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AutoDate for Sherlock Plug-ins

what is AutoDate | how to use it

  • What is AutoDate?
how to use AutoDate | top | Helpful Information | Home

You've probably noticed that when you run a "simple" search at some websites the result might be hundreds, sometimes thousands, of "relevant" items. That's because a lot of simple searches show you all of the information that's relevant to your search question regardless of how old it is.

Of course, there are ways to get around this problem: Many websites offer an "advanced" or "power" search option where you can limit your searching to information released over a period of time, say, this week or last month. A very few websites automatically restrict your search to only the "newest" information. Unfortunately, a Sherlock plug-in can't be used with these sites, as Sherlock plug-ins are only designed to have one piece of input: Your search request.
AutoDate is designed to automatically update certain Sherlock Plug-ins so that they only search through the newest or most recently-updated information. Now you can use Sherlock to find not just relevant information, but new relevant information!
Please Note! AutoDate is not an "add-on" designed to work with Sherlock plug-ins you already have: Instead, AutoDate is designed to work with certain sets of plug-ins found at this website having the "AutoDate" label.

  • Using AutoDate:
what is AutoDate | top | Helpful Information | Home


These instructions are included with every set of Sherlock plug-ins at this site capable of using the AutoDate feature.


  • To use AutoDate it is suggested that you upgrade to Mac OS 8.5.1, which fixes an AppleScript bug that could cause your Mac to slow down. This upgrade is free for users of OS 8.5.
  • Make sure you have AppleScript properly installed on your Macintosh.
  • If the plug-in file you are using has a name ending with "sit","hqx" or "sit.hqx" then it has been compressed to save space and must be expanded before you can use it. To expand it, open the file in America Online or use Aladdin's free Stuffit Expander.
Select & install your Sherlock Plug-ins:
  • Review the plug-ins available for the website of interest and select the ones you would like to use. You may select more than one plug-in if you wish.
  • Drag-and-drop each plug-in you've selected onto your closed System Folder and it will be installed automatically into the folder "Internet Search Sites".

Install AutoDate for the Plug-ins you've selected:

  • Put the AutoDate script for that particular set of plug-ins somewhere on your startup drive (ie: the drive that has your System Folder).
    Note: The AutoDate script has a name similar to the plug-in(s) it is designed to work with.
  • Make an alias of the AutoDate script and drag it to the Desktop.
  • Put the script "AutoDate_Minder" somewhere on your startup drive (ie: the drive that has your System Folder).
    Note: You only need to have one copy of the script "AutoDate_Minder" on your startup disk.
  • Make an alias of the script "AutoDate_Minder" and drag it to the Desktop.

Choose how you would like the AutoDate feature to work:

If you want your plug-ins updated:

...every time you start up your Mac:

Follow these steps:

  1. Drop the alias of the script "AutoDate_Minder" into the "Startup Items" folder of your System Folder.
  2. Drop the alias of the AutoDate Script into the "Startup Items" folder of your System Folder.
  3. Use the Extensions Manager to make sure the scripts have been turned on.
  4. Restart your Mac, and the plug-ins will update.
AutoDate will now run every time you start or restart your Mac.


...when you leave your Mac on 24 hours a day:

...right before you start your search:

Then follow these steps:

  1. Drop the alias of the AutoDate script onto your desktop, into your Apple Menu Items, or into the Launcher
  2. Double-click on the AutoDate icon right before you run Sherlock and your plug-ins will be updated. Repeat this step for every AutoDate script you are using.
NOTE! With this method you are updating the plug-ins manually: If you do not perform Step 2, then these plug-ins will not run properly.

  • You're all set!

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Disclaimer: These plug-ins and any associated programs at this website have been provided to make your searching with Sherlock more convenient & productive. While they have been thoroughly tested & work just fine on my Macintosh, they are provided "as is" without warranty or remedy of any kind: You assume any risks in using this software, and are solely responsible for any outcome resulting from such use. Unless explicitly stated, these plug-ins were created solely by the Author through direct examination & use of the websites mentioned, and are neither endorsed nor supported by Apple Computer or the specific websites they are designed to work with.

Copyright: While this information is available free of charge, it is not in the public domain. Plug-ins may be distributed provided the entire folder of information is distributed without alteration. If you would like to distribute them in a collection, CD-ROM or by other mass duplication means, contact me for permission. Thanks.

Questions? Comments? Plug-ins? Contact me! I welcome any questions, comments, suggestions, plug-ins or links you may have.


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