Friday, August 05, 2005

August 4, 2005

My Simple Searching Searching Suggestions

by Steven Groginsky is the world's most-used search engine, and may be found by entering "", without the double-quotes, into your browser's address bar.

Searching has helped me immensely, since I started to get the hang of basic searches. I think searching is a tremendously useful, important, and integral part of the Internet. It is a very good way to access specific information you are looking for short of following links, which can also be a fruitful method but in my experience can take more time. I might say, then, that searching can enable an accelerated web, at least in terms of looking for information.

What is a search engine, you may ask? A search engine contains two parts - the user interface, and the "web page indexer." Hmm... this is getting curiouser and curiouser. All we need to concern ourselves with right now is the basic user interface - a text-height box where you enter search information for building a list of relevant web pages residing on the Internet and results list allowing you to browse the results entry by entry.

I will call all of the information that you enter in the search text box the "search string" (a "string" is the name used for text in programming languages). The most basic search string is a single word or more than one individual words. For example:


This search will produce a list of web pages in your browser with the word "apple" somewhere on each web page listed.

search=green apple

This search will produce a list of web pages in your browser with both the word "apple" and the word "green" somewhere on each web page listed. I don't think you'll run into any restriction of the number of words you can use.

The next step up is an exact phrase match, or text string match. In a phrase match, the phrase is surrounded by double-quotes ("), and the exact phrase in the double-quotes will be matched. For example:

search="green apple"

This will produce different results than the previous example. It will only match pages that have the word "green" followed by a space and the word "apple". Only the phrase to be matched is allowed between the double-quotes - it is treated as text and no other search information is allowed within the double-quotes.

Minus and Plus

This is slightly more advanced, but useful. A minus sign immediately before a search term (any of the examples above), signifying a logical NOT, which can also be used, excludes any instances of the term following it on web pages from the results list. For example:

search=books -shakespeare
is the same as
search=books NOT shakespeare

You have already read all of Shakespeare's works and would like to see all web pages with the word "books" on them but not the word "shakespeare" (upper-case is the same as lower-case in all of these examples).

I don't normally use the "plus" term, but it can be useful. It's use is to include small and frequently-used words that Google would ordinarily exclude when searching web pages. For example:

search=olympics +v
(probably easier to use:)
search="olympics v")

It's probably easier to use an "exact phrase" search, as immediately above. At least, I am used to doing it that way. However, the "plus" option is available.

There is more basic search information on at: Basic Search Help

I'd also like to share a little personal tip that I just thought up: if you are looking for something that's difficult to find, but you know a web page that is about something like it, try to find search terms on that page that you can use for your search.

For example, I was looking for something particular to a certain kind of PC audio file. I knew that a program called WinGroove does the same thing, so I went there. After following some links in an initial search, I ended up with the following search string:

search=soundfont gm

and I got a lot of interesting hits. Google also provides for modifying your original search string - adding to it to "refine" your search, subtracting to make it more general. I believe there is also a "find more like this" link that is offered for each results entry.

My name is Steven Groginsky

I am not associated in any way with I just wanted to see if I could help others move ahead a little.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Oops! I was trying to pull up my editor and what I wrote got posted.

Here's the script (see previous post):

---------- Start script (don't include) -------------------------
"C:\Program Files\Netscape Internet Service\dialer.exe"
wait.for (activewindow ("Sign On"))
*Keys {slow}{tab 6}{enter}
---------- End script (don't include) -------------------------
Hi! It's been a while, and a lot has been going on. I upgraded to Windows XP Home SP2, and I decided I needed more memory so I added 128 MB to my existing 128 MB.

Windows XP seems to me like it's a completely different operating system than 98 SE. All those services! Well, now I've had a month or two to get used to it, and I feel a lot more comfortable than I did in the beginning. Now I'm trying to get XP to perform better. I've been reading some articles and forum threads, and I increased the file cache to 128 MB, which is half of my memory. I also initially moved the pagefile (virtual memory on hard disk) to a second hard disk. Now I hear that it helps to make a pagefile in the system partition at a size recommended for XP. I also increased my other pagefile to 1 GB, 2x my memory. Increasing the file cache in memory helps noticeably. I'm not sure about the pagefiles - I'll have to see.

Other than that, I have a second partition that is formatted as FAT32, which is supposed to be faster than the normal XP disk format. I try to put all of my new files on that partition, Drive D:.

One other thing - I got a copy of Visual Basic .Net from Microsoft for free, for watching 5 of their training videos (short ones) streaming over the Internet. This was some time ago. I really want to get up the nerve to start learning about it and write some little programs, like "Hello World."

