HistoryHound Fetches the Past — Talk about a delayed reaction! I’ve been moaning for years about how useless most Web browsers are at helping you return to places you’ve been in the past. Back in 1996, there was a MacUser utility called Web Ninja that captured the URL of every page you visited, making it easy to find and revisit those pages. And until this January, when the Omni Group showed off the pre-release OmniWeb 5, nothing even approached Web Ninja’s power. With OmniWeb 5, the Omni Group raised the bar, indexing not only the URL of each page you visit, but also the full text. I’ve been beta testing OmniWeb 5, and although I don’t search my history every day, that feature has proved invaluable on more than one occasion.
But what about other browsers, like Safari and Internet Explorer? Jon Gotow of St. Clair Software has come to the rescue with HistoryHound, a $20 utility that reads the existing history and bookmarks from Safari and Internet Explorer, visits those sites on the Web, indexes their contents, and lets you search the index. To search, you press a keyboard shortcut (no matter what application you’re in), type your search terms, and pick a page from a ranked results list; it opens immediately in your default browser. It’s a brilliant, elegant interface, and although I haven’t used it long on the Macs where I still rely on Safari, I think it will become one of those indispensable tools (and it has a great icon done by Tony Bush of Cartoon Dogs). If you’ve ever found yourself unable to find that site you visited a few weeks or months ago, ask HistoryHound to find it for you. A 30-day free demo of HistoryHound 1.0.2 is available as a 1.6 MB download and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [ACE]