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Weekly News Digest

January 15, 2001 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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New Version of askSam Now Available

askSam Systems ( is now shipping version 4 of askSam, its free-form database software. askSam can create full-text searchable databases from unstructured information, such as e-mail, resumes, legal texts, government regulations, research notes, and correspondence, as well as from structured information. According to the company, askSam 4.0 is a major upgrade that adds over 100 new features and improvements to the previous version.

The software now provides a new Search Results Window that displays a list of all documents retrieved by a search. The Search Results Window gives an overview of the retrieved documents, including the total number of documents found, the number of hits in each document, the first line of the document, and the context of the hit. The Search Results can be customized for each database, and users can include specific fields, define a sort order, and more.

According to the company, the new version has import filters for Word 97/2000, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Access, and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) databases, which make it easy to bring information into askSam. Other improvements include wizards to help users, increased maximum database size (from 4 gigabytes to 16 terabytes), improved security with multiple-level passwords and advanced encryption, and new report features.

askSam version 4.0 Standard is available for $149.95. askSam 4.0 Professional, which adds full-text indexing capabilities, is available for $395. Using askSam Professional, hundreds of megabytes and thousands of documents can be searched in seconds, according to the announcement. Owners of earlier askSam versions can upgrade to version 4.0 for $89.95. A free, fully functional, 30-day trial version can be downloaded from the askSam site.

There is also a new SurfSaver 2.2, which is a browser add-on that lets users store Web pages directly from a browser into searchable folders. Unlike bookmarks, SurfSaver creates a permanent archive of Web pages in folders on a computer. Users can open, search, and edit SurfSaver files with askSam 4.

Source: askSam Systems

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