Products Reviews Archive 2002


Offline Explorer Pro Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: ListSoft`s CHOICE
Award: BEST

Web Studio Reviewed by ListSoft

Rating: 5 of 5
Award: COOL
read full review...

Offline Explorer Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: COOL

MetaProducts Offline Explorer (OE) is a Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP program that allows you to download an unlimited number of your favorite Web and FTP sites for later offline viewing, editing or browsing. (HTTPS, RTSP and MMS downloads are supported in Offline Explorer Pro version.)

OE also has many web development features that allow you to easily edit, view, browse or search downloaded Web pages (OE has a built-in internal browser.) One of OE`s strengths is to allow you to select (include or exclude) individual servers, directories and files using keywords. OE is known for its excellent user interface and for being one of the fastest known Web site downloaders available on the market today. Support of industry-standard technologies such as FTP, different proxy servers, Java and VB scripts, Java classes, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS,) Macromedia Flash, XML/XSL/DTD,Table Of Contents (TOC,) Acrobat (PDF,) M3U, AAM files, RealMedia (.SMIL, .RAM, .RPM,) MS NetShow Channel (.NSC,) VRML (.WRL, .WRZ) and cookies plus a built-in HTTP server that allows you to share downloaded files over an Intranet, make Offline Explorer the leader in offline browsing. The export feature allows you to copy downloaded sites to another location in different formats. Among its many awards, Offline Explorer is also a ZDNet 5-star winner

Disk Watchman Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD

Offline Explorer Enterprise Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: ListSoft`s CHOICE
Award: BEST

DeskTool Reviewed by ListSoft

read full review...

Mass Downloader Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: COOL

Nice program for downloading files from the Internet. One of its ineteresting features - it lets your view the content of .zip archives before downloading and, say, download just a specified file from archive...

Also it can resume downloading of partially downloaded files left by other downloaders; work by schedule (you can set different time for each project); break file into pieces and download them in parallel, etc.

StartUp Organizer Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD

Desktop Collection Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: COOL
read full review...

AutoDialogs Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD
read full review...

TrayIcon Pro Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD

Net Activity Diagram Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD

TrayIcon Standard Reviewed by ListSoft

Award: GOOD
Offline Explorer - Brett Burney

Offline Explorer - Brett Burney

Become an “Offline Explorer”

Access to the Internet is mandatory these days but there are still some scenarios where an Internet connection is out of the question. Sure you could use your cell phone as a dial-up modem or something fancy like that, but with a little foresight, you can download complete Web sites and pages on to your laptop and surf them later just like you were on the Net. A handy application called Offline Explorer from MetaProducts Software Corp. in Columbus, Ohio can help you do just that.

A “Time Shifted” Internet Connection

Think of Offline Explorer (OE) as giving you the ability to “time shift” your Internet surfing experience. If you know that you’re traveling and won’t have access to the Internet, you can use OE to download relevant Web pages and sites that you can surf while you’re away from an Internet leash.

For example, when I traveled for Thanksgiving, I had several Web sites that I needed to visit for research. I knew I wasn’t going to have a connection while on the plane and the relatives I was visiting didn’t have much of an Internet connection at all. So before I left home, I used my broadband connection and Offline Explorer to download all the Web pages and sites I needed. Then it was just a matter of launching the application and clicking around like normal when l wanted to surf.

My example sounds wonderful but I have to admit that it did take me a few attempts to get the “perfect” download scenario. I wanted OE to grab all the text on the Web page and only download the images that were stored on the primary Web server where the page was coming from. That way, OE didn’t download all the banner ads and other extraneous material on the page that would get in the way of a smooth surfing experience. It helps to know a little bit about how Web pages and sites work to really tweak Offline Explorer (OE) to perfection.

When you give OE a URL, it goes out on the Internet and grabs the page – as much of it as you want it to pick up. Each URL is called a “Project” although the “Pro” version of OE will allow you to download multiple URLs at once. You can choose to watch the progress of your download or queue up other downloads as you wait.

