Hints for Using Entropy Search

The Search facility is provided by Entropy Search from the cPanel package of ROUThost, the web hosting company.

Entropy Search has limited capabilies compared to Google search, for example, but has the advantage of doing a search of this website for "free" with minimal maintenance. It seems to do a reasonable job within the restrictions described below. There is no documentation. The information listed here is what I have found by trial and error.

Starting a Search

Type one or more words in the search box and then press Enter or click on "Search". Entropy Search will then search all the text files on this website (but not Word .doc files) and display a page listing only the web pages that contain all those search words. If you asked to search for multiple words, the pages containing only some (not all) of the words will not be displayed.

Interpreting the Results Page

The results page lists the pages in some sort of priority order, with the "most likely of interest" pages listed first. I'm not sure how good this ordering is, but that's what they do. This website doesn't have many pages compared to a commercial site, so it probably isn't that important anyway. On the top line of each entry, on the left is the colored "most likely of interest" bar and percentage ranking; you can probably ignore these. Then there is the title of the found web page for HTML pages, or "Untitled" for other types of pages, e.g., .txt files. This field is a hyperlink and is probably underlined, specially colored, or otherwise highlighted by your browser. Just click on this field to display the page. (See next section.) The second and possibly following lines of the entry contain some text from the beginning of the found page. The final line of the entry shows the URL (name and location) of the found page.

Locating the Search Word(s) in a Found Page

OK, let's say you have clicked on the hyperlink for a found page and it is now displayed. Now what? You probably want to find the original search word(s) in that page. Entropy Search doesn't do anything to help in this area. You now have to depend on what "find in page" facilities are provided by your browser. For most browsers, pressing Ctrl-F brings up the browser's Find tool. Then type the word you want to find and press Enter. Press F3 to repeat the Find or Shift-F3 to find is the reverse direction. Note that if you originally searched for multiple words, you will need to do a find for the words one at a time; otherwise, if you type all of the words at once for Find, it will not find the words when they are separated by other words.

Some browsers (and their extensions) make this job much easier than others. Firefox has a "search as you type facility". You don't have to press Ctrl-F to start the Find function. Just start typing and Firefox will find the word as fast as you type it. F3 and Shift-F3 work as described above. Even better, if you have the Google Toolbar extension installed for Firefox, you can have the search words highlighted on the page. Then repeatedly clicking (or Shift-clicking) on the desired word in the Google Toolbar Search Terms area moves the cursor forward (or backward) thru the instances of this word on the page.

Search Rules and Some Restrictions

Jeff Knauth