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Personal search reaches a happy conclusion

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From About Architecture, that great and promiscuous site (no, not big chests, promiscuous as in sprawlingly miscellaneous in its content) which I've mentioned before, comes this: 'Explore the world of synergetics and the connection between geometry and architecture. Here are photos and building plans for geodesic domes pioneered by Buckminster Fuller, air form domes, steel-reinforced domes, concrete shell monolithic domes and other dome projects.' And that's exactly what it proceeds to help you do at http: //architecture. about. com, via a long list of geodesic-related URLs, from general articles on Bucky to 'buckyballs', which I had always thought had something to do with particle physics but apparently is an affectionate term for geodesic domes.Hmmmm. Anyway, this buckminsterly cornucopia is at http://architecture.about.com/cs/geodesicdomes/index.htm.

Since the RIBA loftily ignores any attempts by this column to nudge it into accessibility by users, the library section always excepted, I offer an alternative I found on a magazine cover disk recently. It's SSSiter, of which a 1.72MB trial version can be downloaded at www. kryltech. com/. SSSiter is a personal search engine which can search a website for a phrase and report back. It can also build outline-style maps of a website and give an overview of what it contains. Alternatively, you can download text data into your own computer so you can do high-speed searches and site map exploration offline. I confess I have not tried it, but it sounds as though it is exactly what people need to access architects' names on the web. If you take it up, I suggest you deduct the equivalent of the US$70 (about £48) it costs to buy permanently from your next RIBA sub.

I'm happy not to be able to declare a commercial or other interest in it, other than the fact that it looks like being a solution to the problem RIBA refuses to cure itself.

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