What is Navigator?
What is Navigator?
When you use CompuServe, there are some things that you don’t have to do online—like reading e-mail and forum messages. If you store the messages you want to read on your personal computer, you don’t have to read them online while the CompuServe meter ticks away. This is where CompuServe Navigator (also called CSNav) comes in.
This chapter is based on version 1.1.1 of CompuServe Navigator for Win-dows. CompuServe has announced that this will be the last version of Navigator: no new versions will be developed or released. The folks at CompuServe stopped development on CSNav because only a small fraction (less than 5%) of CompuServe users actually use CSNav or any other auto-pilot program.
However, CSNav will still be available for downloading (GO CSNAV), and it will still be supported by CompuServe. There just won’t be any updates or new versions released.
CSNav 1.1.1 is not fully compatible with CompuServe 3.0. In particular, the filing cabinets share different structures. If you want to use both programs and their respective filing cabinets, make sure that CompuServe 3.0 and CompuServe Navigator are installed in different directories on your hard drive.
Should I use Navigator?
CSNav is a great program for certain types of CompuServe users. If you send and receive a lot of e-mail, or if you visit CompuServe forums for the express purpose of reading and sending messages, you’ll find CSNav to be extremely
valuable. Because all tasks that consist mainly of reading and writing can now be done offline with CSNav, you’ll avoid CompuServe charges while you sit staring at the screen.
On the other hand, if you do a lot of database searching or file retrievals, you won’t find much use for CSNav; you’ll want to stick to the regular CompuServe software. That’s because most of what you do is very interactive, and CSNav can only automate tasks that are noninteractive.
What if you do both kinds of tasks? Well, if you’re a lot like me, you’ll end up using both CSNav and the regular CompuServe software. I use CSNav for sending and receiving forum messages and e-mail, but I use the regular software for just about everything else. I’ve found that the two programs complement each other quite well.
Should CompuServe’s lack of future development on CSNav impact your decision? Well, if you want the latest and greatest features, you’ll have to
look elsewhere (see Chapter 11 for information on other autopilot programs). However, CSNav is perfectly adequate for most needs, and CompuServe does continue to support it in case users run into difficulties, so it’s not a big risk.
How does Navigator work?
Navigator works in two separate passes (online sessions). For the first pass, you instruct the program to connect to CompuServe and automatically download message headers from your favorite forums. After Navigator disconnects, you browse through the headers and decide which full-text messages you really want to read.
In the second pass, Navigator reconnects to CompuServe and downloads the messages you selected. After Navigator disconnects again, you can read the full messages at your leisure, without running up your CompuServe bill.