Image Surfer Pro User Manual

Best Practices

Used correctly Image Surfer Pro will greatly increase your enjoyment of collecting and sharing media files which have been published to the Internet. However, it is important to use the tool in a respectful way to both ensure the publisher's copy right protection and avoid launching denial of service attacks on the servers which host the media you enjoy.

Unlike some of the competing software, Image Surfer Pro does not condone blasting web servers with unsolicited file requests for every conceivable text and numerical file name combination. While such behavior may seem to have few consequences to the user it is in fact quite detrimental and website administrators are taking increasingly aggressive defensive actions against such attacks which essentially constitute a denial of service attack on their servers.

It is not uncommon to have your IP Address blocked at least temporarily by a server if you conduct this type of activity. It may not be long before such blocks become permanent and require you to access the site through a different internet connection and request the site administrator unblock your address. Continued attacks could very easily result in you not being able to access any of the media hosted by a domain.

Remember your IP Address and credentials are passed in every HTTP request made and your information may be stored and tracked - especially if it is found to be conducting denial of service attacks on a regular basis. Without passing the information the Internet simply won't work and the Internet is not as anonymous as you might think - behave appropriately! It isn't uncommon for site admins to communicate and share information - they could share your IP Address as malevolent and you could find yourself blocked from the very media you wished to collect and enjoy.

Numeric Fusks

Few media file sequences contain hundreds or thousands of files. There is very little reason to set the {Size of Range} user value to large numbers. In fact many websites publish the number of images contained in a sequence on the Free Hosted Gallery landing page for the sequence. Use the Auto Range Override input on the Image Surfer Pro toolbar to tailor the size of numeric fusk created when you know the number of files in the sequence.

List Fusks

List fusked files are useful for files which are not numerically named. But unlike auto ranging for numerically named files, trying to automatically guess non-numerically named files will generally lead to a significant number of Server 404 File Not Found errors. It is recommended that you let Image Surfer Pro automatically build list fusks when files are added to directories or that you only manually build list fusks from known lists of valid file names (such as combining directory names into a single fusked list directory). Do not conduct searches for hidden or related files based on some preconceived list of likely names.

Limiting the Number of Files Referenced

Because Image Surfer Pro will attempt to access each of the files as specific media types, it may be safe to search and see if related media files exist and this is a natural extension of using Image Surfer Pro. However, it should be done responsibly by limiting the number of files referenced during your search. This can be done in two ways:

Because browsers will send simultaneous requests for multiple (maybe even all) files on the webpage it is trying to draw, it is important to limit the number of those requests which will generate Server 404 File Not Found errors. This can be done by using either a basic or guided view to look at only the first file in each sequence and also limiting the number of files placed on each page for that type of view (See the user's manual page for configuring Fusker Collection Views) when you are searching and not just enjoying your fusker collection.

Remove Missing File References

Missing file references may be generated by your use of Image Surfer Pro for several valid reasons, including:

In each of these situations, viewing your fusker collection will generate some Server 404 File Not Found errors. However, if you have been building and using fusker collections correctly the number of errors will not be sufficient to be labeled a denial of service attack.

In these situations it is important to remove the missing file references from your fusker collection to avoid having repeated attempts to access the same missing file be viewed as a denial of service attack. This can be done by simply manually deleting the fusker collection segments which reference the missing files.

In the case where a sequence of numerically named files contains both valid and missing file names, This example of removing missing file references can be used to clean up your fusker collection.

Free Hosted Galleries And Image Surfer Pro Forms

The safest and cleanest way to build fusker collections is using the Process Page button from Image Surfer Pro toolbar button to process an Image Surfer Pro form. Using these tools will rarely access missing files as they retrieve the file names directly from the published website information. You will only access a missing file doing this, if a file is listed by a hosting domain but not actually present (truly missing).

