File Finder Quick Picks
Dr. File Finder Quick PickFile Notes Organizer 3 is a slick program that can help you to get the files on your computer organized. Heck, it can even help you to know what important files on your computer are! Utilizing an Explorer type interface it lets you catalog images, text files, documents, and lots more. You can actually write note so you easily remember what a file is. And the program lets you create notes for programs not only on your hard disk, but on removable media like CDs, ZIP disks, and more. I'm impressed by the functionality of it especially when our computers seem to house more and more files. I'll be doing a full review as soon as possible, but don't wait for me. Check it out for yourself!
Dr. File Finder Quick PickDesktop Weather is probably the most complete weather software I've looked at. I guess that's to be expected since it's offered by the Weather Channel. You can see your local weather, have easy access via a tray icon, and even get local video forecasts. I personally bought the Platinum version which is an inexpensive yearly subscription. I like the fact that when I'm sitting here at a computer all day I can still know what's going on outside. It also lets you have "severe weather alerts" so you'll know is a tornado, a hurricane, or a blizzard is on the way. The program simply gives you a wealth of information that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. I'll be getting to my full review, but go ahead and check it out.
That brings us to a close for this week. I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about these Picks and Quick Picks. And if you did, tell your friends to drop by to read about them for themselves. Before I leave, however, I have to answer a question I received numerous emails about. "What are the numbers on the title line of your Picks? Really pretty simple -- it's the year and the week of the year. So, for this week you'll see "Dr. File Finder's Picks 2005-21" because it's the 21st week of 2005. Helps me to keep track of things and makes it easier for you too. Anyway, I'll be back next week with more great programs to tell you about. And don't forget to vote here on Tucows for the SIAF People's Choice Awards and can do that right from HERE! Till next week, have a wonderful weekend, be safe when you surf, and happy downloading.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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