I recently changed my ISP to Netscape Internet Service, which doesn't give you server space, so I am switching my website, and I'll be writing new webpages for it. So far, Netscape is pretty dependable - no line drops, some problems with DNS server.

I wrote a Windows PowerPro script to run the Netscape dialer and make it dial. Of course, it references the location of the dialer file, so you may have to change that line if you somehow manage to install the Netscape files somewhere else besides the default location. It works pretty well - I have it on an Internet key on my Internet keyboard. Sometimes things screw up - I think it's mostly the fault of the dialer program. By the way, although Firefox is not officially supported, I'm using it with just some problems with the dialer starting things up after connecting.

Here's the script:

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Wow! I like this one. You can substitute your own startup logo by saving a bmp of the same size as c:\windows\logos.sys or logow.sys. It has to be the same dimensions and number of colors. See the following:

I hope someone is reading this because this is a really good tip. I got the above information from one of the tip files that Axcel216 wrote. He has a tip for everything you ever wanted to know - a real encyclopedia of information! And it's all in a .zip file available for download - about 500K. So I think you should hurry down to his site,, and download this treasure trove of tips.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I am trying out the Aston shell replacement for Windows Explorer, which is the default shell for Windows. It is available at It's neat, especially since you don't really have to go into the configuration file - there is interactive support.

The only thing that's a problem, for me, is that it is shareware. Although visually stimulating, I am really not sure that it is worth paying for. Windows Explorer has object-oriented support, which I find much smarter and more satisfying. And there is always LiteStep, at

I discovered, after many hours of work, that the FDISK shipped with Windows 98 SE ver. 10.2222 does not support hard drives larger than 64 GB. It rolls over to 0 and you get the disk size modulo 64 GB.

See here for Microsoft KnowledgeBase article:;en-us;263044


Saturday, May 22, 2004

Accessing Folders Quickly
I create shortcuts to folders I access frequently and keep them all in one folder named, as you may have guessed, "Shortcuts". Over time I have ended up with at least 50 of them.

I just had the idea of alphabetizing these shortcuts into three subfolders, e.g. 0-H, I-P, and Q-Z. I put an underscore at the front of the folder names so they will always stay at the top. So now these shortcuts and the folders they point to are much more accessible.

You can create a shortcut to Windows Explorer that will open up your folder in a double-pane Explorer window using the following syntax:

explorer.exe /e,/root,"folder path"

and substitute the folder's path for "folder path", keeping the double-quotes. All you have to do is click on the shortcut and it will do its thing.

The other option is to make a normal shortcut to a folder, and then in a Windows Explorer window, open up View,File Types. Find an entry for the "Folder" filetype and add a new command, named "explore." The syntax of the command would be:

explorer.exe /e,/root,"%1"

This will show up in the right-click context menu on folders as "explore", and will have the same effect as the first method.

If you can't add a new command to the Folder file type, just create a new file type called "File Folder, for example, and use explorer.exe for the program it is opened by, create an "open" command of explorer.exe "%1", and an "explore" command as described above.

Friday, May 21, 2004

HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
Hello again. Sorry I've been gone so long :(

I think you are reading an HTML document right now! Someone recommended to me quite a while ago that I learn CSS for writing my website ( I looked at it, but I was really, really intimidated by it. Today I wanted to use the same formatting to highlight certain words in my site's main text, which I wanted to change. I found that I was writing the same HTML tags, which changed more than one text attribute and were long, over and over again.

It is my impression that, in addition to separating the actual data from the formatting, one of the reasons for CSS is to write a style of HTML tag (a certain named configuration of that tag) once and apply it in the body of the document more than once. This also standardizes the look of the document, customizes the HTML tags for use all over that document, making the document hang together better.

The best tutorial I've seen is at In the meantime, though, while you're reading this, let me give you a little idea of some of the syntax.

I copied a piece of code that defines the classes and is placed in the HTML document :

The syntax of the class definition that you see is [(HTML tag name) {tag attribute: value}].

In this case, these classes give the tags certain attributes that are applied every time you use them unless you specify otherwise.

Notice that you can specify a left margin for the paragraph tag in pixels (px). You can also specify font sizes in points where applicable. I'm impressed, anyway :)

See you next time...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Web Page Debugging Tip
If your web page doesn't look like you thought it would, it can help to comment out the page, say, leaving the first logical section uncommented. Then look at it in a browser and eventually you can see where the problem starts. It works for me. Don't forget that you can't nest comments, and also that the uncommented part must not start in the middle of something - it must hang by itself according to HTML specs.