By first creating the ISP Form using the Create ISP Form button from Image Surfer Pro toolbar button to create the form you gain the following advantages:

When in doubt it is recommended you use the Create ISP Form button from Image Surfer Pro toolbar button. For sites your are familiar with and surf often using the Process Page button from Image Surfer Pro toolbar button directly is often easier and as effective.

However, these tools may generate Server 403 File Forbidden errors. It is possible for webservers to inspect the browser and referring website credentials and deny access to files if that access is not directly from within their domain. Repeated access to files blocked in this way may also be interpreted as a denial of service attack and should be avoided by removing the file references from your fusker collection (or in the case of using Image Surfer Pro Forms not adding the references in the first place).

Respecting Frames and Pages

Shockwave Flash, Raw Frame, and Pages are all different than statically formatted image and video files. These are considered Active Objects on webpages. When they display, the Source Code of the active objects are provided by the hosting server. By contrast the mechanism for displaying Image and Video files use active components provided by objects directly installed on your computer. Flash video requires the use of the Image Surfer Pro Flash Video Player, which is an active shockwave flash object. Every flash video segment in your fusker collection will use this same object to display the video. This should not be confused with how a Shockwave Flash segment is displayed. The active object used to display a Shockwave Flash segment is downloaded from the hosting server and may differ greatly from segment to segment.

We strongly recommend Shockwave Flash and Raw Frame segments only be collected from domains you trust. Interaction with the display windows of these segments is a risk. Raw Frame segments will often be seen in ISP Forms because of active ad content on the original page. You should exercise the same precautions of interactive with these elements in an ISP Form as you would have exercised on the original page. Adding these types of frames to your fusker collections is certainly risky.

A Page segment is rendered on Image Surfer Pro forms in essentially the same way a Raw Frame segment is. For this reason you should also be careful when interacting with the display window used for Page segments. Page segments will not be generated automatically by Image Surfer Pro, however you can select page links from ISP Forms as well as create Page segments manually or by choice when Image Surfer Pro can not determine what type to assign a URL. When you create a Page segment you should consider how the segment will be rendered on generated web pages. We recommend only creating Page segments for webpages you frequently surf and trust. Create them only for normal pages and not active content found on pages. Use Raw Frame segments to hold the active content you find on pages while using Page segments to reference the page as a whole.

What Makes a Directory

Typically Image Surfer Pro will break URL references around directory markers (/) creating directory segments. This is done not only because of the natural structural nature of a directory tree but because that structure often includes several branches where different files are stored. Without directory tree branches each URL would be distinct and independent of other URLs in the collection, which would be much less useful to most users. However, it is possible through manual editing to create some situations which, while perfectly valid, may make merging fusker collections difficult at best.

Using Directory Markers (/) Within A Split Directory
Split directories by definition are meant to represent a portion of a file or directory name within the fusker collection. However, you can manually edit the text such that a full directory is represented along with a portion of another directory or file. The Matching Rollup process will account for these markers and comparisons against the text will be done treating the marker as just another character. However how the result maps to the directory structure on hosting servers may lead to a larger number of missing file references.

Using Directory Markers (/) Within A List Fusk
This situation can only arise through manual manipulation of a list fusk. The Matching Rollup process considers the number of directory markers found in the first URL path through a fusked segment, thus will consider directory markers found in the first entry in the list fusk. If the number of directory markers in each entry of the fusk do not match this could lead to situations where segments you would expect to match do not.

Differences in Free and Full Versions

The primary differences between the Free and Registered versions of the software are their ability to build fusker collections. The Free version of the software is primarily a viewer for the fusker collection files. Many of the limitations placed on creating fusker collections are in place to limit the amount of denial of service issues which can arise. If you are using the free version primarily to view fusker collections created by others you are less likely to encounter these issues. If you are using the free verison as a test drive prior to obtaining the registered version you should be aware of the issues which can be avoided by the ability of the registered version to generate Image Surfer Pro Forms, process Free Hosted Galleries, and perform Directed Searches.