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'You have the following search engines installed'

What's wrong with people?

Get It

Try It

FF's getting pretty fancy these days. Check it out. Perhaps it's because they also support paraplegic platforms like Windows and hapless DIY platforms like Linux. But seriously.

What about Amazon.co.uk? Or Amazon in another country? Or Wikipedia in another language?

Or Google News, Google Images, Google Maps? Or Google Translate? Got to add all those too? If they exist?

You need browser code for that? And if you want anything else, you have to wait for them to make it for you?

Suck your thumb much?

OS X Services

OS X has services. They run off the 'application' menu and - albeit still upside-down on several versions - off context menus. But they don't require additional work or input. You don't have to type in anything more.

They just work.

ACP Web Services

Rixstep's ACP has web services. They run as OS X services. Here's what comes up default on FF.

Here's the trick: you don't need any more input. You just select text - anywhere, on your browser page, in a 'save as' sheet, anywhere - then pull down the ACP Web Services menu and go.

Here's the good news: they're free. Always have been, always will be. The ACP version takes 48 KB on disk. That's it. The configuration file with all the available services takes more space than the binary!

Here's more good news: you can roll your own services. It's really easy. And the ACP package contains an application you can use to do this.

Here's more good news still: the complete download contains over one thousand search services. You just browse through them and incorporate the ones you want. Easy. And free.

No Patent

Rixstep might have a patent on the software but there's no patent on the idea. The early forerunners to Rixstep's ACP Web Services were an eyesore. And they weren't free either. The ACP Web Services have always been free.

The technology behind these services is so straightforward, it's truly a wonder no one at NeXT or Apple ever picked up on it. In all these fifteen years. But no one did. Only Rixstep.

Konfabulator? Then Dashboard which was or wasn't a copy of Konfabulator but who cares? Then Automator? Have you checked recently how much file system real estate is being wasted by Automator? Was your guess close to this?

Oh sure. Dashboard is pretty! All those pretty colours! Yeah you gotta work harder for a lot of that to get any results. But who cares! It's pretty!

Keep telling yourself that.

Available Now, Available Always

The ACP Web Services are available now, available always. For free. The full download is 326 KB. And most of that's about the resources (URL strings) you'll use. You don't have to keep but a fraction of that on disk. And you can download again - for free - at any time.

There's even a 32-bit version available for those still running older dusty Mac hardware.

Apple have done their best over the years to make OS X services prettier (and in so doing have crippled them quite a lot). But they're still eminently useful. And they're far better than what you get from that woeful drop-down in Firefox.

  • There are currently 1,419 search services available.
  • They're sorted into 18 (eighteen) separate resource files.
  • There are special collections for networking diagnostics, 881 Google searches, Slashdot searches, creating shortened URLs, translations services, dictionary services, mobile Wikipedia searches in two dozen languages, IceRocket searches, and hundreds upon hundreds more.

So what are you waiting for?

See Also
ACP Web Services Home
ACP Web Services Download
ACP Web Services Download (64-bit)
Learning Curve: The End of Hierarchy

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