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[LAB1]: The basic
(slightly updated in June 2003)
Warning: These first five "Search challenges" are a prototype.
Therefore this is'nt yet a full-fledged searching lab.
Omnium rerum principia parva sunt:-)
This here is a "beta version" of what this lab should look like. Lab1 will open 'officially' only after having REALLY checked all possible paths and the relative "pedagogical" value of the challenges... this said, there's no reason you shouldn't already try your own hand at it if you feel like it... be warned if you want to try this lab, do not read the 'examples of possible solutions' until you'r done with your own attempts, else you'll spoil your own approach.
[1) mp3]   [2) Text]   [3) Text]   [4) image]   [5) file]
Please note that your Lab-assignement is to find THE MORE POSSIBLE DATA about each query target and to describe exactly all steps and paths you have followed. Use pencil and paper, you wont regret it... see the tips below.

1) [mp3] mp3 searching
Elementary inference skills ('few elements' searching) & crap-sites elimination basics

Aqua Barbie
An [examples of possible solutions]
2) [Text] A very easy introduction to "referenced" text searching & search engines "oddnesses"
Main search engines quickfinding

"Ingenium quondam fuerat pretiosius auro,
At nunc barbaria est grandis habere nihil

An [example of possible solution]
An [advanced essay] by Humphrey P. (February 2001)
3) [Text] Easy introduction to "plagiarism" seeking
"The secret of the many words" searching

"The professional industry standard remains Adobe Photoshop (version 5 is now available), a full-featured image editing application. However, if you work on a PC, you may want to try Paint Shop Pro, which has some of the same features for a fraction of the cost"

Nota bene: "Plagiarism seeking" is becoming more and more important on the web, as everybody knows. There are some specific techniques for that, but they basically build on simple 'long strings' queryes (with all necessary chiasmi alternatives).
As RedHerring found out, there are three other 'plagiarism seeking' tasks (the easiest one located inside my own [tools] page). It's part of a more difficult challenge, though, reserved to those advanced searchers that have already gone through the first labs.

An [example of possible solution]
4) [Images] Image seeking elementary lores. (Note the filename... :-)

16856 bytes, 241*221 pixels, you better use Opera 
and learn how to turn images off, duh...

An [example of possible solution]

5) [Files] Old files elementary searching - perusing old alleys of the web

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Gametime Products present's   *
* PATH-FINDer version 1.0       *
* By Lawrence Daniels           *
* - Searches the PATH for files *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

No wild cards ('*','?') or backslash ('\') in file

[Examples of possible solutions]
Some tips before leaping into it:
  1. How easy (or difficult) was it to figure out the correct approach?
  2. Was the formulation adequate to help you plan your search?
  3. Which search-approaches and strategies did you choose?
  4. Did you use any "classical" search engine? If so which ones?
  5. Did you use any "special" search engine? If so which ones?
  6. How many results did you retrieve?
  7. What proportion of the results were relevant to your perceived information requirements?
  8. How current were the results? How many 404s?
  9. Was the amount of detail displayed with the results enough to allow you tho evaluate?
  10. Was the order in which the results were displayed evident or apparently illogical?
  11. What other features contribute to (or detract from) the utility of the tools and approaches you choosed?
  12. Did you time your query?
Eh, of course you don't need to answer all the questions above. The purpose of these labs is to let you understand how important it is to be more "systematic" when searching the web. You may hop, you may leap, you may be a grasshopper or an ant... the only decisive factor is the success of your query and the time you had to employ: you got the targets you were searching for quickly? You won.
Feedback, critics, suggestions, ameliorations... welcome!
[Hints for lazy searchers]   [Feedback]   [Lab2]   [Lab3]  
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