Published: Wednesday 15 July 1998

Mama knows best
Information, as we all know, is something that the Internet simply overflows with. The problem, once you are "surfing" through those gigabytes in cyberspace, is to find what you are actually looking for.

There are programmes called "search engines" that help you do just that, though most of these have their weaknesses. So here is some news that all "surfers" will welcome with their arms open.

The "mother" of all search engines is here, and you, too, can access its nifty page at http:// This submits your search to six of the bigger search engines at the same time, formatting the query into the correct syntax for each engine.

The list of responses you get is usually more tightly focused and shorter than you would from just one or two of these search engines.

Monk-ing around
And if you are quite sick of having to use special syntax in your searches, try hitting

This benign monk -- albeit in his electronic incarnation -- allows you to ask questions in plain, simple English instead of those often-frustrating "+", "-" and the numerous other frequently-inexplicable symbols and signs.

Some search engines index much more of the Web than the others. You can find out which has visited most pages at This site ranks and rates the bigger search engines available on the Net.

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