Software Review: Hot Off The Web

From Insight Development for $49.95 (retail)

review by J. A. Hitchcock

As it appeared in the July/August 1998 issue of Link-UP magazine.

Have you ever wanted to let a friend or co-worker know about a great web page but didn't want to make them wade through a bunch of links or scroll down forever to get to the info? Well, the answer to your problems is here! It's called Hot Off The Web (HOTW) and it's hot on the shelves at your local software retailer!

Hot Off The Web makes it easy to take a web page, edit what you don't want off of it, make notes, highlight passages and more, all in a graphical format that looks exactly as the page does on the web! Then you just email the edited web page to your friend or co-worker and that's it. They don't need any fancy schmancy program to view the page you send them, either. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?

How does it work? All you do is load up HOTW on your computer. It doesn't take up a lot of space and if you don't already have Internet Explorer on your computer, a free version is included on the CD (at press time a version of HOTW compatible with Netscape Communicator was in the works and will be available soon). Start HOTW, then minimize it. Begin Internet Explorer and surf to the web page you want, then click on the HOTW tray icon.

Now the fun begins. HOTW automatically "captures" the web page and all of its graphics.

Using the HOTW toolbar, you can now add "sticky notes" with comments from you, a digital sticker with an expression such as "Wow!" or "RUSH!" or text bubbles such as "NO WAY!" and "What WAS I thinking?", highlight certain parts of the text to attract attention to it and, best of all, edit the text or delete graphics you don't want. You can also use the Graffiti Pen to circle pertinent text or a graphic.

The revised web page is all set to go!

Just click on the "envelope" graphic to send the web page to whoever you want. They receive it as a self-extracting ZIP file and all they need to do is double-click on the file to open it up.

Wallah! "Your" web page is there for them to see.

After you send a few people a HOTW file, I just know they'll be asking you how in the heck you did what you did. All you need to do is tell them to go to their closest software retailer and buy a copy of HOTW today! DOWNSIDE OF HOTW
You have to use Internet Explorer (provided free on the CD-ROM. I know a lot of folks who are not happy with this, but the truth is that Netscape wouldn't work with Insight Development to make HOTW compatible with Navigator/Communicator. Microsoft saw an opening there and took it and ran. There will be a Netscape- compatible version of HOTW, but don't expect to see it until around Christmas. If you have the hard drive space, install IE so that you can use HOTW and leave IE there, but don't make it your proprietary browser. That's what I did - I have to confess, I'm a Netscape-loyal user. In my honest opinion, if Netscape wants to play ball with the "big boys" (in this case, Microsoft), they had better learn to play well or they'll lose in the end.

Retail Price: $49.95
30-day money back guarantee (direct from Insight Development)

For more information contact:
Insight Development
2420 Camino Ramon
Suite 202
San Ramon, CA 94583-4207
1-800-825-4115 or 925-244-2000

J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me.

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