Once the Project is done, you can see the page in the internal browser which closely mirrors the functions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Depending on your settings, you’ll see all images, links, and text just like the actual Web page. Surfing with a Wizard

When you launch OE, you’ll see a “New Project Wizard” that will walk you through the process of downloading a URL. You can name your Project and then select certain options to customize how everything is downloaded.

If you don’t want to mess with a wizard, you can go the “quick” route and just paste a URL up in the “Address” bar at the top. You can then select how many “levels” you want to go down and click on the download button.

Setting the “levels” is a very important part of a Project’s properties. A “level” refers to how deep that OE will drill down into a Website. If you give OE a Project and say 0 levels, OE will only grab the text and images on that page and nothing else. If you set the level to 1, then OE will grab everything on the URL you gave it, plus everything from the URLs that are linked to the first URL. Level 2 will grab links from the next pages and so on from there.

Storage space can become an issue with OE. All of your Projects need somewhere to live when you download them. That place would be your hard drive. OE stores everything by default in the C:/Download directory but you can change this in OE’s options.

Pickin’ on the Properties

The “Project Properties” box is where you can tweak a download to the nth degree. First you can apply “filters” to the type of files you want to download. For example, you can tell it to only download text files with certain extensions. Under “images” you can even tell OE to download images with specific dimensions only.

Under the “URL Filters” you can tell OE to only download files from specific servers, directories, or protocols. l really liked these options since l could tell OE to only download the files within the starting domain, but to load any file within the available directories. These options suited my purposes perfectly but it took me about 10 tries to get it just right. Once l did get it right, l saved all of my settings as a template which l use for other pages l wanted to download.

Lastly, you can set other options like scheduling or passwords.

Viewing a Masterpiece

Once you launch OE, you’ll see a list of your Projects in the left pane with OE’s internal browser on the right. As l mentioned above, the internal browser works and looks just like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. When you double-click on a Project in the left pane, the URL appears in the internal browser. If you don’t like surfing in the small pane, you can maximize the internal browser to full screen. I preferred this setting because it felt more like surfing the real Internet – plus the text on the screen became easier to read.

The Project pane on the left also doubles as the “Map” pane which allows you to view all of the files that were downloaded for a particular Project. This can be both helpful and interesting if you missed downloading all of the information that you were looking to grab.

After you go through all the hassles of tweaking your download to perfection, OE gives you the option of “exporting” your Projects so that you can share them with others. The coolest option here is the ability to save the files and bundle them to burn on to a CD. You can even have OE create an auto-play function so that anyone who receives the CD can just pop it in and go.

Offline the right way

After years of trying different ways to download Web sites and pages, I’m convinced that I’ve found an excellent solution with OE. I’ve tried saving pages through Internet explorer and even saving pages as Adobe PDF files, but nothing cones close to the power of OE in functionality and ease of use. It truly is the best way to surf when you have to be offline.

Mass Dowloader reviewed by

Quite often figures can lie where download managers are concerned, but there are ways to double-check certain readings. We ran a Network confirmation piece of software to double check the consistency of the kind of figures that Mass Downloader was displaying whilst downloading. Though not the fastest of download managers, Mass Download certainly rated amongst the highest.

One thing that did take us by surprise however was the fact that for one of those rare occasions, we feel that we have actually come across a piece of software, where we almost agree with the developer’s claims that a product is as good as they say it is. Mass Downloader certainly takes some beating as regards consistency of speed. We hardly noticed any sign of erratic changes whilst downloading. This program seemed to use our bandwidth with utmost efficiency.

And as if speed and consistency aren’t good enough! Mass downloader absolutely excels when it comes to stability. This software never once gave us any trouble, no blue screens of death, no messages such as, “This program has caused an illegal error and will be shut down.” Nothing. Just an absolute rock solid Formula 1 pedigree program.

Installation of the software is easy and trouble free. We certainly don’t envisage any problems for the earliest of software users.

The configurations of Mass Downloader are wide and varied, yet easily understandable. The most novice user will soon master the interface, which in actual fact is very informative in itself and an absolute pleasure to use. Registration of the product is a simple cut and paste routine. I do get the impression that this program has been designed and built with both the novice and the advanced user in so much as it’s simple enough to understand yet gives the expert many over ride features for manual use.

I particularly liked the fact that the user has the option to line up downloads, pointing them to different locations, press the Start button and sit back and relax till the goodies come in. We didn’t seem to suffer any resource issues either, meaning we could get on with browsing on our broadband system with minimal fuss or interference.

We even tested Mass Downloader on a small Pentium 166 with a standard 28kbps modem and found our downloads coming in at speeds that Internet Explorer could only dream to match; though resources would be bound to suffer somewhat on this size of system, we wouldn’t let that put you off trying the software, simply because it’s such a pleasure to use. Much nicer to use and faster at downloads than the likes of Download Accelerator and a lot easier to understand than DL Expert.

A real boost to any quality product is the customer support. Fortunately, we had no cause to make a technical enquiry, but when we did put the publisher to the test, as we always do with any new client, the response time was amongst the fastest and most accurate in detail as regards information supplied. We always test this side of customer support anonymously and we never tell the publisher which contact email we use.

Although we didn’t need assistance, we still believe in good customer relations and Meta Products certainly meet our high standards when it comes to communicating information to the novice or advanced user, taking your level of experience into account.

Stability is not an issue with Mass Downloader and installation couldn`t be simpler if someone else was to install the software for you.

The Meta Products web site has recently developed into such a gorgeous area to conduct your purchases, you almost feel like you have missed it when you return.

In compliment to Mass Downloader, the web site is also informative and a pleasure to use, we certainly think it’s worth taking a look at for some other very interesting and useful products in the Meta Products Range.

Mass Downloader is a strong contender for the PC Club Aid Product of the Year Award 2002. A quality product that does what it says it does and backed up by marvelous support.

What more could you ask for?

Product: 10/10
Support: 10/10
Web Site: 10/10
Total: 30/30

Offline Explorer Enterprise review by

Offline Explorer Enterprise review by

Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online
PRODUCT REVIEW - Offline Explorer Enterprise

by Mike Gunderloy

It`s pretty easy to describe what Offline Explorer Enterprise (OEE) does: it connects to a web site and slurps all of the pages from that site to a local computer, so you can browse it at your leisure without connecting to the web again. You can specify how many levels deep you`d like to follow links during the download process, as well as whether to follow links to other sites. The product is multi-threaded and very fast, and can handle up to 100 million pages per download session.

The product also includes an OLE automation interface. You can trigger the download process from an external client, and than manipulate the files that OEE downloads. For example, you might want to create a list of the largest pages and send email with that information.

In addition to handling standard HTML, OEE has an understanding of other formats such as PDF, Flash, XML, and Javascript, and can get links from these sources to follow. The result is a more complete picture of a site than you`d get from HTML alone.

So why might you need this? How about creating your own specialized search engine for web sites you care about? Archiving copies of your own (or your competitors`) websites? Transferring information from an internal web site to a more secure external site? Or maybe you`d just like the latest news from CNN, Reuters, and AP waiting for you when you get up in the morning. OEE can deliver on all of these chores and more.

[This review originally appeared in Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a contributing editor for MCP Magazine. He is the author of numerous books and articles on database and development topics. You can contact Mike about "Offline Explorer Enterprise" at]

Offline Explorer Pro - Title of the Month for January 2002 at

Offline Explorer Pro - Title of the Month for January 2002 at

Congratulations!!! We have selected your program Offline Explorer Pro as our Internet Tools Title of the Month for January 2002 at Your title will be the first title in the Internet Tools directory throughout the month. Your awarded title will also receive a premier listing with a large portion of the page shown being your award. We have reviewed, tested and fully researched your program and have wrote a review which can be found at your award url.
The source for top network software.